Activists are now seeking help from everyone in their country to rate Facebook app as one-star in app stores.
As the Palestine vs. Israel continues to stir issues all over the world, Facebook is now starting to enter a new war related to it. Activists have promoted citizens of Palestine to go to their online app stores, Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and rate the social media app as one-star. The bold move surprisingly went well for the activists.
Facebook’s new challenge
On Saturday, May 22, NBC News first reported about activists’ plan to take down Facebook’s reputation by ruining its credibility on app stores. Recently, Apple App Store has reported Facebook with only 2.3 out of five approval ratings, while Google Play Store receives 2.4 out of five stars. This was extremely problematic for the social media giant which reportedly labeled this problem as ‘SEV1.’
SEV1, according to the report, stands for ‘severity1’ is used when a problem arises in the company targeting their website. This also means the current issue with censoring Palestine is Facebook’s highest-priority problem to solve right now. Meanwhile, SEV0, on the other hand, means the website is down.
“User trust is dropping considerably with the recent escalations between Israel and Palestine,” said one senior software engineer in a post on Facebook’s internal message board. “Our users are upset with our handling of the situation. Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced. As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1 star reviews.”
To solve the issue, leaked screenshots from NBC News said that Facebook tried to talk with the online app stores of Apple and Google, in order to delete the negative reviews on their pages. However, Apple was hesitant to do so. Google, though, was not mentioned on the screenshots.
There were no specific names of the activists were provided to the said report of NBC News. However, their work of stirring negative reviews towards Facebook seemed to be a job well done for their part. TechVisibility checked out the reviews on Google Play Store and Apple App Store themselves. Most of the bad reviews were quoting ‘Palestine and Israel war,’ and the censoring issue against Facebook.
“So much bias on censorship. Promoting false and fake news, and not the truth. Be it politics, social issues etc., Personal data being sold to other parties,” says one user.
Another one said, “Facebook were too biased toward certain politics issues that it easily block and restricted people to convey their opinions on current events (when they are not fully to be blamed) and some pages also being took down illegally.”
User also commented about Facebook’s ‘manipulation’ over accounts, “Extreme Political news, agenda, being push into my account for no reason. Did not search for porn, politics, war or any negative vibes. But lately all this is being push to me.”
What Facebook wants to say
As of now, there are still no official press release coming from Facebook to address the issue. However, company spokesperson Andy Stone reiterated policies are applied equally to all users, whether which nationality you are.