Controversial game Famous has again gone missing from the App Store. This time, it is Apple that has pulled the app. Developers behind Famous have confirmed that the Cupertino-based company pulled their app citing violation of its guidelines. The app, in the meantime, continues to exist on the Google Play, Android's marquee app store.
In less than a week since Famous was re-launched on the App Store, Apple flagged it as offensive and pulled it from the App Store. The app was designed to rate people with a numerical value, which is wrong in the eyes of Apple.
Famous is the re-branded version of Stolen, an game that allowed users to collect Twitter profiles. The app received a lot of criticism, after which Siqi Chen, the creator of Stolen pulled the app to rethink the strategy and address concerns raised by people.
Despite criticism, the app saw a quick growth, garnering about 40,000 players. "Our goal with taking it down...has just been to make sure we stop what is happening -- that we stop the harm, real and perceived, that people are getting from the existence of our product," Chen told The Verge. "We didn't spend hours and months, sweat and tears to build something like this and have people see it this way. This is not who we are."
A supposed less defamatory version of the app dubbed Famous was relaunched on the App Store earlier this week. The biggest difference between the two apps is that Famous is opt-in, and, that instead of stealing and owning profiles, users can become their biggest fans.
Apple said that Famous is violating 14.1 clause of its guidelines. The agreement reads that Apple could remove "any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm's way will be rejected."
The removal of the app raises a number of questions in Apple's guidelines. The iPhone maker hadn't pulled Stolen, which was supposedly even more defamatory. As for the issue around rating people, many apps such as Klout rate individuals. In the meantime, the app continues to exist on Android.