GOOGLE HAVE DECLARED DROIDSCRIPT IS MALWARE AND ACCUSED US OF AD FRAUD!

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Dave

unread,
Apr 24, 2021, 7:57:15 AMApr 24
to DroidScript
Yes, it's true, this is no joke!

The Google Play system has declared DroidScript is Malware and accused us of committing Ad Fraud!  Needless to say, we are extremely upset and totally flabbergasted at this shocking allegation. 

As some of you may have noticed, they removed DroidScript from the Play Store about two weeks ago.  We have been appealing against our removal ever since and we have strongly argued our innocence and asked them for an explanation - but Google won't listen and Google won't explain what we have done wrong!

This is going to affect a lot of people, DroidScript has a user base of over 100,000 people world wide and is used as a learning tool for many teachers, students and hobbyists as well as professional coders.

PLEASE HELP us fight this injustice, by spreading the word about our unfair treatment via tweeting and posting links to this article on tech and news forums. Also please contact any social media influencers that you may know.  If we can make enough noise about this, then Google might be shamed into treating us fairly.

Thank you for your support!

We have detailed the circumstances and our conversations with the Google Play support system/team below. Please read this and see for yourself how badly we have been treated by Google Play Support and their bots.

Sequence of events that led to DroidScript's removal from Google Play

31 March - We received notice via email that our Google Publisher/AdMob account has been disabled for 'Invalid traffic'.  This came totally out of the blue for us and we had no idea why Google's system suddenly decided that it didn't like our App after more than 12 months of Ad serving with no issues.  We only have a single Ad banner on our main app screen which we reluctantly added to cover our development and hosting costs.  

Here is the main part of the email from Google:


-------------------------------
adsense-...@google.com
31 Mar 2021, 13:52
to me

Hello,

With our advertising programmes we strive to create an online ecosystem that benefits publishers, advertisers and users. For this reason, we sometimes have to take action against accounts that show behaviour towards users or advertisers that may negatively impact how the ecosystem is perceived. In your case, we have detected invalid traffic or activity on your account (Publisher Code: pub-***************) and as a result it has been disabled. Because of this, the ability to serve and monetise through all products which depend on AdSense will also be disabled (for example, AdMob and YouTube).

We understand that you may want to know more about the issues that we’ve detected. Because this information could be used to circumvent our proprietary detection system, we’re unable to provide our publishers with information about specific account activity.

Ad Exchange account disabled for invalid traffic

Once you’ve made changes to your site(s), app(s) or channel(s) to comply with our programme policies and terms of service, you can reach out to us using our appeal process. Please make sure that you provide a complete analysis of your traffic or other reasons that may have led to invalid activity in your appeal.
...

-------------------------------

Ad Fraud! What? This can't be right, we thought.

In their email Google gives you the opportunity to appeal, but they ask you for a "complete analysis of your traffic or other reasons that may have led to invalid activity in your appeal".  Well, we had no idea what could have caused this and couldn't think of anything we could do in our App to fix this issue since Google provides so little information to go on.  All Google told us is we had 'invalid traffic' with no further information and worse still, a statement saying they are not even willing to give us anymore information! 

So we looked up Google's definition of 'Invalid Traffic' and made our best guess at what might have caused this issue and then submitted our appeal. Our main guess was that one of our users was experimenting with our AdMob ID after extracting it from our APK, but we have no evidence of this and no way of proving it. We thought that we might get the opportunity to change our AdMob ID or get some other suggestion from the Adsense team during the appeal process.

Shockingly, after just 11 minutes, we received the following rejection email, which was probably just an automated response:


-------------------------------
adsense-...@google.com
31 Mar 2021, 14:03
to me

Hello,

Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate your continued interest in our programme. However, after taking into consideration the information that you have provided, we have confirmed that we are unable to reinstate your publisher account.

Please note that your account will not receive further payments. You are not eligible for further participation in our publisher programmes, and may not create new accounts.

Thank you for understanding.

Sincerely,

The Google Ad Traffic Quality Team
-------------------------------


Thank you for understanding! You must be kidding, we certainly DO NOT understand how you can treat people like this.  How can they expect people to build organisations or businesses supported by advertising revenue, when they might be subject to this type of summary execution at any moment!

