Google adding content ratings to Android Market

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will add content ratings to applications available through its Android Market virtual storefront in an effort to assist consumers to better determine whether an app is appropriate for them. Google is introducing four Android content ratings: All, Pre-Teen, Teen and Mature. The Android Market Help website supplies the following developer guidelines:

  • Apps that include references to drugs, alcohol or tobacco products or their use should be rated "Teen" or above. Apps that focus on the consumption or sale of drugs, alcohol or tobacco should be rated "Mature." Illegal activity or content that is targeted at minors is not allowed in Android Market.
  • Apps with gambling themes or that include simulated gambling should be rated "Teen" or above. Real gambling is not allowed in Android Market.
  • Hate speech is not allowed in Android Market. If your app includes inflammatory content that may be offensive to many users, please rate it "Teen" or above.
  • Applications rated "All" should not ask users for their location at any point. Apps that ask to access course or fine location data should be rated "Pre-Teen" or above. Apps that enable users to publish or share their location with others should be rated "Teen" or above.
  • Apps that include profanity or crude humor should be rated "Teen" or above.
  • Apps that include suggestive or sexual references should be rated "Teen" or above. Apps that focus on such content should be rated "Mature." Pornography is not allowed in Android Market.
  • Apps rated "All" should not host any user-generated content or enable communication between users. Apps that focus on allowing users to find and communicate with each other should be rated "Teen" or above.
  • Apps that include mild cartoon or fantasy violence should be rated "Pre-Teen" or above. Realistic or intense fantasy violence should be rated "Teen" or above. Graphic violence should be rated ‘"Mature." Gratuitous real violence is not allowed in Android Market.

Google adds that ratings do not need to reflect the difficulty or quality of a given Android application. "As the developer, you are ultimately responsible for rating your application in the appropriate category," Google states. "Please note that users can notify us if they believe your app is incorrectly rated. If we agree that the flagged app is incorrectly rated, we will re-rate it per our guidelines. Repeat offenders may be subject to further action, up to and including account termination."

For more:
- visit the Android Market Help site

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