Photos from Holocaust-related sites blocked from Apple’s automatic ‘Memories’

JTA — Apple users who want to include photos taken at the Anne Frank House, Auschwitz, or other Holocaust-related sites in their albums will have to do so manually, according to a recent update. software update.

Apple recently changed its software so that photos taken from Holocaust-related sites are removed from albums automatically generated by the company’s Photos app. Technology news site 9to5Mac was first to report the change last week, which affects iPhone and iPad users using Apple’s latest operating system.

This modification aims to avoid “creating unwanted memories”, according to the site, which specifies that only photos taken on sites related to the Holocaust are affected by this change.

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Apple’s “sensitive location” protections cannot be disabled, but users can still include photos in albums they create manually.

The change comes amid growing concern over the trivialization of the Holocaust through selfie-taking and photomontages made possible by smartphone technology. Photos of concentration camp visitors smiling, jumping and dressed inappropriately have drawn criticism when shared on social media.

The change also comes amid growing awareness among tech companies of how their products can contribute to anti-Semitism and other forms of hate. Facebook and Twitter, for example, only announced in 2020 that they would ban Holocaust denial on their social media platforms. Anti-Semitism is still rampant, say watchdogs who say companies could do more to protect Jewish users.

Illustrative: A man jumps between columns as part of the 2711 concrete slabs of the Holocaust Memorial on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2011. (Credit: Markus Schreiber/AP)

9to5Mac did not report a comment from Apple on the reason for this change. But Paul Monckton, columnist for Forbes, suggested it was due to the “potential for Apple’s algorithms to use them insensitively, coupled with inappropriate music or juxtapositions with other unrelated content.” »

This change means that photos taken at Auschwitz, Majdanek and several other former Nazi death camps in Poland and elsewhere will not appear in photo albums automatically generated using Apple’s “Memories” feature.

The list of “sensitive locations” deemed unsuitable for inclusion in auto-generated albums also includes Yad Vashem Memorial in Israel, Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany, Holocaust Memorial Museum in the United States, Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, the Schindler factory in Krakow, the death camps of Belzec, Chelmno, Treblinka and Sobibor in Poland and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, according to the article by Forbes.

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