Google suspended a popular Android podcast app because it catalogs COVID-19 content material

Google suspended a popular Android podcast app because it catalogs COVID-19 content material

Podcast Addict, an Android podcast app with tens of millions of users, used to be suspended over the weekend as it lists COVID-19 content material. The app’s creator, Xavier Guillemane, tells The Verge that on Saturday, Google suspended and got rid of the commercials from his 9-12 months-antique app as it violated a new coverage for builders that calls for any app with a connection with COVID-19 to be “revealed, commissioned, or licensed through legitimate govt entities or public well being companies.”

Guillemane’s app catalogs publicly available podcast RSS feeds, which he doesn’t keep watch over. The content material includes information displays, communicate presentations, and a variety of programming that mentions the pandemic and virus. He says Google told him he’d wish to address this downside after which republish his app underneath a unique identify to be reinstated. Guillemane says different podcasting apps, together with Google’s personal, record these shows, as well, even though he doesn’t know what specific offending displays its algorithm flagged.

His app is loose and relies on Google advertisements to make money, so while it’s demonetized, Guillemane additionally loses his source of revenue.

“this is the best way I’m making my living, and already as a result of the present scenario, our revenue has been in point of fact bad for the past few months,” he says. Google mentioned it will take seven days for him to hear back about his suspension appeal, this means that lost cash all that time. “It’s difficult to be on the mercy of just some set of rules banishing the applying.”

Here’s the notification I got this morning…

— Podcast Addict (@PodcastAddict) May SIXTEEN, 2020

Listeners who already have the app on their phone can nonetheless get admission to it, however they received’t be able to redownload it. New customers additionally gained’t find a way to find it in Google Play. If he adjusted the app, and by some means got rid of all COVID content, he’d must change the title of the app and lose all its scores and downloads. Guillemane tells The Verge he used to be nearly to the 10 million obtain mark whilst Google suspended the app.

Google previously demonetized his app for linking out to explicit content material, which Guillemane didn’t host or create. the situation was similar in that the content material is solely cataloged by way of Podcast Addict, but Google punished the app and its creator for record shows.

after all, with the pandemic ongoing, people have rushed to make podcasts concerning the virus. It’s timely and critical. at the comparable time, some folks have seized the eye to unfold misinformation, which Google is making an attempt to quash with its new coverage. Podcast app developers, however, are just surfacing the content, in a similar fashion to a seek engine, in order that they can’t necessarily filter out misinformation or personally monitor each and every RSS feed and episode that populates. The coverage might be well intentioned, but it surely’s hard to police.

We’ve reached out to Google for further clarification and can replace if we pay attention back.

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