Apple is now rejecting all coronavirus related applications that are not from health institutions and other official bodies, such as hospitals and governments.
CNBC, in its report, says that it was contacted by four application developers who told them that Apple has rejected their applications related to coronavirus, even though they had used reliable sources like WHO in their data.
Spent all day yesterday building a coronavirus app just to get this rejection 🙃 pic.twitter.com/HSJxp0JERS
— Zachary Shakked (@zacharyshakked) March 4, 2020
Zackary Shakked, an app developer tweeted that his coronavirus app was rejected by Apple. In his defense, Zackary said that he had published several applications before, which had high ratings and were downloaded thousands of times. At the same time, he was glad that Apple was trying to prevent misinformation.
Apple has some strict guidelines pertaining to the App Store review process. It even updated its guidelines a few days back and added a new clause advising application developers of highly regulated fields such as financial, services, air travel and of course, healthcare, to submit their work by “legal entity that provides the services, and not by an individual developer.”
Usually, Apple never states the reason when it rejects an App, but this time, it made it explicitly clear as to why it’s rejecting the application.
“One developer said an Apple employee explained over the phone that anything related to the coronavirus must be released by an official health organization or government. Another developer got a written response that ‘apps with information about current medical information need to be submitted by a recognized institution.”
Not just Apple, even Facebook, Amazon, and Google are taking strict measures to prevent misinformation related to coronavirus. Google has banned anti-coronavirus products because they are misleading and so has Amazon. Facebook has started removing stories that share conspiracy theories about coronavirus outbreak.
Apple’s crackdown on such unauthorized apps seems to be working because when you do a quick search in the Apple App Store for “COVID-19” or “coronavirus”, you will find only official apps centered around the virus. A search for the same will return no result in Google’s app store.