Apple vs cigar aficionados !
Can Apple censor a mobile application dedicated to a product authorized for sale?
By Laurent Mimouni
The boss of the largest American cigar magazine Cigar Aficionado did not appreciate that Apple removed from its platform the application “Where to smoke? In which the newspaper had for the last two years listed more than 2,600 addresses of cigar shops, smokehouses and other cigar-friendly locations in North America and the United Kingdom. “Our editorial staff dedicated an enormous amount of work to vetting all of the locations that exist in the database, calling on each one to ensure that they met our standards. Our developers worked for months to take all that information and turn it into a beautiful, functional app to guide cigar smokers to their destinations. The places we highlight are for adults only, and the app doesn’t sell cigars”.
David against Goliath
But overnight, Apple decided that the application was not in accordance with its rules. “We continue to find that your app promotes the use of tobacco or nicotine-related paraphernalia, including but not limited to cigars, cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, or e-cigarettes, which is not permitted on the App Store.” replied the California group laconically, rejecting all the claims of the magazine. “This move is an outrage, and what makes it even more despicable is the fact that our app is gone from the Apple’s App Store yet apps that allow people to buy marijuana remain” – cannabis that is illegal in a good half of the United States and most of the rest of the world. “It’s a David vs. Goliath story, and unfortunately this time Goliath is the winner,” he says. It is an attack on freedom of expression and freedom of enterprise. It is outright discrimination against cigar smokers. Apple is not the friend of cigar smokers.