Why was Phone Story banned from the iTunes App Store?

In a funny, ironic twist of fate, the game Phone Story is no longer available for iPhones as of last month. The game, which seeks to educate its players on all of the icky, human rights violation-y stuff that goes into the creation of a shiny iPhone, was banned for going against the following criteria, as laid out by the official iTunes App Store Review Guidelines:

15.2 Apps that depict violence or abuse of children will be rejected 

16.1 Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected 

21.1 Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free 

21.2 The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS

Mollenindustria, the maker of the game, had this to say on the ban:

We contest the violation 21.1 and 21.2 since it’s not possible to make donations through Phone Story. Molleindustria simply pledged to redirect the revenues to no-profit organizations, acting independently.

They do not, however, address Apple’s de facto assumption that the game contains objectionable content and/or abuse of children. The fact that they’re reflecting human rights violations perpetrated in part by manufacturers of smartphones probably doesn’t help their case either.

Android users, never fear! You can still purchase the game on the Andriod Market if you so desire. Happy playing!

-Drew Millard

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