The Google Play and App Store app stores, which are responsible for downloading software on Android and iPhone (iOS) phones, have a series of standards for hosting the tools on their platforms. If you break a rule, the app is removed from the service and users are prevented from downloading them. Apple, in particular, tends to be very strict with its store guidelines. That was the situation faced by Tumblr and SimSimi, involved in polemics this year 2018.
The social network of photos that decided to ban sexual content explicitly at the beginning of the month left the App Store because, supposedly, it allowed the publication of child pornographic content. SimSimi was suspected of sending inappropriate messages to children. Below are four situations in which applications were penalized by download media.
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Apple banned famous apps from the App Store in 2018 Photo: Marvin Costa / Tech
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Telegram, WhatsApp's rival messenger, was removed from the App Store in February. The software did not appear in the search for the iPhone download center, while it was still normally available to Android users. The alternative version Telegram X has also disappeared. According to the creator of the messaging service, Pavel Durov, Apple deleted the application because of "inappropriate content".
Telegram was removed from the App Store for one day in February 2018 Photo: Helito Bijora / TechTudo
The next day, however, the software was back. Durov said measures were taken to put in place the protections required by the Ma company. The official explanations for the confusion were vague, but the American website 9to5Mac says the real reason would be the distribution of child pornography among users by Telegram. The discovery was made thanks to an e-mail shared by a reader of the site, with the reply of one of those responsible for the App Store, Phil Schiller.
In April, SimSimi was removed from the Android and iPhone app stores in Brazil, after reports of inappropriate messages being sent to users. The application worked from a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to talk to people, which attracted many young people and children. The software learns from the interactions it makes and, thus, increases its own database. In this way, some users took advantage and taught malicious responses.
SimSimi caused polemics and was banned Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
With a friendly look and charismatic character, SimSimi would have sent messages to his children and adolescents with threats of murder and kidnapping, name-calling and sexual content. Testimonials on social networks and in store comments showed the indignation of several Brazilian parents and guardians. In view of the controversy, the developer decided to suspend use in the country.
3. Sticker apps for WhatsApp
In November, Apple decided to remove all apps with WhatsApp stickers from the App Store. According to the company, these applications violate the guidelines of iOS, the iPhone operating system. The stickers are a recent feature of the famous messaging app, released in late October. To use, users can create their own stickers or add new images through packages, such as those offered by this type of service.
Sticker apps for WhatsApp have been deleted from the App Store Photo: Helito Beggiora / TechTudo
The reasons cited by Apple for the ban are: the existence of many similar software, the fact that they have similar designs and the requirement to install WhatsApp. The company does not allow applications that have a requirement to download other tools in their store. Meanwhile, programs of the kind have not suffered any damage on Google Play, the download center of Google's system.
After being accused of having child pornography on its platform, Tumblr for iPhone was banned from the App Store in November. The case had such significant repercussions that the social network decided to ban any explicit sexual content, which displeased some of the users. A few days after the announcement of the measure by the company, already in December, the application returned to Apple's app store.
Tumblr decided to ban pornographic content and generated controversy among users Photo: Reproduction / Mashable
Since the 17th, Tumblr has monitored all posts with algorithms capable of identifying images, GIFs or videos with nudity and pornography, including illustrations. There is also a tool for people to report irregular publications. There are exceptions only in some cases and, therefore, they are released: images of classic works of art, political protests involving nudity, breastfeeding and postpartum photos, in addition to texts with an erotic content. Inappropriate posts will be blocked and authors will be notified by email.
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