gonzojive

iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Update II: App approved (see below or the new post). Click here to download the app for free

Update: Spread the word on Apple’s censorship!

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PALO ALTO, CA –Apple, Inc. has censored  an iPhone application promoting health insurance reform in the United States.

iSinglePayer, an iPhone application that advocates for single-payer health care reform was rejected from the App Store by Apple because it is “politically charged.”  The application displays charts and bullet points about single-payer health care systems, and it allows users to call members of congress.  iSinglePayer even calculates your local congressperson using GPS, and displays the amount of money donated to each congressperson from the health sector.

Rejection From the App Store

The application was submitted on August 21 and rejected on September 26, more than five weeks after it was submitted.  Most applications take 10-14 days to approve.  The rejection was made over the phone by a representative from Apple.  The representative explained that the application was “politically charged” and was rejected for this reason.

Apple rejected the iSinglePayer application because it is "politically charged"

Apple rejected the iSinglePayer application because it is "politically charged"

Apple informed Floatopian (which is pretty much just me) that iSinglePayer was rejected in part because it was the product of a lone developer.  There are applications developed for particular political candidates, like the official Obama application, but since those have the official support of a politician they are acceptable.   When a single developer wants to voice his opinions, Apple censors it.  Unless, of course, you can pawn your propaganda app off as news…

Apple allows certain propaganda on the App Store.auspices

Apple allows certain propaganda on the App Store.

Single-Payer Health Care

The United States currently spends more than twice what other industrialized countries spend on health care per capita. In 2007, the United States spent $7290 per person on health care while the United Kingdom spent $2992 (41% of the U.S. expenditure) according to the OECD.  Despite the high cost, the U.S. health system performs poorly in comparison and does not insure everybody.

Many other developed nations insure every citizen with single-payer health insurance, while the United States has over 45 million uninsured and tens of millions underinsured.

62% of all 1.5 million bankruptcies in 2009 will be medical bankruptcies, and 75% of those will occur despite medical insurance[1]. Some of those with insurance were too sick to continue to work, and thus lost insurance. High co-pays and deductibles bankrupted other patients. None of these problems affect single-payer systems where insurance is provided by taxes even in the case of job loss.

Despite widespread support among physicians, nurses, economists, public health officials, and public opinion polls, single-payer health insurance reform has not been a major part of the health care debate. Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, excluded single-payer advocates from a round-table discussion among dozens of health experts, including many industry representatives.

The rejection of iSinglePayer from the App Store is but the latest blow to supporters of single-payer health reform.

Contact

Contact Red from Floatopian at floatopian@floatopia.org.

I don’t know who to contact at Apple.  We got a call from a nice guy named Richard who seems to work in developer relations–try (408) – 862 – 9516.  A more general apple number is (408) – 996 – 1010.  You can also try the media help line at (408) 974-2042

Update: Help Get Us a Sponsor

If you are part of a large health reform advocacy group, we would love to partner with you to see if that will get the app published.  Even better would be a member of congress, which would really put Apple on the hot seat.  We just want to publish this thing before it is irrelevant!

Also, we forgot to mention that the app was free to download and has no ads.

Update II: iSinglePayer available in the App Store

Thanks everyone for raising this issue publicly.  Over the weekend Apple approved iSinglePayer and it is now available for download in the Healthcare and Fitness section of the App Store.  I am glad that the app got through, and I hope that Apple will not be rejecting any more applications because they are politically charged.  Thanks again, all!

Click here to download the app for free

In the five weeks since we first submitted we improved the app to not use the network at all.  A new, faster version will be coming out soon.

Update III: Apple strikes criticism from the app description

Apple called me again this and told me to alter the description text in the app store.  They said to remove anything that mentions the approval process.  Thus, you will no longer see the following in the app description:

*** Apple lets iSinglePayer on the App Store after a wave of bad press! ***

Apple originally rejected iSinglePayer because it was “politically charged.”  Five days of bad press later, iSinglePayer has hit the App Store.  Thanks to singlepayercentral.com for helping get the app approved, and Wired, Engadget, DailyKos, and many others for reporting the story.  Now this little iPhone app can make it into your back pocket.

