Google Wipes Millions of Bogus Reviews From Play Store

When you are checking out an app that you might not have heard of before, one of the most important things that you are going to take into consideration is the rating that the app has been given on the app store. The next most important thing that you are going to think about is the reviews that have been written there. Hence, it can be very frustrating indeed to download an app only to realize that all of the positive reviews that you read were actually false and that the app is not at all what it claimed to be.

Google shares your frustration, and in an attempt to maximize the legitimacy of the Play Store the company reportedly removed millions of fake reviews. This mass culling was curated by an artificial intelligence system along with some good old-fashioned human oversight, thus ensuring that the removals were able to be performed on a mass scale while also making it so that legitimate reviews were not accidentally removed in the process. Sudden boosts in ratings were seen as red flags because this usually only happens when the owner of an app has tried to have paid reviews made for their app.
"Google Play ratings and reviews are extremely important in helping users decide which apps to install. Unfortunately, fake and misleading reviews can undermine users' trust in those ratings.", said Fei Ye and Kazushi Nagayama, two Software Engineers in a blog post on Android Developers blog. Adding further, "User trust is a top priority for us at Google Play, and we are continuously working to make sure that the ratings and reviews shown in our store are not being manipulated."
Google has been in hot water before for pulling legitimate reviews and unnecessarily dragging down the ratings of certain apps. Game Dev Tycoon was one of the recent victims of Google’s carelessness. However, it seems that this time Google has tried pretty hard to ensure that this did not happen again, and for the most part it looks like the search engine giant has succeeded. Google has been hard at work trying to clean up the app store, removing countless malware containing apps recently as well. This is good news for users and developers that want a clean Google Play Store experience.

Google's deleted millions of fake reviews from the Play Store
Illustration: Digital Information World

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