Google Plays It Dirty With The Android Market

Posted on July 18, 2013 in Specials

By Shelly Mahajan:

For most of us, while happily browsing through applications at Google’s Playstore, coming across ‘Desi Mallu sex videos ’accidentally may not be a cause of concern. Nevertheless, it is a violation of Google’s own content policies giving rise to numerous concerns recently.

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Google Play is Google’s highly popular applications destination, formerly known as the Android Market and is widely accessed by smart phone users of all ages. As you may already know, the service allows one to browse though diverse digital content that includes music, books, movies, television programs, games and countless applications to suit almost every user’s taste.

Lately, the service is in for a huge criticism for allowing children to access adult games, suitably placed among other applications such as ‘Chhota Bheem’ and the likes. Sexually explicit content is found to be easily available in list containing other usual applications.

In this regard, a Delhi based think-tank ‘Centre for Social Research’ initiated a petition demanding segregation of sexually explicit content under the separate heading of ‘Adult’ category, that may only be accessible with age verification conditions and disclaimer. The NGO claims that Google Play fails to differentiate applications/content in accordance with user’s age and accuses it of having breached its policy on nudity and sexually explicit material that asserts to have zero-tolerance policy against such content .

Infact earlier this month, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal also raised concerns regarding freely obtainable adult content on applications supported by android phones, declaring it to be inappropriate for child viewing. The Minister has asked for media’s help in his endeavour to curb the menace .

What I find most surprising here is how Google continues to reiterate its content policy in the backdrop of such concerns, stressing on its tiered rating system that requires labelling of applications based on four levels and filtering of content made available on the Playstore .

Indeed, in that case, an immediate response from the giant is absolutely warranted to clarify such serious violation. How can it so expediently let these applications float in its Android platform when it has a clear cut policy on the same? Also, whether its responsibility lies in removing such content or segregation would suffice?

Another case in point is the ‘Reddit is Fun’ application issue from last year. Google chose to pull down this application from the Playstore on similar context of “sexually explicit material”. When Google had chosen to do it before, why not this time? In times like today, when children have sound access to smartphones, easy availability of such applications definitely calls for attention.

It’s absolutely important for us to be assured of the fact that our little daughter or son, brother or sister while browsing or playing on our cellphones, do not come in contact with anything that we may not like them to, or that may have negative implications on them.

It’s always important to take that small step towards achieving larger goals and this indeed is one!

You may choose to access the link to the aforesaid petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/google-segregate-sexually-explicit-content-on-google-play-android?utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

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