Apple Inc. on Friday approved for sale a Spanish-language eBook version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, complete with a swastika application icon.
A day later, presumably due to the blogosphere uproar, the $1.99 offering disappeared from the Apple's Application Store.
The App Store is a service for the iPhone and iPod Touch created by Apple Inc. that allows users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store that were developed with the iPhone SDK and published through Apple.
Web sites such as EdibleApple, 9to5Mac, TechCrunch and TheNextWeb posted news on the application immediately after it was spotted in the online store.
Bloggers were shocked that Mein Kampf made it through Apple's selection process and many reacted angrily.
EdibleApple, a site dedicated to Apple news, rumors and analysis, wrote, "It's naturally filled with a plethora of racist content and it's pretty mind boggling that Apple's app store censors let this one slide through."
9to5Mac, a Apple Intelligence site, questioned Apple Inc.'s policy, saying, "We know the App Store won't sell overt erotica - even eBooks carrying the ancient love manual, the Kama Sutra, have been banned from the store - so we're really, really keen to know how come the company approved a Spanish App containing Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, complete with a swastika logo."
To the further disgust of many, the book, sold by Ricardo Reyes, was rated 9+, meaning its content was deemed appropriate for anyone over the age of nine.
The application lasted for 24 hours before either Apple or the publisher pulled the eBook from the App Store.
This incident raises issues regarding Apple's philosophy and selection process for its app stores.
Every week, 40 employees look at 8,500 proposed applications and updates, with two people reviewing each item. Ninety-five percent of those submissions are approved in two weeks or less. Since the App Store opened in 2008, Apple workers have evaluated more than 200,000 applications and updates.
Apple does have a special review board for controversial cases, but has not said how often cases are presented to this executive board.
"We're covering new ground and doing things that had never been done before. Many of the issues we face are difficult and new, and while we may make occasional mistakes, we try to learn from them and continually improve," Apple said in August.
Despite the overwhelming number of applicants, Apple should not have these slips, TechCrunch argues. "This version of Mein Kampf is in Spanish, so maybe that's what allowed it to slip by the App Store guardians. But that's no excuse. If the Nazi logo didn't raise a red flag, I'm not sure what will."
This was a wake-up call to Apple, 9to5Mac wrote in a blog entry. "Apple needs to get its philosophical approach sorted out."
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