September 15, 2011, 1:21 PM — Apple didn't become the world's most valuable company by accident. It's incredibly well-run and staffed with top-flight tech talent.
Yet that doesn't save the company from the occasional idiotic move. This has been seen most recently in a handful of iPhone apps approved by the company and subsequently pulled from the App Store after protests.
And now we have -- or at least the French had -- "Jew or not Jew," a riotous app that helps users determine which French politicians and celebrities are Jewish. Because, you know, that really matters.
Apple yanked the app from its App Store in France after objections from activist groups in that country, the Wall Street Journal reports:
"The app violates local law and is no longer available in the app store in France," Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr said.
The French law makes it illegal to identify a person's religion "without their consent or the compiling of information about people’s religious beliefs," according to the WSJ.
One could argue that such a law is heavy-handed and would be a violation of the First Amendment in the U.S. Fair enough.
Indeed, the app, which launched early last month, still is available in Apple's U.S. App Store and elsewhere.
But to me the issue isn't a legal one; it's about common sense. And someone at Apple clearly is lacking in that department.
The fact that Apple is flooded with app submissions really is no excuse. How hard is it -- and how long should it take -- to determine that a "gay cure," "baby shaking" or "Jew or not Jew" app is a bad idea? Are these such tough calls?
Further, one would assume that apps must go through more than one person before being green-lighted. If that's not the case, then clearly that's a flaw in the process that Apple should address.