Google helps Robinhood after swarm of negative reviews drops company to 1-star rating


Tech giant had deleted nearly 100,000 negative reviews of the app

Google is helping clean up negative reviews of trading app Robinhood on Google Play after the platform came under fire for restricting some trading, reports show.

Reviews on Robinhood’s app had a one-out-of-five star rating and nearly 275,000 reviews on Google Play on Thursday after the platform initially restricted trading for some securities including GameStop, Bed Bed & Beyond, Blackberry and Nokia.

The tech giant had deleted nearly 100,000 negative reviews of the app, as seen in screenshots first shared by tech news website 9to5Google.

Google later confirmed to The Verge that it “combines human intelligence with machine learning to detect and enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews,” which includes a policy that prohibits reviews written with the intent to manipulate an app’s rating.

Robinhood resumed trading for these stocks Friday and apologized to customers after facing intense backlash from users, as well as politicians and celebrities. The app had 2.4 million reviews and nearly five-out-of-five stars on the App Store as of Friday morning.

The restrictions came following an unexpected surge in certain stocks that traditional investors were expecting to fall after a band of retail investors stemming from a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets started piling into those securities, hurting short-sellers in the process.

Two Robinhood users filed lawsuits against the app on Thursday, accusing it of manipulating its platform to block investors from buying shares of stocks like GameStop, which reached $320 Friday morning after sitting at about $17 just weeks ago.