There was a sudden shock before the end of the year for the team of We-Vibe, a sextoy brand owned by the WOW Tech Group: The app for controlling the popular toy was thrown out of Google’s Playstore without warning. After a quick change, the app was back online before Christmas.
After the app by the manufacturer of the We-Vibe was temporarily removed from Google’s App-Store, shortly before Christmas panic reigned at the WOW Tech Group headquarters. As usual in such cases, Google had not given a specific reason for the deletion from the important Play Store. As is so often the case, the app operator had to puzzle as to what had led to the violation of the prudish search engine operator’s guidelines.
We-Vibe speculated in the first report about the deletion of the We-Vibe App that maybe an overly explicit product image was responsible for the ban. The app and the description in the store were quickly updated and resubmitted. A short time later: The WOW Tech team breathed a sigh of relief. The app is now available again for all Android users.
Although the problem was quickly solved, it shows once again how dependent app manufacturers are on the de facto duopoly of Apple and Google in the app market. Especially companies in the erotic and adult entertainment sector are massively vulnerable: a tiny mistake or randomly changed censorship practices from one day to the next can make a crucial component of their business model invisible and/or unreliable.
A spokesperson from WOW Tech says: »We are grateful to our partners for their support in situations such as this. As you know, many companies and individuals in our industry continue to be banned or silenced on social and digital platforms. It’s essential that we continue to support each other.«
This is an important call at the end of the year, as in the coming months and years there will probably be further attempts at censorship and backward-looking laws directed against sexual self-determination and thus against the entire erotic and sex industry.
Under the hashtag #UnmutePleasure you can show solidarity with censorship victims and support freedom of expression and sexual self-determination.