A group of civil society organizations has demanded that Apple remove games from its App Store that promote violence and killings commonplace in the Philippines' war on drugs (via Reuters).

The games in question, which the group said violated Apple's own guidelines, include characters based on Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his national police chief, Ronaldo "Bato" dela Rosa, who engage criminals in gun battles and fistfights.

tsip bato ang bumangga giba mobile game download

Tsip Bato by Ranida Games

"These games valorise and normalise the emerging tyranny of Duterte's presidency and his government's disregard for human rights principles," the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) said in an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The group named 131 organizations from several countries as supportive of the October 10 complaint to Apple, with groups working on human rights, youth and drug policy reform among them.

They urged the tech giant to issue an apology for hosting such "insensitive content". Apple has yet to respond to the letter.

Thousands have been killed in Duterte's war on drugs, a 15-month-long campaign that has caused international alarm. Human rights groups say state-sponsored executions are taking place, but authorities vehemently reject the claim.

Games available in the App Store that have come in for criticism include Fighting Crime 2, Duterte Knows Kung Fu, Duterte Running Man Challenge, Tsip Bato, and Duterte Vs Zombies. The civil rights groups said the games "might seem harmless and fun" but are offensive and distasteful because of the reality and prevalence of state-sanctioned murder with impunity.

Ben Joseph Banta, a managing partner of Ranida Games, which developed Tsip Bato, told Reuters in an email that the aim of its game was "not to promote violence", but that it sought to discourage drug use with the use of banner messages opposing drugs that were visible to players.

"We understand the human rights groups and we're very much open to make changes in the game in order to remove the stigma that the game is promoting violence," said Banta.

On Thursday, The Guardian reported that President Duterte had ordered police to end all operations in his war on drugs. In a televised speech he said he hoped a shift to target big networks would satisfy "bleeding hearts" and interfering western states fixated on the high death toll in his brutal crackdown.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Kaibelf Avatar
47 months ago
As much as I feel for what they are going through, we really shouldn’t be censoring what we can play and do here based on some other nation’s (often religiously rooted) morality laws. Otherwise we open the door to groups demanding female characters wear face covers, all characters be straight, no race mixing, or any number of things. Perhaps if a certain group doesn’t like the app they could just not play, similar to changing the channel. Outlawing satire though? No.
[doublepost=1507898542][/doublepost]
Video-games promote violence as much as Macbeth promotes homicide.
This hinges on the assumption that people can't tell the difference between reality and fiction.
It seems like these activists demonstrate the truth in that.

BTW, go through the bible and make a list of everyone who dies. Then look at who killed them and why.
I’d say religion is more dangerous than video games any day of the week, mainly because so many followers really can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sully54 Avatar
47 months ago
People here are missing the point completely.

The group’s demand for Apple to remove this game has nothing to do with being a social justice warrior or religion.

The Philippine president’s “war on drugs” involves police who shoot and kill people suspected of trafficking drugs without due process of the court. Many innocent people have died in the crossfire. This group is simply asking for Apple to demonstrate some discretion and remove a game that is trivializing a serious and ongoing situation.

This would be like if a shooter game came out on the App Store where the player sets up on 32nd floor and points are gained for every person he shoots down in the city below. People would be raising hell if that were to happen. And calles for such a game to pulled from the App Store wouldn’t be so much about its violence but rather the sensitivity to an event in tries to portray.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
47 months ago
SJWs are very specifically against many of your examples.
You missed the point. Those people were also the "SJWs" of their day. It's a term thrown around to undermine anyone who thinks that what's happening is wrong. People use it against Rose McGowan because of her exposure of the Weinstein situation. They use it against people who were upset about police shooting videos and actually said something about it. They said it about gay people who wanted to get married. I think it's incredibly simplistic to say "SJWs are against X". It's really no better than saying all conservatives are racists, and all liberals are begging for free stuff. In all three examples, it's lazy.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordQ Avatar
47 months ago
Damn SJWs are the worst part of the human race, some I assume are good people (real activists).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheAppleFairy Avatar
47 months ago
Dang I was looking for a direct link for the apps. Guess I will have to search each one.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
47 months ago
Damn SJWs are the worst part of the human race, some I assume are good people (real activists).
Easy to say that, but people said the same about those who fought alongside MLK, Jefferson, Lincoln, Luther, and Jesus Christ.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...