Sugar dating apps will no longer be allowed on the Android Play Store, as of September 1, Google announced as part of a series of policy changes for the platform.
The change, first reported by Android Police, specifically bans apps related to “sex for compensation”. Google says other upcoming changes to the platform also include a new crackdown on developer accounts.
Romantic relationships usually involve older, wealthier individuals who give gifts to younger partners. As Android Police notes, there is no shortage of apps on the Play Store that are designed to make “sugar daddy” relationships. None of them said explicitly that they expected older men to compensate young women for their affection, but many assert the wealth of men in their services.
Google Play Store policies already prohibit apps that promote “services that could be interpreted as offering sexual practices in exchange for compensation.” The playstore expands this definition to explicitly include “paid dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is or implicitly expected to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant.
Google’s announcement doesn’t explicitly say why the apps are now blocked. This comes with a crackdown on online sex work by the platforms following the introduction of US FOSTA-NEST legislation in 2018, which removes Section 230 of protections for content that “promotes or facilitates prostitution”.
In addition to the dating app rule changes, Google is also introducing a new policy that allows you to delete app creator accounts if they have been inactive for a year.
Google says it will make exceptions for accounts with more than 1,000 installs or recent in-app purchases, but if the developer hasn’t uploaded any apps or been signed in to the Google Play Console for 12 months, they’re at risk of being erased.
Policy updates also provide more information about changes previously announced by Google regarding Play Store spam and disabling the use of advertising identifiers.
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