This was a devastating blow for us, particularly as there seemed to be no way to communicate further with Google about this issue.  They had just cut us off, along with 30% of our income stream and there seems to be nothing we can do about it!  We weren't even given the opportunity to have a reasonable conversation with someone in the AdSense team.

Upset, but determined to continue, we decided the best course of action was to remove the AdMob feature from our App completely, (the Ads had Stopped showing in our App anyway, because our AdMob ID was now invalid). Unfortunately we also have to inform our users that we could no longer support AdMob for use in their own apps either, because we can't test it anymore and can't guarantee that Google won't treat them in the same brutal way. So we began to work on a new release of DroidScript with AdMob completely stripped out.

But before we could get a new version ready, we received another, even more devastating blow from Google Play, when we received the following email:-


--------------------------------
Google Play Support <no-reply-googl...@google.com>
7 Apr 2021, 00:37
to me
 
Google Play
Developer update
 
Hi Developers at droidscript.org, After a recent review, DroidScript - JavaScript Mobile Coding IDE has been removed from Google Play.
Publishing status: Suspended

Your app has been suspended and removed due to a policy violation.
Reasons of violation
APK:206 Ad Fraud
App violates Ad Fraud policy.
...
--------------------------------


This was quickly becoming a nightmare!

This was not just a temporary removal where you get a chance to fix this issue and upload your app again (Like when Google change their developer policies and your app suddenly becomes non-compliant).  No, this was much more serious, Google informed us that we can not re-upload this App under the same package name again, meaning we will lose all or our hard earned user ratings, download statistics and all of our Premium subscribers which we have painstakingly built up over the last 7 years!  Our premium subscribers will in-turn lose access to all of the extra features of DroidScript as their subscriptions have started being automatically cancelled by Google and no one will be able to find our app on the Play Store anymore because our page ranking will be severely affected.  

By this time we started to get emails to our support team and posts on the forum from worried users asking where the DroidScript App had gone, including one from a worried teacher who could no longer find our App on the PlayStore as he needed it to teach his students that day.

This was even worse than losing the Ad revenue... now thousands of our users are being affected too. Luckily there is an appeal mechanism for Google Play and we thought, this time that we might get a more reasonable response than we did for AdMob, as in the past we have managed to at least have a human-human conversation with one of the Google Play support team (after eventually battling through the usual automated responses).

Unfortunately our confidence in them was misplaced... not only did they show no interest in investigating the problem with our AdMob account, Google then decided to accuse DroidScript of being Malware too!  

OMG! We were now starting to feel really persecuted by Google.

Please see the email conversation below that we had with Google Play Support and note their refusal to provide any detailed information which would allow us to actually fix the supposed policy violations. Please note Google's complete lack of understanding regarding the effect this will have on over 100,000 users and our organisation too.

[Note: Our appeal was sent on Wed, 7 Apr, 19:28, it took a full 12 days for them to respond! In the meantime we have lost all of our Ad revenue and our Premium subscribers are having their subscriptions automatically cancelled by Google on their renewal date. We have now had to warn our part-time coders and support staff that we won't have sufficient funds to pay their (already meagre) wages this month and maybe NEVER if this situation continues]

Our conversation with the Google Play Support Team follows:

--------------------------------------------------

googleplay-dev...@google.com
Mon, 19 Apr, 19:02
to David

Hi Developer

Thanks for contacting the Google Play team. I've received your appeal and I appreciate your patience while I look into it.

I'll let you know as soon as I have any additional information to share. Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.

Regards,
Cindy
The Google Play Team
Please visit the Google Play Developer Policy Center and Google Play's Academy for App Success to learn more about building policy compliant and high quality apps. You can also visit the Android Developers Blog for the latest Android and Google Play news for app and game developers.

--------------------------------------------------

David
19 Apr 2021, 21:37
to Google

Hi Cindy,

It's a relief to finally talk to a real human.  

