Apple has stopped downloads in Brazil of anonymous sharing app Secret from the App Store, according to Brazil’s Daily Morning. The move comes two days after a Brazilian court told Apple and Google to expunge Secret from their stores as well as from devices they had already been downloaded to.
Now, when users in Brazil go to the App Store to download Secret, a message pops up saying the app is no longer available.
In recent weeks there have been a number of complaints against the app in Brazil over bullying. Brazilian law does support free speech rights, but it does not allow for anonymous free speech, making the app unconstitutional.
Citizens are allowed to say what they want as long as they can be held accountable for it. In the case of bullying, if one person says something slanderous against another person, Brazilian law says the offended person should have an opportunity to defend themselves.
The Brazilian court has also ordered Microsoft to remove Cryptic, a third-party Secret client for Windows Phones, from its app store. So, far there’s no word from either Microsoft or Google on whether they will comply with the injunction.
Both companies still have a week before daily fines start mounting.
The removal request is only a preliminary injunction and not a final ruling. In order to have an app from an American company officially removed, a request has to be filed in English with an American court; an expensive and lengthy process according to Marcelo Zenkner, the prosecutor who opened the civil action lawsuit, according to Brazilian blog Estado.
Zenkner is hoping the injunction will prevent further bullying immediately while the official removal request is processed.
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