Not a big deal, but yes, we live in a corporate democracy now.

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  1. This is unfortunate indeed but in the interim just provide a download link for the app and supply installation instructions to drag and drop the downloaded app to iTunes to install without the App Store.

  2. So what can we do next? what’s the appropriate contact info for Apple, so that we can let them know we want the single-payer app?! I don’t even use Apple because the service provider is AT&T, a HUGE contributor of conservative policies. Wonder if that has anything to do with it.

  3. [Citation Needed]

  4. […] iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive […]

  5. Ok, HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    1. FEEDBACK to IPHONE TEAM: http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

    2. CALL APPLE CSERVICE: 1 800 767-2775

    3. APPLE DEVELOPER CONNECTION PPL – fill out form: http://developer.apple.com/contact/

    4. CALL/E/FAX/FORM–>APPLE CORPORATE INVESTOR RELATIONS: investor_relations@apple.com
    Also by hone 408 974-3123, fax 408 974-2113, Email comments in form: http://www.apple.com/investor/

    5. APPLE MEDIA “HELPFLINE”: 408 974-2042, EMAIL: media.help@apple.com

    6. Don’t know whether or not BILL CAMPBELL (also of Intuit) is still chairman of Board of Dir at Apple (filed a “buhBye” with the SEC early Sept. re Apple) but he’s the head honcho there. #2 is Al Gore who is on Twitter

  6. Too bad Steve Jobs, liver transplant recipient, doesn’t have more compassion.

  7. […] going to give into the temptation – Apple takes a smothering mother role to the iPhone, and rejecting an app like iSinglePayer is more evidence of that. I remember writing up Election ‘08 and thinking wow, this is […]

  8. I’m not for censorship, but it’s also my opinion that an app like this does not belong in the app store. It’d be much more useful as a website. If you petition anything, petition apple for a new app category called Political. Apple was in their right to reject the app, and I think they did the right thing. Liberalism or conservatism does not come into play in the making of my opinion. An app full of one-sided political opinions would not be a smart approval for apple for very obvious reasons. Why don’t you make it a web app.

  9. […] going to give into the temptation – Apple takes a smothering mother role to the iPhone, and rejecting an app like iSinglePayer is more evidence of that. I remember writing up Election ‘08 and thinking wow, this is great, […]

  10. That’s fine – re Jon’s POV but the problem is that Apple then needs to remove other apps which are much MORE didactic such as the example here of the DrudgeReport reader which doesn’t provides facts, as the iSinglePayer app would’ve, but provides just polemic – i.e., trashing Obama.

    If the problem is consistency, then, they need to go get rid of Drudge and other such stuff they have on iTunes. Apple is big into consistency; it should walk its talk.

  11. HERE is why this censorship does NOT make sense and is INCONSISTENT. Better example than the DRUDGE app. REMEMBER THIS from the app store——>http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/iphone

    Yeah. Well if they can happily make that available, they need to be consistent and make the iSinglePayer available. Red Wingnut types can do their thing as well but you HAVE to apply your judgements CONSISTENTLY re this kind of thing or you open yourself to this kind of anger and criticism and the people here who are the most p’d off are likely a large part of Apple’s market. We know ONE investor who is sufficiently p’d off that they are threatening now to pull $ out.

    So there you go – the proof that blows away the “we aren’t political” argument.

  12. THIS IS A BETTER EXAMPLE for what they DO find as “acceptable” than your example – USE IT: http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/iphone

  13. […] going to give into the temptation – Apple takes a smothering mother role to the iPhone, and rejecting an app like iSinglePayer is more evidence of that. I remember writing up Election ‘08 and thinking wow, this is […]

  14. Ick. I hope Apple had their outside counsel review this decision before they called you.

    Political speech (especially advertising) has a lot of special protections. An ad publisher isn’t necessarily free to decide that they won’t accept a particular ad. It’s pretty much an all-or-nothing proposition. So by carrying candidate ads like the Obama app (candidate ads are the top of the food chain), one might argue that they’ve pretty much opened the floodgates.

