Google kicks mining, fake, and made-for-ads apps off Play Store

In recent weeks, crypto-currency miners and speculators have been reeling as various forms of digital cash have lost upwards of 35% of their value. Miners got another, smaller bit of bad news when Apple banned mining applications from its app store a couple of months back. Now Google has taken a similar step in its Play Store, among other changes sure to impact developers of apps operating in the gray area of morality.

More specifically, Google's Financial Instruments policy states that the company doesn't allow applications “that expose users to deceptive or harmful financial instruments.” So far this policy has been limited to a ban on binary options that was put in place last April. The policy has now expanded to include crypto-currency. We have a feeling crypto forums are probably ablaze with miners complaining that brokerage houses are allowed to have their apps. Gerbils bored on this Friday afternoon might find some entertainment there.

The policy update also includes fairly vaguely-worded bans on apps with repetitive content and apps whose primary purpose is to serve ads. The wording of that second note is probably going to drive online pedants bananas. The last change is the addition of a policy banning apps and developer accounts that impersonate some other party or conceal or misrepresent their country of origin.

Finally, the company has updated its Child Endangerment policy. The previous prohibition against content that sexualizes minors is now joined by a clause that bans apps that contain adult themes but contain elements that appeal to children. Another update to the company's Dangerous Products policy bans apps that provide data for the production of firearms, explosives, ammunition or other weapons. The ban also includes apps that include instructions for the addition of automatic or simulated automatic discharge to firearms.

Comments closed
    • Alexko
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]The policy update also includes fairly vaguely-worded bans on apps […] whose primary purpose is to serve ads.[/quote<] So, is Google banning all of its own apps?

      • Waco
      • 1 year ago

      Zing!

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 1 year ago

    I really enjoy reading auxy posts. Easily my fav. The pragmatic approach and riddance of emotional rants is refreshing on TR.

      • ronch
      • 1 year ago

      Hah!!

    • NovusBogus
    • 1 year ago

    If crypto folks don’t like it, the app providers can always provide the apk for standalone download in lieu of the app store if they’re not doing so already. I suspect that many cryptocurrency enthusiasts would rather sideload on their own terms anyway.

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    Cool. Now when are they gonna stop letting apps suddenly play ads with loud audio? Those are really very irritating and, even worse, extremely rude.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 1 year ago

      Also, depending on your default audio settings, damaging to your ears. I wouldn’t be surprised if these kind of ads were a large motivator in the EU decision to mandate lower output limits for audio equipment targeted for European sale.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 1 year ago

    Sounds very self-service since google is the world’s biggest advertiser…

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    Good. Policing their ecosystem is as important as securing their software.

      • superjawes
      • 1 year ago

      (Say it louder for the [s<]people[/s<] Valve in the back!)

        • auxy
        • 1 year ago

        You don’t really think that, do you? You think Valve should decree that some things don’t belong on their service? Isn’t it better for the market to do that? Isn’t it better for everyone if they can find what they want in one place instead of having it removed or blocked by an authority?
        [list<][*<]Valve gets more money from more content[/*<][*<]Content creators get a larger audience[/*<][*<]Users can discover content they otherwise might not have found[/*<][/list<] I don't think this is a good move by Google either. I don't think people should expect some authority to protect them from things that they can practically defend themselves against, which is what's happening here.

          • superjawes
          • 1 year ago

          [quote<]Content creators get a larger audience[/quote<] Assuming the creators' content is not buried by BS...which is exactly what happens on Steam. [quote<]Users can discover content they otherwise might not have found[/quote<] Again, assuming the content doesn't get buried by BS...[b<]which is exactly what happens on Steam.[/b<] I can see the appeal of having an "everything" option, but Valve were pretty terrible at customer service BEFORE letting anything and everything on their platform. Now we've got the market leader who basically does nothing to improve gaming experiences* while asset flips, legitimate scams, and generally bad games get the same stage as modern classics. The gaming market would be vastly improved if Valve did their own Steam curation to separate the gems from the garbage. *VR being the exception.

