Apple Rejects Health Care Reform App for being “Politically Charged”

Written by Jason Grigsby on

iSinglePayer ScreenshotLast week I wrote about Apple’s policy of censoring political speech and why this was more important than Google Voice. Today, we find out that Apple has rejected a Health Care Reform App for being “politically charged.”

The 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 local representatives and encourages you to call them.

Frankly, there is nothing in this application that wasn’t in the Obama ’08 official iPhone application that we helped develop.

Obama ’08 had the following features:

  • An issues section containing position papers and data similar to the bar graphs and pie charts in iSinglePayer.
  • GPS location used to determine where you can contribute to the campaign similar to iSinglePayer’s use of GPS to figure out your representatives.
  • A system to encourage you to call your friends to encourage them to vote for Obama similar to iSinglePayer’s feature encouraging you to call your representative.

And in case anyone thinks that Health Care Reform is substantially more controversial than last year’s Presidential election, Gallop showed Obama at 48% when the Obama ’08 application was released. That is only seven percentage points ahead of where Rasmussen polls put public opinion on health care reform as of today.

I find rejections of applications like iSinglePayer to be more offensive than I do the rejection of Google Voice. And while I don’t expect mobile gatekeepers to change their policies, I strongly believe it is in our best interest to make sure we have viable alternatives to the app stores as soon as possible.

Jason Grigsby

Jason Grigsby is one of the co-founders of Cloud Four, Mobile Portland and Responsive Field Day. He is the author of Progressive Web Apps from A Book Apart. Follow him at @grigs.

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