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Google Play's policy on manipulated media

Introduction

As a developer, you need to ensure that your app is compliant with Google Play’s policy on manipulated media. This course will show how the policy applies to your app.

 

What you’ll learn:

  • How you ensure your app behavior aligns with Google Play’s policy on manipulated media.
  • Examples of acceptable and disallowed app behavior related to manipulated media.
  • What the real-world impacts of your policy violations are.

Google Play’s policy: Manipulated media

We don’t allow apps that promote or help create false or misleading information or claims through deceptive imagery, videos, and/or text that may cause harm pertaining to a sensitive event, political, social issues, or other matters of public concern. 

 

Some apps alter or manipulate existing media so much that it becomes impossible for the user to know the media has been altered. This level of manipulation is over and above the conventional and editorially acceptable adjustments for quality or clarity. In such cases,  we require the use of watermarks or other obvious indicators that flag the content is manipulated.

Manipulated media examples

Even if it is meant as a joke or prank, apps that manipulate media beyond a conventional editorial function are against Google Play’s policy on manipulated media. Such apps can cause harm by spreading false information and creating real-world impacts. Here are some contextual examples that are meant to be illustrative of how the manipulated media policy may apply to your app or game. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

Note: The all information is copied from the Google Play Acedmy. This is just for information.

Example 1

Violation: Fake video maker

Consider this video maker app.

This isn’t allowed because:

  • The app provides an array of options: famous world leaders, audio, catastrophic events from years ago, and various other elements to create their own clippings that look real.

  • Users can make the clipping look like the event is happening today and share it with their friends. 

  • The app impacts a large population and deceives the general public.

Remember, apps that create fake videos using deceptive imagery of a sensitive event, political or social issues, or other matters of public concern that could be used to mislead the public, aren’t allowed on Google Play.

Acceptable: Animated video maker

Consider this app that creates animated dancing videos of politicians.

 

This is allowed because:

  • The app provides 2-dimensional images of politicians and public figures that can be used to create videos.

  • The app adds a watermark on the video to indicate that the content is manipulated and intended for fun.

 

Remember, apps that manipulate or alter media beyond conventional and editorially acceptable adjustments for clarity or quality are not allowed on Google Play, unless a prominent disclosure or watermark is used to flag the altered media.

Example 2

Violation: Face changer

Consider this app that changes the face on photos realistically.

This is not allowed because:

  • The app allows users to realistically swap faces of people from other images.
  • The app does not make it clear that the final image is fake by using a watermark.
  • These images could create confusion and false information.

Remember, if an app edits an image in a way that may be mistaken for genuine, it’s not allowed on Google Play.

 

Acceptable: Face changer

Consider this app that changes your photo into a funny one.

This is allowed because: 

  • The app allows users to create funny photos using various filters, such as hair, mustache, eyes, face, skin tone, and so on.

  • Users can tweak the pictures of friends and family using cartoon overlays.

Remember, if an app doesn’t edit an image in a way that may be mistaken for genuine, it’s allowed on Google Play.

Apps created in public interest or apps that depict obvious satire or parody may be eligible for an exception.

Example 3

Violation: Add public figures to images and videos

Consider this app that realistically adds public figures to videos and images, creating the illusion that the public figures were actually there.

 

This isn’t allowed because:

  • This app helps create false and misleading information.

  • This app uses images of public figures to alter media that could be politically sensitive.

  • The app doesn’t provide a watermark. 

 

Remember, apps that manipulate or alter media beyond conventional and editorially acceptable adjustments for clarity or quality are not allowed on Google Play, unless a prominent disclosure or watermark is used to flag the altered media.

Acceptable: Swap animal faces with image of public figures

Consider this app that swaps out the faces of animals with those of public figures, so the public figures look like they have animal bodies.

 

This is allowed because:

  • The app allows users to create funny photos using animals and public figures.

  • The app creates images that can’t be mistaken for reality.

 

Remember, if an app doesn’t edit an image in a way that may be mistaken for genuine, it’s allowed on Google Play.

Wrap up

Here are the key takeaways from this course:

  • Apps that promote or help create false or misleading information through imagery, videos, and/or text, and deceive the public, aren’t allowed on Google Play.
  • Apps created in public interest or depict obvious satire or parody may be eligible for an exception.