Reddit is Fun, a popular Android application that provides access to news sharing site Reddit, has been pulled from Google Play for containing sexually explicit content.
Its developer, Andrew Shu, received two emails from Google to explain why his application had been removed, but like many of us, he was confused. Like a number of third-party Reddit clients for Android, Reddit is Fun simply provides users with a portal to Reddit content. It’s essentially just like a web browser for the Reddit platform that provides a few additional features for power users.
Sure, Reddit does indeed provide explicit material if you happen to visit the right places, but so do most social platforms — and every single web browser. Shu’s application isn’t specifically tailored for this content, and nor does it promote it.
Shu told VentureBeat that he doesn’t understand why his app was singled out:
“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,” said the app’s creator Andrew Shu in a Reddit submission post. “I’m not sure how to go about appealing this. After all it’s true that reddit content includes NSFW (not safe for work) content. Not sure exactly why my app was singled out and the other reddit apps weren’t, though.”
If Google has decided to remove every app that could be used to source pornographic material, it would have to ban all Reddit clients, all web browsers, and other social networking clients — like Twitter.
Of course, this could just be a Google error. According to VentureBeat, a Google employee has reached out to Shu on Reddit and explained how he can appeal against the decision, so it’s possible his apps will return at some point.
All Google said is, “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.”
What do you think about this situation? Should Google be banning all apps that provide access to explicit material?