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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:04 PM   #1
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Apple Cracking Down on Fake App Store Reviews




Apple recently began cracking down on fake reviews in the App Store, a widespread problem that can affect both App Store rankings and Top Charts. According to research done by TechCrunch, Apple appears to have started removing false reviews earlier this year.

One app, Better Fonts Free, which is described by TechCrunch as "spammy," saw thousands of its June ratings disappear overnight. While the app has just 4,000 reviews at the current point in time, it previously had more than 20,000. Developers have no way to remove reviews, which means the fake reviews were pulled by Apple.

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Instead, what happened is that Apple did step in to remove this app's ratings due to attempts by the developer to game the system. What's more, this is not the first time the company has done this, we now understand.

In fact, any time Apple finds credible evidence of ratings fraud or manipulation, it can and "often" does take action to remove the ratings associated with that activity.
There are several websites and marketing services that allow developers to purchase fake five-star reviews in an attempt to game the App Store charts, improving their rankings and their downloads. Apple has warned against these practices in the past, suggesting that developers who utilize services to manipulate their App Store rankings could be banned from Apple's developer program, so it is no surprise that the company has been quietly removing fake reviews.

It is unclear how Apple determines which reviews are false, but as anyone who has stumbled across a fake review in the App Store knows, they are often easy to spot. Most fake reviews use the same general wording, structure, and punctuation, in addition to being overly positive. The reviews below come from a low-quality highly-ranked app that has a perfect five star rating.

Apple has made several changes to the App Store in recent months with the aim of improving app discoverability. In late 2013, the App Store began compensating for small typos and misspellings and the company also implemented changes to the way apps are ranked for the Top Charts.

Just yesterday, Apple added a new 'Browse by Category' section ahead of major improvements being introduced to the App Store with iOS 8, including a new "Explore" tab and a search overhaul that includes trending and related searches.

Article Link: Apple Cracking Down on Fake App Store Reviews
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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samsung would hire more of these people to review apps.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:06 PM   #3
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This is really good news. There are often so many clearly fake reviews for apps.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:07 PM   #4
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Finally, they are doing something to stop this. It's very annoying to see these irrelevant reviews when your trying to buy an app.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:08 PM   #5
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Maybe they look to see if they were all submitted by the same ip address.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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I don't know their rules now, but to me it seems for posting a review or rating an app, at least two things must exist:

1. The reviewer must have purchased that app with the apple ID they are reviewing.

2. Only one review per apple id/credit card number

Also, a review should be revoked if a refund has been issued. A max number of reviews per IP address and/or name/billing address would help too.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:10 PM   #7
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Now App Creators will have to pay people to post "real" reviews
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furi0usbee View Post
I don't know their rules now, but to me it seems for posting a review or rating an app, at least two things must exist:

1. The reviewer must have purchased that app with the apple ID they are reviewing.

2. Only one review per apple id/credit card number

Also, a review should be revoked if a refund has been issued. A max number of reviews per IP address and/or name/billing address would help too.
I think they have rule one already on the MAS.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furi0usbee View Post
I don't know their rules now, but to me it seems for posting a review or rating an app, at least two things must exist:

1. The reviewer must have purchased that app with the apple ID they are reviewing.

2. Only one review per apple id/credit card number

Also, a review should be revoked if a refund has been issued. A max number of reviews per IP address and/or name/billing address would help too.
Yes I was correct.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:19 PM   #10
xoAnna
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Very happy to see this finally taking effect! Fake reviews/reviewers are the worst - I never download an app without first reading a bunch of its reviews, both good and the bad ones and then I weigh the negative vs positive opinions so as to make a sound buying decision (obviously)…so just to reiterate I’m enthused to see Apple taking this sort of thing seriously. Now, if only Yelp would follow suit…
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:20 PM   #11
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Trying to stop astroturf reviewers is like shoveling against the tide. We as consumers have to understand that crowd-sourced online reviews are fundamentally of no value.

Bring back the professional reviewer with knowledge, a track record, and a reputation.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:20 PM   #12
MacGeek1987
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To leave a review on the Mac App Store you must have actually purchased the app. I don't see why they don't implement the same rule on the other stores. Looking at a book on Pre-Order that doesn't come out for months and it has hundreds of "reviews". Not helpful.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:23 PM   #13
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Thank you so much blackberry team... /s
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:23 PM   #14
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Any review that contains that inane word "amazeballs" should be automatically deleted anyway.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:25 PM   #15
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Gotta love the wording in that ad, "Buy 100% Real iPhone App Reviews". I mean if you pay for them they are 100% fake, no?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:25 PM   #16
Larry-K
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Now, if they'd just crack down on the "Real" reviews...
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGeek1987 View Post
To leave a review on the Mac App Store you must have actually purchased the app. I don't see why they don't implement the same rule on the other stores. Looking at a book on Pre-Order that doesn't come out for months and it has hundreds of "reviews". Not helpful.
Does not matter. You pay for the review agency, then the agency buy the app in masses, then they register batch of Apple ID to make review. This has been done and will continue doing so, there is not much Apple can do beside massive deletion of reviews and banning associate Apple ID.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:28 PM   #18
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This is really dumb. Developers that buy fake reviews are in clear violation of the developer agreement. Apple should not be spending time & energy removing fake reviews, instead they should warn the developer once, then kick them off the App Store!
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:28 PM   #19
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I'd rather Apple showed the slightest interest in quality control. Anything that appears on the App Store really should have that Cupertino Ring of Confidence to it.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:29 PM   #20
subsonix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IJ Reilly View Post
Trying to stop astroturf reviewers is like shoveling against the tide. We as consumers have to understand that crowd-sourced online reviews are fundamentally of no value.
They may be able to throw some AI at the problem, there may be some patterns that are common among these reviews, and so on.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IJ Reilly View Post
Trying to stop astroturf reviewers is like shoveling against the tide. We as consumers have to understand that crowd-sourced online reviews are fundamentally of no value.

Bring back the professional reviewer with knowledge, a track record, and a reputation.
Amazon.com has an excellent review system IMO
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:32 PM   #22
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Pfft. Fake reviews always, always stick out like a sore thumb. They're always over exaggerated and say things no customer would ever say. If an app has lots of these kinds of reviews, don't buy/download it.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:32 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DavidBlack View Post
I totally agree, for example Amazon.com has an excellent review system IMO
What is it Amazon do that stops Astroturfing?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:36 PM   #24
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Is self-advertisement allowed on these forums...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothReviews View Post
This is why we have launched SmoothReviews.com. It allows developers to compete with cheaters like "Better Fonts Free" by getting free, honest app reviews from other developers. You get a review for each review you contribute to the community. Reviews are honest and there is no requirement for whether the review is positive or negative.


----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGeek1987 View Post
To leave a review on the Mac App Store you must have actually purchased the app. I don't see why they don't implement the same rule on the other stores. Looking at a book on Pre-Order that doesn't come out for months and it has hundreds of "reviews". Not helpful.
Or even better, they should make it so you're only allowed to leave a review if it's been a week since you purchased it. That way, people have to remember and WANT to leave a review before doing so meaning there'd be more 'honest' reviews. Also the fact that it would make fake reviews near impossible because they wouldn't be able to post reviews so quickly.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 01:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JarScott View Post
Is self-advertisement allowed on these forums...?



----------



Or even better, they should make it so you're only allowed to leave a review if it's been a week since you purchased it. That way, people have to remember and WANT to leave a review before doing so meaning there'd be more 'honest' reviews. Also the fact that it would make fake reviews near impossible because they wouldn't be able to post reviews so quickly.
Was wondering the same thing.
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