Google has removed millions of negative TikTok reviews from its Play store after the app’s rating dropped overnight from 4.5 to 1.2 stars.
According to BBC, the video sharing platform was flooded with one-star reviews after a spoof video of an acid attack was posted by an Indian creator.
Faizal Siddiqui has apologized and TikTok has copies of his clip deleted.
But Google intervened after it determined the fake accounts were set up by critics to magnify their protests.
Even so, the move has had a limited effect and on the official Android marketplace, TikTok ‘s rating remains below two stars.
The video in question had appeared to show Mr Siddiqui threatening a woman determined to leave him.
He threw liquid onto the woman’s face in the clip. It was water, but the next scene showed the woman’s face covered in make-up which looked like the scars and bruises that acid could cause.
“As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks the safety of others, promotes physical harm, or glorifies violence against women,” a spokesman for TikTok said.
“The behaviour in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.”
Mr Siddiqui later said that: “As a social media influencer, I realise my responsibility and apologise to anyone who was offended by the video.”
Google removed more than 5 million of its recent one-star reviews after TikTok got embroiled in the backlash but left many others active.
A spokesman for Google said it had taken “corrective action”.
“When we learn about spam abuse incidents we will review and take corrective action to remove inappropriate ratings and comments,” he added.
The event coincided with TikTok’s monthly revenue from in-app charges in April topping any other non-gaming app, including YouTube and Netflix, Sensor Tower reported.
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