An extremely insensitive app has landed the Google Play store at the center of a controversy over what it allows developers to sell on its platform.
'Bomb Gaza' is an Android game for phones and tablets in which users take control of an Israeli jet with the goal of dropping bombs while avoiding civilians. As the Guardian reports, it became the focus of a firestorm not long after the game made its way to the Google Play store on July 29.
Commenters flooded the app's message board to condem the game's attempt to capitalize on a conflict that has killed over 1,800 people, including nearly 300 children. Despite the controversial topic, the app was downloaded over a 1,000 times since it became available, per The Independent.
So far, Google Play has not commented on the outrage, though a current search through the store reveals that it seems to have disappeared from the catalog.
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 4, 2014
Google Play is notoriously more tolerant than Apple in what it allows developers to sell in its store. The policy guidelines show that though the store doesn't allow spam or "most nudity," it doesn't have any explicitly stated rules on offensive content or violence.
'Bomb Gaza' is not the only app that deals with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Several other apps are still available in the store, including 'Iron Dome,' a missile-defense game, and 'Gaza Hero,' which describes itself as a charity game for Gaza and encourages users to donate money that will ostensibly be used for relief work.
Developer PLAY FTW, the creator of 'Bomb Gaza,' has two other games currently listed in the app store, one a colorful space-shooter and the other a simple, peaceful piano simulator.