On Thursday, after the stock trading app Robinhood froze trades of GameStop and other "volatile" stocks, outraged customers flooded app stores to give furious one-star reviews proclaiming their displeasure. In response, Google intervened to delete the negative reviews on the Google Play Store and protect the Robinhood app's reputation.
Google confirmed that it acted to delete the negative reviews to The Verge, claiming that the dissatisfied Robinhood customers leaving negative reviews violated Google's policies by intentionally trying to drive down the app's rating. At one point Thursday, the Robinhood app had a one-star rating with 274,982 reviews. By the time The Verge published its report, approximately 100,000 reviews had been deleted and the app was back up to a four-star rating.
From The Verge:
It's not outside Google's purview to delete these posts. Google's policies explicitly prohibit reviews intended to manipulate an app's rating, and the company says it has a system that "combines human intelligence with machine learning to detect and enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews." Google says it specifically took action on reviews that it felt confident violated those policies, the company tells The Verge. Google says companies do not have the ability to delete reviews themselves.