    Anyhow, this is an important issue worthy of consulting an attorney on. As someone who’s worked in politics at all levels, I can tell you that it’s very important that companies continue to be denied the right to decide for us what is and is not too politically charged for their taste.

  15. […] iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive a few seconds ago from xmpp […]

  16. […] iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive a few seconds ago from xmpp […]

  17. So Apple is evil. What’s the news again?

    Oh, btw, I really wonder what would happen both in terms of public outcry and politically if, say, Microsoft adopted an application rejection mechanism anywhere near as arbitrary as Apple’s for Windows.

  18. Too bad Steve Jobs, liver transplant recipient, doesn’t have more compassion.

  19. Im getting a HTC Hero soon. Cant wait…

  20. […] application in question, iSinglePayer, appears to be mostly informative from the screenshots the developer posted. It contains bar graphs and charts with information on the cost of health care. It uses GPS to find […]

  21. […] a Comment // To recap: the creator of iSinglePayer, an app that claims to document “the inefficiency of the US health care system”, is […]

  22. Apple probably rejected the app cause they didnt want to turn their app store into the political version of Yahoo! Answers.

  23. […] iPhone app for Apple’s approval on August 21 — and little more than a month later, Apple rejected it on the grounds of its content, Daly told […]

  24. […] iPhone app for Apple’s approval on Aug. 21. A little more than a month later Apple rejected it on the grounds of its content, Daly told […]

  25. A cool app. A very bad idea for healthcare.

    Government run healthcare does not work. Let the market decide.

    Truly free markets work every time they are tried.

  26. […] iSinglePayer iPhone app for Apple’s approval on Aug. 21. A little more than a month later Apple rejected it on the grounds of its content, Daly told […]

  27. Could you post the complete rejection email you received from Apple? I take you at your word, but I’d love to have the full context of their rejection before I decide what I think. Thanks!

  28. […] According to Daly, an Apple representative spoke to him by phone to inform him that the rejection of the app was due to its "politically charged" nature. Well that, and the fact that Apple doesn't allow political apps from single developers. […]

  29. […] According to Daly, an Apple representative spoke to him by phone to inform him that the rejection of the app was due to its “politically charged” nature. Well that, and the fact that Apple doesn’t allow political apps from single developers. […]

  30. Have you tried Kucinich or Rep. Anthony Weiner? Weiner was promised by Pelosi that he would be able to bring his substitute to HR 3200 (essentially single payer HR 676) to the House floor for a vote in September (nearing the end on that, eh?)–He might think this is a good way to get his message out there.

  31. […] iSinglePayer iPhone app for Apple’s approval on Aug. 21. A little more than a month later Apple rejected it on the grounds of its content, Daly told […]

  32. This is sad. Post a link to where we can download the app without the App Store, please.

  33. […] iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive a few seconds ago from web […]

  34. Morons. Drudge Report is a site THAT LINKS TO OTHER NEWS SOURCES. How is that politically charged?

    iSinglePayer is politically charged through the use of the word single-payer. If it just presented the facts and left people to make their minds up for themselves (the govt is the problem and not the solution for these high costs that we see in this screenshot chart), then the app would be neutral.

    Liberals are insanely tyrannical against any other viewpoint than their own. And want their one-sided opinion out there IN FULL FORCE (Fairness doctrine, lies, media domination, whatever it takes!) Steve Jobs was able to get a liver transplant through high quality healthcare that is the result of a profit-based system. If we need to use inductive reasoning though for healthcare then let’s ask Brits or Canadians who came to the US to pay for an operation that their own country told them to get in line and die waiting for, one cataract at a time…

    Singlepayer advocates are so unbelievably ignorant and none of them can ever come up with a reason that trumps the common sense of an individual payer negotiating with a provider on the price for services without any govt or intermediary (HMOs etc) that causes the price to steadily rise since there is no downward pressure from market forces. The left thinks they’re all rational thinkers, but the people that bitch about app censorship like this are just tech-suckling latte sipping lunatics that want to universalize everything for the sake of building a big database.

