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1-min read

Google Updates Play Store Policy to Ban 'Sexual Content', In-App Sale of Marijuana

While Google's Play Store policy had previously stated a ban on "sexually explicit content", its updated policy mentions ban on apps that provide "sexual content" as well as "sex-related entertainment".

News18.com

Updated:May 30, 2019, 8:11 PM IST
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Google Updates Play Store Policy to Ban 'Sexual Content', In-App Sale of Marijuana
While Google's Play Store policy had previously stated a ban on "sexually explicit content", its updated policy mentions ban on apps that provide "sexual content" as well as "sex-related entertainment".
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Google has updated its Play Store fair usage policy, giving an update on the kind of apps that may be in violation. The company has been under much scrutiny in terms of the kind of apps that it allows on its platform, and has since been attempting to rejig its policy to prohibit the widespread usage and positive reviews of applications that may have a harmful impact on the psyche of its billions of users.

Among the most notably updated fields is its take on apps that have lewd content, or content with sexual undertones. While Google's pre-existing policy laid out a ban on any app that offered "sexually explicit" content, its newly updated policy lays out a ban on any app that provides "sexual content", including those that offer "sex-related entertainment". This still leaves plenty of room for debates, since the perception of outright sex-related entertainment may differ between individuals and groups.

This still leaves at large apps such as live streaming vernacular social media platforms that offer content with subliminal, sexual undertones. While capitalising on the grey area of what's permissible, these apps tap into the psyche of young, first-time internet users, thereby giving them a skewered judgement in terms of socially acceptable conversations, and general humane codes of conduct. It is this very premise that saw popular Chinese social media service TikTok being dragged to court, before being cleared of charges and not found guilty of violating policies.

Another segment that Google is focusing on is the consumption of narcotic elements, such as marijuana, marijuana-based compounds and components, and THC-infused items. The move will be more impactful in nations where there are strict legal implications for or against marijuana, such as USA. According to an IANS report, "Google's new rule bans users from ordering marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature, or assisting people in arranging delivery or pickup of marijuana. Google said the updated policy aims to keep the Play Store "a safe and respectful platform" by creating standards against the content that is harmful or inappropriate for its users."

It remains to be seen how this impacts apps on the Google Play Store, and whether any major, popular app with largely positive reviews so far gets banned from publishing its services on the Google ecosystem.

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