We are a not-for-profit organization and we rely on our Admob and Subscription income to keep the lights on and our servers running.  This sudden suspension, with the potential loss of over 7 years worth PlayStore ratings and over 500 premium subscriptions will be a devastating blow to our community.  If we have to start again from scratch it will probably be the final nail in the coffin for us, as we already struggle to make ends meet.

Here is our website if you need more info:  https://droidscript.org/

In order to convince you that we are a legitimate and well intended organization, I also like to point out that that droidscript.org is also a graduate of Cambridge University Judge Business School, social enterprise scheme:

https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/faculty-research/centres/social-innovation/cambridge-social-ventures/our-ventures/droidscript/

We have over 100,000 thousand users, including many teachers and students and I have recently received a number of emails from worried teachers and users asking why our app has gone missing from the PlayStore.

I would appreciate it if you could also look into why our Admob account has been terminated (if you have that ability) because this constituted 30% of our income and its sudden termination with no proper explanation has also badly affected us.  Our appeal to Admob was rejected within a few minutes, which leads me to suspect that a bot was responding rather than a human. Unfortunately, because very little information is given by the Admob system at termination, we don't know why our account was terminated.  We can only guess that it is because a number of users (a [country name] group we believe) have cloned, or attempted to clone our app and this may have triggered some sort of alert in the Admob system.  However, if there turns out to be a problem with our implementation of Admob, then we can just about survive without that part of our app if necessary and we would be willing to remove that functionality.

I sincerely hope you can help restore our app for the sake of our community as soon as possible, this suspension has already cost us many hundreds of dollars so far and we are losing subscribers every day while it is in place.

Yours sincerely
David
(founder droidscript.org)

[Note: I now believe Cindy was probably a bot and this email fell on deaf ears]


--------------------------------------------------

googleplay-dev...@google.com
20 Apr 2021, 19:14
to me

Hi Developer,

Thanks for contacting the Google Play team.

Status of app: Suspended from Google Play due to policy violation

I’ve reviewed your appeal request and found that your app DroidScript - JavaScript Mobile Coding IDE, still violates Google Play Policy.

During review, we found that your app violates the Malware policy. We don't allow apps with any code that could put a user, a user’s data, or a device at risk. If your app was developed by a third party, we recommend contacting them to verify that they designed your app to comply with our policies.

You can read through the Malware policy page for more details and examples of common violations.

Your app is not compliant with the Ad Fraud policy. Ad fraud is strictly prohibited. Ad interactions generated for the purpose of tricking an ad network into believing traffic is from authentic user interest is ad fraud, which is a form of invalid traffic. Ads should not be shown in a way that results in inadvertent clicks. Forcing a user to click an ad or submit personal information for advertising purposes before they can fully use an app is prohibited. Ads should not appear after the user has exited the app, or after the user has pressed the back button to exit the app.

Please note that suspensions count as strikes against the good standing of your Google Play Developer account. Egregious or multiple policy violations can result in suspension, as can repeated app rejections or removals.

If your developer credentials are still in good standing with Google Play and if your app allows for it, you can publish a new compliant version of the app by following these steps:

Make the necessary changes to your app to address the issue described above, if possible. Double check that your app complies with all other Developer Program Policies. Additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.
Sign in to your Play Console and upload a new app using a new package name and a new app name.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your continued support of Google Play.


--------------------------------------------------

David
20 Apr 2021, 20:25
to Google

Hi,

We still don't believe our app violates either the 'Malware' or the 'Ad Fraud' policy.  Please explain to us exactly how our app violates these policies and we might have a chance of fixing the problems.

Regarding our Ad banner: Our app does not contain code for purposes of 'tricking' ad networks or users. We simply have a single ad banner at the bottom of our main screen.  We don't force users to click that banner.  When no adverts are currently available from the Google Ad network we show our own alternative advert for our Premium subscriptions.  This is by no means 'tricking a user'.

How can we hope to fix any issues if we aren't  informed of which specific part of each policy we are violating?  

Please help us sort out these issues.  There is simply not enough information given here!

Your sincerely
David


--------------------------------------------------

googleplay-dev...@google.com
20 Apr 2021, 21:54
to me

Hi Developer,

Thanks again for contacting the Google Play team.

