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Baby shaker: violence (simulated) to children, Apple removes an App

Since the opening of the App Store, Apple has been subject to several criticisms raised by the media and especially by the developers: despite the confidentiality clauses signed by joining the Apple Developer Program, the developers who have seen the admission rejected on the online store judging it undeserved or unfounded , leaked some information about the "censored" software. In some cases Apple retraced its steps eventually admitting the program in question on the App Store. This swing of failures, revisions, sudden admissions and above all an evaluation process that still remains shrouded in mystery sparked the attention of the media and the curiosity of programmers and users.

The latest case originating from the United States concerns a simple program called Baby Shaker and also reported on the San Francisco Chronicle website, the city and bay area newspaper. The program was introduced on the App Store last Monday and, after only two days of staying in the online store, it was removed during the day of Wednesday, without comments or clarifications from Cupertino, as is usually the case.

US users who purchased Baby Shaker offer a brief description of the features. Several children appear on the screen shouting and crying in a convincing and realistic way, so realistic that the aim of the game is to resist the cries of the little ones for as long as possible without giving in to the temptation to silence them. To do this, it is necessary to shake more or less vigorously, depending on the degree of desperation of the player, to bring the silence back: a series of X signs displayed instead of the eyes of the children suggest that the children have been "quieted"

Some US foundations and pediatric associations that fight precisely this type of behavior have noticed that promoting, even as a joke and in a simulated way, the shaking of newborns encourages a practice that can cause very serious physical injuries. Negative reviews also appeared on important Web newspapers dedicated to technology, finally also on blogs, in numerous posts of users scandalized by the admission to the App Store by Apple. Cupertino evidently did not escape the hype that was mounting around the story and decided to make disappear the program disappeared from the online store.

In this case, the decision to remove the software will hardly be criticized even if, as happened, the criticisms are focusing, as understandably, on the lightness that led to its admission. What is certain that this episode helps to throw further uncertainty on the evaluation process of the programs, what are the characteristics that lead to their approval and which to their refusal and how they are considered.