How my Google Developers Account got terminated, with no option to appeal.

[Edit]

I’d just like to take the time to give you a summary of why I feel this process is broken, as other have pointed out, they feel this app does in fact breach Google’s policy. Now I accept that this app may indeed deserve being pulled from the store, however this is opinon based, but at the end of the day this is Googles call to make. My only problem with the way it is currently working is the lack of clarity offered, the non specific section that my app is failing at.

In other words, please tell me which images are the problem and I can change them, instantly, within minutes I could have a new version online. For the time I have spent this would be a pleasure.

A new developer has now taken over the development of sex diaries.

Original

I’ve been developing sex diaries now for well over a year. The last 5 months day and night almost solidly. The last 2 weeks have been just bug fixing and tightening this little bad boy up to be usable.

So next time, get some beta testers. So I signed up for a developers account and built a release version to upload. All very exciting.

First Upload to the play store - With Mr Donkey
First Upload to the play store – With Mr Donkey

I downloaded it directly from the store. That was nice..

This is a notification that your application, Sex Diaries Alpha, with package ID co.uk.sexdiaries.app, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the sexually explicit material provision of the Content Policy:

  • Apps that contain or promote pornography are prohibited; this includes sexually-explicit or erotic content, icons, titles, or descriptions.

Please refer to the Sex and Nudity policy help article for more information.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you. If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of your application as a new package name. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

The Google Play Team

A bit of a shock but at the same time kind of understandable. Looking up in the policy

Sex and Nudity

Google Play is not for pornography or sexually explicit content, and most nudity is not allowed. As a rule of thumb, if content is intended to be sexually gratifying, it is not acceptable on Play. Content which promotes incest or bestiality is forbidden.

The only thing that stood out for me was the fact that bestiality is not allowed. So, Donkey + Sex might not be that cool.

I found the lack of information about why the app had been suspended very ambiguous. Its open to interpretation. So for me, change the things that I think are wrong and reupload as my account is still in googe standing.

So the next day I changed what I thought was the problem and reuploaded with a different app name:

Second Upload to the play store – With our bum on show plus hands…

More testing more fixing but also waiting for the email to tell me I’d be naughty.

This is a notification that your application, Sex Diaries Beta, with package ID co.uk.sexdiariesalpha.app, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the sexually explicit material provision of the Content Policy.

After a regular review, we have determined that your app contains images of illustrated nudity. This violates the Content Policy. Please refer to the Sex and Nudity policy help article for more information.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the app that is compliant with the developer terms. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team

However this time with a good slightly more detailed message

we have determined that your app contains images of illustrated nudity

I thought at this point it was worth a little appeal on 2 basis’s. I’ve changed images making it a lot less ‘Sexual’ in my opinion but also looking into the app store, doing a simple search in the play store brings 100’s of app’s with actually sexual content and well sleazy. That’s a huge frustration.

The Appeal

Thank you for flagging this app as Sexually explicit
material as I am a strong believer that anything that might be pornographic
or sexually explicit should not be allowed on the Play store.

I do feel however that in this particular case that no nudity nor sexually
explicit content has been added that has not already been seen on the app.

There are 9 illustrations in the app, of which 5 are used. I believe only
one of the images depicts sex. Without any genitalia on show.

I have looked at other similar apps:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androcn.brjn.lovcal
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xiaobin.oldtemp

The above apps do how other images in a similar style. This however does
not and should not effect mine. I am just curious if at all possible, if I
could get some more detailed information so that I might change the
graphics to be safe for the Play Store.

Any more information would be gratefully received.

Thanks You

Jamie

The reply

Hi,

We have reviewed your appeal and will not be reinstating your app. This decision is final and we will not be responding to any additional emails regarding this removal.

As you may be aware, we do not pre-screen applications submitted to the Google Play. If you would like to report an app that you believe is a violation of the developer terms please flag it as inappropriate via the Google Play app or submit a report through our contact form.

Be advised that any perceived compliance or non-compliance of other developers’ apps has no bearing on the compliance of your own apps.

If your account is still in good standing and the nature of your app allows for republishing you may consider releasing a new, policy compliant version of your app to Google Play under a new package name. We are unable to comment further on the specific policy basis for this removal or provide guidance on bringing future versions of your app into policy compliance. Instead, please reference the REASON FOR REMOVAL in the initial notification email from Google Play.

Please note that additional violations may result in a suspension of your Google Play Developer account.

Regards,
The Google Play Team

A rather abrupt reply, but still it got the message across. Stop wasting google’s time.

Back to the illustration board.