  35. The easiest way to live is to see everything negative and throw a tantrum like a baby when things do not go your way.
    Learn to respect others viewpoints and stop crying. Be creative and find a way to make your dream come true. You are surely not Steve Jobs who had and still has a vision contrary to many but he has shown that he is creative enough to find ways to make his visions come true even against very powerful others.
    So the question is here, are you jealous that someone with a great vision discharged your surely political program or are you just disrespectful to a majority who not want Obama’s Health Care Plan to succeed?
    Be realistic, we’re living in a capitalistic “democracy” and that means that those who have the money to screw others always win and YOU will never be able to win against them in the way you try. Be creative and find a way, convince others with intelligence and not with cry-baby behavior, otherwise just be quiet and grow up.

  36. If you want a single payer system, then you’re gonna have to throw down as much as the next guy. It’s an investment by everybody, not just richer people paying for poorer people’s bad habits. As a physician, I can’t favor either system since both have pros and cons. But at least in a single payer system, all you business grads will be out of a job since you’re most of the fluff in the system (sales, admin, etc.) and maybe all those people with political science degrees, which are just really useless, will shut up and get a real job.

  37. […] via Boing Boing (YouTube Video link / doubleTwist) Apple Granted Patent on iGlasses via Valleywag iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple via LambdaJive A Sense of Entitlement: Tweetie 2 via iPhone Development European Union threatens to […]

  38. Hi, would you mind if I ported this to the the Palm Pre? I know they won’t reject it.

  39. […] iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive a few seconds ago from nambu […]

  40. […] Floatopian versucht nun, die App über einen kritischen Abgeordneten erneut einreichen zu lassen und weist darauf hin, dass […]

  41. […] Informatikstudent Red Daly reichte am 21. August seine Anwendung bei Apple ein. Wie er berichtet, erhielt er fünf Wochen später Bescheid über die Ablehnung. Eine Apple-Vertreter […]

  42. […] According to Daly, an Apple representative spoke to him by phone to inform him that the rejection of the app was due to its “politically charged” nature. Well that, and the fact that Apple doesn’t allow political apps from single developers. […]

  43. Apple couldn’t win on this one, because given the controversial nature of the app and that it is ridiculously one sided, it is actually more successful rejected since it gets you and your opinions a spot light. If the app had been accepted, hardly anyone would have noticed.

  44. The Apple AppStore!!! (Freedom of speech not included)

  45. How is Drudge “propaganda?” Because he posts news you don’t want to hear? I’ll never understand how liberals close themselves off from anything that negatively impacts their fragile worldview. The public doesn’t want expensive social healthcare in the middle of a recession, sorry.

  46. […] 据Daly称,一名苹果代表打电话告诉他,由于“含有政治内容”拒绝了他的软件。看来,苹果不允许个人开发的政治软件。 […]

  47. People hear may wish to review the actual criteria before spewing as seems to be evident in some of the posts above this one. Apple actually sat in front of the FCC just weeks ago answering questions regarding its criteria. They had to be able to come up with specific criteria and having read the transcripts, there is NOTHING in those transcripts that states minimum size of a developer let alone political content. Sorry but the above comments just sound like angry little boys just wanting to make noise.

    Furthermore, the information the app presents are facts (such as comparing healthcare systems re cost) vs. the conservative talking points app on iTunes, the Obama08 app (for the campaign), and the Drudge report. If pressed on “political chargedness” and “political-ness”, iSinglePayer’s content is less charged than those other political apps. If “size matters”, they need to show that as criteria and currently they don’t and didn’t state that to the FCC.

