'Fakespot' Removed From Apple's App Store After Complaint From Amazon [Updated]

Fakespot, which is known for analyzing reviews from popular websites to determine their accuracy, today had its iOS app removed from Apple's App Store.

fakespot ios app removed
According to The Verge, Amazon sent Apple a takedown request, which led to the app being pulled. Fakespot's iOS app just launched in June, and it was designed to allow users to log into Amazon and buy items while using the Fakespot engine to analyze the reviews.

Amazon said that Fakespot's app was "wrapping" the website without permission and that the app could potentially be exploited to steal Amazon customer data. Amazon sent the initial takedown notice in June, and today, Apple kicked the app from the ‌App Store‌.

Amazon claimed that Fakespot violated Apple's 5.2.2 ‌App Store‌ guideline that prevents apps from using, accessing, monetizing access to, or displaying content from a third-party service if not authorized to do so. A statement from Amazon said that the app was giving customers "misleading information" about Amazon sellers.

"The app in question provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers' businesses, and creates potential security risks. We appreciate Apple's review of this app against its Appstore guidelines."

Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifah told The Verge that Apple did not give it an opportunity to solve the problem. "We just dedicated months of resources and time and money into this app," he said. He went on to say Amazon's willingness to "bully little companies" showcases "cracks in their company."

A search for Fakespot confirms that the Fakespot app is no longer available for download from the iOS ‌App Store‌. While it was active, it had more than 150,000 installs.

Fakespot is well known for analyzing Amazon reviews and providing a rating or grade on how many of those reviews come from actual people. Amazon says that it regularly analyzes products with reviews that Fakespot calls out as untrustworthy, but that Fakespot's findings "were wrong more than 80% of the time."

Amazon says that Fakespot does not have the appropriate information to "accurately determine the authenticity of a review." Fakespot's website continues to be active and is available for Amazon shoppers to use, plus there is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Update: Apple in a statement provided to MacRumors explained that the dispute was between Amazon and Fakespot, and that Fakespot had been contacted multiple times.

This was a dispute over intellectual property rights initiated by Amazon on June 8 and within hours we ensured both parties were in contact with one another, explaining the issue and steps for the developer to take to keep their app on the store and giving them ample time to resolve the issue. On June 29, we again reached out to Fakespot weeks before removing their app from the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

turbineseaplane Avatar
11 months ago
Amazon has become a cancer on society at this point.

Unbelievably anti competitive, tax avoiding and flooded with knockoffs, fakes and just loads and loads of "junk".
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
collin_ Avatar
11 months ago
I don’t know how accurate Fakespot is, but I do know that Amazon has every incentive to suppress and/or lie about it.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trainwrecka Avatar
11 months ago
I'm tired of the cheap Chinese knock-off products that break shortly after purchase. The site is flooded with them, because Amazon brings them over by the boatload and delivers them to you next day. Not kidding - it is literally giant tankers bringing them over.

Amazon used to have the best prices on great products. Now it has the best prices, because the products are cheap.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
11 months ago
tired of the fake reviews.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
connormw Avatar
11 months ago
I mean let's be honest here, it's a pretty clear-cut violation of the rules. We all know the App Store rules can be ambiguous and loosely enforced, but this one seems pretty obvious:


5.2.2 Third-Party Sites/Services: If your app uses, accesses, monetizes access to, or displays content from a third-party service, ensure that you are specifically permitted to do so under the service’s terms of use. Authorization must be provided upon request.
The app put Amazon in a wrapper, injected code into the web viewer experience for the functionality, and then was on the App Store as a separate app. We all know if someone made an "Apple Shop Helper" app that showed, say, competing prices elsewhere, that Apple would shut it down in a heartbeat for displaying content from a 3rd party that did not consent to the integration.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
11 months ago

The analysis isn't perfect, but it's certainly good enough and much better than nothing. Which is exactly what Amazon wants -- ignorant shoppers.
Bingo!

Amazon just wants people to buy anything and everything.
They don't give a single lick if there are fake reviews, fake products, knockoffs, etc.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature Dock 2

Apple Defends App Store Changes in the Netherlands as Fines Reach €30 Million

Monday February 28, 2022 9:32 am PST by
Amid an ongoing dispute with the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands over the App Store, Apple has defended its plan to require app developers to submit an additional app binary for the Dutch storefront if they wish to use a third-party payment processing method. The ACM has ruled that Apple must allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment...
app store blue banner

Apple Updates App Store Guidelines as Part of Agreement With U.S. Developers

Friday October 22, 2021 1:00 pm PDT by
Apple today announced it has updated its App Store Review Guidelines with three key changes related to outside-of-app communications, collecting contact information within an app, and in-app events featured in the App Store. In late August, Apple announced it had reached a $100 million settlement that, pending court approval, would resolve a class action lawsuit from U.S. developers who...
General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Best Black Friday Deals on Apple Watch, AirPods Pro, MacBook Pro, More

Wednesday November 24, 2021 8:06 am PST by
Black Friday 2021 has kicked off, and you can now get some of the year's best deals on numerous Apple products. In this article we're providing a quick summary of all the best sales we've seen so far this season. For more on the best sales happening this week, visit our Black Friday Roundup. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
Mac App Store General Feature

Apple Must Let Dating Apps Offer Alternative Payment Methods in App Store, Dutch Regulator Says

Friday December 24, 2021 9:10 am PST by
Apple must let dating apps like Tinder and Match offer payment methods other than Apple's in-app purchase system in the App Store in the Netherlands, or else it will face fines, the Dutch competition regulator announced today. Specifically, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said Apple will have to pay a penalty of five million euros per week, up to a maximum of 50 million euros,...
italyapplestore

Apple Fined $150M+ By Italian Watchdog for Anti-Competitive Cooperation With Amazon

Tuesday November 23, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple and Amazon were today fined a total of more than 200 million euros ($225 million) by Italy's antitrust authority for alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products, reports Reuters. The fines are the culmination of an investigation that began last year over allegations that the two companies had been blocking the sale of Apple and Beats devices to...
google one app

Google One Disappears From App Store a Day After VPN Launch [Update: Google One is Back in the App Store]

Wednesday February 2, 2022 12:01 pm PST by
The Google One app for iPhone and iPad appears to have mysteriously disappeared from the App Store this morning, and it is no longer available for download. As noted on Reddit, attempting to download the Google One app in the United States and Canada pops up an error message that says "App Not Available." It is not clear why the app has been removed from the App Store at this time, and...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

App Store Now Supports Unlisted Apps Discoverable Only With a Direct Link

Friday January 28, 2022 11:27 am PST by
Apple recently announced that the App Store now supports unlisted apps discoverable only with a direct link, as outlined on its developer website. Developers with apps that aren't suited for public distribution can submit a request on Apple's website to distribute unlisted apps, which don't appear in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings....

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...