Google announced that “Sugar dating” apps will not be allowed from September 1 on the Android Play Store. The company has announced it as a part of a series of policy changes for the platform. Android Police’s change was 1st reported and specifically prohibits apps relating to “compensated sexual relationships.” Other changes include a new crackdown on inactive developer accounts.
In sugar dating relationships traditionally involves wealthier, older individuals dating and showering younger partners with gifts. On the Play Store, there’s no shortage of apps designed around setting up “sugar daddy” relationships as per Android Police. None of the apps are clear and detailed manner younger women for their affection has to be compensated by older men, but many emphasize the wealth of the men on their services.
Apps that promote “services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation” are already prohibited by Google’s Play Store policy. But the updated wording expands this definition to explicitly include “compensated dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is expected or implied to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant (‘sugar dating’).”
The announcement made by Google doesn’t say clearly why these apps are banned now. The legislation removes Section 230 protections for content that facilitates or promotes prostitution. A representative from the company didn’t respond immediately.
Google is also introducing a new policy that will see it delete developer accounts if they’ve remained inactive for a year. Exceptions will be made for the accounts behind apps with recent in-app purchases or over a thousand installs. But if the developer hasn’t signed into the Google Play Console or hasn’t uploaded an app over 12 months, their account is at risk of deletion. The company says it will notify developers of an impending deletion of 60, 30, and 7 days before it occurs.
The policy updates also offer more information on previously announced changes regarding opting -out of the use of advertising IDs and Play Store Spam. On September 29, the store listings and promotion policy will be updated to ban “spam text and graphics in-app titles, icons and developer names.” Google is updating its add policy to reflect the advertising ID changes on October 4.