Despite functioning within a modern society that has practically adopted sarcasm as its “primary language,” according to John Haiman, a linguist at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, the multinational technology company Apple initially refused to make a Tinder parody app available in the iTunes store.
Described as “an … (iOS) app that helps you keep track of all the unhinged anti-abortion zealots right in the palm of your hand,” Hinder was developed by co-creator of ‘The Daily Show’ Lizz Winstead as a parody of the dating app Tinder, which had more than 10 million users in 2014. Hinder was produced by Lady Parts Justice, a women’s and reproductive rights activist group that uses comedy and digital media as an avenue for communication. The app was released in early September.
The app works just as Tinder does – however, instead of showing users people they might want to date, it shows users politicians. Users can see a photo of the politician and a quote that he or she actually said about women, women’s health care and other issues relating to equality.
If users disagree with the views of their Hinder “match,” they can swipe left and share information about the politician on Facebook or Twitter. If they agree, they can swipe right and share that information after making a donation to Lady Parts Justice.
Originally, Apple rejected the app, claiming it violated rule 14.1 of their App Store Review Guidelines that state “any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm’s way will be rejected,” even though rule 14.2 says that “professional political satirists and humorists are exempt from the ban on offensive or mean-spirited commentary.”
Winstead simply made Hinder available through the Lady Parts Justice website; since then, Apple has added the app to the iTunes store.
Now, whether you agree with the position that members of Lady Parts Justice take on legislation regarding issues of equality, there should be no reason the organization’s app was censored from public consumption.
From a business standpoint, Apple made a poor choice in rejecting the app from being added to the iTunes store.
Winstead has stated that the information on Hinder is accurate, but it’s just displayed in a satirical way.
Many users of Hinder have stated that the app has helped them keep track of politicians’ views on issues they find critical in determining their voting allegiance. While some of the statements politicians have made that appear on Hinder are awful, I believe we are better off knowing what they say – the good and the bad – before we vote for them.
The app will help young people engage in politics on a platform with which they are comfortable.
This is just one example of a business trying to quell perspectives on a topic that might seem controversial. Even though Hinder is now available in the iTunes Store, making access easier, it makes me wonder: how many other times have we been unable to access information that would help us form our own political and philosophical opinions?
Whether your opinions are in line with those espoused by Lady Parts Justice, I don’t think that most members of our generation spend enough time challenging our own views. I worry that we are just absorbing information that comes easily to us, but what about the information that is unable to be seen or heard?
As a college student, I get wrapped up in my own work. The rest of the world is still going on around me, and it is waiting for me to care – to actively look beyond what the popular media is communicating and seek out organizations or people that challenge what I believe.
It is only then that my beliefs can grow stronger or change according to the truth.