Google Play’s News Category Requirements Leads to Thousands of Apps Being Removed

Tech companies have gotten a bit of a bad reputation in recent times. This has a lot to do with how they disseminate information, especially how they contribute to the spreading of misinformation. Since 2020 is an election year, tech companies are working really hard to prevent any misinformation from spreading. Google in particular is doing quite a bit in this regard, and part of this involves putting stricter requirements in place for apps that want to be listed in the News category on the Google Play Store.

As a result of the fact that this is the case, thousands of apps have now been taken off the Play Store. The official reason given for this is that these apps were engaged in some kind of misinformation, or at the very least were not doing much to stop misinformation from spreading. Edited video clips were often involved. These video clips would be carefully and cunningly altered so that the message that was intended is distorted. People often take what news apps tell them at face value, particularly if what is being said happens to be in line with their world view.

Official government information is also being regulated from these apps. Now, these apps won’t be able to cite any official government information without also providing a legitimate source. Election years can be really messy, which means that a lot of misinformation would be going around so that particular candidates can be made to seem a lot more positive than they actually are. Negative information can also be shared about candidates the apps don’t want to support, information that might not be factual in nature but could still impact who people vote for. Protecting the public against misinformation is more important in an election year than at any other point in time, so it’s good that Google is being so proactive about this.

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