Five years ago, Josh Begley, a data artist and editor at The Intercept, created a straightforward news app for iOS. It sent a push notification to your device each time a U.S. drone strike was reported by a news outlet.
There's a map that shows you where the drone strikes occurred and a log that keeps track of each one. That's it. No pictures, no interviews.
And yet, it was censored by Apple for years. Begley attempted to bring Metadata+, which was originally called Drones+, to the App Store a dozen times.
It finally became available for download on Tuesday, and then was abruptly removed again five hours later. Begley received an email from Apple Tuesday afternoon, notifying him that his app was removed for containing content that "many users would find objectionable."
The email Josh Begley received when Apple took down his app again Tuesday afternoon.
Image: Josh begley
So why exactly did Apple remove Begley's app? Depending on when you asked, Apple's answer was different.