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Lashon Hara and Shabbos issues with an app?


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Shevat 8, 5778
Hi, I built an Israel advocacy app featuring Israeli news and pro-Israel blogs. It is largely based on feeds that automatically takes material written by news services and bloggers (but no one is writing specifically for the app). The app does make a little money, but I’m not selling anything per-se. It’s tough to tell, but most users are probably not Jewish. Some of the news reported may technically be Lashon Hara, and some of the bloggers occasionally shine a spotlight on anti-Israeli Jews. Additionally, some of the material is written and published on Shabbos, and it is inevitable that some users will ’download’ this material before Shabbos ends. I’m pretty sure that the material only reaches the user’s phone when the (not-necessarily-Jewish) user decides to load the app (rather than the material automatically being downloaded in the background as soon as the author publishes.) What are your thoughts regarding Shabbos and Lashon Hara with building such an app? Thank you.
You are allowed to build this app, since most users are probably not Jewish and the purpose of the application is positive. In addition, the content is not up to you. You are only offering a convenient way to access the content. Some compare it to building a road where you don't have the ability or the responsibility to control the way the road users will conduct themselves.
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