Gay dating app Hornet has accused Google of discriminating against the LGBTQ community after it was removed from the Play Store several times without explanation.
CEO Christof Wittig expressed his concern that moderators based in Malaysia were blocking Hornet around the world because homosexuality is illegal in their own country.
Another unnamed LGBTQ dating app told the BBC that it had also been taken down by a worker in Malaysia.
The BBC reported one instance where a user had a topless image of himself on his profile. The picture was not reported to Hornet and didn’t break Google’s sexual content guidelines, but a reviewer deemed it to be offensive and ended up blacklisting the entire app.
Wittig said that moderators should not be given the power to block LGBTQ services just because their country has certain laws in place.
He argued that major social media platforms, such as Instagram and Tumblr, had far more sexually explicit content but remained unpunished.
Hornet has found itself denied access to advertising revenue from Google because, it claims, words such as “gay” and “homosexual” are automatically flagged for demonetisation.
Scruff also experienced issues with Google’s advertising network in the past. As a result, it set up its own in-house advertising agency and now supplies its users with LGBTQ-relevant content.
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