Fakespot, an app that analyzes Amazon reviews to determine which are fake, are no longer available for iOS. Amazon successfully convinced Apple remove it from the App Store after the company raised concerns that the application was providing misleading information and creating potential security vulnerabilities.
- Complaint: Apple took the Fakespot review app off its App Store on Friday, after it received a complaint from Amazon that said Fakespot inaccurately detects bad sellers and fake write-ups on its store.
- Misleading information: Amazon said in a statement that Fakespot “provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers’ businesses” when it grades products and sellers on a scale separate from Amazon’s own reviews system. Amazon also said it was not able to verify what Fakespot “is or is not doing, today or in the future, which is why this is a security risk.”
- Fame: Fakespot’s iPhone app has been installed about 150,000 times since it was released a couple of years ago. The company, which has so far raised more than $5 million in funding, doesn’t currently make money off its service.
- Confrontations: Amazon’s complaints about Fakespot comes as the e-commerce company increasingly wrestles with companies and groups that solicit reviews on its platform. Amazon prohibits “incentivized” write-ups, in which companies give refunds or free products in exchange for reviews.
- Retaliations: Fakespot’s CEO Saoud Khalifah expressed frustration that Apple took down his app, while allowing Amazon’s app, with the fake reviews his company finds, to remain up. “It’s hypocrisy,” he said. “It’s a consumer right to know when you’re reading a fake review if you’re getting a counterfeit if you’re getting a product that is fraudulent that is going to harm you,” he said. “This system is broken.”