Google is once again being criticized for its merciless approach toward federated Android apps. Android Police said that Google has removed Element’s federated chat app from the Play Store for professedly holding abusive content. Even though, Element is just another customer for the Matrix communication network it fights abuse on its own when they can’t control what happens elsewhere.
According to Element’s statement on Twitter, the app has been taken down from the play store even without a warning. It has been just kicked out from the play store without any precaution. Google hadn’t reply back yet for the ‘detailed appeal’ that the developers have sent. Only a slightly older version of Element is available for the users from F-Droid in a pinch. Elements have plans to make a new repository that always includes the latest app release.
Google’s comment on this is, the side loading of the app won’t exactly soften the blow. It won’t thrill the community as expected. Even Multiple governments from the US, UK, France and Germany use Element and the Matrix network alongside each other for universities and businesses. It makes losing an easy path to the app a little hard.
The move has come to the light as the tech giants have increased their sensitivity to the app content they have to provide or host. For an instance, both Apple and Google have cracked down on Parler following the US Capitol riot. If Google dragged Element for content that wasn’t even on the app it will be a problem. It’ll affect not only to the section it can moderate but also to the team to screen an entirely online platform.
In the Twitter account of Element, they have announced that the Android app should be returning to the Play Store shortly. A Google VP stated that the report of abusive content on Element’s own server was responsible for the takedown has been removed.