Pro-Palestine activists are trashing the Facebook app’s rating in app stores

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In gaming, review bombing is often used as a way for a particular community to voice its displeasure over a new game, feature or mechanic. In recent years there has been a bit more vitriol attached to review bombing, but the guiding principle remains. We brings this up as ratings for the Facebook app is being trashed by a Pro-Palestinian group, according to reports.

NBC News says Pro-Palestinian activists have been targeting the Facebook in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in order to give it one star reviews.

This as Facebook has been accused of silencing Pro-Palestinian messages on its site, specifically when posts messages about Israel and the recent surge in violence between the two nations.

“The strategy appears to be working. In the last week, the average star rating for the social network was down from over 4 out of 5 to 2.3 out of 5 on Apple’s App Store and 2.4 out of 5 on the Google Play store Saturday evening after receiving thousands of one-star reviews,” writes NBC News.

“Many of the reviews include comments mentioning Facebook’s alleged silencing of Palestinian voices and hashtags such as #FreePalestine or #GazaUnderAttack,” it adds.

The report notes that Facebook is taking the issue seriously, assigning the “severity1” label to the situation, which is a designation just below a fully blown site outage.

“Our policies are designed to give everyone a voice while keeping them safe on our apps, and we apply these policies equally, regardless of who is posting or their personal beliefs,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told NBC News in a statement.

“We have a dedicated team, which includes Arabic and Hebrew speakers, closely monitoring the situation on the ground, who are focused on making sure we’re removing harmful content, while addressing any enforcement errors as quickly as possible.”

As such, it remains to be seen whether continued pressure and campaigns such as this will force Facebook to change its approach in handling posts related to such a divisive issue.

For now, however, it does not look like Apple and Google will be intervening on behalf of Facebook when it comes to review trashing.

[Source – NBC News]
[Image – Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.