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            How exactly does content get “buried” on Steam?

            [list<][*<]I can search for any game and find it instantly[/*<][*<]I can search for games by tag, which is even more specific than by genre[/*<][*<]I can search for games by developer, or publisher[/*<][*<]I can follow curators whose recommendations I trust[/*<][*<]Content I am likely to be interested in bubbles to the top automatically due to Steam's profiling[/*<][*<]I can browse lists of games with a dozen different sorting criteria[/*<][*<]I can see new releases including indies or only big releases[/*<][/list<] Your own laziness to go looking for quality titles is not reason to ask Steam to police content for you.

            • Durante
            • 1 year ago

            Exactly.

            • MEATLOAF2
            • 1 year ago

            The problem comes more from the creator’s perspective, getting your own content seen is far more difficult when it is buried in a pile of trash, it’s not like you’ll be searching for something you don’t know exists.

            The service itself doesn’t prevent content from being seen, but curation is valuable. Curation by exclusion of trash tier titles, even more so.

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            [quote=”MEATLOAF2″<]The problem comes more from the creator's perspective, getting your own content seen is far more difficult when it is buried in a pile of trash, it's not like you'll be searching for something you don't know exists. The service itself doesn't prevent content from being seen, but curation is valuable. Curation by exclusion of trash tier titles, even more so.[/quote<]Okay, but I have a few questions regarding your argument here. [list=A<][*<]What constitutes "trash"?[/*<][*<]Who decides the above?[/*<][*<]How does the existence of my "trash" game (or even my 20 trash games) prevent people from finding your game?[/*<][*<]Once we're "curating" the library, what's to stop said curator from removing a game because they don't like the developer? or because the game's artist said something mean on Twitter? or because the publisher is Chinese? or for any other arbitrary reason?[/*<][/list<] Furthermore, you say that people won't be searching for something they don't know exists. Sure. I would never have searched for "Feral Fury", because I didn't know it existed. But surely they know "action" games or "sports" games or "simulation" games or "Metroidvania" games exist, right? Game title isn't the only way to search for a game, as I've already pointed out. I found "Feral Fury" by browsing the Twin-stick shooter and Rogue-lite tags. If you [url=https://store.steampowered.com/search/?sort_by=Released_DESC&tags=4758%2C3959<]search for that[/url<] you can find lots of other games that play really similarly to Feral Fury. Browse them, and you might find one that has what you felt Feral Fury was missing. There surely are a lot of developers whining about the lack of curation on Steam and I get that it's frustrating to make something and then be totally overlooked. I completely, 100% understand. The thing is, if you were overlooked, it [i<]just might not be[/i<] someone else's fault. It might be because your game wasn't that interesting. There are an absolute crapload of games on Steam and most of them are passable if not good. It's a pretty high bar to clear if you want to make a really successful indie game. It's not like 10 years ago when you could crap out a half-competent game and get ten-thousand sales, and that's what these guys don't understand. They look at titles from the beginning of the big indie wave like Braid, Fez, or even Minecraft, and they expect to achieve that kind of success. When they don't, they cry and bluster about how Steam's lack of curation means they got "buried" in crapware when the reality is that their game wasn't interesting or good enough to stand out in the crowd. Then, their friends in the gaming press lay the blame for the developers' failure at Valve's feet. This is the truth of why I have to make these posts to explain why, no, curation isn't a good thing, and no, it's not Valve's responsibility.

            • Waco
            • 1 year ago

            I disagree entirely – Steam/Valve should *not* curate the content available on their platform. They are a distribution and service tool, not a marketing tool.

            Further, I don’t want Valve to be choosing what content is available on their platform. You may think your views align with theirs, but I’d rather not have *any* type of censorship on my gaming download service. If the cost of that is spending a few more minutes wading through crappy games (if I’m just browsing), so be it.

            • superjawes
            • 1 year ago

            We’re not talking about a brick-and-mortar store. If you can find a developer, they can sell you a game directly, without Valve taking a cut, and without “gatekeeping”. So this is very, very far from “censorship”.

