Google Reinstates Co-Star App After It Claims 'Anti-Astrology' Bias

By Sarah Basford on at

Popular astrology app Co-Star has been reinstated on the global Google Play Store after it was unceremoniously struck off due to alleged metadata violations in a very Scorpio move.

The AI-powered app alleged Google removed it from the store on February 5, citing metadata policy violations. Co-Star argued it was a small company on Instagram and Twitter and that Google had an "anti-astrology" prejudice against them. It also urged fans of the app to join them at Google HQ in protest if it wasn't reinstated within two days.

Ten hours after Co-Star had posted its complaints, it had been allowed back onto the Android app store. Google refused to comment on the record for this story.

The "Metadata Policy" in question refers to Google's rules about how apps should present information on the store.

"We don't allow apps with misleading, improperly formatted, non-descriptive, irrelevant, excessive, or inappropriate metadata, including but not limited to the app's description, developer name, title, icon, screenshots, and promotional images," Google's metadata policy outlines. "Developers must provide a clear and well-written description. We also don't allow unattributed or anonymous user testimonials in the app's description."

Co-Star alleges it doesn't sell user data or make money off ads. We've reached out to confirm why the company believes it was temporarily taken off the store.

The app found popularity for its tongue-in-cheek takes on astrology and its efforts to mix NASA data in with more in-depth readings of a user's birth information. User reviews claim it offers a more tailored and detailed amount of information relating to their astrological signs.

While it launched on Apple's App store in October 2017, it was only launched for Android devices in mid-January 2020.

"When we launched on iPhone two years ago, we knew we had created something important; something that actually facilitated intimacy in the desert of our social relations," Co-Star said of its foray onto the Google Play Store.

"Since the beginning, we've suspected Co–Star could be everywhere. For now, at least we're on Android."


Gizmodo Australia is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.