Yesterday, Pavel Durov, CEO of telegram, the messaging app, revealed that the company had come under pressure from Apple to censor the content of its apps. Apple asked Telegram to remove three Belarus-related channels, saying they “disclosed personal information.” While Telegram has objected to the claims, apples have little choice given its threat to ban their apps from iOS systems.
To Durrov’s discomfort, however, Apple’s request not to inform Telegram users was taken at Apple’s request.
Previously, Telegram used a notification to inform iOS users of the exact rules for restricting content when it was removed at Apple’s request. However, Apple recently found them, arguing that apps shouldn’t show such notifications to users because they “don’t matter.” By masking its demands in vague language, Apple is trying to evade responsibility for enforcement of its own rules.
Durov noted that Apple used the same “irrelevant” description to object to Facebook telling its users that Apple charged 30 percent of the App Store commission. It therefore strongly disagrees with Apple’s definition of the term. I think it doesn’t matter why something was deleted, or why the app price is 30% higher, it’s important. Apple has the power to be greedy and formalist (perhaps not — it’s up to the courts and regulators). But it’s time for Apple to learn to take responsibility for their policies, rather than trying to hide it from users — they deserve to know.
The recent wave of anti-Apple in the mobile app development industry has exposed many of Apple’s covert operations, including forcing apps to join in-app purchases and doing special deals with some companies, even though Apple claims it has never done so.