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  • November 8, 2012 9:51 am

    Reading the tea leaves of snark

    Emil Protalinski:

    On Saturday, Apple posted its second Samsung apology to its UK website, complying with requests by the UK Court of Appeal to say its original apology was inaccurate and link to a new statement. On the same day, users on Reddit and Hacker News pointed out that Apple had recently modified its site to ensure the message is never displayed without visitors having to scroll down to the bottom first. The backlash has apparently led the company to remove the code sometime between Monday and Thursday, possibly in the hopes of avoiding yet another court order.

    But this reporting—along with most of the rest on this topic—is kind of misleading, which they tacitly acknowledge in the third paragraph:

    While the code’s main purpose wasn’t necessarily to hide the apology (Apple has been pushing a more vertically-responsive design on its international sites for a while now), it’s very likely that putting the text in question at the bottom of its UK site, where the code would hide it, was on purpose.

    By “pushing vertically-responsive design,” what TNW actually means—as commenters on their own earlier article on this pointed out—is that Apple has that same code on many other international sites. As of right now, that code doesn’t exist on the US site, but Apple has been known to roll out new code on international sites first. The US site does show “responsive design” behavior, displaying different iPad ads based on your browser window size.

    Did Apple made a conscious decision not to have UK visitors see the court-ordered apology as the first thing on the site? Absolutely. But I’m having trouble seeing how “making users scroll down” can be fairly called hiding. Argue that it’s following the letter of the law more than the spirit and I’m on board. But as Freud so eloquently put it, sometimes a JavaScript is just a JavaScript.