Under the name of Drone+, the app was repeatedly rejected from Apple’s App Store for being “not useful or entertaining enough.” Funny, as it doesn’t appear to have been designed for entertainment purposes, but we digress.
It was finally accepted last year under a different name, Metadata+. The app started functioning, and informing people about the world’s victims of Washington’s deadly drones.
After seven months, Metadata+ was removed from the App Store last weekend, and all users were notified about the pull, with the explanation that the application included “excessively crude or objectionable content”.
Apple's removing @joshbegley's important and excellent app that reveals where drone strikes happen because it's 'objectionable.' Expected.— Mehreen Kasana (@mehreenkasana) September 28, 2015
How objectionable or crude could the app have been? It never included graphic imagery or descriptions of drone strike victims, but instead conveyed informational headlines, maps and links to original media publications.
Meanwhile, games in which one can play as a UAV operator, “fly[ing] covert recon missions while taking out high profile targets,” have been available on the App Store for years.
Cool! A drone app that's neither 'crude' nor 'objectionable' pic.twitter.com/Z3C7rZXW— Josh Begley (@joshbegley) September 13, 2012
Begley is not set to surrender. Instead, he’ll keep working to keep the public informed.
“I still plan to update the Twitter account [@Dronestream] as new drone strikes get reported—and Metadata+ should continue to work for everyone who has it downloaded on their phone. But new users won’t be able to install it,” Begley told Gawker in an email.