NY State Senator Asks Google To Ban Conversion Therapy Application
Google’s Play Store is presently hosting a gay conversion therapy application from Living Hope Ministries (a religious group). The application offers consumers access to text devotionals, recordings of sermons, and minimum one podcast; there is a section for “assistance,” which comes into view to mostly contain stories telling gay users that their sexuality can be changed or ignored.
For Brad Hoylman (New York State Senator)—whose bill banning conversion treatment in New York was lately signed into regulation, and who symbolizes the district where Google has its headquarters—that is unconscionable. “Google is aiming to have almost 7,000 workers in our Senate district, so I might ask them to eliminate the app immediately,” he claims. “I am expectant that they will witness the harm that this type of message sends to the families and kids.” New York is the 15th state to prohibit the practice of conversion treatment—the broadly-disgraced pseudoscientific way of trying to alter an individual’s sexuality to straight from gay using prayer.
On a related note, Google earlier was on a cleaning spree for Play Store and rolled out anti-spam system that recognizes fake ratings and reviews. This system will assist Google clean up bad applications, and remove false rating and reviews posted via unethical means. The tech behemoth employs its new ML anti-spam system to evaluate which review is real, and which is profane or fake in nature. Google observes that the system was capable of spotting millions of false reviews, unavoidably resulting in removal of hundreds of bad applications from the Play Store.
Unethical means such as incentivized ratings often result in bloated average ratings for the app. Developers conduct campaigns where they provide consumers valuable in-app purchases or money in return for good reviews and ratings. This results in fake praise only for that incentive, and it is not unavoidably the true feedback of the consumer.