Apple Makes Move to Crack Down on Fake App Store Reviews

Apple Makes Move to Crack Down on Fake App Store Reviews

Apple has reportedly begun cracking down on fake reviews in the App Store. The widespread problem can affect both App Store rankings and the Top Charts listings. TechCrunch reports that the company appears to have started deleting fake 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. 

TechCrunch reports that Apple did indeed step in and remove the app’s ratings, due to an attempt by the developer to game the system. If Apple finds credible evidence of fraud or manipulation of reviews, it can, and will, take action to remove the ratings associated with the fraudulent activity.

Several websites and marketing services offer fake five-star reviews to developers in an attempt to improve their rankings and number of downloads. Apple has warned developers against using such services, warning devs that they could be banned fro Apple’s developer program, and thus the App Store.

While no one knows for sure how Apple officially determines which reviews are false, it’s relatively easy to spot faked reviews, due to the usage of the same general wording, structure, and punctuation, as well as being overly positive. (As seen above.)

Apple has recently made several changes to the App Store in an attempt to improve app discoverability. Late 2013 saw the App Store’s search function reprogrammed to allow for small typos and misspellings when searching for apps. They also made changes in the way the apps are ranked in the Top Charts.