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Google deletes 100,000 bad reviews of Robinhood from its app store

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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).

RELATED: GOP congressman demands AOC apologize to Ted Cruz for ‘almost had me murdered’ tweet

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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BREAKING: IL judge orders state election board to remove Trump from primary ballot

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Cook County Judge Tracie Porter issued a lengthy ruling Wednesday which orders the state election board to remove former President Donald Trump from the Illinois primary ballot on March 19. Porter wrote Trump is disqualified from the presidency due to his actions relating to the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Porter said she was aware her “decision could not be the ultimate outcome,” given that higher courts will have a chance to weigh in; she also put her order on hold until Friday in anticipation of an appeal.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the State Board of Elections voted unanimously last month to reject the same bid to block Trump from Illinois’ ballot under the 14th Amendment. But Porter found the board’s decision to be “clearly erroneous.”

The 14th Amendment bars from “any office, civil or military, under the United States” anyone who previously took an oath as an “officer of the United States” to support the Constitution but then engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”

Trump’s lawyers have told the U.S. Supreme Court the amendment doesn’t apply because the president is not an “officer of the United States” under the Constitution and because he did not engage in “anything that qualifies as ‘insurrection.’”

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the “U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on the controversy soon — and appeared skeptical of the arguments to kick Trump off Colorado’s ballot. The clock is ticking on the nation’s high court given that Colorado’s primary election is Tuesday.” Porter also said her order would be put on hold if the Supreme court’s ruling is ultimately “inconsistent” with hers.

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