Open Letter to Steve Jobs: It's Time to Stop the CensorshipS

Look at this magazine cover. It's Madonna. Madonna showing her breasts. Without nipples. Why? Because of Apple's silent censorship, that's why. We said it already: It's time to declare war against Apple's censorship. Steve, you are going the wrong way.

In case you are not aware of it, here's what is happening: British fashion magazine Dazed & Confused has made an iPad version of their magazine. Internally, they call it the "Iran Edition" because they have to censor any nudity, no matter how innocent it is. This is not the first time that it happens, but this is even worse, because nudity in a fashion magazine is actually editorial content: There are plenty of designers who use transparent fabrics or risque cleavages. Not to mention lingerie.

Seriously, you can't keep doing this. You just can't. It's only going to explode in your face. Like all the dumb app-approval moves Apple has made in the last few months. Steve: Don't you remember the last time you tried to have full control over everything and everyone? Yes? It ended badly for you—ousted from your own company—with Apple about to die, and with Microsoft ruling the world.

See, I have been using my iPad for more than a month now. And my iPhone for almost three years. And after all this time, I still think you have the chance to redefine computers once again. In fact, I think you have set that metamorphosis in motion already. But the iPad or Apple won't be in that certain computing future if you guys keep doing this.

You just can't dictate policies that lead to the arbitrary censorship of certain applications. For political sentiments, for foul language, for showing nipples. Why do this? You have an age control system built into all your devices. Use it and let people decide on their own. Don't try to be my father or my mother. Instead, enable people to communicate with your devices. Make that policy clear to everyone. No holds. No barriers.

I know what you are going to say. Apple is your company. Yes, it is and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. But this is just not cool. This sucks. This is not you. Apple was never a fake corporation like Disney or a cold behemoth like IBM. You used to give IBM the finger, remember? And remember when you used to smoke joints while having days at the beach, enjoying the California sun and tofu burgers with the Macintosh team? Or the pirate flag at Bandley 3?

You used to be the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the square pegs in the round holes, the ones who were never fond of the rules. Remember?

People liked you because of that. And now, this is what you have become:

Jon Stewart recently pointed this out. And Bild Digital's CEO Donata Hopfen said that "today [Apple] censor nipples, tomorrow editorial content." Her prophecy became reality. So please, listen before it's to late. It's time to return that nipple to Madonna, and lift any kind of censorship from the app store. [Shiny Shiny via Vallewag]