is again under fire from the media, following the approval of an app that requires the user to violently shake their iPhone to stop a baby from crying. An Apple spokesperson has gone public stating that the company admits to the offensiveness of the app, apologizing for allowing it a spot in the App Store.
Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris said in a statement that the game was “deeply offensive.” She added, “We sincerely apologize for this mistake.”
The application, called Baby Shaker, uses (better yet, used) the iPhone
's accelerometer to allow its user to shake it until the virtual baby would stop crying. The app caught the eye of Jennipher Dickens, whose son was injured after being shaken by his father.
“As a mother of a child who was violently shaken at 7 weeks old, causing a severe brain injury, and the founder of a national organization for Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention... I don't have to tell you how much this horrifies me!” Dickens, the founder of the Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome nonprofit group, commented on the iPhone app, a CNet report
Others, however, like Saul Hansell writing
for the New York Times's Bits blog, are against pulling the respective game from the App Store. Hansell's argument was that, while the app was admittedly offensive, “... the applications available [in the App Store] can have political, social or literary content. And we know that one person’s manifesto is another’s heresy...” Hansell believes Apple simply caved in to pressure this time around.
Indeed, it seems that way. This isn't the first time the company has drawn criticism for its approval methods, with Apple itself admitting at one point that such huge numbers of apps and updates are hard to handle properly. But you know what they say, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Apple should have lived up to this saying.
Also worth noting is that, according to a report over at The Consumerist, Baby Shaker was pulled not once, but twice from the App Store.