Google Starts Manual Review for Android App Submissions, Launches Age-based Ratings for Content
Google publicized today its new measures to curtail the propagation of illicit apps and ensure the suitability of the content shared through its Play Store.
Unlike the previous approach which include automated systems for approval or disapproval for submission of the software, the tech giant will manually review all the Android apps and games.
Equally important is the distribution of content for which it has decided to introduce a global content rating system; this system will especially take age factor in consideration when it will sanction the data to come on the platform. In other words, it will judge whether a content is suitable for a specific age group or not. Google said in an official announcement:
Today we’re introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games on Google Play. We know that people in different countries have different ideas about what content is appropriate for kids, teens and adults, so today’s announcement will help developers better label their apps for the right audience.
Indeed, the Google’s initiative is praiseworthy particularly on moral grounds. Because the prime motivation behind its decision appears just to protect people from deceit and inappropriate sharing of the media.
However, it will not be able to achieve its purpose solely. It will need some integrity on part of the developers as well. That’s because Google will review the games and apps mainly according to their labels. So if the developers name a software which contradicts with what it actually targets, the purpose of Google scrutiny may exhaust. Once a developer submits an app, hopefully with appropriate label, he will be given a content rating questionnaire which will then be used by Google for rating the content.
“Apps without a completed rating questionnaire will be marked as “Unrated” and may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users,” reads the official blog post. The service will be effective by May.
The new proposed system by Google will include ratings from multiple international bodies. Two of the very significant bodies are the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).
There are regions where none of the regulatory authority exists. In such regions, a generic age-based rating will come in handy.
Abubaker Zahoor writes on diverse topics with special interest in innovations, tech-ethics, and inter-and intra- organizational business relationships.