Google is banning ‘sugar dating’ apps

Google has banned “sugar dating” apps as part of a broad range of changes to its Play Store rules.

Such apps allow people to find others to engage in “compensated sexual relationships”, as Google puts it, wherein one party will pay someone to date them. Such apps and sites have become popular across the internet.

There are a host of apps on the store with the name “Sugar Daddy”, for instnace, and many more with more specific names. Many of them are explicit about what they are aiming to do, with one named Spoil offering to help people “find other wealthy sugar daddies who are looking for a discreet arrangement, and you can also meet other attractive girls who are looking for generous men”, as PhoneArena notes.

But Google says they will no longer be allowed in its app store, as part of its inappropriate content policy.

Those policies already prohibit “services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation”. But new wording, which goes into effect at the beginning of September, specifically bans apps that allow for “compensated dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is expected or implied to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant (‘sugar dating’)”.

Google did not say why it had decided to specifically ban such apps.

The new rules are part of a set of changes to the Play Store, which also allow Google to remove any developer accounts that have been inactive for more than a year. While the deletion appears not to be automatic – and Google said it will make exceptions for those with popular apps, for instance – the new rules will mean that older accounts can be cleared off the platform.


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