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10. Apple withdraws, then reapplies to EPEAT environmental rating program
While millions around the world love Apple's products, it turns out they love its commitment to the environment just as much.
In June 2012, Apple pulled the plug on its membership to environmental green standard group, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) group without saying a word or even explaining why. Naturally, the media went on a field day with the news because, frankly, Apple "did a thing." The iPhone and iPad maker played down the reports, saying it would still make its products meet the EPEAT guidelines.
Just shy of a month later following a deluge of criticism from customers (and a vow from the City of San Francisco to stop buying its products in response to Apple's move), the company's hardware engineer chief Bob Mansfield issued an open letter apologizing for bailing on the greenness standard, and announced it was back on EPEAT.
11. White House vetoes ITC ban decision on older iPhones, iPads
The U.S. International Trade Commission found earlier this year that Apple had violated a Samsung patent, which led to a ruling that would prevent the iPhone and iPad maker from importing older versions of its smartphones and tablets into the United States.
The White House wasn't going to stand by this. At the very last minute, the government overruled the court's ruling and effectively reversed the decision. It was the last thing expected on a Saturday evening when, by all accounts, everyone should have been at home or, if they were lucky enough, be in The Hamptons.
And what happened when Samsung suffered a similar fate? Nothing. President Obama didn't lift a finger. Was it U.S. corporate favoritism? Nobody knows. Or at least, nobody wants to say. (But it probably was. Go 'Merica.)
Image: White House/Flickr
12. Facebook u-turns on violent videos
Facebook, like many Silicon Valley companies, has made it know it embraces First Amendment rights to free speech and expression. But it can go too far — particularly with the spread of propaganda-like violent videos that show decapitations.
The social network kicked up a storm when it said mid-last year it would allow such videos on the site. British Prime Minister David Cameron, head of a country that doesn't have a constitutional right to freedom of speech or expression, naturally led the storm of protest. Facebook reneged on its free speech principles a few days later, reversing a stance it took just 24 hours previously, and removed a video that had circulated far and wide.
The company said it would consider removal of violent and graphic imagery in future, but will be evaluated and based on community standards policy violations.
Image: CBS News