In the past couple weeks established, “real” news publishers from CNN to USA Today have been hit with a ton of one-star reviews from people saying that the apps offered by MSM have a liberal bias.
The recent app reviews reflect a general discourse and lack of trust with corporate mainstream media…
“Absurdly left-leaning rhetoric,” one user wrote about Quartz’s app.
“I’m all for the first amendment but also representing the facts.”
“Literally nothing but LIARS!” another user wrote about CNN’s app.
Fascinating: Conservatives are torching CNN’s app-store ratings by trolling with 1-star reviews citing liberal bias https://t.co/UvMJkTK62p
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) November 23, 2016
More than half of all the reviews CNN’s app received this month in Apple’s App Store were one-star reviews accusing it of having a liberal bias; more than two-thirds of the one-star reviews USA Today’s iPhone app received over the same period claimed the publication had a liberal bias. In the app store, a full third of the reviews Mic has received since it debuted its app 10 days ago have done the same, and 40 percent of the 25 reviews Quartz’s app has ever received mention the bias of its content.
In Google Play, the percentage of one-star reviews that claim bias is lower, mostly because the variety of devices that run the Android operating system leads to more bugs. But the numbers there are substantial too. Both CNN and USA Today received hundreds each.
For the more established apps, which have amassed thousands of user reviews, one month’s worth of angry comments isn’t likely to have far-reaching consequences. A USA Today spokesperson said that its app’s daily average traffic has been normal since Nov. 10, after huge spikes on Nov. 8 and 9.
But in the case of newer apps, these batches of negative reviews have the ability to jeopardize their positions in app stores and their prospects for growing an audience.
“It becomes this cycle,” said Amir Ghodrati, the director of market insights at app analytics firm App Annie. “Lower reviews affect the ranking of an app in the top charts, which decreases app discoverability and, in turn, means fewer downloads, which would continue driving them further down the top charts.”