Unfortunately I'm not able to comment on your planned implementation or provide a better answer to your question.

We don't allow apps with any code that could put a user, a user’s data, or a device at risk. If your app was developed by a third party, we recommend contacting them to verify that they designed your app to comply with our policies.

You can read through the Malware policy page for more details and examples of common violations.

Your app is not compliant with the Ad Fraud policy. Ad fraud is strictly prohibited. Ad interactions generated for the purpose of tricking an ad network into believing traffic is from authentic user interest is ad fraud, which is a form of invalid traffic. Ads should not be shown in a way that results in inadvertent clicks. Forcing a user to click an ad or submit personal information for advertising purposes before they can fully use an app is prohibited. Ads should not appear after the user has exited the app, or after the user has pressed the back button to exit the app.

If you have a different question, please let me know.

--------------------------------------------------

David
10:09
to Google

Hi,

Please explain why we have not been given an opportunity to make changes to our app and re-publish with the same package name?  

If we have to re-publish under another name we will have a strike against our account, lose over 7 years of hard work building our good rating and download stats (over 1 million downloads) and over 500 premium subscriptions will get automatically cancelled.  This will be a financial catastrophe for our not-for-profit organisation and those 500 users will lose their Premium features too.  This will also be a devastating blow to our community, many of which are educators and students who use this app in code clubs or at home to learn programming.  This will also generate bad publicity for Google Play as many of our users will undoubtedly be very vocal about this situation on social media.

We strongly believe that we are not in violation of the Google Play policies and the lack of detail regarding our supposed infringements make it almost impossible to come into compliance anyway, so if we re-publish, we are likely to be flagged up again for the same issues. We offered to remove Admob from our app and re-publish it, (even though we don't believe it to be in violation of the rules), but now suddenly we are also being accused of being Malware too and have not been given any proper explanation of why.  

Surely this is a very bad way to treat your developers and can only do harm to the Google Play team's reputation.

Yours sincerely
David
(founder droidscript.org)


--------------------------------------------------

googleplay-dev...@google.com
Wed, 21 Apr, 17:08
to me

Hi Developer,

Thanks again for contacting the Google Play Team.

As much as I'd like to help, I’m not able to provide any more detail or a better answer to your question. In our previous email, I made sure to include all the information available to me.

You should be able to find more about your issue here:Developer Policy Center
Thank you for your understanding.

--------------------------------------------------

GAME OVER!  What the hell do we do now?

You, the developer community are our only hope now. Please spread the word and help us in this David vs Goliath situation.  

This poor of treatment of developers can't be allowed to go unnoticed by the wider community.  We are not the first to get this sort of treatment and we won't be the last unless we fight back in the only way we can - by publicly denouncing Google. We must use 'people power' to embarrass them and tarnish their brand just enough to make them change their ways!

Yours sincerely
David
(founder droidscript.org)



Soji

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Apr 24, 2021, 9:37:49 AMApr 24
to DroidScript
Is there any way of moving the forum from Google groups to droidscript.org as a matter of urgency? You need to reduce your dependence on the Google infrastructure asap. If these groups are shut down also, it will be more of a disaster. 

Regards

Dave

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Apr 24, 2021, 10:05:34 AMApr 24
to DroidScript
Good point Soji,  but we are still hoping that Google will 'see the light' and reinstate us once someone senior enough sees what has happened.

If necessary, then we can move to a Discord server


Andries Redeye Studios

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Apr 24, 2021, 10:23:15 AMApr 24
to DroidScript
Sorry to bark in.I have made apps and games with droidscript that is now on the play store.most of them have ads.will it affect my account in anyway?

Dave

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Apr 24, 2021, 10:29:48 AMApr 24
to DroidScript
Hopefully it won't affect you because you have a different AdMob ID to us.

Nii Darko Darkoh

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Apr 24, 2021, 11:29:12 AMApr 24
to DroidScript

I want further enlightenment into this issue please. 
Is it that DROISCRIPT is shut down and we can't host apps 
developed with Droidscript on play store anymore or what?
Please help me know.

