Apple has removed Unjected, an app that advertises itself as “a safe space where the unvaccinated can meet without censorship through business, friendship or love” from the App Store. The company said Unjected violated its covid-19 policies and tried to bypass the App Store review process, which in itself is against Apple guidelines.
Apple took action against Unjected after being contacted by Bloomberg. The exit published a report on Unjected Saturday which analyzed how Apple and Google were handling the misinformation about the covid-19 vaccine featured on the app. In an email, Apple confirmed the withdrawal of Gizmodo on Saturday.
Google warned the founders of Unjected about misinformation about the app’s recently launched social feed – which included false user-generated claims that vaccines were “experimental mRNA gene modifiers” and “nanotechnology chips” – in mid-July and threatened to remove them if the content was not removed. The founders complied and removed the social feed, though one told Bloomberg they planned to reinstate it along with the bogus claims, hoping to “stay under the radar.” The app is still available on the Play Store.
In response to actions from Apple and Google, Unjected sent Gizmodo the following response via email.
“The only statement we have is that we are a respectful group of people who support their medical autonomy and freedom of choice, and we believe their unfair censorship policy is on Google and Apple. [sic] violates our constitutional rights, ”Unjected said.
Gizmodo reached out to Google for comment on the report, but we haven’t received a response at the time of posting. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we do.
Similar to apps like Tinder, Unjected allows people to profile, match, and chat with others to find friendship and romance. As explained by Bloomberg, the “Tinder for anti-vaccines” launched in May after mainstream dating apps teamed up with the White House to encourage users to get vaccinated. Users who claimed to have been vaccinated received visibility enhancements on their profiles and a special vaccination badge.
Unjected covers more than love, however. It even allows people to find companies and services that agree with the opinions of its users against covid-19 vaccines.
“So if a company is looking for an unvaccinated employee, they can post that list there, or if someone is looking for an unvaccinated doctor, they can find them on the app,” Shelby Thomson, one of the co-founders of the application, told Yahoo in June.
Unjected is also targeting people vaccinated against covid-19. In his Google Description of the Play Store, the app falsely claims that some people have experienced “adverse events after being exposed to the vaccine.”
Apple explained to Gizmodo that the App Store prioritizes safety and security in all areas, including covid-19. The company revealed that the Unjected app was initially kicked out of the App Store during the review process for violating Apple’s covid-19 rules, which require all virus-related apps to provide credible information about health and safety from reliable sources, such as government agencies. and medical institutions, but was then approved after the developers made changes. Nevertheless, Apple said that since then external statements from developers to its users and updates to the app have again led to violations.
Apple also pointed out that one of the founders of Unjected asked users to avoid using words like “vaccine,” “” or “chip” in order to fall under the radar of criticism of the company. Apple said this was a violation of its guidelines, which warn developers that if they attempt to cheat the system, their app will be removed from the App Store.
At a time when 76.05% of the country experiences high or substantial levels of community transmission in light of declining vaccination rates and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, we need to promote the scientific facts and the benefits of vaccines as much as possible. Apps that encourage people to believe lies about covid-19 vaccines, which prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death, have no place in our battle against the virus.