I don't know if you trust the ratings on Google Play, but they have always been important to me. I understand that how many people, so many opinions, but when one application has a rating of 4.8, and the other – 2.1, you must agree, there is a difference. As the saying goes, millions of flies cannot be wrong. All the same, each person is a part of society, which itself is quite homogeneous in its preferences. If the vast majority like something, the chances are very high that those who haven't tried it yet will like it. Actually, this is what the ratings are for. But is it okay for app stores to adjust these ratings themselves?
This app continues to be surrounded by scandals.
What happened to TikTok in India
A rather interesting event took place a few days ago. In the history of ratings, for example, on Kinopoisk or Tripadvisor, there are cases when certain groups of people gathered and pushed some ratings with their mass. For example, this happened when one of the restaurant owners spoke negatively about the fans of the Spartak football club. As a result, they logged in each of their accounts and threw off his establishment from the first place in their category, lowering the rating to one star.
In local categories, this is not so difficult, but can this be done on the scale of the global Google Play? It turns out that the Indians, who gave millions of negative ratings to the TikTok app, proved it.
The Chinese video-sharing platform has come under fire in India after disturbing videos were found in the app. Bytedance, which owns TikTok, has faced backlash. As a result, millions of Indians have left negative reviews on Google Play. In Twitter hashtags “BanTikTok”, “DeleteTikTok” and “BlockTikTok” even appeared.
People following this kind of flash mob led to an avalanche of negative reviews about TikTok. There have been too many of them in the past three weeks. All because of videos that users thought (or actually) showed or justified domestic violence, animal cruelty, racism, and child abuse.
The news about TikTok is mainly about the fact that the service is either growing or getting into a scandal.
Millions of Indians began to leave one-star reviews on the Google Play Store for the TikTok app, which greatly lowered the average score. It just dropped from 4.5 stars to 1.2 stars. At this point, Google decided to come to the aid of the application.
How Google Boosted TikTok Ranking
Google stepped in to remove any negative reviews. A Google spokesperson said millions of ratings have been removed as part of a 'corrective action' to 'deal with spam abuse.'
After removing many ratings and reviews on Google Play, the average TikTok rating has increased slightly. At first, it rose to 1.6 stars, and after that it even became higher than two. Although, this is still below the rating that was before the beginning of this whole story. The refund has not yet taken place completely due to the fact that the rating system is a little inert and takes into account the average values over time. Apparently, just in the framework of the fight against something like that. Of course, not on such a scale.
How you can influence the app rating
There are over 200 million TikTok users registered in India alone. You don't even have to think about what a big impact they can have on the rating, if it is about one seventh of all users of the service. We remember that not everyone gives an assessment, and it becomes clear that these 200 million, united by an idea, can easily break anything.
The rating rollback machine spun after the well-known Faizal Siddiqi posted evidence of the attack, which intensified further after its publication. His recent post has catalyzed an influx of negative reviews from Indian TikTok users.
Do you use TikTok?
A TikTok spokesman said keeping users safe is a top priority. The company clearly states this in the Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. It clearly states what is invalid on the platform. According to these regulations, the service checks such content and, if necessary, blocks it or even addresses law enforcement agencies.
While this is not the first time that negative reviews have been removed from Google Play, it is arguably the largest to date. Against the background of what is happening, Instagram and Facebook even started testing the limitation of the number of comments to posts. This is such a fight against trolls.
Should you believe the ratings
As this and many other similar stories show, ratings change very easily if a large enough number of people need it. If already the rating of an application with a billion users could have been changed and made such a resonance, then what can influencers do by asking their army of fans to lower the rating of a movie or institution they do not like.
So think about whether to trust the ratings. I think so, but only as a base on which to build your opinion. By the way, you can express it in our Telegram chat. Everything is fair there.