Steve Garman

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Apr 24, 2021, 12:57:38 PMApr 24
to DroidScript
There is nothing in what we have heard from Google that suggests people cannot continue to make apps with DroidScript and host them on Google Play

I see no reason to stop making apps with DroidScript

Chris

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Apr 24, 2021, 2:35:33 PMApr 24
to DroidScript
https://nodebb.org/

I recommend checking out this open-source forum as a possible alternative (NodeBB), it is Javascript (node.js) based, so it would interface well with Droidscript. It has a fast/responsive and pleasant interface and good features. Worth checking out at least if you're considering other options for the forum... (IMO that would be better than Discord).

It would also be really great if there was a way to purchase a monthly Droidscript licence directly (e.g., from Droidscript.org) without involving Google Play or Google Services. I don't know what percentage Google take in fees, but you would be avoiding that at least by having your own payment gateway (e.g.. Stripe is pretty good), etc. should be easy to build. Revolut are quite tech and doing payment gateways now too with low fees.

If Droidscript works without any dependency on Google and Google Play Services this would also serve the growing global community of people who are aware of what Google has done / is doing, along with other big tech companies and the negative impact this is having.

I would imagine the premium subscribers would be more than happy to switch over to a payment system on Droidscript.org for monthly subscriptions. You could get something going quite fast if you used Wordpress + Woocommerce Subscriptions + Stripe, etc.. and use webhooks linking to something which issues a licence. Or just build something from scratch... 

Worth considering as a possibility at least.. :)

If you want to stick with Google perhaps there is someone in the community who can offer some legal advice / a legal perspective on this issue and the e-mail exchange above (or developer who knows/has lawyers/solicitors). For example, Google are making a statement "Your app is not compliant with the Ad Fraud policy" but no evidence has been provided that this is the case. I think it's good to know 100% what your legal rights are in this situation.

Whatever happens it doesn't stop Droidscript from being awesome, that's the main thing. :)

Steve Garman

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Apr 24, 2021, 4:15:50 PMApr 24
to DroidScript
Thanks for your suggestions Chris and for your kind comments

I think DroidScript is in that strange pphase when it's not entirely clear the final break has come because there is so much that seems worth clinging to
It's not my place to say what it reminds me of

We know Google ruins businesses without ever really making it clear why, 
There really is a strong feeling that they shouldn't get away with it

furko.zo...@gmail.com

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Apr 24, 2021, 5:27:55 PMApr 24
to DroidScript
Just to do not feel alone:

I remember when one of my apps suspended. I got contact with Google why... and they said, because my app called a blog (which is also a Google property....) and they couldn't "link me" that blog.....  *deep sigh*. I must took a printscreen that this blog is mine (my e-mail address is the moderator e-mail address...). After that they withdrawn the suspended status..... *deep sigh* again..... in parallel, my admob account was penalized ...

That was the point when I vowed to connect to Google on as few points as possible ... I use Unity Ads, Facebook Ads, Admix Ads instead of Admob


The Droidscript is the best IDE on Android to develop Android apps... no doubt...... I love it so much.....

To the Ad Fraud event:
One very weak conjecture is that the admob ad sample (or something related to that) was believed to be advertising fraud. I am not sure..... I'm really not sure about that, just a hunch.

Nii Darko Darkoh

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Apr 25, 2021, 2:05:55 AMApr 25
to DroidScript
Hi Dave, 
I read a part of your submission as follows: 
"Our main guess was that one of our users was experimenting with our AdMob ID after extracting it from our APK, but we have no evidence of this and no way of proving it. We thought that we might get the opportunity to change our AdMob ID or get some other suggestion from the Adsense team during the appeal process."

I have something very important to share with DS. 
Just some few days ago, my credit card was used by someone to purchase a product called MAILCGART PRO 10.
I managed to quickly work with my bank to reverse the transaction.

How the criminal had my card details I don't know. But I know that among other things I used those card details to purchase 
DS products. Now that it's possible that someone could have used DS admob id, it gets me to think the DS should 
take extra steps in the direction of security especially source code security.

