Google has again wrongfully removed an app from the Play Store. The company pulled out Podcast Addict from the Google Play Store because it ‘cites the novel coronavirus outbreak,’ when in fact, it allows you to listen to podcasts that do, just like any other streaming app out there.
For some reason, Podcast Addict has been wrongfully singled out by Google, with the tech giant requesting the developer to prove that his product is supported by some government, or delete any references to COVID-19.
Google’s Behavior is Rather Odd
Google cites section 8.3 of its developer distribution agreement, which it lately updates to make it more difficult for malicious apps to benefit from people searching for data on the pandemic. However, removing an app that simply provides third-party coronavirus content seems to be way over the top. Google would have to remove its own apps, such as YouTube, Google News, and ever feed readers or other news collection services, should also be banned from the Play Store if they are not government-sanctioned.
We can assume that some automated algorithms have probably detected some mentions of the coronavirus in the app and issued a false signal. Also, as always, there’s no actual person available at Google to help the developer solve the problem.
Google has just suspended Podcast Addict again. This time for having Podcasts about Covid 19… Are you for real Google. Can you please check your own Google Podcast App, your search engine,Youtube, … first
— Podcast Addict (@PodcastAddict) May 16, 2020
This is not the first time Podcast Addict was caught in the middle as just last month, the developer encountered financial issues when Google wrongfully removed the in-app AdMob ads, because – facepalm – you could download adult podcasts through the app.
After some time of going back and forth, the problem was fixed, and ads were eventually reinstalled, securing the developer’s revenue. It’s rather weird that other podcast players like Google’s apps have no issue with the Play Store’s algorithms, though, because they also offer adult content and coronavirus-related news.