Apple removed the Fakespot Review app from its app store on Friday after receiving a complaint from Amazon stating that Fakespot was inaccurately detecting bad sellers and.
The move went back and forth between Apple, Amazon and Fakespot via the app for a month, Saoud Khalifah, CEO of Fakespot, said in an interview. Amazon said in a statement on Friday that Fakespot “provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers’ businesses and creates potential security risks” when it rates products and sellers on a separate scale from Amazon’s own rating system. Khalifah accused Amazon of trying to cover up fraud on its platform, which is supposed to highlight its app.
“It is a consumer right to know, if you are reading a fake review, if you are receiving a fake, if you are receiving a fraudulent product that will harm you,” he said. “This system is broken.”
Fakespot’s iPhone app has been installed about 150,000 times since it was released a few years ago. The company, which has raised more than $ 5 million in funding to date, is not currently making any money from its service.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Amazon’s complaints about Fakespot come as the e-commerce company increasingly wrestles with companies and groups requesting reviews on its platform. Amazon prohibits “animated“Write-ups where companies give refunds or free products in exchange for reviews.
In June, around the time Amazon filed its first complaint about Fakespot with Apple, Amazon posted a blog post about fake reviews on its website. The company said it removed 200 million suspected fake reviews before they could be posted to one of 1.9 million third-party vendors on its platform. The company uses computer programs to look for suspicious behavior, such as clusters of new customer accounts reviewing the same products. Nevertheless, fake rating groups have appeared on social networks.to further promote behavior.
Fake reviews can help brands play Amazon’s system, which uses positive reviews to promote products in its rankings.
“We have seen an increasing trend of bad actors trying to solicit fake reviews outside of Amazon, particularly through social media services,” said an Amazon blog post last month. “Some use social media services themselves; in other cases, they hire a third party to perform this activity on their behalf.”
Fakespot says it is “a data analytics company” that uses computer programs to tell if reviews and the reviewers they leave behind are legitimate. The app rates the quality of the reviewer’s writing, the reviewer’s profile, and other reviewer data for a specific product.
“We use artificial intelligence that has been trained to detect patterns,” says the company in a statement of his service. “The more data flows into the system, the better the system can detect forgeries.”
Amazon said it reviewed Fakespot products that were found untrustworthy and found that they were false 80% of the time. Apple’s vetting policy prohibits apps that spread “false information” and apps that access another company’s services without permission.
Fakespot’s Khalifah expressed frustration that Apple has retired its app, while Amazon’s app remains active with the fake reviews its company finds. “It’s hypocrisy,” he said.