Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) are two companies who have tended to have different policies on apps in their respective marketplaces. Google, which has always advocated a free and open Internet, seems to have higher thresholds for finding certain apps too inappropriate for public use and consumption. However, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has developed a pretty reliable track record of removing apps that could be controversial, and the record is especially firm in support of gays and against apps that seem to be or suggest anti-gay sentiment or homophobia.
Will those diverging standards continue to apply, or might Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) go along with Apple’s move reported early Friday morning, when it removed the “Setting Captives Free” app from the App Store due to its claim that it can help users be “cured” of homosexuality. Google has not, of yet, removed the app from its Google Play store, though the app has received mostly negative reviews (it is averaging 1.5 stars out of five, with the ratio of one-star to five-star ratings listing at seven to one).
The story behind the “Setting Captives Free” app is a creation of the Setting Captives Free ministry, which claims the ability to cure people of “habitual sins,” such as pornography, gambling, alcohol or drug abuse and overeating, among others. While Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) reportedly removed the app from its App Store late Thursday night, a Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) spokesman so far has only said that the company is investigating the complaints regarding the app. Is is reported that Apple removed an app called “Manhattan Declaration” in 2010 for offering a quiz that rewarded conservative-leaning answers on issues like homosexuality and abortion. And another app in 2011 was pulled for allegedly offering content that was deemed homophobic.
“Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, you do not have a ’homosexual gene,’ nor were you born this way with no hope of freedom,” the app description reads. “You can be set free from the bondage of homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and the cross!”
What, do you imagine, is the reaction to this from those supporting gays and gay rights?