I hope we commit resources in this effort of improving DS. All that nonetheless I HAVE ALWAYS ADMITTED THAT DROIDSCRIPT IS GODSENT. ITS SPECIAL. Thank you guys.

Gerardo Hernandez

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Apr 25, 2021, 2:08:32 AMApr 25
to DroidScript
This is really worrying, I have and ongoing commercial development, but it has stalled in the last 2 weeks due to Google BS, and my customer is asking for progress. I had to rewrite everything in Xamarin Forms already to be able to deliver, but back to this matter.

Do as Fortnite, side loading application, and maintain your own subscription, possible via PayPal, I will be more than willing to pay a few bucks for the premium subscription I was using. 

I really expect this to be solved one way or the other.  This is the only JS tool out there that creates real application. It would be a shame to lost this gem.

If you decide to publish any video disclosing this to the general public, let us  know so we can add pressure. Sometimes thing can only become nice again after you being quite nasty.

On a side note, Google is becoming Evil, and Microsoft the cool Guy to hang around with (yeah, its uying a lot of enterprises.....), other than Android and Youtube, I dont really like any G product, despite my repetitive efforts to embrace it I gravitate to other providers every single time.

Sadly, google is really focused on specific topics, and it seems developers are not part of that list. With your customer base I would expect Google trying to acquire Droidscript, not going nuclear mode and taking down your app and messing around with the apps userbase.

This action its the ultimate Google statement, "Do as you please, it doesnt really matter, We have the entire control and we can plug the cord and its over"


Guys, sorry for the rant, but this situation might be comical on the years to come, but right now, its nothing less that tragical.

DS Team, keep up the good work and really, look for alternatives, there are several of us willing to pay for the subscription to keep it going, And open a Patreon, that migh help as well.

Steve Garman

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Apr 25, 2021, 6:13:24 AMApr 25
to DroidScript
I am sorry that people have been struggling longer than we intended without Premium

What we can offer currently is a 
3 month subscription for $9 US or a
Lifetime subscription for $99 US

Payment is only by PayPal

If you are interested in either subscrption please email sup...@droidscript.org for more details

Your licence will work on your current version of DroidScript so will not require a download

Elvis Sogunro

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Apr 25, 2021, 8:33:19 AMApr 25
to DroidScript
Guys, I have a tweet out there, let's support it and let it catch fire 🔥
@elvis_so

Freddy Vandriessche

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Apr 25, 2021, 9:28:27 AMApr 25
to DroidScript
Droidscript is one of the few fully mobile app development IDE's that includes a plug-in architecture for app compliation and many innovative integration patters.
Hey chaps from Google, IDE's like this one should get another status.  I do understand that Droidscript can expose vulnerabilities, but which compiler doesn't ? 

Best regards
Fred

Oreste Parlatano

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Apr 25, 2021, 2:37:12 PMApr 25
to DroidScript
Maybe is the occasion of getting rid of Google Play and use a dedicated distribution channel, btw is there a channel that provide services as Google does?

T. Lee

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Apr 25, 2021, 3:08:30 PMApr 25
to DroidScript
"Maybe is the occasion of getting rid of Google Play and use a dedicated distribution channel, btw is there a channel that provide services as Google does?"


Side note: Can we please get off Google Groups?

Gautam Mehta

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Apr 26, 2021, 6:20:32 AMApr 26
to DroidScript
I was googling trying to find some solution.
Came accross this:

See if it helps...

And yeah we truly love DS😘

sda...@gmail.com

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Apr 26, 2021, 6:25:38 AMApr 26
to DroidScript


Hi David,
I'm supporting droidscript with my little montly contribution for more than 4 years as premium user. Making my own little proyects with this brillant ide.
Doesn't understand google (GODgle) point.
Go fligjht, no surrender.
Thanks
Message has been deleted

Serhei Scrabin

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Apr 27, 2021, 8:44:05 AMApr 27
to DroidScript
You can post a demo version of DroidScript on GooglePlay

понедельник, 26 апреля 2021 г. в 13:25:38 UTC+3, sda...@gmail.com:

Dave

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Apr 27, 2021, 11:37:27 AMApr 27
to DroidScript
I'm pretty sure that demo apps that link to external APKs are against the many rules of Google Play.

