Battle Lines Being Drawn Over Manhattan Declaration iPhone App

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is at the center of an online controversy again. But this time it is not of his own making. The pulling of the Manhattan Declaration iPhone app, which enabled users to sign the declaration supporting "principles that include "sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion," Christianity Today explained, motivated to send Apple a petition with over 7,700 signatures calling for the app to be pulled.

The app went online in October, but soon had the attention of the LGBT community that used to gather signatures and " posted a petition--which picked up over 7,000 signers in a few days--asking that Apple remove the "anti-gay and anti-choice" application," ChristianityToday reported.

Both sides are now using their online platforms to voice their varying opinions on the app. The developers have written to Apple to get it restored, while has its removal marked as a "victory" in red text next to the story.

Manhattan calls this red letter story part of "a radicalized blog dedicated to promoting abortion, denigrating the dignity of women and the unborn, and supporting unnatural unions, this application is the scourge of human existence."

Steve Jobs is in the center of this battle and the test of the approval process for apps is being scrutinized by both sides, and no doubt a lot of people in the middle.

The entire issue may be more about the freedom of the individual to download what he wants - pro or con any issue so long as it is not breaking existing laws. Or do the communication platforms have the right to choose what they are willing to host? Given the devices broadcast over the air, should there be laws in force like television?

I have my own political and religious views, but I would not want to deny anyone else theirs, even if they did not share mine.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.