Well, here's a twist for you. Apple Google has just banned Reddit Is Fun from the App Store Google Play Store due to "sexually explicit material." The author of the app has taken to (where else?) Reddit to voice his concerns and ask for advice in getting his apps reinstated. It may be a simple problem to solve, however.

2012-03-19 11h53_29

The move comes shortly after Reddit Is Fun received an update to version 2.0 and was split into two apps. The move brought a new UI which places an automatically-generated list of subreddits within glancing distance of the casual user. This list, naturally, contains some obviously NSFW content. Getting the app back in line with Play Store guidelines may be a simple matter of filtering these subreddits.

On the other hand, it might also be a matter of rating the app differently. While some obviously old app guidelines suggest that Google does not allow any sexually explicit material in its app store, certain other official Google documents merely require that sexual content in apps be rated as "high maturity" in their app listings. While the newer document doesn't suggest that "sexually explicit material" is now allowed (which would be a change in policy), it does seem to imply there's a place for sex on the Play Store.

Of course, no matter how the developer goes about solving this problem, the fact remains that it got banned, which is a big deal. Reddit has always been one of those sites that walks the fine line between permissible and illegal. The recent controversy over child pornography (which Reddit finally banned) is evidence of this. If an app can get banned for providing the ability to find NSFW content, however, Google has a few of its own apps that should see the business end of a banhammer.

Hopefully this developer and Google can find a nice common ground before Reddit blacks out the internet again.

Source: Reddit

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://aaroncrowder.com CrowderSoup

    I'm one that doesn't like to see NSFW stuff on Reddit. I use RES to filter them out in my browser, but I wish I could filter / block NSFW sub-reddits on my phone.

    • http://gthing.net sam

      You can unsubscribe from any NSFW subreddits, and they won't show up on your phone or anywhere you are logged in.

  • sickens

    they should likely block any web browser app or the like... someone might use it to access sexually explicit material as well.

  • Arben

    "The recent controversy over child pornography (which Reddit finally banned) is evidence of this."

    Not that I condone this, but there is a difference between jailbait and child pornography.

    • http://androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft

      It's beyond the scope of this article, but it's fair to say that it's more nuanced than just "child porn". The debate largely centered on whether or not the pictures that were called "jailbait" would count as child pornography though, which is why it's phrased the way it is in the article.

  • EpicGuy

    Hell yeah, this is actually some good news surrounding reddit. Puts a stab in their high ego thinking they can do whatever they want and get away with it.

    who care's if they black out Google?
    Google has more money than reddit or any of their users will ever have, in my opinion google could probably just wipe reddit from their search engine, if they did a blackout on their OS/Market and everything else Google.
    But wait reddit can't blackout Google. The users would have to go to use vimeo, hotmail, bing/yahoo for other services to not use google, it will annoy them and they would stop before it is over.

    • Arben

      What in god's name are you talking about? This application isn't even made by Reddit. Reddit isn't even a collective entity. You really have no idea of what you're talking about.

      • D

        the retard probably thinks reddit = anonymous

        • EpicGuy

          oh is the little Reddit fanboy feelings hurt?

    • http://gthing.net sam

      Say huh? Who is talking about a blackout? Why should reddit be banned from google? Why are you so insane?

    • scott

      So much ignorance in so little space.

    • https://steamcommunity.cim/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      And your point is?

  • WillieFDiaz

    I don't mind NSFW stuff if Im reading it on purpose and want it and subscribe to it. Ill read it in privatr, with tissues ;) however, I don't like Google banning Reddit and not banning the live wallpaper of chicks asses bouncing up and down when Im looking for some fun cool abstract wall papers. Multiple times I report it and multiple times it pops up in my face some chicks ass flapping up and down. How is thay any less offensive than smut found in an app you physically open and read? A lot is what. Google likes in your face sex rather than stuff semi private that's for sure. Yet another reason I hate Google more and hate Apple less and my next phone may end up being an iPhone.

    • http://modaco.com Simon

      You are an idiot. Huge different between wallpapers of attractive women and links to full frontal nudity which Reddit Is Fun linked to. Have you ever visited /r/GoneWild?

      • https://steamcommunity.cim/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

        How is the application developer responsible for user-submitted content? He's just providing a front-end to access reddit withing a more mobile-friendly interface.

        It's like taking Google accountable for nudity-related pictures I might find when searching for something.

        • Mgamerz

          Yeah but what if images.google.com showed nudity if you just browsed to that link? You would have to consciously attempted to find it, rather than it just getting thrown in your face. Like if MSN.com showed nudity when a user opened IE (sigh..)

  • PacoBell

    "It may be a simple problem to solve, however."

    Yeah? How's that? You never explained that part in detail. Is it the lack of the "high maturity" designation that has Google's nickers in a bunch?

