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A group of developers criticised Apple for mistakenly removing apps from its App Store in its bid to tackle gambling content.
Several developers tweeted that their apps, some of which had no link with gambling, were removed from the App Store.
A gif-sharing service, a platform for sending clips of Xbox games to friends and even a Polish magazine were among those culled by the tech giant.
A Poker simulation game called THTouch was also culled. Its developer, Pit Garbe, said: “[It] doesn’t matter whether it involves money or is just a simulation… gambling apps by individual developers are now banned.”
“Just shy of its 10th anniversary, my Poker game (@thtouch) gets the boot from Apple. The reason? Gambling apps by individual developers are now banned. Doesn’t matter whether it involves money or is just a simulation. pic.twitter.com/Wqhx9adeeX — Pit Garbe (@leberwurstsaft) August 9, 2018.”
The developers of the affected apps were notified via a message from Apple that it was removing gambling-related apps in an effort to “reduce fraudulent activity… and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity.”
According to reports, Apple is working to bring some of the accidentally-purged apps back online.
“Apple says these apps contain gambling but they don’t reveal how they have detected this,” said Simon Stovring, a Copenhagen-based developer behind a gif-sharing app called Gifferent.
“It seems like an unfortunate but honest mistake,” he told the BBC.
Stovring said about 10 fellow developers had contacted him to say that they too had been hit by the ban.
Co-owner of Polish app iMagazine, Wojtek Pietrusiewicz, said it had also been “caught in the crossfire” after he saw his app, which has thousands of users, taken down for a total of 15 hours.
The affected developers believe they might have been affected by the purge unnecessarily because their apps contain access to the wider internet, which allows users to potentially click through to gambling content.
While it did not cause any serious issues, Pietrusiewicz said it did result in “one angry comment from a reader and a lot of stress for our team.”
Source: European Gaming Industry News