Dan Fabulich

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Apr 27, 2021, 11:29:49 PMApr 27
to DroidScript
Your post doesn't indicate whether you have submitted a new version of DroidScript that excludes ads. If you haven't tried that yet, I strongly recommend doing so.

Submit a new version, with release notes "removed all ads." If/when Google rejects the new version of DroidScript for "Ad fraud," you can honestly say "This app can't be used for ad fraud, because it contains no ads."

I would not recommend waiting around and hoping that you can make enough noise on social media to get someone internal at Google to escalate your rejection. Just keep submitting.

Speaking for myself, my company was banned from AdSense in 2010, and we've never been allowed back into the program, but we're still allowed to publish Android apps. Don't bother arguing with the reviewer(s); just keep pushing versions until they accept that you've fixed the issue or they refuse to accept new versions.

You've got this. Keep trying. Good luck!

Niño Mollaneda

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Apr 28, 2021, 12:58:42 AMApr 28
to DroidScript
I think you missed the part where they mentioned they were about to do that but then Google banned them from releasing new versions of the app (with the same package name).

"This was not just a temporary removal where you get a chance to fix this issue and upload your app again (Like when Google change their developer policies and your app suddenly becomes non-compliant).  No, this was much more serious, Google informed us that we can not re-upload this App under the same package name again.."

Soji

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Apr 28, 2021, 1:21:33 AMApr 28
to DroidScript
You need to realize that you have become a formidable competition to Google and they are out to kill droidscript. Apps created with droidscript are being rejected from the playstore with the proviso for developers to use Android Studio and other excuses that were not issues previously. A way out is for serious developers to create a parallel and probably more efficient version of the playstore. 

Regards

Message has been deleted

Dave

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Apr 28, 2021, 7:07:27 AMApr 28
to DroidScript
You maybe thinking, well why not just re-publish DS under a new package name and start from scratch?  

First of all, if we just roll over and accept this permanent suspension, then that will count as a 'strike' against our developer account. 

Second, if we re-submit DS without fixing whatever makes them think DS is Malware, then we will just get another suspension and a second strike which will give Google a reason to close down our developer account completely!  Since they (or the bots) wont' tell us why their system classifies us as Malware, we cannot fix the problem (if it really exists).

It's incredibly frustrating and a totally unfair way of treating developers.

Dave

unread,
Apr 28, 2021, 7:37:29 AMApr 28
to DroidScript
So far I don't think we have been in contact with a human being yet at Google, it's just been automated responses.  

In a final attempt to get a real human to review our case, we need to start posting material on tech forums and tech news sites, for example Reddit, xda-developers and others.  I have managed to get an article in TheRegister which probably describes our situation in a more understandable form, so I suggest we start posting links to this:


Please join me in the fight against the machines. I still think there is some hope for DroidScript.... and humanity!

FYI: Some of you may know me as Dave Smart, this was a historical pseudonym/handle I used for my old (now defunct) smartphoneremote website which contained various educational apps related to smart watches and lego mindstorms.

Vadim Lebedev

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Apr 28, 2021, 9:48:17 AMApr 28
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Dave

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Apr 28, 2021, 11:00:03 AMApr 28
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Yep, that's a helpful article and a sensible warning to all developers.

I've also just completed a warning article on Medium too:

Serhei Scrabin

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Apr 29, 2021, 4:09:44 AMApr 29
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I wonder if GooglePlay blocks previous versions of DroidScript. And second, does GooglePlay have a test to check if the app is suitable for publishing on GooglePlay?

среда, 28 апреля 2021 г. в 18:00:03 UTC+3, Dave:

Muhammad Zawawi

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Apr 29, 2021, 6:58:23 PMApr 29
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Welcome to the party bro. There is nothing you can do to fight this stupid system eventhough a lot of dev already banned before this like in your situation. 
You can just make your article become viral to reach their and then they will reinstated your apps. So shame with Google.