    • http://modaco.com Simon

      It's the simple fact that the recent update adds a list of popular sub-reddits which also includes GoneWild (the reason the app was banned).

      • scott

        What are you 12? Grow up little boy.

    • http://androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft

      Um, I spent two paragraphs explaining it. The banning only came after the new category of list, so a simple filtering might return it to its previously approved status. As well as changing the rating might affect Google's position. Or both.

      I can't know for certain, which is why I said "may", but I did cover it.

      • PacoBell

        So nobody really knows for certain what triggered the ban. Just speculation?

  • Mgamerz

    There are plenty of other reddit apps so I don't really see how this was a big deal really. App has NSFW content on the front page... can't say you couldn't see this one coming.

  • http://gthing.net sam

    But didn't Steve Jobs say if you wanted pr0n you should use Android? NOW WHAT DO I USE?!

    • EpicGuy

      You should use Blackberry or Symbian

    • http://jax.in Tony Antony

      you could use Google Chrome on Android :D

  • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshek Abhisshek

    let us all Flag Google Chrome Beta as sexually explicit material in Play Store and see what happened

  • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshek Abhisshek

    let us all Flag Google Chrome Beta as sexually explicit material in Play Store and see what happened (troll face)

    • Shank

      Absolutely nothing?

  • David Ruddock

    The issue here is that the app provides access to the explicit content, and that Google is then providing access to that content through hosting the app (which is in itself a piece of content), and that Google is now has notice of that link. The developer of the app will have to remove access to the regularly-offending subreddits and hope that those which are more irregular offenders go unnoticed.

    Companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon stay away from providing "hardcore" porn content (as opposed to mere linking) with a 10-foot pole because there is still a huge amount of ambiguity regarding the legality of "hardcore" porn in the United States. Technically, "obscenity" is outlawed in the US (Title 18, Chapter 71 US Code) and the Supreme Court has upheld this law (see Miller v California) in a way that makes it almost impossible to determine what is and what is not legal.

    It's an extremely divisive and confusing legal issue that many people have no idea actually exists.

    And that's why Google (and Apple, and Amazon) has a strict policy on anything that might contain "hardcore" pornographic material. I'll admit, it's questionable whether Reddit actual is a content provider for the offending material, or is merely linking, but that's a totally separate and equally confusing legal issue.

    • ins0mn1a

      i think the potential legal problems are not the only reason for staying away from "porn" content. as far as i know, apple bans anything that even hints at sexual content, not just hardcore. i see this as public image policy ("come into our walled garden, it is so safe and orderly and clean"), not so much a legal issue. when someone wrote to s. jobs about the issue of content censorship in the app store, the reply was "wait until you have kids". so they are the great defenders of family values, for the purposes of PR. and google clumsily follows, as usual.

  • http://justreboot.wordpress.com Dei

    I'm glad this was posted - I'd tweeted @AndroidPolice about it a few hours ago, but I should have known AP would see it; you guys are redditors as much as anybody else is. =)

  • http://www.androidapphighlights.com Leif

    I would also guess that the App was just rated wrongly.

  • Jean-Luc Tendler

    Is no moderator going to silence EpicGuy? I mean there's a line between being a reddit hater and just trolling, which he is clearly doing suggesting blackberry/symbian on an android news site.

    Anyways, it's interesting to see just reddit is fun targeted and not baconreader. As previously said the difference is likely that in baconreader to get to r/nsfwexample you would have to explicitly type it. You wouldn't find it by accident. It's a bit silly, but it makes sense. You shouldn't be able to accidently find nsfw content.

  • meeee

    Why are chrome, firefox, opera, and others still allowed then?

  • Ewan

    I don't really care what they do on the play shop but they really should not have removed it from my device after I installed it. Afaik its not malware. The fact that they can remove nonmalware from my device is really terrible.

    • PacoBell

      They did? Huh. Can you at least restore it from a backup? You DID back it up, didn't you?

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    Anyone got the APK?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/no6969el?feature=mhee BarZaTTacKS

    Lol so that's why.. I was telling my girl about it the other day and was like yea its free.. I didn't steal it.. its the lite version.. after 10 mins of her searching I just copied it via root explorer and wifi sent it to her.

    If anyone wants it you can get it from me here..


  • http://www.facebook.com/heyitsbryann Michelle Dang

    it's not a big deal. it's not even censorship, just a case of wrong ratings.

    resubmit the app with the "high maturity" label attached and it should fly.

  • Veronica Lodge

    I guess nobody has ever typed in breast or c0ck in google images? Or any seemingly safe words that have other meanings? Point being, if YOU'RE offended, changed YOUR restrictions, don't try to force them on others. It's the INFORMATION HIGHWAY, not restriction jurisdiction. Watch your kids & set parental controls. Oh & GTFO it. Might as well ban google altogether, or move to China.

  • Nathan Cox

    I just searched for porn using Google Now. BAN IT!