Tech

Google removes 100,000 Robinhood negative comments from angry users

Google removes 100,000 Robinhood negative comments from angry users

Illustration of an article titled Google deleting 100,000 negative Robinhood app reviews from angry users

Photo: Patrick Sison (AP)

Google removed at least 100,000 negative ratings of the Robinhood stock trading app from the Google Play app store after angry users sent a flood of critical reviews that caused the app’s rating to drop on Thursday. The app’s rating went from nearly four stars out of five on Wednesday to just one star on Thursday. Robinhood users were understandably upset after the company stopped buying GameStop shares and other shares the WallStreetBets community had promoted on Reddit.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the tech giant had deleted the reviews and defended the move overnight, telling Gizmodo by email that it had rules against “curated or non-organic reviews.” Gizmodo wondered how negative reviews might be considered “inorganic” when people seem reasonably upset with Robinhood’s actions in recent days. Google has stopped responding to Gizmodo emails after this inquiry.

Robinhood’s rating on the Google Play app store has rebounded to more than four stars since Google removed negative reviews. The app also had a rating of 4.7 in the Apple App Store, although it’s not clear what kind of moderation Apple has done in its reviews of Robinhood this week.

Questions remain over what actually prompted Robinhood to stop buying the shares picked by Reddit’s WallStreetBets on Thursday – stocks that include not just GameStop but Nokia, Blackberry and AMC Theaters, among others. One early theory was that hedge funds that trimmed stocks had leaned on Robinhood to stop trading, but an alternative theory arose that Robinhood simply did not have the cash flow to continue processing many of the stock purchases.

The latest theory appears to have been reinforced by a new report early Friday from The New York Times Claiming that Robinhood has raised nearly $ 1 billion from existing investors such as Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital. Robinhood CEO Vlad Teneff denied that the company was suffering from liquidity problems CNBC Yesterday, however, this does not mean that he did not expect liquidity problems in the very near future.

Robinhood users angry with the company’s decision to halt purchases of GameStop filed a class action lawsuit Thursday, a move that appears to lend credence to the idea that a negative app rating on Google Play isn’t necessarily “inorganic”.

It has been a tumultuous week in the stock market, with active retail investors on Reddit showing that the entire system is a scam in favor of the rich. But no one knows where that will leave the US financial markets in the coming days and weeks.

Most Americans know in their hearts that the game is rigged. But the actions that activist investors have taken this week on Reddit have made the rules clear for the whole world to see. The rich will not tolerate ordinary people who earn money while they struggle.

The question is to what extent hedge fund managers and other super-rich people are willing to take this to defend their class interests. If history is any clue, the answer is “too far”.

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