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Google removed @k9mail from the Play Store without prior notice because they objected to the following text in the app description (that has been the same for more than a year):

(People sometimes call K-9: K9, K9 Mail, K-9 Email, K9 Email, K9 E-Mail, k9mail or k9email.)

This isn't the first time. And I'm sure the app will be available again soon.
Still, it's very annoying. You'd think a track record of 10+ years of non-malicious behavior would buy you at least another set of eyes before the app is removed.

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@cketti @k9mail what precisely is the crime in that sentence?

They are really cleaning house in their play store all while being their usual douchebag selves. Sorry to hear this is affecting you now :/

@yarmo "The app's full description contains improper formatting (including but not limited to repetitive or unrelated keywords or references)"

@cketti

Sounds like the AI is complaining without a clue.

@yarmo

@cketti
And THAT is their reason for them to remove the app! I think that it's pretty clear what they are doing!

@cketti @yarmo Honestly I can sort of see the reasoning because to a machine that would look like you're just stuffing the description with a big block of seo tags.

@rmgr @cketti @yarmo that seems like a problem with the machine, not with the description.

@rysiek
Yeah, I wouldn't say this fuckup necessarily indicates a larger problem with the software, but the requirements are a lot higher than just roughly detecting SEO tags.

They created basically a monopoly for app distribution on Android and as such, if they remove an app, this can decide over the livelihood of a developer.

They must invest a lot of money to ensure no false decisions are made, or give up the monopoly. Anything else will get them sued sooner or later.
@rmgr

@friend @rysiek @rmgr They should giveup the monopoly. Period.

They won 't, so regulators must step in and break 'm up.

@AstaMcCarthy @friend @rysiek @rmgr Wait, it's the Play Store that has the monopoly now? It was just like two days ago that someone else said that Apple had the monopoly. What a fast change of hands 😏

@greypilgrim @friend @rysiek @rmgr When you buy a phone you decide what monopoly you are going to be a part of for the next couple of years.

@greypilgrim
I did specifically write "monopoly for app distribution on Android". And I think, that's the correct way of looking at it. If you're the developer of an Android app, you can't generally just publish on the Apple app store instead.
@AstaMcCarthy

@rmgr @yarmo We've done that because Google Play's search was (and probably still is) so bad that users would regularly not find the app. It also feels like this stuff should be checked before an update is published. Not years after the text has been published.

@cketti @rmgr @yarmo it's always been hilarious to me that the search in the Google Play Store is so bad, while Google is mainly known for their search engine.

Sure, I understand they're completely different teams, but still :)

@rmgr @cketti @yarmo I think that's what happened. I haven't browsed the Play Store enough, but many YouTube videos (especially archive uploads) often stuff SEO tags in their description.

I guess one employee was used to seeing this and immediately shot down the app once they noticed the pattern. And without context, it does look like a disguised (although rather courteous) tag cloud!

@rmgr
But it is reasonable SEO-tagging, useful for the searcher/ user I'd say

@cketti @yarmo

@cketti
Mental. At least give prior warning, and a reason, so that remedial action can be taken. Mind you, I left G Suite without prior warning and reason… 😁
@k9mail

@cketti
Huh? Why would they object to that? I think I'm not getting something... Other than that the big G has way too much power, that is.
@k9mail

@cketti @k9mail it's 2020, how are people still shocked that if you play in google's walled garden, you have to play by their rules?

@craftyguy @k9mail It's 2020, how are people still shocked that randomly enforcing rules without prior notice are leading to obvious reactions by developers and users alike?

@cketti @craftyguy @k9mail Totally agree. Walled gardens are here and for better or worse they are a requirement for most developers. Expecting rules to be fairly enforced is paramount.

@Phaserune
Walled gardens are unnecessary though (as F-Droid is proving).

@cketti @craftyguy @k9mail

@josias @cketti @craftyguy @k9mail spoken by someone who is not a developer and is not trying to buy food. 😉

@josias @cketti @craftyguy @k9mail
@fdroidorg
Of course if f-droid implemented a payment system that didn't just suggest someone donate for software, I would completely agree with you.

@Phaserune
Yeah. That seems to stem from a bigger problem too. We don't have a platform-independent way of easily and securely transferring money.

I hope GNU Taler will be able to help with this in the future.

@cketti @craftyguy @k9mail @fdroidorg

@josias @Phaserune @craftyguy @k9mail Android allows sideloading apps and hence isn't a "walled garden". Apps in software repositories (app stores) are always subject to rules set out by the people operating the repository. F-Droid is just much better than Google Play at enforcing their rules.

@cketti @k9mail if you continue to put your hand on a hot stove, you will get burned. More news at 11!

@cketti
I don't understand: granted I'm using Aurora Store, but it should not change the result I think, and K9 still appears there...
@k9mail

@silmathoron @k9mail I see it too. I think what they meant was a threat to remove it, wasn't it @cketti?

@ashwinvis @silmathoron @k9mail The app was "removed" ("suspended" probably describes it more accurately, but "removed" is the terminology they use) by Google, we updated the description, waited half a day for Google to approve the change, and now the app is back on Google Play.

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