            Furthermore, I KNOW that my views don’t align with Valve. In fact, that’s my point. Valve are going in the direction that makes them the most money (now), and I think that hurts their brand and product in the long run.

            • Waco
            • 1 year ago

            Valve is the biggest platform for social integration, distributing patches, and features for PC games. Refusing to host a game based on [[i<]insert reason here[/i<]] is NOT what I want such a platform to do. Pretending it muddies the waters when it's a digital storefront is disingenuous at best.

            • K-L-Waster
            • 1 year ago

            [quote<] If you can find a developer, they can sell you a game directly, without Valve taking a cut, and without "gatekeeping".[/quote<] ... *if* said developer has the resources to run a download server robust enough to distribute to customers, *and* has the resources to run their own storefront with credit card, Paypal, etc., *and* can actually let potential users know they exist. All of that is technically possible. But it's way easier to do it through Steam than to go solo.

          • Chrispy_
          • 1 year ago

          The market can only decide for themselves what they want if the service depicts all products honestly and accurately.

          The issue here is that products are misrepresented and there are limited or no tools to sort the good from the bad.

            • Redocbew
            • 1 year ago

            That’s the problem with app stores in general. There’s no way to sift through the junk to find something useful. Apple and others didn’t create app stores with the end user in mind as much as they did to create branded delivery of content/features for their devices. The idea caught on, and now they’re almost unusable at times without an enforced period of trial and error.

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            That’s fair. The Play store really is garbage as a storefront. I don’t think the same criticisms apply to Steam, which is arguably the best digital storefront in existence.

          • tacitust
          • 1 year ago

          Libertarians make this kind of argument all the time, but what is wrong with people expecting a certain level of protection from the companies who provide services and products they use?

          In many cases, people do not have the time or the knowledge to figure out what they need to do and then how to do it, even if they have the inclination.

          Also, Google isn’t an authority here, it is a vendor providing a service. When I go to the local supermarket, I shop with the expectation that the store isn’t going to sell me products that are scams, or will harm me in some way. It’s all part of the service.

            • sreams
            • 1 year ago

            “In many cases, people do not have the time or the knowledge to figure out what they need to do and then how to do it, even if they have the inclination.”

            You are correct. Many people do not have the time to be responsible for their own decisions, and instead dive headlong into destruction… unless some selfless entity shows up to tell them what decisions to make. 😉

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            [quote<]what is wrong with people expecting a certain level of protection from the companies who provide services and products they use?[/quote<]The problem is that the values and ideals of the companies may not line up with those of its users. See: [url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/07/05/facebook-censored-a-post-for-hate-speech-it-was-the-declaration-of-independence/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.67a5741126f4<]Facebook news censorship.[/url<] This is especially concerning when these companies are all too happy to leave said curation (or "protection") to automated agents who do not have the ability to put things in context or correctly assess intention. [quote<]In many cases, people do not have the time or the knowledge to figure out what they need to do and then how to do it, even if they have the inclination.[/quote<]In my view, this is a requirement of using these types of services. If you can't put in the effort to learn what you need to know to use the service, you don't get to use the service. Of course, whoever makes it easiest for the consumer will get the users, and of course, I do support the removal of clear-cut malware (such as bitcoin miner apps), but I think that's pretty much the line. If someone wants to dump an app on the store that's a shockwave file with a fart button and ads in 4 places I think that's their prerogative and I don't think it's appropriate for Google to arbitrate what is "appropriate" or "valuable" content. Legal, surely, but improper. It makes me want to avoid their service.

          • odizzido
          • 1 year ago

          really? I could explain but someone else has done it for me

          [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0GPmRCTOO8[/url<]

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            Did you just unironically link a Jim Sterling video?

          • Kretschmer
          • 1 year ago

          Yeah, and let’s allow malware and child endangerment on these services, too. I mean, people can avoid it if they try hard enough, right?

