December 19, 2014

Disturbing Nazi Theme on Android Market (Now Removed)

We ran across this editorial today from Engadget, talking about the existence of some offensive Nazi themes that come up  when you search the keyword “Jewish” in the Android Market.  Make sure you read the authors thoughts on this issue.

It seems that Michael Gartenberg, another author at Endgadget, was the person who stumbled across this.

This issue brings into light the debate of whether or not the Android Market, being part of an open source ecosystem, is a place where apps like these need to be given the freedom to be sold to those consumers who would want to purchase it.  There are arguments on both sides, saying that the Market is at it’s base, a private business venture that Google has every right to police and set policy, there are yet others who say that a truly open source community would be one that would allow users to post whatever they want.

No matter what the debate, Google has said this morning that themes and apps in question are both disturbing, and in violation of the TOS of the Android Market, which has led to the removal of the offensive content. It will be interesting to see how they are going to propose to police the Market in the future to prevent these type of postings.  More info as it comes in.



  • SaggyBalls

    Trolls come in many form factors. The best advice remains constant, don’t feed ‘em.

  • http://www.chuckfalzone.com Chuck Falzone

    I’m realizing that Google really has a fairly consistent policy, tho I’m not sure if they’ve articulated it anywhere: developers sign an agreement to have apps distributed in the Market, but Google takes a hands-off approach to it; they don’t actively police the Market looking for violations, but they respond appropriately if someone complains.

    As for whether it’s appropriate, I think they have, in some cases, a legal obligation (e.g. when a copyright holder complains about a violating app), and in other cases, we shouldn’t be surprised that Google expects developers to live up to the agreement they signed. Unlike the iOS platform, Android developers whose work doesn’t jive with the Market agreement’s standards have a lot of other options to distribute their app (alternative markets, direct download via the web, etc.)

  • Joe Acerbic

    Anybody including really obsessed and disturbed Apple fanbois can submit anything to the Android Market and wallpapers don’t require any development effort. Then anybody can choose what to do first: flag the app as offensive or run to scream about it on some blog as anti-Adroidic propaganda…

  • Sam

    Android is open source. The Android market and other Google apps are not open source. It’s a money making machine as it should be. I think it’s better not to keep throwing the word open source around. It’s just misleading. As for market content Google are just taking the flag/report YouTube approach.

  • bob

    I think googles action is equally disturbing. While i do not agree with that app or the imagery I think its a little facsistic of google to remove it.

    Who decides whats disturbing? According to facebook a naked arse is obscene, no matter how artistically its presented.

    If I wanted a sugar coated mobile phone experience i would have bought an iphone, I went with android because I was assured apples way of thinking wouldnt go on.
    I would like to see google spend time removing all the apps on their market that illegally break copyright (pretty much EVERY wallpaper app to start with) laws. I also dont want to see apps being sold for chinese currency because they are probably viruses.
    I would like to be able to sort search results by popularity.

    all basic things which are missing – work on those issues google and put your jackboot aside.

    • John

      Why don’t you download your naziwallpapers from whitepower?

      Android gives you every possibility to install your own .apk files, without the need to spread nazi propaganda to the masses, once again.

      This is not a question of free speech, but of our legal system.

    • paul

      I wonder sometimes if we sometimes have been so broad-minded that we are unwilling to decide whether or not a set of beliefs is valid or not. I would say up front that we don’t really have a good framework yet to establish such validity. In this position we are thus unable to call nazism what it has demonstrated itself to be: a tribally-based and oppressive set of beliefs that have not shown any kind of positive, let alone benign, influence on human society. I think it odd that you have called the removal of a fascist symbol itself fascist. What would you have said during the 1930’s and 1940’s about the rise of fascism at that time I wonder?

  • Steve Jobs

    I suggest that everybody google (or bing) this:

    “Michael Gartenberg” apple

    …and then cotemplate on the coincidence of this dude finding some hitler stuff on the Android Market and screaming about it on some blog instead of flagging it as offensive on the market which is very easy to do.

  • Pete

    Although I don’t support anything the nazis did or have done. I have got to say this. Who are we to decide what people can and can’t have on THEIR phones ? The road to hel is paved with good intentions.

  • John

    —————————————————————————————————————–
    “… whether or not the Android Market, being part of an open source ecosystem, is a place where apps like these need to be given the freedom to be sold … There are arguments on both sides, saying that the Market is at it’s base, a private business venture that Google has every right to police and set policy, there are yet others who say that a truly open source community would be one that would allow users to post whatever they want.”

    What kind of journalism is this?

    What does open source have to do with the right to promote genocide?
    This is not a question of free speech, but one of legal rights, piety and preserving freedom and liberty.

    Writing an article about pseudo standing points by unquoted sources, and leaving it open if it is right or not, does not have to do much with journalism.

    Did you not watch enough Holocaust Videos to lack a standing point?