It’s no secret that Amazon has a counterfeit product problem, and so it’s no surprise that services have appeared aiming to help protect consumers from this issue. The most popular service is arguably Fakespot, which says that it analyzes product reviews on listings to give shoppers a ‘true’ product rating. Now, thanks to Amazon, the app has been kicked from the App Store.
Fakespot is available on multiple different platforms, including as a browser extension and a mobile app. If you use the website, for example, you can input an Amazon product listing URL for Fakespot to analyze. The system will evaluate the reviews on the product to estimate its legitimacy, according to the company.
The idea is to weed out fake and paid reviews that may skew a product’s rating, making it appear more popular than it may actually be. Consumers have turned to this sort of tool due to the number of inauthentic product reviews and items that make their way to Amazon’s platform.
According to CNBC, iPhone users can no longer find Fakespot’s mobile app in the App Store because Apple removed it following a complaint from Amazon. The issue, according to Amazon, was an app redesign the company felt was both misleading and a security risk — it involved displaying the Amazon website with Fakespot’s content on top of it.
That’s essentially how the desktop web browser extension works, though Amazon obviously isn’t able to strip the Internet of such browser tools. In a statement about the matter to CNBC, Amazon shed a bit more light on its reason for targeting the iOS app, alleging that it offers misleading info about products and sellers, harms the sellers’ businesses, and also “creates potential security risks.”
In a statement to the news network, Fakespot’s founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah denied Amazon’s security risk claim, pointing out that app wrapping a website is common and alleging that Amazon hasn’t provided any proof of its allegations.