Basecamp’s protest of Apple’s policies is already benefiting other developers

Buried hundreds of words into a long press release about improvements to the developer experience, “a mechanism to challenge the guideline” doesn’t exactly leap off the page. At the moment, no other details are available. But these changes suggest that Apple is taking an important question — who has the right to conduct business? — more seriously than it has before, and might begin to answer it in a more rigorous and principled way.

At the moment, this “mechanism” sounds less ambitious than what Facebook is attempting with its Oversight Board, an independent group[21] that later this year will begin hearing appeals from people who believe their posts have been removed in error. Facebook has spent more than two years developing the board, funded it with $130 million, and it still isn’t operating quite yet.

But the basic idea is the same. If our entire working and personal lives are to be mediated by the policies of four or five for-profit corporations, those policies will have to shift from a mindset of customer service to one of justice. I find it heartening that Apple is moving down this path, even if took Basecamp dragging them there.

The Ratio

Today in news that could affect public perception of the big tech platforms.

Trending up: Twitter is giving US employees Election Day off from now on[22]. Employees around the world will get paid time off to vote in national elections. (Barbara Ortutay / Associated Press)

Trending up: Facebook is adding spending trackers to every US Senate and House race through the Facebook Ad Library[23]. The information will allow the public to track how much each candidate is spending on political ads on the platform. (Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC)

Trending up: Amazon launched a $2 billion fund to advance technologies that will cut down greenhouse gases[24]. The fund will help Amazon reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. (Justine Calma / The Verge)

Trending down: But Amazon also said its carbon footprint rose 15 percent last year[25]. The company revealed that activities tied to its businesses emitted 51.17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019, the equivalent of 13 coal burning power plants running for a year. (Joseph Pisani / Associated Press)

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