Apps can be great fun, or they can be really useful tools to help get you through your day. Whatever you use them for, most of us couldn’t live without running to at least one of our apps at least once a day. But, there’s an app in the App Store that has left one country doing anything but laughing. That’s the What Country app, and Italy is not happy about it.
The app is described as a fun and colorful way to view the world, with countries being given just a picture and one or two words to sum them up. Italy’s picture in the app shows a sign that says, “Mafia parking only.” And while this may cause some of us to giggle, Italy is not happy about it. The Tourism Minister of Italy has publicly spoken out about it, saying that with all the culture and history that fills Italy, why is a criminal organization the only thing that represents Italy? So, does Italy have a point? Have developers taken this app too far? Or are certain Italians just being a bit too sensitive?
Well, let’s look at how other countries have been described. Britain’s words include “tea, football, weird sense of humour, and hooligans.” Germany’s words are “beer, discipline, and autobahns,” while the app depicts China as “overpopulation, Kung Fu, tea ceremony, and the Great Wall.” While none of these are specific, and global, organizations, not all of them are all that flattering either. And it’s also not as if the app was saying that the Mafia is the only thing that Italy’s known for. The app had also described Italy with the words “pizza, pasta, and scooters.” If Italy is overreacting, it wouldn’t be the first time. The country’s authorities also got in a ball about the movie Eat, Pray, Love. In the beginning of the movie, Julia Roberts sets off to Italy to gorge herself on all the fabulous feasts Italy has to offer. While you would think a country would be proud to be known for such authentic, rich, and delicious food, Italy was upset, saying once again, that that’s not all there is to Italy, and that the movie neglected to portray other aspects of the country.
Italy was so upset over the matter though, that they demanded that the app be removed from the app store and they’ve said that they are going to be taking legal action against Apple. It’s hard to tell whether or not the app has been removed yet. But I did try to find it when I read about this, and I couldn’t. So perhaps Italy’s voice was heard after all.