Look, I get it. You saw the actually-heinous people and bots posting child exploitation pornography and recognized it for the evil it is.
Not out of a sense of justice or moral outrage, obviously, because you are corporate entities for whom those concepts do not apply, but because they threatened your corporate value (because All Must Bow to the Craven Capitalist Command of Cupertino, and the whims of Wall Street in these, the burgeoning days of late-stage capitalism).
But, yes, you reacted.
I mean, you overreacted, and overreached, and are going to have to walk that the fuck back, but, as the poorly-drawn star says, “an attempt was made.”
But your reaction was telling on many levels, some of which were obvious to you, some of which were obvious to everyone else, and some of which might not have been obvious at all.
On the face of the Tumblr policy note we’ve all been seeing at the top of our dash is the explicit and overt sexism and puritanism that Apple has foisted on the digital marketplace by being the 800lb gorilla in the room with their app store, and anything that isn’t squeaky fucking clean when it comes to kids and nipples has no place there. “Female-presenting nipples,” for fuck’s sake. Nipples don’t know what gender they are, you dipshits. Pixels of whatever color don’t have a gender at all.
So you began flagging content as potentially violating this upcoming policy of purging, throwing an algorithm that is, frankly, as competent as the current occupant of the White House at the problem without doing even a hint of QA testing. I’m not a programmer, so what you developed and implemented is better than what I could write, but putting it into the world was demonstrably worse than the nothing I wrote.
Write better code. Do even a modicum of unit testing. GitHub is a thing, as is code review.
But, no, you panicked in the face of the impending end of 4Q18 and your need to present a shiny, healthy, investor-or-buyer-pleasing report, so you rushed it and bungled the job, and have enjoyed the attendant egg on your faces (and discovered the need for asbestos underwear that those of us who’ve been online for a couple of decades now have known about all along).
But even this inept, ham-fisted censorship attempt revealed something: you - and every other social media platform (looking real hard at you, Twitter and Facebook) - you could cut off the sexists, the racists, the homophobes, the anti-Semites, the anti-Muslims, the anti-Latinx, the “Proud Boys,” the goddamned actual Nazis, all these fucking hate groups - right at the fucking ankles. But you haven’t, and won’t, because, in the grand calculus of the iTunes store, bigots are better than tits.
You’re all craven cowards, bowing to the almighty dollar. And we see you. We see you very well.
This is why “Millenials are killing” thing after thing. The market you’re all so fond of worshiping is based on supply and demand, and our demands are simple: if you’re stupid and hateful, we want less and less to do with you, and will take our screen time and clicks and attention and money elsewhere.
People have often asked me why I hate iPhones in particular* and Apple products in general, and their eyes glaze over when I start talking about the walled garden. This, however, is a very clear, concise, and illustrative shorthand.
I don’t care how many dozens or hundreds of billions of dollars your corporations are worth (or even if Apple keeps bouncing above the $1T line). You’re not above being taken down, inch by inch, by the millions of people whom you view as consumers and commodities to be fleeced and sold, and whose eyes are opening.
So keep looking at sand dunes and sneakers and flowers and seeing NSFW content where none exists, just to protect your precious, precious valuation.
We’re going to be looking elsewhere, and, yes, even at naked ladies’ breasts.
You’re not the only boobs around. And we know which ones we want to see.
* My office’s on-call phone is an iPhone, and nothing makes me want to destroy a piece of electronics more than hearing that fucking thing ring at 3am for a false alarm.
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