Google deletes 100,000 bad reviews of Robinhood from its app store
Google removed over 100,000 angry reviews of the stock-trading app Robinhood on its app store after a furious response to the company’s move to block users Thursday from buying or sharing stocks that were trending on a popular Reddit forum, The Verge and Gizmodo reported.
After users on Reddit called on others to leave one-star reviews over Robinhood’s decision to prevent the trading of stocks in companies that were popularized on the subreddit called r/WallStreetBets, negative reviews flooded the Google Play store. These stocks included GameStop, BlackBerry, and AMC.
A Google spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo that it had deleted the reviews and defended the move overnight, saying that it has rules against “coordinated or inorganic reviews.” Gizmodo‘s report noted that it then asked the spokesperson how someone could determine negative reviews as “inorganic” when so many people seem reasonably upset at Robinhood, as phrased in the report. The tech publication reported that Google “stopped responding to Gizmodo’s emails after that inquiry.”
Furthermore, the tech giant’s policies prohibit “fake ratings” that are “meant to manipulate an app’s average rating or top reviews,” according to The Hill. Likewise, app developers are not permitted to delete reviews or try to change their app’s rating by bombarding it with five-star reviews.
This news comes after a class-action lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York against Robinhood on Thursday for its decision to block users from buying stock in GameStop.
At the same time, politicians at both ideological extremes have been united in their anger at Robinhood and in their desire for the government to look into the company for its Thursday decision, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
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You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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House passes debt-ceiling deal with support from two thirds of GOP caucus
After hours of debate, the House voted Wednesday night to approve a bipartisan debt-ceiling deal, taking a step toward averting a default on U.S. debt. The measure passed with 314 members voting in favor and 117 members voting in opposition. 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats voted to approve the bill, while 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against it.
National Review writes the measure’s passage secures “a victory for House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who managed to keep his caucus together despite a challenge from House Freedom Caucus members intent on securing greater spending concessions from the Biden White House.”
The bill will now head to the Senate. McCarthy said the measure is the “largest spending cut that Congress has ever voted for,” but faced opposition from members of his caucus who believe the deal “didn’t go far enough in restoring pre-Covid spending levels.”
In his speech on the House floor Wednesday before the vote, McCarthy pleaded with his colleagues to support what he had bargained for with Biden:
“They demanded a clean debt limit, which really means they spend more and you pay more in taxes. House Republicans said ‘no’,” McCarthy said.“Over the past four months, we fought hard to change how Washington works. We stopped the Democrats from writing a blank check after the largest spending binge in American history… The Fiscal Responsibility Act is the biggest spending cut in American history.”
National Review reports:
The agreement suspends the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit through January 1, 2025, and caps spending in the 2024 and 2025 budgets.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the deal will reduce budget deficits by about $1.5 trillion between 2023 and 2033. Director of the CBO Phillip Swagel projected that there would be reductions in discretionary outlays of $1.3 trillion over the 2024–2033 period. Mandatory spending would decrease by $10 billion, revenues would decrease by $2 billion over the same period, and the interest on the public debt would decline by $188 billion.
Biden warned of the consequences of default, saying what would follow would include an economic recession, devastated retirement accounts, and millions of jobs lost.
“I made clear from the start of negotiations that the only path forward was a bipartisan budget agreement,” explained Biden on Twitter. “No one got everything they wanted. But that’s the responsibility of governing.”
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