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Amazon asks Apple to boot Fakespot from App Store

Summary Amazon asked Apple to remove the popular ‘Fakespot’ app from the App Store. Apple agreed.

Our Take We’ve used Fakespot for quite some time while doing our own shopping and also when reviewing listings on the Amazon platform. While we’ve found the results to not be 100% accurate, we have found the information it provides to be accurate enough in determining whether a seller may be buying reviews. That’s pretty helpful when you’re buying something for yourself and it’s also helpful when trying to understand what games your competition may be playing.

Amazon cites security concerns for the request, which are denied by the Fakespot team. Hopefully this gets resolved quickly - we would have thought that Amazon could use as much help as possible in trying to combat the tactics of shady sellers in trying to mislead customers. Maybe that was the real issue; Amazon was being inundated with examples of fake reviews and is unable to investigate and take action quickly enough?

Whatever the background here, one thing remains clear. If you want to build a long term brand focussed business, you need to use time tested techniques and not fall for the latest ‘ninja-crusher-killer-limited time-hack’. Get the basics right, stay compliant, and don’t try to fool your customers - you’ll pay dearly for it.

Whether you’re looking to start a business or need help with a specific aspect, our team is here to help. If you do fall foul of Amazon’s T&C’s and find yourself blocked or suspended, don’t panic. We have the most experienced team in the business for dealing with these issues. Contact us now.

Here’s the text from original article which appeared on Business Insider on July 18th 2021. The articles author was Isobel Asher Hamilton.


Apple accepted Amazon's request to boot an app that spots fake reviews from the App Store. Its owner has accused Amazon of bullying.

Amazon got Apple to remove an app called Fakespot from the App Store on Friday, as reported by the Verge and CNBC. Fakespot is an app that flags when product reviews on shopping apps like Amazon's are likely to be fake or bot-generated. According to the Verge, Amazon filed a complaint with Apple on June 8 saying that Fakespot displays Amazon's website inside its app, which breaks Apple's rules. The rules in question state that apps displaying third-party content must have permission from that third party. Amazon also said Fakespot misleads customers and created a security risk with the way it put code into Amazon's website to display its ratings. "The app in question 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 Appstore guidelines," an Amazon spokesperson told the Verge. Fakespot's CEO Saoud Khalifah denied the app has any security vulnerabilities, in an interview with the Verge. He added: "Amazon is willing to bully little companies like ours that showcase the cracks in their company." He said Fakespot had 150,000 downloads when Apple removed it. Saoud's said Apple has given Fakespot little opportunity to fight back since Amazon initiated proceedings on June 8, and he told CNBC the takedown notice was sudden and unexpected. "Imagine going to a tenant and saying you have to take all your stuff, you have to leave right now. That's how I feel right now," he said. Apple disputes this, saying it gave Fakespot "ample time" to resolve the issue with Amazon. Speaking to the Verge, Khalifah said between June 8 and Friday, the process consisted of Fakespot and Amazon arguing against each other with Apple providing no guidance. "I'm shocked Apple decided to side with Amazon without any proof," he told the Verge. At time of writing, Fakespot remains on the Google Play Store for Android phones, where it has more than 50,000 downloads. Fakespot, Amazon, and Apple did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment. Fake reviews have been a big PR problem for Amazon. The tech giant is facing an investigation in the UK over fake reviews and in June, it issued a statement saying social media companies need to do more to stop the sale of fake reviews on their platforms.


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