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Censorship Fracas Inside the Walled Garden

'Consumer Reports', 'class action lawsuit': fighting words.

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The subheader on this article has 'class action lawsuit' because 'raleedy' at TUAW suggested it. Sort of. 'Consumer reports' is also good because Wired's Eliot Van Buskirk says Apple are deleting all discussion threads with the phrase. 'raleedy' writes:

'The moderators and frequent posters on the Apple forums are fond of saying that Apple doesn't monitor the threads, so you can't make Apple aware of problems by posting about them there. But just try to fit the words 'class action lawsuit' into one of your Apple forum posts, and see what happens.'

This latest anal-retentive slash-and-burn from Apple got TUAW's TJ Luoma to go ballistic.

'Want some overwrought comparisons to Orwell's 1984? Apple seems to be begging for it.'

What's happened is a simple soul started a thread pointing to the Consumer Reports condemnation of the iPhone 4.

  • The first post - by 'RedFran' - was made at 9:06 AM 12 July.
  • The final post - by 'RedFran' - was made at 9:43 AM 12 July.

There were 9 (nine) additional posts in those 37-38 minutes by JamesNajera, Peter Grether, squarejp, w7ox, and MrGimper. After that the forum censors that don't officially exist anymore removed the thread.

So TJ Luoma at TUAW tore Steve Jobs a new one.

'If it happened once, maybe you'd say it was a glitch. But what if it happened twice? Three times? Four times, five, six?'

'I'm not prone to hysterics or a subscriber to conspiracy theories, but it's fairly hard to imagine any good way to interpret this. Every post that I saw listed in a Google search of Apple's discussion boards lead to the same result: Error: you do not have permission to view the requested forum or category.'

'Sadly, this isn't the first time we've heard about Apple deleting discussion board threads on topics which are unflattering to Apple's products. It's closer to the fiftieth time. In fact, we've heard so many reports about this happening that it seems safe to call this standard operating procedure for Apple's discussion boards.'

'It's hard to imagine what Apple hopes to gain by doing this. Instead of having one negative news story, now we have two: not only did Consumer Reports come out and say they don't recommend the iPhone 4, but now Apple seems to be trying to prevent people from talking about it on their support board.'

'Want some overwrought comparisons to Orwell's 1984? Apple seems to be begging for it.'

The Apple Nazis are letting one thread remain - started the day after, trying to tear down Consumer Reports. Something like forcing people to line the streets for a parade.

So nice to have volunteers at the ready when your back's up against the wall.

Jobs Mob has responded with its usual hamfisted censorship of the Apple forum, purging any mention of the Consumer Reports comments.
 - Nick Farrell

Further Reading
The Inquirer: Apple's iPhone 4 is broken
PCWorld: iPhone 4 Grip of Death: I Believe
Expressen: Apple-aktien ned efter iPhonekritik
Wired: Apple Duct-Tapes Over Consumer Reports Review
CNN Money: Consumer Reports won't recommend iPhone 4
Digg: Consumer Reports on the iPhone 4: NOT RECOMMENDED
Telegraph: Consumer Reports confirms iPhone 4 signal problems

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