Apple’s Fake App Stores: A Lesson In Journalism

July 28, 2011

Another writer in the Blogosphere, ChronoMax, published an interesting entry titled Apple: a lesson in business, globalism, and morals, and kicked things off with a rather surprising sentence.

If you don’t already know about Apple, the company that makes the iPhone/iPad, etc., is being exposed of setting up fake app stores in places like China, banning some “racy” apps, and overall handling the app store in a way that fits political views.

Wait, what!?

The most important requirement in publishing material is that sources for the information you supply need to be cited, unless that information is common knowledge or easy to find. Citing a source for every single common knowledge fact in an entry is tedious, but one must always (always) cite a source for every questionable fact and data point. The aforementioned entry by ChronoMax is for the most part an opinion piece and commands few sources; but in the instances where ChronoMax makes outright false claims, no source is cited. This person is either ill-advised or intentionally spreading misinformation to readers.

The claim about Apple “setting up” fake App Stores in China (or anywhere) is false, and there is no merit to that claim. Conducting a search for “Fake App Store China” yields no results to the claim, as to be expected. If ChronoMax had cited a source then I would be addressing his (her?) source but include a “(via chronomax)” at the end of this entry, as any reputable writer would.

Which saddens me to be honest, because ChronoMax’s entry proposes an interesting idea (that I disagree with) underneath its false, anti-Apple layer. The message meant to be conveyed is that Apple, nor any corporation, should be allowed to restrict speech, and that apps and similar media should face a ratings board like the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) instead of an Apple banhammer. The argument almost doesn’t make sense though because there isn’t much focus and many facts given — some completely unrelated — are false and shrouds everything else. And as aforementioned the false statements can be forgiven if only ChronoMax’s sources were cited.

If you are a writer, or aspire to be one, please cite your sources any time you publish questionable facts. If you do, you aren’t held liable for any false information you publish and you retain journalistic integrity. If however your sources are wrong, you must update your entries the instant you find them to be wrong. The only way we can prevent the spread of misinformation is to not spread misinformation ourselves.

Blog responsibly.

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