By Ruth Limkin
I saw the news that Steve Jobs had passed away on my iPad. It was sad to hear of a man who met his end early, leaving behind a wife, children, and friends.
Much has already been written about his innovation, and his ability to create products that people loved. There’s no doubt he was a brilliant creator. While I was someone who never had any desire to work on Apple products, my life is now happily accessorised by them.
However, all that aside, there’s another revolution that it seems Steve Jobs provided leadership for.
It was just over a year ago that Steve and a technology writer had a email argument about Job’s policy that iPads and iPhones be free of porn. That meant that apps and content delivered through the App store had to be free of obscene or pornographic content. Even Playboy had to release a magazine without naked women for their iPad version. (Maybe people really did just buy that version for the articles!)
Jobs suggested that those who wanted porn could buy an Android phone. With some reports suggesting that 12% of all web traffic is pornography related, many people also said that Apple’s decision was bad business. After all, there’s a lot of money in porn. The idea that you could say no to porn was a revolutionary thought.
Many people complained, citing the disruption of freedom they felt they were owed. They were more interested in their ‘rights’, than in the way their ‘rights’ resulted in fractured families and wounded women.
But many of us breathed a sigh of relief and were quietly thankful that Steve said no.
Sometimes, saying no to profit for the sake of ethical responsibility is a revolutionary idea.
Often, saying no to porn for the sake of social responsibility is a revolutionary idea.
I wonder if Steve Jobs’ real revolution wasn’t the i-anything.
It was saying no to ‘i’ and yes to ‘us’.
Vale Steve Jobs – and may his legacy continue.