Apple have pulled an app from their App Store for iPhone and iPad that claimed it could “cure homosexuality” after thousands of users protested against it.
The Setting Captives Free app, which promised to free users from the “bondage of homsexuality”, caused enough upset to lead 55,000 people to sign a petition against it, set up by the All Out pressure group, branding the app harmful.
The All Out group stated that the app’s 60-day course could cause “terrible harm to lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people, or anyone forced to try to change who they are or who they love.”
The app’s creators on the other hand believed the app could add used looking to find “freedom from habitual sins”, helping “help people just like you escape impurity, over-eating, substance abuse, gambling, smoking, and more.”
Following the outrage, Apple have now pulled the app from the App Store for violating the company’s developer guidelines, which do not allow “the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity”.
What was not addressed, however, was how the app got onto the App Store in the first place, given Apple’s strict App Store approval process.
The app also remains on sale through Google’s Google Play store for Android, despite criticism from app reviewers on the platform.
It’s not the first time Google’s app store has courted controversy, after it came to light that Google were claiming a cut of the profits from sales of a “Racist Jokes” app.