You may remember that TalkLittle's hugely popular Reddit browser, Reddit is Fun, was banned from the Google Play Store about 2 weeks ago for "sexually explicit material," shortly after its substantial update to version 2.0. The banishment of Reddit is Fun caused quite a stir, primarily because Google's decision to ban the app seemed to be based on a vague policy regarding apps that give users the ability to find explicit material.
In a post to Reddit earlier this evening, TalkLittle announced that Reddit is Fun has finally been allowed back into the Play Store, after links to subreddits containing explicit material were removed.
TalkLittle also provided readers with a handy timeline of the events surrounding the app's banishment and eventual reinstatement:
It went like this:
- Uploaded version 2.0 on March 11
- Got email early Monday March 18 saying that the 2 apps were banned for violating the "sexually explicit material" clause of the Google Play content policy.
- Based on a strict reading of the policy, looked like I wouldn't be able to get the apps up without basically uploading a brand new app from scratch, which would require me to refund everyone or leave all previous users in the dark.
- I posted a Google+ thread which got the attention of some Google employees. Apparently some Google employees, who happened to use the app, had also escalated the issue internally.
- Filed an appeal same day March 18.
- Google responded in a couple days asking me to remove links to subreddits containing sexually explicit material (i.e. NSFW reddits) from the default list.
- I complied and also gathered some documentation and submitted on Tuesday March 24, last week.
- Heard back an hour ago today April 2 that it was reinstated.
The fact that TalkLittle's apps were ostensibly reinstated only because Google employees caught wind of the story has also raised questions about the strength of Google's support for app developers. While, in TalkLittle's own words, "it's a tricky situation," the story of Reddit is Fun's banishment has certainly brought attention to Google's Play Store policies, and may indeed have a lasting impact.