Google has removed millions of negative TikTok reviews from its playstore after users from India decided to give the app 1 star reviews tanking the overall rating from 4.5 to 1.2 within a short period of time.
The negative reviews came following last week’s report of a TikTok influencer Faizal Siddiqui posted a spoof video of an acid attack. Numerous TikTok videos were also shared on Twitter depicting racism, domestic violence, animal cruelty, child abuse and objectification of women.
For the better part of last week, hashtags such as BanTikTok, DeleteTikTok, TikTokexposed and many others were trending on twitter with backlash from disgusted users particularly in India.
So much was the onslaught that Google had to intervene. The company said they had received millions of negative TikTok reviews from users who posted as a corrective action to spam abuse. Due to Google’s intervention, TikTok’s rating has recovered just slightly; from 1.2 to 1.6.
“When we learn of incidents of spam abuse, we review and take corrective action to remove inappropriate ratings and comments.” Said a spokesperson from Google.
In regards to the incidences, TikTok said they do not allow harmful content. The controversial videos have since been deleted.
“As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks the safety of others, promotes physical harm, or glorifies violence against women,” a spokesman for TikTok said.
“The behaviour in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.”
Mr Siddiqui later said that: “As a social media influencer, I realize my responsibility and apologize to anyone who was offended by the video.”
Google has so far removed about 5 million ratings and reviews but left others active. The company said they were aware that some users were creating multiple accounts to amplify their protests on the app.
This happened amid TikTok’s report of skyrocketing in-app revenue in April to a tune of $78 million topping apps such as YouTube and Netflix.