    Sorry, but I think Floatopian is eventually going to win this one. It’s too expensive and messy litigiously speaking. And to the MD here, listen buddy – over 16000 MDs now want a single payer system and even more want a public option type system. You are in the minority and also in the mindset of many many years past.

  48. […] I agree with Eric — Apple is making some really problematic choices with regards to their App store. One of the recent: rejecting an app that helps people work on single payer advocacy. […]

  49. Too bad… I was, repeat WAS, going to go look at buying an iPhone this weekend.

    Sorry Apple.

    Apple should realize that I’ve given them my hard-earned bucks for a long time but if I die because I have no health insurance (and I don’t) they won’t get any more. And I am one of millions out there.

  50. “So, let’s say you want to be politically oppressed; there’s an app for that!”

    This is just another example of big companies watching out for each other so they can all take advantage of us, workers and consumers.

    They are all too worried about losing ad revenue from each other to ever let anyone small say anything bad about anyone big and rich.

    I wish there was an app to start a revolution and take back our wealth from those who exploit it with our cheap labor and their high prices!

  51. The app is actually available in the store. I guess Red got all of the PR he wanted, but doesn’t come back to say that Apple did the right thing.

  52. […] iPhone and iPod Touch application named iSinglePayer was rejected for being "overtly political" by Apple, and will not be allowed entry into the iTunes App Store.  The application was […]

  53. waaaaaaah! i want a pony!!

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  60. […] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments Categories: Gadgets tags: app, app store, app store approval, app store rejection, apple, AppStore, AppStoreApproval, AppStoreRejection, controversy, iphone, isinglepayer, rejection, Rejections Advertisements .adHeadline {font: bold 10pt Arial; text-decoration: underline; color: #666666;} .adText {font: normal 10pt Arial; text-decoration: none; color: #000000;} try{var AdBrite_Iframe=window.top!=window.self?2:1;var AdBrite_Referrer=document.referrer==''?document.location:document.referrer;AdBrite_Referrer=encodeURIComponent(AdBrite_Referrer);}catch(e){var AdBrite_Iframe='';var AdBrite_Referrer='';} document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,83,67,82,73,80,84));document.write(' src="http://ads.adbrite.com/mb/text_group.php?sid=1221712&br=1&ifr='+AdBrite_Iframe+'&ref='+AdBrite_Referrer+'" type="text/javascript">');document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,47,83,67,82,73,80,84,62)); Your Ad Here Members Newest | Active | Popular […]

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  76. […] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments Tagged with: app    app store approval    apple    appstoreapproval    appstorerejection    controversy    Finance    iphone    mobile    Politics    Sport […]

  77. […] iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive – iSinglePayer available in the App Store Thanks everyone for raising this issue publicly. Over the weekend Apple approved iSinglePayer and it is now available for download in the Healthcare and Fitness section of the App Store. I am glad that the app got through, and I hope that Apple will not be rejecting any more applications because they are politically charged. Thanks again, all! […]

  78. […] Apple’s approval purgatory and into the iTunes Store, now that there have been reports that Apple turned down a single-payer health care app because of its politics. There aren’t isolated incidents of troubles with the iTunes Store. […]

  79. […] on Engadget on Mon, 05 Oct 2009 20:03:00 EST. Entertain see our terms in favour of use of feeds.Understand | Permalink | Email […]

  80. […] going to give into the temptation – Apple takes a smothering mother role to the iPhone, and rejecting an app like iSinglePayer is more evidence of that. I remember writing up Election ‘08 and thinking wow, this is […]

  81. […] press in recent months for its seemingly arbitrary, bizarre, anticompetitive and possibly even politically motivated submission […]

  82. […] – Advocating the “politically charged” issue of single-payer health insurance. […]

  83. […] only apps featuring scantily clad vixens, shaking babies, and shaking breasts, but also an app that promoted single-payer health care and a Google Voice app that offered better phone service than […]

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