The popular but controversial app Fakespot has been kicked off the App Store, after Amazon filed an official complaint, reports
Fakespot’s creators claim the app uses AI-based data analysis to identify fake reviews on sites such as Amazon, Tripadvisor, Walmart and Yelp.
“The user review system is too often abused by sellers that pay for reviews, by companies trying to make their competition look bad, and technologies that go around pretending to be real reviewers,” Fakespot says in its
FAQs. “Our patented algorithms look for certain patterns that allow us to identify reviews we think are generally reliable or unreliable.”
But Amazon disputes the accuracy of these findings. On Friday the e-commerce giant released a statement claiming the app “provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers’ businesses, and creates potential security risks. We appreciate Apple’s review of this app against its App Store guidelines.”
According to Amazon, 80% of Fakespot’s analyses of third-party sellers on the site were incorrect.
Amazon began the takedown process in June and the app has now been removed from the App Store.
The Verge that Apple did not give it the opportunity to resolve the situation, but Apple tells a slightly different story: “This was a dispute over intellectual property rights initiated by Amazon on 8 June and within hours we ensured both parties were in contact with one another, explaining the issue and steps for the developer to take to keep their app on the store and giving them ample time to resolve the issue. On 29 June, we again reached out to Fakespot weeks before removing their app from the App Store.”
Fakespot is estimated to have been installed on roughly 150,000 iPhones.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.