Google’s artificial intelligence algorithm does most of the removal of suspicious apps from the Play Store. In a new instance, it has identified DroidScript as a malicious application running ad fraud and banned it from the platform without any valid reasoning. The app used by more than a million developers, students, and teachers has valued premium users since it first appeared seven years ago. David Hurren, founder of Droidscript.org, filed a complaint with Google to clarify the issue, but so far there is no satisfactory answer.
According to David, they have not committed any ad fraud, and there is only one banner in the app to cover the running costs of keeping things going. They are now in a situation where user ratings, premium subscribers, and download statistics disappear since the app was suspended from the Google Play Store.
The only vague response David received is from a member of the Google Play team, Cindy, who suspects that he is again an artificial intelligence robot. The seriousness of the situation was explained in detail by him in an email, but it probably “fell on deaf ears”, as David believes.
This allegation of ad fraud could be due to the copied DroidScript AdMob identifier being used in another application. Since Google AI recognized that as ad fraud, the account was banned on April 7 without any explanation to the developer, which is somehow not transparent.
Google’s lack of communication has complicated things and is not going well, as the Democratic House Competition Inquiry in Digital Markets also confirms Google’s unsolicited watchdog power over third-party app developers. In fact, the developers say that Google follows an “opaque system [that] threatens the ability of application developers to develop and compete in the consumer market. “
Speaking of another logical reason for this ban, David told The Register that a Russian group could be behind your app cloning or people trying to hack the premium level code to get their way. Either way, Google needs to explain why everything happened, and ideally human intervention is necessary for such matters rather than relying solely on artificial intelligence.