The research paper, Engrave Condition, Apple’s Political Censorship Leaves Taiwan, Remains in Hong Kong, by Jeffrey Knockel and Lotus Ryan, offers a fascinating insight on the gaps between the corporate cultural values that Apple likes to market, and the ways Apple conducts business. In short Apple performs political censorship that other tech companies do not in order to sell stuff in China. Apple does this in other places like Japan where Apple Maps does not label the Sea of Japan nor the Senkaku Islands to appease South Korean and China. This is Apple cultural value marketing fantasy vs reality.
Is any of this seriously discussed by top tier USA tech bloggers? Don’t get your hopes up. When John Gruber quotes and agrees with John White on cancel culture, you know where things stand. First Amendment sticky points aside, it’s okay 1) because it’s not government censoring things, directly that is, 2) and it silences people they don’t think should have public voices or opinions.
This is the ‘as long as it doesn’t affect us, we’re okay with it,’ take. Tech bloggers will keep their heads down, whistle in the dark, write about shiny bright new products and evade all those pesky questions of where technology, products and services built on those products are leading us and how they are used to manipulate society. These people didn’t care when Parler was casually offed in a fit of national hysteria in January 2021 without any questions, or digital wallet and EMV payment network services suddenly switched off to Russian citizens in February 2022, again without any questions. This isn’t any different than the US hysteria cleverly manipulated by the Roosevelt administration to strip rights and property of US citizens of Japanese ancestry and incarcerate them. No questions asked.
That is what politicians, governments and corporations do, they manipulate situations to get what they want. Good journalism can throw light on these shadows by asking good questions, unfortunately there is very little good journalism in the mainstream right now. One thing we can be sure, top tier tech bloggers are never going to ask the tough questions. They are too busy protecting their access and privileges.