How Google destroys projects of small peoples without the right to a human approach to appeal

Avatar Creator Factory
5 min readOct 30, 2020

An open letter from a humble independent developer that is addressed to the Android community and especially Purnima Kochikar, Director of Google Play, Apps & Games at Google.

I am an independent Android developer from Chita (Russia), an area located beyond lake Baikal, and I belong to a small nation that is on the verge of extinction, a people called Evens. Living in the far East, it is very difficult for us to create and develop a business, especially in the field of developing and promoting software products. Starting with the lack of qualified teachers and ending with an unstable Internet connection. But I was able to grow myself as a Creator of projects called Avatar Maker Factory.

There are 27 apps published in my account that are avatar makers — apps for creating avatars of various characters. The total number of installations is slightly less than a million.

My Google Play account

To be more precise, 27 apps were published in my account. Next, I will tell you more about the sad history of my account — how Google removed 11 apps due to violations of the rules of repetitive content and in the near future will destroy my account due to multiple violations of the rules in the account.

Examples of avatar maker, published in my account
  • July 2019: creating an Avatar Maker Factory account;
  • August 3, 2019: publication of the first app;
  • September 27, 2020: publication of the latest app;
  • October 6, 2020, 01.13 (local times): deleting 11 apps from your account;
  • October 6, 2020, 15:20: creating and sending an appeal by me (4–6235000030489);
  • October 14, 2020,14:23: Google Play Team’s response confirming the violation and the inability to restore deleted apps;
  • October 15, 2020, 14:34: I sent a letter requesting that my block be reviewed;
  • October 16, 2020, 17:48: repeated application recovery failure;
  • October 16, 2020, 19:59: my disagreement with the result of the support work, left without attention;
  • October 30, 2020, 18:17: I am writing an email to medium in the hope of restoring applications and preventing account deletion.

For more than a year, I worked with my friend, a graphic designer, to create avatar makers in which you can create an avatar of various characters. The application is a set of graphic elements that are superimposed on each other to form the avatar of the character that the set is dedicated to. Users of the app choose items from the list themselves and create an avatar while they are working. Every time you use the app and use different avatar makers with different characters, the user experience is always unique. To make it more clear, I will present some examples of remote applications.

Some apps deleted by Google Play

Removed apps for creating avatars of a Princess, a Horse, a Dog, a Cat, and a Dancing couple, among others. I am more than sure that the duplicate content rules that Google removed apps for violating are not violated by these apps, because the graphics resources, package name, app name, app descriptions, screenshots, and banner, the end result of the user experience in all apps is unique.

The only thing that was common for all remote and “live” applications was the platform on which avatar makers were created. We ordered the platform from a third-party company and it is an ordinary project in Android Studio. I believe that our apps do not violate the rules of repetitive content.

Fragment of the rules that my apps were removed for violating

Each app is unique and allows you to get a completely different user experience.

In response to my appeal, the Google Play team provided the following examples of violations:

The support response on Google Play

The user experience when using each remote app is completely different.

What can a horse and a Princess have in common and the same?

When using the app avatar Princess maker, the user gets a picture of the Princess, when using avatar maker horse user gets a picture of a horse, using avatar maker boys user gets a picture of the boy, using avatar maker anime selfie, the user gets a picture of a girl making a selfie.

The avatar of a Princess, a horse, a boy and a girl taking a selfie have significant differences, don’t they?

Examples of apps that violate the rules that support lists in the response to the appeal

The essence of my letter, as everyone probably already guessed, is a request for human attitude and objective consideration of my appeal regarding the removal of 11 applications from the Avatar Maker Factory account. I understand that due to the current situation against the background of the pandemic, Google Play support staff have to endure inconveniences at work and are constantly at risk of infection, just like all of us. But still, I ask that you please review my appeal again with due attention and immersion in my problem. It will be difficult for me to overcome the difficulties associated with the coming pandemic without my project. After all, the project is all I have to provide for my family, the even family. We are a strong people, even though there are very few of us left. We are strong and ready to fight for our rights against unfair rules and inhumane treatment. I know that Google has a policy to protect national minorities, and I hope you will not ignore my letter. Thanks!