It has been reported by financial analyst Mr. Whale that Google removed as many as 120,000 negative reviews of Robinhood, pushing the app’s rating from one star to about four stars.
However, Google confirmed the massive removals to tech news publication The Verge by claiming that the decision was made due to violations of Google Play Store policies. The company reportedly said that Google’s policies explicitly prohibit reviews aiming to manipulate an app’s rating.
Google said that they have a system that “combines human intelligence with machine learning to detect and enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews.” The company added that the companies themselves do not have the ability to delete reviews.
Likewise, the Robinhood app has about 177,000 reviews on the Google Play Store, with a 4.2 star rating.
Thus, on January 28, Robinhood halted trading of several rallying stocks including GameStop and AMC Entertainment, spurring large-scale outrage in the trading community.