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The Reason: Asking for donations for app development


StreetComplete is a free Android program built to help people contribute to the free wiki world map: OpenStreetMap. Google blocked the app from Google’s Play Store for asking donations from its users for its app development.

Google had previously shown support for the app when StreetComplete alleged two unidentified contractors were sabotaging their work. However, contributors noted frictions between the two as of some time.

Tobias Zwick, the developer of StreetComplete, mentioned in the project’s GitHub repository last month,

“Google’s policy doesn’t seem to make any difference between “in-app-payment” and donations (to FOSS software, at that) except if the donation is for a non-profit (i.e. tax-exempt) organization…”

He also noted, “Furthermore, it was rejected because they write I need to supply login credentials for them – i.e., login credentials for an OpenStreetMap account. It’s a bit absurd. Would they request login credentials for an email client too? Or an app that enables you to connect with your Google account?” (Source: StreetComplete on Github)

Earlier, StreetComplete used to ask its users if they would like to donate on its ‘About” page. It offered direct links to the GitHub Sponsors, Patreon and Liberapay. However, Google disapproved of that for The Play Store. So alternatively, they replaced it with a direct link to the app’s page on GitHub. All further links were mentioned there. But, Google rejected it again.

Read the full story here.

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