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Google Play app store accused of anti-gay bias

Google Play and Hornet

A preferred homosexual social community has accused Google of discrimination after its app was faraway from Google’s Play store a number of occasions with out warning.

Hornet stated Google usually employed moderators in Malaysia, the place same-sex relationships are unlawful, to vet apps.

A rival homosexual relationship app instructed the BBC that it had additionally been blocked globally by moderators based mostly within the nation.

Google stated it didn’t touch upon particular person apps however denied that the corporate was anti-LGBT.

Christof Wittig, chief government of Hornet, stated he was involved that moderators in Malaysia had the facility to “remove LGBT apps worldwide, without warning”, given the nation’s stance on LGBT rights.

In one instance seen by the BBC, a moderator that seemed to be in Malaysia had gone via “nearby” profiles within the app and located a photograph of a topless man.

The picture didn’t seem to breach any of Google’s “sexual content” pointers and was not reported to Hornet through its personal content material moderation instruments.

However, the moderator suspended Hornet from Google Play.

Image caption

Christof Wittig runs Hornet

In January, homosexual relationship app Scruff launched stricter profile picture pointers, banning photographs of males in underwear or swimwear.

The app had additionally been suspended from Google Play a number of occasions previous to the change.

Mr Wittig stated the apply felt like “selective enforcement” in opposition to LGBT-focused apps.

He identified that apps resembling Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter had not been faraway from the app store for internet hosting way more sexually suggestive content material.

‘Algorithmic flagging’

On Wednesday, a bunch of eight LGBT video-makers stated they had been suing YouTube and dad or mum firm Google, alleging discrimination in opposition to LGBT individuals and content material.

The group claimed Google’s algorithms routinely marked movies utilizing phrases resembling “gay” or “lesbian” as unsuitable for promoting.

YouTube stated sexual orientation and gender id performed no function in deciding whether or not movies might earn advert income or seem in search outcomes.

But Mr Wittig stated he had skilled the same downside with Hornet’s editorial content material, which is hosted in its app and on its web site.

He stated Hornet had been excluded from promoting income for publishing LGBT-focused content material, and he steered that utilizing key phrases like “gay” and “homosexual” in articles about historical past, well being and life-style “triggered algorithmic flagging”.

Google stated it didn’t touch upon particular person apps.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49369122

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