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Reddit is a messy world right now, with moderators and users expressing disdain over the company’s API changes. This caused different communities to protest and fill the ratings of the iOS app with 1 star. Ironically, the action is seemingly being countered by positive reviews, which Reddit users described as “fake” and bot-generated.
On June 12, different subreddits started going dark to protest the unwavering decision of Reddit to charge third-party app developers and creators high API prices. According to TechCrunch, the move signaled the rise of the 1-star rating of the Reddit for iOS app on the App Store. The website cited the data shared by Sensor Tower, saying, “Nearly 91% of Reddit’s U.S. iOS reviews carried a 1-star rating during the initial phase of the protest between June 12–14, compared to about 53% in the previous two months until May.” The report says the 1-star rating dropped to 86% from June 15 to 26.
The surge of the 1-star rates is apparently a part of the protest, which also led to countless negative reviews that are reportedly mostly related to Reddit’s new API policies. Surprisingly, Reddit users shared that there are also some questionable 5-star positive reviews sprouting in the reviews section of the app recently.
In a thread shared on Reddit, the positive comments range from being irrelevant, fragmented sentences to discussing only one concept. Some users said the comments might be AI-generated, while others believe the reviews could be from “paid” farms. It is unclear whether the reviews are really bot-produced or who is behind this, but it is interesting that the dubious reviews appear at the same time Reddit is being criticized by its users.
Currently, Reddit remains firm about its decision regarding the API changes. In the past weeks, users and moderators stressed the importance of third-party apps in the platform, saying their accessibility features are crucial for moderating the place. The company then said that it would make consideration for non-commercial apps catering to the accessibility needs of users. However, moderators and users expressed doubt about it. Now, the issue between the community and the company continues, with no clue on when and how it will end.