          The quality of a marketplace lies in how easy it is to find quality goods on said marketplace. Right now Steam is clogged with junk, hurting indie developers and users alike.

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            So I’ll ask you what I asked superjawes: how exactly does content get “buried” on Steam?

            [list<][*<]I can search for any game and find it instantly[/*<][*<]I can search for games by tag, which is even more specific than by genre[/*<][*<]I can search for games by developer, or publisher[/*<][*<]I can follow curators whose recommendations I trust[/*<][*<]Content I am likely to be interested in bubbles to the top automatically due to Steam's profiling[/*<][*<]I can browse lists of games with a dozen different sorting criteria[/*<][*<]I can see new releases including indies or only big releases[/*<][/list<] Your own laziness to go looking for quality titles is not reason to ask Steam to police content for you.

            • Kretschmer
            • 1 year ago

            Small developers seem to think that the deluge of crap is a problem, despite your hypothetical ease of navigation:
            [url<]https://www.pcgamer.com/the-biggest-issues-with-steam-in-2017-according-to-230-developers/[/url<] Sure, in some hypothetical world where we want to spend more time searching than playing games Steam's interface is passable, but I find myself only buying games on the platform that I read about elsewhere. Too much crap is shoveled at the user, and their "recommendation" algorithms are awful. But don't ask me; listen to an actual developer: [quote<]With everything being automated or farmed out to users, and even the best and highly promoted independent games falling through the cracks, Steam's last few advantages are eroding—no longer is there any sort of curation or much assistance on anything, and the huge audience doesn't matter if they don't buy our games. Steam taking [Valve's cut of the revenue] of every sale in order to... not promote games? Have users do the work? Support racist, sexist, hate-filled forums that glorify abuse and allow players to hold developers hostage by rating games poorly? I don't see the value proposition.[/quote<]

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            Hahahahaha. Did you even read his quote? This is some bitter indie developer who is mad at Valve because his arty game didn’t sell well. That’s particularly more likely given that the quote was published in an article by PC Gamer. But seriously, read it.

            [list<][*<]"highly promoted indie games falling through the cracks"[/*<][*<]"[there is no] curation or much assistance on anything"[/*<][*<]"the huge audience doesn't matter if they don't buy our games"[/*<][*<]complaining about Valve taking a cut when he would have zero sales if not for Valve providing the marketplace[/*<][*<]complaining about the content of the Steam forums, which has nothing to do with Valve and which are moderated by the developers[/*<][*<]complaining about the fact that purchasers can review games[/*<][/list<] You're not really presenting this as an argument, are you? None of his points are factual or based on reasoned arguments. They're arguments from emotion, which is not exactly surprising coming from a failed indie game auteur. This is some hand-wringing pretentious jerk who is mad at LE GAYMURRZ for not piling on to buy his melodramatic and boring walking simulator. From the article you linked: [quote<]More than a quarter of developers would like to see the crown go to Itch.io, but a clear majority still wants Steam on top.[/quote<]56% of the developers they talked to would prefer that Steam remained the market leader. 56%! Steam is an incredible service and Valve does an amazing job. Anyone who argues otherwise is not arguing from an informed and sincere position.

