Apple has banned a prolific iPhone developer from the App Store and removed all of the company’s more than 1000 apps as a result of what is believed to be review fraud, or astroturfing, on the part of the company. The issue with this specific developer was first discovered and reported by iPhoneography, a blog devoted to iPhone photography and videography, when a reader unearthed an unusually high number of five-star reviews for Molinker’s various applications. All reviews shared the same poor writing style and the overly positive reviewers had written reviews excluslvely for Molinker’s products.
iPhoneography submitted this information to Apple’s Phil Schiller and later received word confirming that Molinker’s apps had been removed from the App Store, which for some reason had featured at least one of the apps as a staff pick despite highly negative user reviews. In a response to the Appfreak blog, Molinker acknowledged that it had also received an e-mail on Sunday from Apple, placing its contract in pending status. (via AppleInsider)