This post gives some prescriptive guidance to our policy updates, and explains our Deceptor listing policy, for affiliates, download sites, and the affiliated apps.
If your affiliate site offers downloaded apps:
- Make it clear that you are an affiliate of the app you are promoting, and not the maker of the app.
If your affiliate site provides removal instructions for malware, spyware, adware, Deceptors, or other "threats", and also offers an app:
- Do not claim that the app will remove the threat, unless you back up that claim with evidence.
- Get specific in your descriptions of the threat. Screen shots from the threat, actions the threat takes on the consumer machine, references to landing pages and makers, are all great ways to get specific. Making only generic or only "maybe" statements that can be found on many pages are not good ways to be specific.
If your site is a download site:
- Make sure you have permission to store/download the apps. If you don't have permission, point the consumer to app's landing page.
- If you are going to install a download manager and not the app, be clear about this, and don't mislead the consumer into thinking they are getting just the app's official installer.
- Make sure the ads you display don't masquerade as your "download" button. Use ad policies and ad network settings to control the content (for example, AdSense policies can block sensitive ads), and monitor your site to keep it compliant. If you cannot control the ad content, do not place the ads close to your download buttons.
Our policy for Deceptor listing:
- If an affiliate or download site comes to us with questions and we find violations, and if they commit to work in good faith with us, we'll generally give them two weeks to make their changes.
- When we hunt and find a violating affiliate or download site, we will generally list the site as an active Deceptor. The site owner can work with us to clear it (see below).
- If the affiliate app or download manager has directed their affiliate network to require our approval, we will work with the affiliate network.
- If the affiliated app or download manager is working with us to get certified, we will warn them.
- If neither of the cases apply, we will list the affiliated app or download manager as an active Deceptor, following our supply chain accountability policy.
You can find all our requirements, more prescriptive guidance, and some examples of good and violating behavior at our checklist page.
Your affiliate network or affiliated app may require our approval before you're authorized to offer some apps. Just let us know, and we're happy to give you feedback. Please note, though, that we expect that you'll work in good faith with us to fix all your sites.
If we have called out your site or affiliated app/download manager as an active Deceptor, we'll work with you, for free, to answer your questions, and to re-evaluate it and hopefully get it off our active Deceptor list. Just read our faq, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you're ready.