Less than a week after it was approved and abruptly pulled from the App Store, child abuse prevention proponents are still demanding action from Apple over the iPhone Baby Shaker application.
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In an open letter to Apple’s board of directors, Patrick Donahue, founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, claimed, “Right now there are potentially 1000s of ticking time bombs (we don’t know how many people actually downloaded the BABY SHAKER application); however, all it will take is one 13-year-old (like the child who downloaded your 1 billionth application) who learns from his iPhone the way to quiet his 6-week-old sister is by shaking her as hard and as fast as he can and completely altering this child’s life and his family.”
Donahue, whose organization advocates for Shaken Baby Syndrome awareness, lists three demands of Apple, including educating those that downloaded the app on the harmful effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome, attending a panel discussion, and the company “utilizing the creative and technological resources of Apple and AT&T to work on the Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome and to offer a personal apology to the families and victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome.”
Apple has already apologized for the app, saying in a statement, “"This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store. When we learned of this mistake, the app was removed immediately. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention."
Baby Shaker creator Sikalosoft also issued a statement, claiming “Okay, so maybe the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea. You should never shake a baby! Even on an Apple iPhone Baby Shaking application.”
The application raised questions on Apple’s App Store application approval process, as seemingly innocent applications like flatulence simulators had been rejected in the past for their offensive content.