            • uni-mitation
            • 1 year ago

            [quote<] 56% of the developers they talked to would prefer that Steam remained the market leader. 56%! Steam is an incredible service and Valve does an amazing job. Anyone who argues otherwise is not arguing from an informed and sincere position. [/quote<] 1- I would like to point out that the issue is not whether Valve is an incredible service. I think it is quite reasonable to expect some disagreement and a lack of consensus on whether Steam is an incredible service and does an amazing job because that is a subjective observation. To say that anyone that argues otherwise is not informed or sincere does not help your argument. So allow me to slightly disagree with you on that. 2- I think the issue here is censorship, and how the adoption of one arbitrary point of view deprives the marketplace of competition. Going back to the cited very unscientific survey of developers we find: 2.1- That the concerns so raised on the surveys are from the point of indie developers on the Steam platform. The main gripe that they have is that the barrier of entry has been substantially lowered. Therefore, it is much harder for them to get exposure as before where the barrier was higher. That is a valid concern, but it is one particular from one side of the equation: the seller. What about the other stakeholders in this case? What about the consumers? I figure their concerns/interests don't necessarily match with that of the developers. I figure some segment of the gamer population desires to have the Steam games DRM-free for example. If there was another informal survey from the consumers' side, I figure we would also find different priorities. The same goes for Steam, and their own interests. 2.2- All of those interests are in some ways in conflict with others. Valve's role is not of virtue but of self-interest just like every other participant in a market. It is therefore not important to the argument against censorship as previously I have laid out, to determine whether a particular middleman is a bad business; that is for the market to decide: Valve is free to discard, modify, or adopt those voiced concerns. Just like other then successful giants of industry like GE, or PAM AM, have risen, they have fallen, but that does not invalidate the underlying method and message of the market. It is for that reason I stand against censorship, not because I think a particular entity is worthy of being defended. I think Valve has their own people to do that. 2.3- I would also clarify that the issue of curation is something that could enrich the marketplace in my view if it is done in a transparent way. The problem is that it is work. That some people do it for free means that those others that would devote such time to do this work can't because there is no incentive to do so. That's fine. You curate, and you devote your time and effort, well I think that is something that the market should decide what your work is worth. I think that is a painless improvement to improve the service. But then again, that is just my view. Respectfully, uni-mitation

            • superjawes
            • 1 year ago

            I didn’t answer because I didn’t believe you would listen to an alternate viewpoint, but if you insist…

            >Only if you ALREADY know what you’re looking for
            >Only if you know what you’re looking for and the tags are accurate
            >Only if you know what developer/publisher you are looking for
            >If you’ve found curators you trust (which is an okay feature, but a bandaid on the bigger issue)
            >If the algorithm is working correctly, and it can still flood your feed with plenty of junk
            >Lists that can be flooded with many recent releases
            >Only the releases in the last few hours, because that is how fast games get buried

            This isn’t a laziness issue. Valve’s product would be BETTER if they curated their content and quarantined the crap flooding in. That is my argument. Steam is an objectively worse platform because anything and everything can get on it regardless of quality.

            • auxy
            • 1 year ago

            Your “problems” with my points all come down to assumptions that things are the worst case.
            [list<][*<]Most people know what kind of games they like (what they're looking for.)[/*<][*<]Most of the tags are accurate.[/*<][*<]Some people like to search for other games by developers/publishers they like.[/*<][*<]There are lots of curators, and you can find the ones you like. It's another option available to you to discover new games that you might like.[/*<][*<]"If the algorithm is working correctly" isn't an argument. That's like saying "well yeah, a car can get you from A to B, if it's running." Well, duh. That's what the argument presupposes, and it's a fair presumption because it works very well.[/*<][*<]Lists that "can be" flooded with many recent releases. They aren't always, and what's to prevent you from ignoring the trash?[/*<][*<]See previous response.[/*<][/list<] "Yeah, well occasionally some things are coincidentally sub-optimal at times" isn't an argument against what I said. You can find the games you want on Steam. If you can't, it's your fault, not Valve's, and not the crapware sellers. [b<]I am of the opinion that this whole thing where people try to pretend that "Valve needs to curate its store better because it's too hard to find indie games" is just a smokescreen for the real goal, which is to say that these people want Valve to remove the games they don't like (for whatever reason). [/b<] It's an attempt to slide down the slope toward control of the medium, and nothing else. [quote="Robert Heinlein"<]Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for the other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop. Nyet, tovarishche, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good.[/quote<] [quote="superjawes"<]This isn't a laziness issue. Valve's product would be BETTER if they curated their content and quarantined the crap flooding in. That is my argument. Steam is an objectively worse platform because anything and everything can get on it regardless of quality.[/quote<]Assuming you were making the argument in good faith and not for other reasons (as I mentioned above) then it absolutely is a laziness issue. For your information, I happen to like quite a lot of games that you would probably say are "crap", and which I wouldn't have found without Steam and its game discovery tools. There simply are an absolute ton of games on Steam. Once again, the tools are there to find what you want. Oh, and also... [quote="superjawes"<]I didn't answer because I didn't believe you would listen to an alternate viewpoint, but if you insist...[/quote<]Me disagreeing with you doesn't mean I'm "not listening." You don't get to call me "closed-minded" because I disagree with you after you make an argument. You realize that, right? You make an argument, and then I decide if I agree or wish to make a counter-argument. That's how discussions work. You and people like you do this all the time: [quote<][i<]person presents argument[/i<][/quote<] [quote<][i<]person disagrees and presents counter-argument[/i<][/quote<] [quote<]"You're not willing to listen to alternate viewpoints!"[/quote<] I'm listening to your viewpoint and I disagree, and I have rational and practical reasons for doing so. Usually when I have this discussion your viewpoint is not argued from a place of sincerity; the argument that "crap" is "burying" promising indies on Steam is usually made because those people want to generally strengthen the argument for censorship. If it is sincere, which is to say that if you sincerely believe that there is "crap" on Steam that keeps you from discovering new games, then I think you're arguing from a position of ignorance. That was the point of my reply to you above with the lists of ways to find new interesting games. "Sometimes those ways don't work" is not a reasonable response to my argument because you're still admitting that they do work. Frankly, they DO work most of the time.

