RightsCon 2022: “What apps have disappeared from Apple’s App Store?”

On July 8 2022, during RightsCon 2022, GreatFire presented a Tech Demo on the AppleCensorship.com App Store Monitor (ASM). The video, narrated by Human Rights defender and AppleCensorship’s researcher, Ashley Gjovik, describes the origin of the project and explains how anyone can use ASM to check the availability of apps in Apple’s iOS App Store.

This video will help any user of the website understand how to test specific apps, groups of apps, keywords, how to read the results, and how to verify the current status of 155 global Apple app stores. A new, upgraded version of the website is planned to be released this summer. If you would like you provide us feedback, comments are available on Youtube.

(Registered users can watch the video and read the recorded chat session directly on the RightsCon’s website)

Video Presentation

June 8, 2022 | 5:15 – 6:15pm CEST

Apple Censorship project addresses a lack of transparency around app removals and censorship by Apple. It uses a testing tool, called the App Store Monitor (ASM), to monitor and compare availability of apps by country across Apple’s 155 App Stores. This information was not readily available before. The ASM also allows users to easily test the availability of any iOS apps around the world.

Apple complies with authoritarian governments (e.g. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.) to censor apps without any good reasons. Many civil society organizations have asked Apple to stop removing apps at the request of censors. To support this work, the ASM can provide data on what and how many apps are unavailable in different countries. Using the ASM, for instance, we recently found out that many Bible and Quran apps are unavailable in China’s App Store.

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