Apple CEO Tim Cook is Charlie and a supporter of free speech
After the January 7 attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the slogan "Je suis Charlie," or "I am Charlie" has quickly been adopted by media sympathizers and supporters of free speech. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently approved an app named "Je suis CHARLIE !" in record time, showing that he is "Charlie" as well.
The slogan that stands for free speech
French Magazine Charlie Hebdo published satirical cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, which resulted in an attack on their office in Paris that saw 12 people killed. Some media organizations have chosen to censor or crop any republished versions of the controversial images to avoid being targeted by radical groups, or offend Muslims. Quickly, the slogan "Je suis Charlie" became popular as people moved to express their support of free speech.
According to Business Insider, an app has been released which allows users to easily support the "Je suis Charlie" campaign from anywhere in the world. The app has the stylized name of "Je suis Charlie !" Interestingly, the approval of the app by Apple CEO Tim Cook happened in record time. According to the news source, it usually takes over 10 days for an app to be allowed entry into the App Store. However, in this case the app was approved only 10 minutes after the developers contacted Apple asking for an expedited process. One condition required by Apple was that the app be associated with a reputable press agency. As a result, the app was released under the publishing identity of Nice-Matin – a French daily newspaper that covers the south-eastern region of France.
Apple endorses the free speech campaign
The app is fairly simple, reported AppAdvice. It opens to a map that shows a user's location and allows people to register their support for the free speech campaign by simply climbing a "Je suis Charlie" button. The app uses the map format to show that supporters of free speech are everywhere, regardless of laws or borders. The App store description reads:
"Because 'Je suis Charlie' has become the symbol of freedom of speech whatever your beliefs, your country and your opinions, download the 'I am Charlie' app and simply state where you stand on today's world map.
It is noteworthy to mention that Cook recently tweeted his support for his French friends.
"Marching in spirit with my friends in France in the march against terror at the #UnityRally," Cook said, according to AppAdvice. "An attack on one is an attack on all."
It is interesting to see the convergence of political activism and technology represented by the "Je suis Charlie" app campaign. Perhaps in the future more campaigns will be driven through apps and online initiatives that seek to unite people under one common cause. Having users disclose their location is an intelligent feature, as support for a campaign that flows in from all corners of the globe really speaks to the power of that particular campaign.