Daily US Times: Google has deleted millions of negative TikTok reviews from its play store after the Chinese social media app is facing huge backlash and it’s rating fell from 4.5 to 1.2 stars overnight.
After an Indian creator posted a spoof video of an acid attack, the video-sharing platform was inundated with one-star reviews. TikTok has deleted copies of his clip and Faizal Siddiqui has also apologized. But, in the meantime, Google intervened after it determined that critics had set up fake accounts to amplify their protests.
Despite Google’s move, it had little impact of the ratings. Lots of negative TikTok reviews still there and rating still remains below two stars on the official Android marketplace. The video in question had appeared to show Mr Siddiqui threatening a woman who had decided to leave him.
The clip shows he threw liquid at the woman’s face. It was water, as he was drinking it, but the next scene showed the woman’s face covered in make-up that resembled the bruising and scars that acid might cause.
A spokesman for TikTok said: “As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks the safety of others, promotes physical harm, or glorifies violence against women.”
“The behavior in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate,” the spokesperson added.
As the controversy grew bigger, Mr Siddiqui explained himself saying that everyone saw I was drinking that liquid. If it war acid, who could drink acid?
“As a social media influencer, I realise my responsibility and apologize to anyone who was offended by the video.”
After TikTok became the center of the backlash, Google removed more than 5 million of its recent one-star reviews but left many others active.
”Google had taken “corrective action”, a spokesperson for the tech giant said.
He added: “When we learn of incidents of spam abuse, we review and take corrective action to remove inappropriate ratings and comments.”
According to the analytics firm Sensor Tower, the event coincided with TikTok’s monthly revenue from in-app charges topping those of any other non-gaming app in April, including Netflix and YouTube.
Bloomberg reported that the figure includes sales via the Chinese version of the product, known as Douyin.
Users can purchase virtual currency to spend on supporting their favourite creators on the app.
TikTok’s month-on-month in-app purchases revenues increased tenfold to $78m (£63.8m), with 86.6% coming from China, followed by 8.2% in the US.