Serhei Scrabin

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Apr 30, 2021, 4:22:58 AMApr 30
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I am handicapped by the second group and DroidScript is an indispensable assistant, a means of occupation and pastime. I think that there are people with loss of health, which this app helps a lot. I wouldn't want it to disappear. I hope for your understanding. Thanks.

пятница, 30 апреля 2021 г. в 01:58:23 UTC+3, zawaw...@gmail.com:

Andries Redeye Studios

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Apr 30, 2021, 4:50:26 AMApr 30
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I have a suggestion.if droidscript subscribers are so loyal as they say they will surely move to a cloned version of droidscript and yes it will take time.if they want to make another droidscript app here is a few suggestions

Remove admob including admob example with the ad unit id.
Change to other ad providers like Facebook ads.remember one time I start a thread of admob thinking I am droidscript because I was running the example a few times.(don't worry I never click on ads)
Remove everything from google where users can intentionally or unintentionally make trouble for the app.
Never include sensitive information in examples

If users have a important app they don't want to lose then they can make SPK and import it in new app.
Hope it helps and also hope for new improved against googles tyrrany,droidscript app

Ángel Alonso

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Apr 30, 2021, 1:08:10 PMApr 30
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First I apologize for my English, it is from the Google translator, and what I am thinking is ... What if DroidSript enters a platform like Aptoide with microtransaction in AppCoins and faceboock advertising and other ads?

It's a suggestion

Dave

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May 1, 2021, 5:42:18 AMMay 1
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WE ARE BACK!

After 25 days in the wilderness, we have finally got through to a human at Google (even if all they did was press a button to generate a canned response).  

I'm pretty sure we were re-instated due to all the pressure on social media and because of the support we got from major tech news sites such as theregister.com and xda-developers.com

We have been given 7 days to modify the App and come into compliance with Google Play policies.  Clearly we  should have been given this opportunity in the first place, however it is still not totally clear what caused our app to be removed and there is no mention of the 'Malware' accusation.  It seems from the email below that they are citing 'Unintentional Clicks' on the Ad banner as the cause of the problem.  We have never had any reports from our users regarding problems with the Ad banner (it's been running with no issues for over a year) and it's certainly not our intention to provoke unintentional clicks in our App.

We have already done the work to strip AdMob out of DroidScript and I don't intend to put it back after this very unnerving experience.  We can't risk something like this happening again!  We lost nearly a months worth of revenue due to this debacle.

I'm still very nervous (and slightly suspicious) about the 'Malware' accusation and confused as to why there is no mention of this anymore.  I will try to communicate with Google Play support about this point and find out exactly why they said that.

Here's the main part of re-instatement email we received earlier today from Google Play support:

-------------------------------------------------------------

Hi David,

Thanks for contacting the Google Play team.

Status: App is now live on Google Play, update to be fully compliant within 7 days

I’m happy to report that we have conditionally accepted your appeal and reinstated your app. You can find Version Name 2.06 of your app live on Google Play here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartphoneremote.androidscriptfree.

I’ve included details below about what additional steps you’ll need to take to be fully compliant with Google Play Policy.

Step 1: Update your app

We found that your app is currently in violation of Google Play policy.  Please resolve this issue within 7 days of the issuance of this notification or your app will be suspended from Google Play.

During review, we found that your app violates the Ad Fraud policy. We don’t allow Ad interactions generated for the purpose of tricking an ad network into believing traffic is from authentic user interest. This is ad fraud, which is a form of invalid traffic.

You can read through the Ad Fraud policy page for more details and examples of common violations.

Please update the banner/monetization feature of this app to protect the ads from unintentional clicks to fix this issue. You may also want to double check that your app complies with all other Developer Program Policies, as additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.

...

-------------------------------------------------------------






Dave

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May 1, 2021, 6:03:28 AMMay 1
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FYI: Here is the xda-developers article which was published yesterday and probably helped with putting extra pressure on Google:

Fatih Elitas

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May 1, 2021, 4:06:54 PM (13 days ago) May 1
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This is good news. 
Google needs to provide more detailed information about the problems, but google does not.

1 Mayıs 2021 Cumartesi tarihinde saat 13:03:28 UTC+3 itibarıyla Dave şunları yazdı:
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