(Tea Party 247) – The government of Hong Kong, in the interest of their communist overlords in Beijing, has been trying to put an end to the ongoing protests that have dominated the city for months on end as people demand civil rights and liberty.
Meanwhile, they just got a big helping hand from Apple.
The BBC reports that tech giant Apple has rejected a crowd-sourced app that would track the location of protesters and police in Hong Kong.
Many saw the app as a simple tool to keep protesters safe, while others saw it as a way to evade the police.
Apple told the creators of the app that it was being rejected because it “facilitates, enables, or encourages an activity that is not legal.”
Developers responded in a tweet, saying they believed it to be a bureaucratic error rather than censorship.
“Everything can be used for illegal purpose on the wrong hand. Our app is for info, and we do not encourage illegal activity.”
The app is still available on Google Play’s store.
Apple has not yet said whether or not the Chinese authorities requested that they ban it from their store.
The story was first brought to the public’s attention by the Register news site, BBC notes.
Tensions in Hong Kong have risen in recent weeks, with one protester shot by local police this week in his chest.
The 18-year-old was taken to hospital with what the police said was an injury “near his left shoulder”.
Police chief Stephen Lo said that firing the bullet was “lawful and reasonable”.
The app in question, HKmap Live, gathers reports from the chat app Telegram to show users where police are patrolling and areas where they have deployed tear gas.
While the developers were generous in their response, not everyone has been, the BBC reports:
Techno-sociologist Prof Zeynep Tufekci, said that many other mapping apps could be used for the same purpose,
“It reports locations and does nothing else. Maybe this really is Apple sucking up to China,” she tweeted.
In the discussion below her tweet, someone else pointed out that families with children used the app to avoid areas where tear gas was being used.
They also note that the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok has also been accused of censoring content relating to the Hong Kong protests.