Investment app Robinhood has plummeted back down to a one-star rating on Google Play, thanks to a flood of thousands of new negative reviews.
The latest low rating comes just days after Google salvaged the app’s rating by removing nearly 100,000 reviews, following a flood of negative ratings after the Robinhood blocked purchases of popular stocks from Reddit’s /r/WallStreetBets like GameStop or AMC last week. Google confirmed to The Verge at the time that it was actively removing negative reviews on the app.
The review rollercoaster for Robinhood’s rating has been nearly as up-and-down as GameStop’s stock price. When users began to review bomb the app last Thursday, Robinhood reached a one-star rating with nearly 275,000 reviews. Google then removed nearly 100,000 of those reviews, putting the app back at a four-star average with roughly 180,000 reviews. But as of the publication of this article, Robinhood has returned to a new high of almost 305,000 reviews, along with a 1.1-star rating.
Google’s Play Store policies do explicitly ban reviews that are intended to “manipulate the rating” of an app; the company had previously removed earlier Robinhood reviews because it felt that they violated that policy.
A Google spokesperson did confirm to The Verge that the current reviews — which were not the ones deleted in last week’s purge — are compliant to Google’s policies, and won’t be removed.
In a statement to The Verge, Google commented that “Google Play’s app review systems are designed to provide a genuine and trustworthy view of an app’s user experience, and we take action on any inauthentic or coordinated activity aimed at artificially raising or lowering an app’s overall score. To be clear, this is not done to shield an app from negative reviews, but to help protect app developers from things like coordinated review bombing and to safeguard our systems from being artificially manipulated.”
The low review rating is one that’s unique to Google’s Play Store, at least for now. The iOS version of Robinhood still boasts a 4.0-star rating on Apple’s storefront, although there has been an uptick of negative reviews in the past few days for that version of the app, too.