Apple has pulled its iTunes store from the Christian Values Network due to what it sees as the network’s contributions to controversial groups, as tech companies tread carefully in the midst of complicated social issues. (LINK)
After what has seemed like weeks of bad news for non-believers, there is a small ray of hope tucked away in the Business Section of the newspaper. Western Washington University student Ben Crowthe submitted a petition to Apple to withdraw support for CVN. He cited the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report linking the Christian retail website to known anti-gay, anti-woman Hate Groups. Last week, Apple announced its withdrawal from the site. This is not the first time Apple has taken a stand against bigotry. In March, the company pulled an app that purported to help “cure” gay people. (LINK)
Apple is not the only big company to jump ship in recent weeks. Atlanta’s own Delta Airlines, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, BBC, and Microsoft have issued similar policy statements. To many, this marks a rare departure from the cut-throat amoral marketing which has apparently become the norm. In an age where consumers are increasingly skeptical of big corporations’ commitment to anything other than the almighty dollar — and especially in a period of economic instability, it is comforting to know that there are top level executives with some human empathy.
The issue is, however, a complicated one, and there are examples on the other side. Facebook recently removed a photo of two men kissing from a posted event, citing violations of its policy against “sexually aggressive content.” (LINK) (Besides being a photo of two men, it appeared no different than thousands of photos of heterosexual couples kissing which were allowed to stay.) It is still unclear where Facebook stands on the issue.