The description of the game Baby Shaker in the iPhone App Store read:
"On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don’t want them to be! They’re always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker, there was nothing you could do about it. See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!"
Shaking the iPhone would eventually bring red Xs over the baby’s eyes. You won. In fairness, it came with a warning never to shake a baby. The app for the phone, from Sikalosoft, cost 99 cents, and went on sale on Monday. On Wednesday it was removed after being noted by the Krapps website and receiving protests, including one from Sarah Jane Brain Project, one of whose founders, Patrick Donahue, wrote to Steve Jobs and Apple:
"As the father of a three-year-old who was shaken by her baby nurse when she was only five days old, breaking three ribs, both collarbones and causing a severe brain injury, words cannot describe my reaction."
Apple withdrew the game and issued a statement saying:
"This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store."
"We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention."
There was no comment from the game developer.
The question, of course, is how it came to be approved. It’s not long since Apple was almost Puritanical in its outlook, even rejecting an app that made farting noises, but of late it had relaxed a little.