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Astroturfing Catches Up With iPhone Developer

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Let the propaganda begin! Image Credit: Tom Dynia

Astroturfing is a form of propaganda that tries to deceive the consumer in believing that something is more popular than it really is.  Long used on the political front, it now appears it has creeped its way into the iPhone realm.

A particular iPhone developer, Molinker had over 1,000 apps pulled from the App Store for posting fake reviews.  It appears it wasn’t the doing of one “fake review” but over 40 bogus reviews for each app!

On a side note the article says that many of the reviews were badly spelled.  Does this mean that Molinker thought that by misspelling words in their reviews, that it would be more realistic and believable?

Forty fake reviews does seem pretty excessive.  However, what is the protocol if an employee of a company downloads an app and truly appreciates the work?  In a perfect world the reviewer would disclose their relationship with the maker of the app.  We all know that 99% of the time this won’t happen.

Every time I read a story like this it bugs me.  Not because someone is trying to get a leg up, but because it makes me realize how much junk there really is in the App Store.  I think Apple will need to address this issue at some point.  If they don’t developers will get frustrated as their App will easily get lost in the sea of worthless apps.

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Written by wirebear

December 9, 2009 at 11:23 am