Apple Cracking Down on Fake App Store Reviews

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    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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    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.

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    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
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    luckydcxx

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #2
    samsung would hire more of these people to review apps.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    #3
    This is really good news. There are often so many clearly fake reviews for apps.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    DavidBlack

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    #4
    Finally, they are doing something to stop this. It's very annoying to see these irrelevant reviews when your trying to buy an app.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    goobot

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    #5
    Maybe they look to see if they were all submitted by the same ip address.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    furi0usbee

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    MartinAppleGuy

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    #7
    Now App Creators will have to pay people to post "real" reviews ;)
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    DavidBlack

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    #8
    I think they have rule one already on the MAS.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    DavidBlack

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    #9
    Yes I was correct.
     

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  10. macrumors newbie

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    #10
    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… :rolleyes:
     
  11. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    MacGeek1987

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    MisakixMikasa

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  14. macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    #14
    Any review that contains that inane word "amazeballs" should be automatically deleted anyway.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    #15
    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?
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #16
    Now, if they'd just crack down on the "Real" reviews...
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    MisakixMikasa

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #18
    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!
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    mojolicious

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

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    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    DavidBlack

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    #21
    Amazon.com has an excellent review system IMO
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    JarScott

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

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    #23
    What is it Amazon do that stops Astroturfing?
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    JarScott

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    #24
    Is self-advertisement allowed on these forums...?



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    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.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    DavidBlack

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    Somewhere In Apple's HQ ;)
    #25
    Was wondering the same thing. :rolleyes:
     

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