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DroidScript Restored but the Google Play Store Appeal Process is Still Broken

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Avatar for dankwing.duck
Written by   5
1 year ago

This week one of the top stories on Hacker News was Google have declared DroidScript is malware. It's a story about an Android app called DroidScript which is basically used for running JavaScript on Android devices.

A few days later, the ban was reversed and DroidScript is back. Rejoice! Everything worked out fine, so the system must be working, right?

Absolutely not. The entire process right now for appealing things on Google Play and many other big platforms is completely broken. The creators of DroidScript pretty much summed this up in their response:

I'm pretty sure we were re-instated due to all the pressure on social media and because of the support we got from major tech news sites such as theregister.com and xda-developers.com

This is becoming the normal. Get banned, write about it on some social media website and hope it bubbles up large enough that someone taps a real human on the shoulder at Google or whatever big company is involved.

If this was some small indie project, startup company or some free or open source system that was being offered we could understand, but it's not. It's one of the largest companies in the world in one of the highest margin markets that exists today. They're taking 30% of all the revenue and they can't be bothered to have a human respond to appeals for apps that have millions of installs?

What about the creators or apps that are smaller that get hit with these issues but don't have the social media presence or endurance to work outside the system to contact a real human at Google?

Listing every instance of this I've seen on HN alone in the last few years would be impossible, here is a small subset. Remember, these are all instances where an app was removed, appeal process exhausted, but eventually a social media post got big enough a real human at Google reverted the automated system failings:

There are countless others, it's really just a matter of spending more time to dig them back up from history. The problem is widespread.

Obviously Google wants margins as high as possible and automated systems help with that - but only to a point - at some point you're actually losing revenue from lost opportunity cost because of this. The solution is actually pretty simple: Google needs to put in the work to earn it's 30% cut that it already takes. They're already taking the money, but they're not doing the work. Hire more humans.

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Avatar for dankwing.duck
Written by   5
1 year ago
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