            • Waco
            • 1 year ago

            I agree with Auxy. I never do that. Why are the cats and dogs getting along???

            • K-L-Waster
            • 1 year ago

            I’m having much the same reaction.

          • uni-mitation
          • 1 year ago

          I am with auxy on this particular point of view.

          1- I think it is helpful to distinguish a vendor’s regulatory/statutory/common law requirements which is non-negotiable/non-issue in my view. Even if I happen to disagree with the law for x reason I must say the law is the law, and it is part of the social contract. I would only advocate for the violation of a law if it goes to such an extreme against your moral code.

          2- What I tend to agree with auxy’s view is the other side of the equation. The side of the dereliction of personal responsibility for not being an easy mark. Theft is a crime, but if you leave your doors to your house open then you have failed to take sensible measures to mitigate your risk in this world of thieves, and crimes. There is a reason that it is not advisable to walk in dark alleys.

          3- Any transactions in a marketplace are done “at arms-length”. That means, a seller will sell you product x for y price. You as a buyer has the option to (a)accept the offer as it is, (b)counter-offer if applicable or (c) decline the offer and potentially take your business somewhere else. Each party is expected to look for their own interests.

          4- I am in favor of vendors such as Steam & Google in policing the products that are offered as to conform to #1. But what about a game that is fan-service, or exhibit nudity, or suggestive themes?

          4.1- Well, here is where we should let the marketplace speak. If it was really abhorrent, or that it goes so much against the prevailing morality of the time, then I figure there is no need to have moral-busybodies telling us that we should not buy it; it would most likely not even been profitable and likely not even for sale.

          4.2- Valve & Google are facilitators/middleman. The actual transaction is between the actual game developer ([b<] in the case of [/b<]Valve/ the seller), and the gamer ([b<]buyer[/b<]/consumer). How well the game performs, plays, or is entertaining is a subjective opinion best left to the market to decide than to impose one arbitrary opinion as the "correct one." 4.3- I am in favor of businesses doing their very best to facilitate, increase production of their products for the lowest cost to the consumer (competition), irrespective of political or moral circumstances. If it is a really important moral imperative, then a vendor will (a)choose to conform in order to maintain competitiveness (b) risk not conforming and go out of business. 4.4- When you go to Walmart to buy a DVD BlueRay of "Titanic", Walmart as a middleman does not make any sort of endorsement to the movie's views, or the director's, or the writers', or about suggestive adult themes, or nudity. It simply is in the business of retail: it has limited shelf space, limited labor, and constant recurring costs, and therefore will offer those products that are most profitable or go out of business. That's the same principle for Valve, Google, and other middleman. 5- Parents have skin on the game. If they made the decision to bring a life to this world, then they are responsible for their parental actions. Life is about the liberty to make decisions, and carry it as you deem fit, but to have your feet held to the fire when you fail to live to those standards. Otherwise, what is the point of liberty if there is no responsibility? Respectfully in the minority, uni-mitation

