Google Play is banning apps that promote ‘sugar dating’ or ‘compensated sexual relationships.’ Starting September 1, the Google app store will ‘prohibit facilitating’ sugar-daddy apps, as part of its new restrictions on sexual content. Also Read - Free Fire Max launch in October: Better graphics, minimum requirements, Firelink technology and more
The Mountain View tech company announced the new policy changes through a post on the Google Play Console support website. The post cites several policy changes with the major one being the ban on apps dealing with “compensated sexual relationships” or simply sugar dating. Also Read - Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro: Design, camera, colours, launch date, every rumour you need to know
For those uninitiated, sugar dating typically refers to a relationship where a wealthy older man compensates someone young in exchange for ‘typically sexual’ favours. The phrase entered the glossary when the ‘illicit dating sites’ Ashley Madison massive data breach exposed a list of clients and created a ruckus in the public. While Ashley Madison was one of the sources to seek out such favours, a lot many similar apps like Elite Millionaire Singles, SeekingArrangement and Spoil popped up on the app store. Surprisingly, some of these apps explicitly mention ‘sugar daddies’ looking for a discrete arrangement. Also Read - Epic Games vs Apple: Court wants Apple to allow developers use alternative payment methods
BBC notes that journalists have identified several apps that explicitly facilitate sugar dating, some even with thousands of installs. Apparently, Google’s decision seems to have been motivated by US legislation and it is now putting a blanket ban on sexual content. The tech giant is updating its Inappropriate Content policy to renew the ban on sexual content.
“As a platform, we are always excited to support our developer partners, but we also work hard to provide a safe experience for users. We have updated our inappropriate content policy to prohibit apps that facilitate sexual acts in exchange for compensation following feedback we received from NGOs, governments, and other user advocacy groups concerned with user safety. This aligns our policies with other Google policies and industry norms,” Google said (via Android Police).
Besides this, Google is also bringing new policies that will close accounts of those inactive and abandoned developers who are not using for over a year. Several other changes include- developer preview of app set ID for analytics or fraud prevention, revised User Data policy to bar ‘linking persistent device identifiers to personal and sensitive user data.’ The company will add restrictions on apps that target children as well. As mentioned earlier, these changes will come into effect on or before September 1.