Google reportedly deleted nearly 100,000 negative reviews from the investment app Robinhood on the Google Play store Thursday.
Google confirmed to The Verge that they removed the bad reviews, which were enough to bring the total star rating down to one star. A screenshot posted by the outlet showed Robinhood with nearly 275,000 reviews and a one-star rating, then another screenshot later Thursday showed the app with about 180,000 reviews and a four-star rating.
The company “combines human intelligence with machine learning to detect and enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews,” it told The Verge. Robinhood does not have the ability to delete reviews themselves, and Google deleted reviews that were in violation of its policies, the company said. (RELATED: ‘We’re In Unprecedented Times’: Robinhood CEO Defends Freezing Stocks Amid Wall Street Frenzy)
Google removed 100,000 negative reviews of Robinhood from the Google Play app store after justifiably angry users sent a flood of critical reviews that caused the app’s rating to plummet on Thursday. It’s not just the markets that are manipulated… https://t.co/CvY3yQ2Xrm
— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) January 29, 2021
The influx of negative reviews came after Robinhood halted the ability to buy stocks in Gamestop and other companies Thursday morning. Hedge funds and Wall Street executives had heavily shorted Gamestop – meaning that they bet that the stock would go down – because they believed the company would have trouble adapting to digital video games. Users on the Reddit page WallStreetBets discovered that the stock had been widely shorted and were able to increase the price of the stock by over 600%, costing the hedge funds billions.
Robinhood is now facing a class-action lawsuit from investors who say that halting the purchase of some stocks put them at an unfair disadvantage and violated the Customer Agreement. Investors could conduct “limited buys” of certain stocks beginning Friday morning, Robinhood said according to the report.