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Smile: the nativists are coming to an iPhone or iPad near you!
NumbersUSA — a white nationalist hate organization with an extra-special hatred for immigrants — has just launched a brand new iPhone application.
NumbersUSA is part of a network of anti-immigrant organizations conceived and created by John Tanton, the “puppeteer” of the nativist movement and a man with deep racist roots that taint the organization to this day. A cursory look at the “news” on the application reveals the anti-immigrant message of the hate organization. Further investigation of the organization on the web reveals how it has honed talking points to spread anti-immigrant hatred: children of Latinos are not merely babies but dependents and anchor babies; undocumented immigrant youth are criminal aliens; single Latino mothers are recast as “welfare queens”; and so on. Surely, Apple must have chanced upon this before approving the application.
Last year, Apple rejected a single-payer healthcare iPhone application because it was “politically charged.” Hence, Apple’s decision to nonetheless give NumbersUSA, an organization that espouses hateful and divisive language — the very kind of language I hope the iTunes Store would not want to help disseminate — a market to disseminate news and collect signatures is alarming.
This also raises an important legal question. To what extent is Apple liable for the content of iPhone apps? Apple is not a tacit participant in applications on its iPhone and it has a stringent reviewing process, scrutinizing each submitted application and removing those that do not conform to their standards.
Apple has banned and removed apps from the market previously that violated the Terms of Service. There is no reason it cannot do the same in this instance and dump NumbersUSA.
Change.org users should stand up and say that “applications that support anti-immigrant bigotry have no place in the iTunes Store.” After signing this petition, iPhone and iPad users should report this app online or call Apple’s public relations line at (408) 974-2042. Let Apple know that providing a platform for anti-immigrant bigotry is not only offensive — it does not make good business sense.
Photo Credit: dakiny