While the app may not have hit all of the usability nails on the head – and I’d like to take a second to point out that the first iteration of most apps rarely do – it did open up a conversation about sexual assault. With college campuses across the country struggling with rising numbers of sexual assaults and the CDC estimating that one in five women are raped during their lifetime, this is an issue that we all should be talking about – and frequently.
Apple, however, doesn’t seem to think that good intentions are enough to keep an app going, as they’ve pulled Good2Go from the App Store. The founders told Slate that Apple told them they were pulled because the app violated clause 16.1: it “present[ed] excessively objectionable or crude content.” When they asked for clarification, Apple told them that the issue wasn’t that the app was too “crude,” which means it was simply “excessively objectionable.”
If you’re scratching your head over that explanation, you’re not alone. Apple is famous for two things when it comes to qualifying for the App Store: being infuriatingly vague about reasons for rejections and being more prude than a Victorian spinster. If the app doesn’t get kicked out because it falls under the “crude” category simply by dealing with sex – a move that Apple has made before – then what are they objecting to?
The only answer that seems to make any sense at all is the fact that Good2Go stored phone numbers, names, and levels of sobriety without figuring out how to secure that data, a sketchy move at best and a dangerous one at worst. Perhaps most unfortunate is the fact that the app could potentially be turned against victims of sexual assault, whose recorded consent or level of drunkenness could be used against them in court. Considering how much of an ordeal court is already for sexual assault victims, the last thing the world needs is something that could make it worse.
However, there are plenty of apps out there that are lax about security when it comes to personal data and sex-related content. While Good2Go was recording the steps leading up to sex, apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat are used every minute of every day to exchange sexy texts that range from PG13 to hardcore. Both of those apps are collecting and storing data and yet Apple doesn’t seem to find either of them “excessively objectionable.”
And, of course, we don’t even need get started on Apple’s own iCloud security issues.
Good2Go wasn’t a great app but it did do two great things: it got us talking about sexual assault and the role that technology can potentially play in prevention and its rejection highlighted (once again) Apple’s faulty system for rejecting apps. The founders have committed to relaunching the app as an educational tool for colleges to use, but only after crowdsourcing ideas from their community on how to make it better.
While I don’t have much hope that Apple will reform their anti-sex policies (their messiah, Steve Jobs, was famously anti-porn) or that they’ll start being clearer about the rejections (how does it benefit them?)- here’s to hoping the new app will make it past the guardians of propriety at the App Store. Good luck, Good2Go. You’re going to need it.