An application that helped online shoppers spot fraudulent reviews of potentially subpar products is off the Apple app store after Amazon complained and the company removed it Friday.
Fakespot pitches its services to shoppers as being there to help them avoid being scammed by bad products which might be buried under false good reviews.
“Fakespot has your back when you’re shopping online at home or on mobile,” the company says on its website. “One secure shopping experience seamlessly integrated with Chrome, Firefox, iOS and Android (new Android experience coming soon). If it’s too good to be true, we’ll tell you and find a better deal.”
Just last month the company unveiled its app for iOS users.
“Thank you to all of our users for making this new iOS app a reality,” the company tweeted. “Together we will put an end to eCommerce fraud. We have more amazing products coming soon that will make secure shopping the gold standard for eCommerce.
Thank you to all of our users for making this new iOS app a reality. Together we will put an end to eCommerce fraud. We have more amazing products coming soon that will make secure shopping the gold standard for eCommerce. https://t.co/UyUnsOydzK
— Fakespot (@FakespotTweets) June 21, 2021
Those who were using the app on iPhone and iPad will have to find another way to detect bad products online after Amazon asked Apple to remove the Fakespot app and Apple complied.
CNBC reported Amazon flagged the app as a potential source for misleading information and security risks. A representative with Amazon said that the company complained after Amazon’s website was displayed inside of the Fakespot app.
“The app in question provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products, harms our sellers’ businesses, and creates potential security risks,” the Amazon spokesperson claimed.
Amazon and Fakespot both spoke about the deletion of the former from the app store, but Fakespot Saoud Khalifah told CNBC that none of Amazon’s claims were valid and that Apple pulled his company’s popular app after siding with its fellow Big Tech titan.
“We don’t steal users’ information, we’ve never done that,” Khalifah told CNBC. “They’ve shown zero proof and Apple acted on this with zero proof.”
Khalifah said Fakespot was given no warning before the app was pulled and no opportunity to address any complaints.
In a later interview with The Verge, the Fakespot CEO blasted Amazon.
“Amazon is willing to bully little companies like ours that showcase the cracks in their company,” Khalifah said. The CEO hypothesized that Amazon targeted the app because it was more popular than Amazon’s own fraud and quality control detection tools.
He said his company’s app was downloaded 150,000 times with no marketing campaign since last month.
Khalifah said Fakepsot, a small company, is currently weighing its legal options after it was singled out by two tech industry titans.
Without the iOS app, he said he feels as though his company might struggle to stay relevant within the online shopping market, as more people shop on mobile and less on computers. Without an app, Fakespot is at a disadvantage. Consumers might also be at a disadvantage.
“We’re seeing percentages of 60/40 now hovering in mobile’s favor,” Khalifah told The Verge.
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