The new logo
The new logo
The new Wank
The new Wank
annddddd the new disgusting sex icon
annddddd the new disgusting sex icon

Changed all the things I thought were terribly naughty and reuploaded again with a different name. Uploaded with the understand that if they don’t accept it I’ll be able to change it again.

Last Try before I was violated
Last Try before I was violated

This is a notification that your application, Sex Diaries Beta, with package ID co.uk.sexdiariesone.app, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the sexually explicit material provision of the Content Policy.

After a regular review, we have determined that your app contains images of illustrated nudity. This violates the Content Policy. Please refer to the Sex and Nudity policy help article for more information.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the app that is compliant with the developer terms. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team

Account Suspension:

This is a notification that your Google Play Publisher account has been terminated.

REASON FOR TERMINATION: Multiple violations of the Content Policy and Developer Distribution Agreement as outlined in previous emails sent to the registered email address of your Publisher account.

Please note that Google Play Publisher terminations are associated with developers, and may span multiple account registrations and related Google services. If you feel we have made an error, you can visit the Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this termination.

Please do not attempt to register a new developer account. We will not be restoring your account at this time.

The Google Play Team

So that’s it, no more uploading, no more testing, no more working what they actually want.

This has left me very frustrated with the situation. I am now banned for life from Developing and getting an App on the Play Store. Simple things they could improve (IMO)

  • Clear feedback with specific guidelines on what the error was.
  • Don’t punish us for making an error with what they deem suitable.
  • Introduce a ‘pre-vetting’ service that will allow us to get this feedback before publishing to the app store.

So, we need to get google to listen to us, small single developers. There is a petition online that if you are a developer you should sign:

Dear Google Team,

Android has given a lot of technologists and independent innovators a ray of hope. Because of its openness  and wide spreadness.

But now lots of small and indie developers are being terminated in the name of policy violation even without warning! or not even a single choice is given for them to correct their mistakes.

More over there are no human beings in google to assist with developers. Only automated systems  simply yell out messages on a repeated basis, without solving our problem.

Making error is a human nature we are not asking for exemption from the error. But a chance and time to correct ourselves which is very reasonable for the efforts we make and our VALUABLE TIME we invest in developing apps.

Developers are not simple programs, just to delete from the system.

Many dev’s accounts are terminated without any valid reason. People work with much hope that their project would be a successful one. But suddenly they just see the termination message to their frustration.

What we demand is a reasonable warning before account termination if the error was not corrected and definitely a human intervention to assist with developers.

Hope you understand the difficulties we face with developer relationship.

Regards

on behalf of all Developers.

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sundar-pichai-svp-android-google-respect-the-efforts-of-small-and-indie-android-developers

They clearly sum up everything that I am struggling with.

Please google, help us out.

Update

After doing much googling and on end of similar stories I still can hardly believe that this situation could exists. I’ve delt with bad API’s before, but these are understandable. A company that’s core foundation is “Don’t be evil|” it was somewhat surprising that a independent developer like myself, and the many others, would have to struggle with a system like this. With this in mind, we need to try and raise our voices a little bit and understand why google have set it up this way. If there is logic then I can’t complain, currently as it stands I and many others are completely miffed and frustrated.

Email me:

jamie@hutber.com

Friend me on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/hutber

Follow me on Twitter (I rarely use):

https://twitter.com/HutberJ‎

Sign this Petition!

http://goo.gl/ixfBFl

Another developer banned by Google, but this guy isn’t an articulate kreten like myself:

https://medium.com/p/c62f2404f66
And another developer banned by Google:

http://andrewpearson.org/?p=681

More out of control Google banning:

http://blog.hutber.com/how-my-google-devlopers-account-got-terminated-with-no-option-to-appeal/

I thought Google was cool, but I was wrong:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#%21searchin/android-developers/adsense/android-developers/5qBdcAzmE-g/GdvJf4Sv0eEJ

Search the web and you’ll find lots of similar complaints.

http://www.furioussoftware.com/2013/10/goggle-banned-me-and-my-friends-from.html

http://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/40668-what-to-do-with-google-play-publisher-account-has-been-terminated/

http://forums.makingmoneywithandroid.com/advertising-networks/2274-google-play-account-suspended-unknown-reason-advice-needed.html

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/why-developers-should-worry-about-google-play/1148

13 Responses to “How my Google Developers Account got terminated, with no option to appeal.”

  • Sorry but you very blatantly broke the rules. You might think your app is not “that sexual” But the rules say that there’s to be sexual material. Your app is obviously in violation of the policy. Also your appeal was LITTERED with and grammatical errors. Also just because other apps do doesn’t make it Ok. That is an incredibly immature attitude. Just because other people people does that mean you can too?

