Inching back toward its former position of glory, video-sharing app TikTok has managed to improve its ratings on Google Play Store and is now rated 4.4. The spike comes after last week’s fall from grace when the app’s rating went down to 1.2 after outrage against misogynistic and violent content on the platform.
Days after the app’s ratings were reduced to 1.2, the video-sharing app seems to be gaining back its reputation on the app store, thanks to Google which has been cleaning out bad reviews from the store. In the past week, Google has taken down nearly 80 lakh one star ratings against TikTok from the store.
Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok ran into trouble after a video by an influencer called Faizal Siddiqui on the platform in which he pretended to throw acid a woman’s face after she rejected his advances went viral. Indians from all parts of the country including activists such as Laxmi Agarwal who inspired the Bollywood film Chhapaak as well as the National Commission for Women spoke out against the platform.
Following the outrage, several TikTok users deleted the app and users, as well as other influencers, started downvoting the app on Google Play Store. Even as calls for banning TikTok floated on social media, the video-sharing app’s ratings went through the mud with thousands of 1-star ratings.
The video put the spotlight on hundreds of such videos that promoted violence against women, sexual harassment, and abuse and raised questions about TikTok’s editorial policies with regard to content being shared on it.
Why is Google removing one-star reviews?
Google’s move to help revive the app’s ratings are in line with its policies concerning user reviews. The company does not allow users to post the same review from different accounts in order to spam the review section on app store or with the intention to manipulate an app’s ratings.
It also does not allow political commentary to be used to justify ratings or give reviews. With the coronavirus outbreak which originated from Wuhan in China, several users have been citing its Chinese origins as the reason why they are downvoting the app, and others should too.
Many on social media, however, have raised concerns and outrage against Google’s shadow cleaning of nearly 8 million reviews.
INDIA: Google has deleted nearly 8 million negative TikTok reviews over the last days, thus the rating rose from 1.2 to 4.4 stars. pic.twitter.com/NZ3DrFA2Sk
— Norbert Elekes (@NorbertElekes) May 28, 2020
I thought google play store as a independent body.
But it’s totally biased for #TikTok . The hard work done by the indian were nearly about 7M negative reviews were deleted by play store. We should not stop the reviewing go, again review it as 1.
Lets see play store or man power pic.twitter.com/5w2uW0XTWz
— abhishek mishra (@Abhishek_0513) May 28, 2020
Correct!!! Even my review was deleted. I reviewed negative again. Google also is playing games it seems.
— Abhay Erulkar (@AbhayErulkar) May 28, 2020