Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kill virtual baby, si. Pass virtual gas, no.

Talk about your "killer app."

Baby shaking is all the rage among the no-self-control set, so we knew it was only a matter of time before some techno sk8r punk app developer brought a prison-free version of it to your iPhone, all for the low, low price of 99 cents.

Not surprisingly, the "Baby Shaker" program made it into Apple's App Store, which deemed a virtual whoopee cushion too tasteless to be sold. Slightly more surprisingly, Apple pulled it after child-welfare groups raised holy hell.

THE FOLLOWING Culture of Death Minute is brought to you commercial-free by Suzanne Choney and
A controversial program for the iPhone called "Baby Shaker" was added to, then pulled from, Apple's App Store this week after protests about the program's offensive nature dealing with a deadly serious subject.

Child protection groups were outraged by the 99-cent app for the iPhone and iPhone touch, which encourages those frustrated with babies' crying to shake them, or in this case, shake their devices to change drawings of a crying baby to a calm one.

Apple, "which notoriously and routinely rejects new apps from developers with a 'rigorous' vetting process, nonetheless apparently allowed this horrible application to be sold through its store," said the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, whose aim is assist in the research of new developments for children with pediatric acquired brain injuries such as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

"Not only are they making fun of Shaken Baby Syndrome but they are actually encouraging it. This is absolutely terrible," said Marilyn Barr, founder of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and a board member of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation.

Apple, asked about why the Baby Shaker app was approved and how long it was available before being pulled, did not answer those questions.

"It was removed today," was the only statement Wednesday from Natalie Kerris of Apple.

Sikalosoft, listed as the developer of Baby Shaker, could not be reached for comment.
OH, AND ABOUT that rejected virtual-fart app? Apple has standards, you know:
The company has been criticized by software developers for not allowing other kinds of programs, such as those that pass digital gas, into the App Store.

Such apps ultimately were approved, although the developer of one, "Whoopie Cushion," was first told by Apple that his program did not "comply with Community Standards,” programs that have “any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.) or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”
NOW, if someone were to develop a Capitalist Shaker app, they might be onto something.

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