  • Well Steve, from reading the above post would you not say that my grammar is always littered? I’m dylsic 🙂 Sorry about that. Also since when did an appeal factor in grammer 😀

    But it was the openness that stumbled me. Why not tell me.

    “I am sorry Jamie, but the pp’s context is just not suitable for the Play Store” or “Please change image 1,2,3,4 and 5”? If I had clear feedback I would not have had to guess what in my mind was the problem. But more importantly I could respect and understand why they would not want anything sexual in the app store.

    These are the terms I was brought up on: “Sexually Explicit Material: Apps that contain or promote pornography are prohibited; this includes sexually explicit or erotic content, icons, titles, or descriptions. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child sexual abuse imagery. If we become aware of content with child sexual abuse imagery, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution.”
    So in my mind, objectively (as best I can) , “sexually explicit or erotic content” was the problem. But this is at a stretch, I would not say a cartoon, as friendly as possible really falls under this, however I would say this these: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=sex&c=apps ALL are far far worse then my sexdiaries are/were.
    This is what really upsets me… I can’t really express the frustration I have currently. 5 months development to not even have the chance to change some illustrations that are at best 2 days work.

    Anyway, more to the point the images:
    http://i.imgur.com/QAYgbqu.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/uE32xgE.jpg

    Neither contain any nudity whatsoever.

  • 🙁 My account was also terminated.. Did you ever managed to create a new account and publish new apps on google play ?

  • My account was terminated too. Today! And I am still angry.
    Here is my short story:

    I had quite a few Apps in the market, that made about 500$ a month and had a fairly good rating.
    Then I uploaded a new App: “Anti Cockroach Repel” – Ultrasound against cockroaches. There are similar apps against Moths, Mosquitoes, Ants, etc. still in the market.
    After uploading, I received a warning from google: “REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior”
    Was ist the work “Cock” in cockroach? I don’t know. I changed the description a bit, uploaded again, and the App was accepted.
    Everything was fine.
    One week later, I uploaded a PRO version without ads. Nothing changed, I only added the word “PRO” to the name of the App and removed the ads.
    After that, google just terminated my account because of: “REASON FOR TERMINATION: Multiple violations of the Content Policy”, as they wrote.
    All appeals were answered automatically. Google didn’t even read my messages.

    Sad, but maybe there are better ways to make money, than being exploited as a cheap developer by Google.

  • Same problem here. My account has not been suspended but two of muy apps hace been removed forma the same reason (sexually explicit material), bit I can’t find where this material is. I have tried to republish apps with others packages names, but they are removed in minutes and I can’t know what is the real reason. It is incredible.

  • Hi Guys

    I’m sorry you’re always having such a terrible time, I hope you’ve signed the petition!!

    I can’t for the life of me understand it, it honestly wrecks my day to day life, there isn’t a single day that goes past where I wish they just had a good system in place for ruling these types of problems.

    So short answer is no, I never fixed it and the only way to get the app up is have somebody else develop the app.. Sucks I wish there were some success stories but I’ve never heard of any!!

  • @ Steve: The fact is that Jamie would have been able to follow the rules if he had once been informed of how he was breaking them, but the very obtuseness of the Google bots conspired against him. Plus the fact that if Google genuinely had a beef about sexually explicit content, then they wouldn’t allow erotic fiction in Google Play Books. They’re just a bunch of f###ing hypocrites. Simples!

  • Similar situation. Problem was I was actually removing a clients app because they had pictures in their facebook feed that were of breasts. It was a tattoo parlor. Account gone and I have 150 apps in it. WTF

  • Talking of erotic fiction I also have a client that writes it. They approve her books but not an app with the exact same content.

  • HELLO
    i UNDERSTAND THIS BUT i CAN´T UNDERSTAND WHY SOME DEVELOPERS CAN AND OTHERS CAN´T, THERE ARE DOZENS OF APPS WITH SEX POSITIONS IN GOOGLE PLAY. IN FACT WHEN YOU ARE SUBMITTING AN APP IN THE CLASIFICATION STEP THEY USE AS EXAMPLE THIS APPS “IF YOUR APP IS LIKE iKAMASUTRA ETC, THE RIGHT PLACE TO SORT IT IS….”
    THE POLICY IS CLEAR, NO SEXUAL EXPLICIT CONTENT, BUT IF YOU SEE DOZENS OF APPS WITH DRAWINGS OF SEX POSITIONS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT THEY DON´T ALLOW PHOTOS BUT CAN ALLOW DRAWINGS.

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