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Nazi Theme Found In Android Market

Well, this is just disturbing. Michael Gartenberg, a columnist for a number of big publications tweeted that when he searched for “jewish” in the Android Market, he got Hitler and Nazi themes as results. Now, I’m a fan of openness. It’s a reason I like Android and want it to succeed and I think that openness WILL succeed.  I know less censorship has its downsides, and I can usually live with that. In this case, I don’t know if I can.

I’m not saying Google openly allows this sort of thing either and in fact, they got back to Michael saying that they are upset by this and it’s a violation to their terms of service. But clearly someone let this through. Whether it’s Google not spending time checking every app or someone really thought this was acceptable on the market.

Steve Jobs famously said that the Android Market has porn on it, porn is nothing compared to this. Does openness really lead to this? Does Google need tighter control over their Market? Would you prefer if it was a walled garden like Apple’s App Store?

Update: It’s been pulled. Google’s Market DOES have policies which clearly prohibit this sort of material.

[VIA Engadget]

[Twitter (1), (2)]

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  • Chris

    This is how I feel about the Android application market and trash apps such as this. The community can drive what is acceptable and what isn't. I personally don't need a company running an arbitrary approval process that filters out cuss words.

    This on the other hand can probably qualify for a violation of the terms in the developer agreement. Even if it didn't I'm pretty confident users can flag it as inappropriate and given enough complaints will be taken down.

  • Jon

    I agree as well. This is our world we live in, not Steve Jobs' world. I understand why he does it but I prefer the Android community (who are mostly great human beings in the real world) to clean up the market. I daily go through the market and when I see spam I label it. We all do our part to keep it clean. But I also believe Google needs to be quick at deleting the bad apps too.

  • dw4lsh

    3 words: freedom of speech. It's just a stupid -really stupid- flag after all and displaying it on a phone is not a crime, at least here in Canada. I'm sure there are plenty of similar artifacts already going around. I just bought a history channel DVD showing Hitler saluting…

    Bottom line, since there is no evidence of a real crime associated to the theme according to our local legislation, everybody should just take a chill pill…

    My 2 cents.

  • Turbohehe

    Android : Where Jews and Nazis can live together in harmony.

  • PEDRAM13

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do believe in freedom of speech and everybody is entitled to their own opinion. But to me, this theme refers back to a horrible time in our past which no one should be proud to display. It is as if there was a symbol for raping little children and someone went ahead and made a theme out of that (sorry for the harsh example.)

  • PEDRAM13

    Very true. The App Market isn't the general internet and should be controlled. Not censored to death. But controlled so things like this don't get out to people

  • PEDRAM13

    Hahah. I don't think anyone can live in harmony with the Nazis

  • Galody

    i am 100% for openness no matter what. yes this theme is horrible. yes its offensive but no one is going accidently stumble upon it unless they are looking for it. even if they do its way easier to ignore it. on the internet there are site that encourage nazi behavior and other horrible beliefs and i have never stumbled upon it (except for when i was writing a paper). there will be more of these apps and themes should we censor these people their right to freedom of speech like the fcc? should we make google act more like apple and stunt innovaiton on their phones with an aweful EULA? even if this app has nothing to contribute to the android community we as users should decide whats good and whats not. NOT A BUSINESS

  • MR

    What's this freedom of speech you speak of? If we were talking about government censorship, that's one thing. But a private company deciding to keep Nazism off their product is another thing entirely, and I'm fine with it. The fact that it's not a crime has no bearing here; we're a civilized nation and we don't put up with that bullshit.

  • PEDRAM13

    I just don't know if users SHOULD be given the choice in this case. I know that goes against freedom, but promoting such a thing is a little beyond that in my opinion. Spreading hatred and racism is as criminal as many other things that come to mind for me.

  • Galody

    doesn't it all start with just little censoring at a time ? i mean if we allow this then we have to ban all the apps that help network monitoring cause they can be used to crack wi-fi password. then we move to issues like blackberry giving governments access to user blackberry messenger information because terrorists can use it to communicate effectively. it all starts little by little. keeping in the theme with nazi, hitler got power by censoring jews little by little. it led to if we ban this we might aswell ban them from doing that too. and mayb few years from now google will have to regulate apps just like apple. i wouldn't put it pass them. they have changed in the past few months especially with the google / verizon deals thats been going on.

  • http://twitter.com/pedram13 Pedram Abarham

    You make a good point. I do not want Google to go there. I just think as serious as privacy and wifi cracking is, it's not the same level as millions of people who lost their lives.