Don’t even think of submitting a coronavirus app to Apple’s App Store – it will be rejected
It seems everyone is doing their part to fight disinformation.
Apple has a pretty strict code of conduct for apps submitted to the App Store, and now there’s a new banned item – the coronavirus. Well, specifically apps that are related to the viral outbreak that didn’t come from a recognized institution, like the government or a hospital. Apple hopes this will help limit misinformation surrounding the virus situation.
Fighting misinformation is a good thing, but there are some downsides to Apple’s approach. Otherwise trusted developers that have created trackers that would enable iOS users to track statistics about COVID-19 have had their apps rejected during the manual App Store review process, even when they used public data from trusted sources such as the World Health Organization. Apple told one of these developers that anything related to the virus needs to be released by an official health organization or government.
Other tech giants also fighting misinformation about the virus outbreak include Amazon, who is cracking down on sellers claiming their products can kill the coronavirus; Facebook, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg is “focused on making sure everyone can access credible and accurate information” about the outbreak; and Google who has banned ads for anti-coronavirus products or those trying to create a feeling of urgency.
With tech companies in Washington already sending workers home, it looks like we’re just starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus here in the US and this move from Apple is just the latest in what is surely more to come.
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