Apple and Google are doing their part to combat misinformation and profiteering from the coronavirus, by limiting apps to those from reputable sources.
One of the biggest challenges related to the coronavirus is the spread of misinformation regarding it, as well as companies charging exorbitant prices for supplies. Social media platforms have already implemented rules designed to help slow the spread of misinformation, and now the companies controlling the two biggest mobile app stores are joining the effort.
According to CNBC, Apple and Google are cracking down on apps that are not from reputable sources. One developer was told by an Apple employee that only apps released by a health or government institution were being accepted on the App Store. Similarly, the Google Play Store has rules preventing apps that “capitalize on a natural disaster” or “atrocity” or that “profit from a tragic event with no discernible benefit to the victims.”
While some developers are not happy with the rules, the two companies are in a tough spot as they try to balance the need to limit coronavirus misinformation, spam and profiteering, with the potential benefits of apps that could legitimately help individuals track the spread of the disease.