Broad Google Play Store COVID-19 rules caused popular podcast app to be suspended

Broad Google Play Store COVID-19 rules caused popular podcast app to be suspended
After Google recently introduced new rules regarding COVID-19 on the Play Store, popular podcast app Podcast Addict has now been automatically taken down, reportedly because one of the new policies targets "any apps referencing COVID-19, or related terms, in any form in their metadata." Those are said to only be approved for distribution in the Play Store if they are published, commissioned or authorized by official government entities and public health organizations.

Even though Google's new policy has good intentions in mind, it negatively affects apps that are not necessarily about the coronavirus, such as podcast apps like the one in question, putting some Android developers in a tough spot.



As Android Central reported, this isn't the first time the podcasting app Podcast Addict has suffered issues surrounding Google Play Store's content policies, and other similar apps are likely to continue having problems due to Google's mostly automatic content moderation.

Google previously tightened the rules for approving Play Store apps in relation to COVID-19 last month, in its attempts to fight the spread of misinformation. In a blog post from April 6th, the search engine giant made the following statement:



At the time of publishing this article, the app is still unavailable on the Play Store. Google's automatic message sent to the developers of this podcast app has asked them to either provide proof that they are a "government entity or public health organization" or remove any references and keywords to COVID-19.

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