When “Apps” Tell Us What the Government Won’t

If the government had it their way, we (the public) would accept what they had to say and not question it’s words or actions. However, that’s arguably one of the most beautiful parts about humanity – we question everything. Instead of being force fed information, we seek truth. The post-enlightenment period radically changed the way human beings view their own rational thought. People began to question everything, and form their own ideas and opinions instead of being indoctrinated with what their governments tell them.

This has come a long way, especially with the advent of the internet. People are no longer just thinking for themselves, they’re sharing their ideas and speculations about what they’ve been told with each other – in the form of social media, blogs and now apps.

Apple recently, after 5 rejections, finally accepted an app that tracks US drone strikes. Josh Begley, the app’s creator, designed Metadata+ to “track every U.S. drone strike and send a push notification every time a flying robot carries out a deadly mission around the world.”

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Originally rejected for various reasons, the recent app was successfully accepted primarily because no where in the title did it mention that it was an app that tracked drone strikes – all 5 of the previous submissions did include “drone” somewhere in the app’s title.

After accepting defeat, Begley got a call from an unnamed Apple Review Team employee, who said that the company would “quietly accept” the app if the title did not scream that it was tracking US drone activity. What an interesting concept – Apple, a massive industry with enormous wealth and influence, didn’t want to be affiliated with something that exposed horrors of the US military – yet, still, in a hushed process, let it slip through.

I think this is highly admirable – one of the best things about living in a “free” country is the freedom of speech and press that our Bill of Rights grants to us. If we want to know what our government is doing when journalists and media don’t always report on it, we should have every right to take measures into our own hands.

Media has come so far since it first appeared in society. And though its taken new forms, (i.e. apps for smartphones) it has also increased our ability to communicate with one another when those in charge fail to do so.

I think this is a big step for the justice system as well. Now being able to track drone strikes every time they occur, we’re more aware of the injustices our government is committing and their attempts to cover them up. I hope to see more apps like this in the future.


Franceschi-Bicchieriai, L. (2014, February 7). After 5 Rejections, Apple Accepts App      That Tracks U.S. Drone Strikes. Mashable. Retrieved , from             http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/apple-app-tracks-drone-strikes/

2 thoughts on “When “Apps” Tell Us What the Government Won’t

  1. Apple’s response to the app is fascinating. Pushing something through, making a statement, but also not making that statement immediately obvious. They distance themselves from the product while still giving it the go-ahead.


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