As TikTok faces backlash, Google deletes negative reviews

As millions of users flood TikTok with negative reviews, Google flexes its muscle by deleting millions of it.

TikTok is fast becoming to be the world’s top social media platform. However, as cracks within the platform emerge, people are mass reporting the app in the millions. Since TikTok is available on the App Store, Google responds by deleting millions of these negative reviews.

The controversy that started it all

Weeks ago, Indian TikTok star Faizal Siddiqui posted what appears to be a video spoofing an acid attack. Millions were quick to criticize the video which eventually led Siddiqui to take it down and issue an apology.

However, the entire fiasco did not sit well with millions of people in India where an acid attack is fairly common. Indians flock the Google App Store to write negative reviews in an effort to bring TikTok down.

The mass review bomb appears to be effective. Millions of reviewers manage to bring TikTok’s rating from 4.5 to 1.2 stars in just a single day. User’s app satisfaction also drop from 86% to just 39%.

The massive negative reception also led to TikTok banning Siddiqui’s account. As of this writing, TikTok has reactivated the account but no new content has been added.

A TikTok spokesperson says:

“The behavior in qustion violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.”

According to reports, users bomb more than seven million 1-star reviews to bring TikTok down. Additionally, some users appear to use fake accounts just to bring down the app’s rating.

Reaction from Google

Following the massive review bomb, Google makes its reactive measures. The tech giant deletes more than five million reviews which it claims are fake. The tech community criticizes this action claiming that Google is abusing its power as a platform for abusive apps.

Siddiqui’s fiasco prompts many users to dig deeper into TikTok’s archives. Users were able to unearth hundreds of videos that depict racism, child abuse, animal cruelty, and domestic violence. This puts both Google and TikTok in relatively negative limelight.

Following Google’s action to delete the negative reviews, TikTok’s rating slightly recover. As of this writing, the app has a rating of 1.6.

Google maintains its stance claiming that the reviews were made from fake accounts. This is why the tech giant decides to delete them, adding that they violate community rules.

Image courtesy of Kon Karampelas/Unsplash

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