An app which tracked US drone strikes has been removed from the App Store by Apple.
The app, created by Josh Begley, a data artist and editor at The Intercept, sends push notifications to keep users updated with drone attacks around the world. The concept, despite being a highly useful news resource, was rejected repeatedly under the name 'Drones+' for being “not useful or entertaining enough”.
The app was resubmitted by Begley under a different name, 'Metadata+', and was approved immediately last year, and had been functioning before it was pulled last weekend due to “excessively crude or objectionable content”.
Metadata+ never featured graphic evidence of drone strikes and was a text-based and map-based app.
As Begley pointed out in 2012, there is a game on the app store in which you play as a drone and carry out strikes, which apparently was not deemed crude or objectionable.
Cool! A drone app that's neither 'crude' nor 'objectionable' pic.twitter.com/Z3C7rZXW— Josh Begley (@joshbegley) September 13, 2012
It's still available on the App Store, whereas Begley's genuinely useful news resource is no longer.
Sound reasoning, Apple.
Begley's dedicated Twitter account for drone strikes will stay updated, and another app, ‘Ephemeral+’, which performs the same function as 'Metadata+' is still available to download, having evaded Apple due to the placeholder text and images in the apps’ App Store description.