            • Waco
            • 1 year ago

            Agreed. Anyone claiming they can’t find something on Steam isn’t [i<]looking for something[/i<] on Steam, they're browsing. I can't believe people would rather give up choice and selection so that they can mindlessly hit the "games" category and only see AAA/popular titles. Anyway - I agree 100%. Anyone clamoring about how Steam "buries" titles is arguing a falsehood.

          • Platedslicer
          • 1 year ago

          FWIW, I’m happy that there are people who think that way. The world would be a far better place if personal responsibility was the generally accepted heuristic for solving problems.

          Alas, there seems to be a hardwired tendency to expect solutions from “The Man”. No matter how many times one-size-fits-all fixes fail to work, while causing a host of undesired side effects, very few seem to learn.

        • Durante
        • 1 year ago

        I have used Steam for over 10 years now.

        The persistent idea that it used to be better when you [i<]couldn't[/i<] get everything you might want on Steam is something I will never understand. Especially now that they just introduced the personalized "upcoming games" page I see absolutely no advantage in artificially limiting what can be sold on there -- unless I want to buy it I'll never be bothered by it. And any form of constraint might actually affect games I want to buy (see e.g. GoG refusing Opus Magnum, one of the best games of the past year)

          • Waco
          • 1 year ago

          [url<]https://www.gog.com/game/opus_magnum[/url<] 🙂

            • Durante
            • 1 year ago

            Yes, after insistent public outcry that less popular games would not benefit from.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]The policy update also includes fairly vaguely-worded bans on apps with repetitive content and apps whose primary purpose is to serve ads. [/quote<] Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter banned from Google Play: CONFIRMED [quote<]The wording of that second note is probably going to drive online pedants bananas.[/quote<] ...oh.

    • Acidicheartburn
    • 1 year ago

    It’s about time they finally updated their Child Endangerment policy. Those predatory apps that disguise themselves as for children are disgusting and shouldn’t have been allowed to go on this long.

      • soccergenius
      • 1 year ago

      The arguably worse problem are exploitative videos on YouTube masquerading as kid-friendly, many of them incidentally Russian-made (video titles in Cyrillic). One I saw had a “hypnotized” mom “waking up” with her head in the oven.

      YouTube Kids has filters, but I see no good reason why the main YouTube app can’t have the same functionality. Many parents aren’t even aware that there’s a kid version of YouTube available.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        YouTube was the first thing I disabled when we got a Samsung tablet that my daughter can use. This sort of thing is part of why. The “suggested videos” area being completely brain-dead is another reason.

        • Acidicheartburn
        • 1 year ago

        Last I heard YouTube was trying to crack down on those videos but of course it’s an uphill battle to fight against reuploads.

          • strangerguy
          • 1 year ago

          Call me cynical but that’s utter PR bullshit from Youtube’s. They aren’t run by some unemployed guy in his basement who don’t have a budget of billions to regulate content creators.

          The only reason why the endless worthless clickbait, giveaway scams, sexualizing content targeted for kids, disgusting stunts-for-monetization, and blatantly stolen content from other creators who have no recourse because they aren’t big media is still up there if because Google likes their ad money.

          Hell, I suspect they only cleaned up their app store because they done their books and concluded the impact to their bottom line is minimal.

            • adamlongwalker
            • 1 year ago

            Youtube… Google… as well as many other mega companies are Predatory in Nature. They do not give one damn about protecting children online. All they care is about the money they take in via ad revenue.

            Youtube has been caught several times ignoring this problem until it can’t be ignored anymore.

            Then they hide behind their money saying things to look good until the heat blows over and it is forgotten.

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