When it comes to apps in either the
Android Market Google Play store or Apple's Appstore, developers have always walked a fine line when it comes to products that contain sexual content. Apps that contain porn or other explicit materials have been routinely banned from Apple's Appstore and (to a lesser degree) the Android Market.
Now, an app that many would say truly embodies the phrase "walking a fine line" has been banned from Google Play. Developer Andrew Shu took to reddit and then Google+ to express his shock that his app, Reddit is Fun, was removed from the store:
Wow. I wasn't expecting this. I got 2 emails from the Google Play Store telling me my apps, reddit is fun lite and pro, have been banned for sexually explicit material.
I'm not sure how to go about appealing this. After all it's true that reddit content includes NSFW content. Not sure exactly why my app was singled out and the other reddit apps weren't, though.
Any thoughts? Should I even bother appealing? As always I appreciate your input, /r/android. Thanks.
EDIT: I posted on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/108576990588738594191/posts/8LfJmKX48R2 maybe it would help to gain awareness through that avenue? Thanks for all your support, guys.
There are a lot of questions that immediately come to mind here. First, the one Shu pointed out himself. Why was his app singled out? BaconReader and redditmag are still there, for instance.
One reddit commenter seems to think that it's simply an issue of some NSFW subreddits now being listed as default with the new version of the app:
I think it's because with the new build you have gonewild and the likes in the subreddit list. Perhaps ask if you can have a NSFW toggle in the settings or just exclude the main nsfw subreddits in the list. I dont think its a big deal cause obviously you aren't going to include all subreddits anyway.
If so, that would probably be an easy fix. The other angle on this is why would a reddit app be banned in the first place, even for containing NSFW subreddits by default?
The Google Play Business and Program Policy clearly states that...
We don't allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. We also don't allow content that drives traffic to commercial pornography sites.
Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography. If we become aware of content with child pornography, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution.
Applications in this category may focus on or include frequent instances of sexual and suggestive content; graphic violence; social features; simulated gambling; and strong alcohol, tobacco and drug references. Applications may collect user location data for the purpose of sharing or publishing with the user’s consent.
Plus, reddit walks that fine line, but at its core it is simply a place to find NSFW content. So is an browser, or app that functions as a search engine. It's not like reddit apps are the only ones that you can use to find pornographic content.