Apple removes App Store reviews from non-customers

Apple has quietly removed older App Store reviews from users who had not purchased the applications they were reviewing. Prior to last September, when Apple changed the App Store rules to require users to purchase or download an app prior to review, any user could leave a negative review on any application he/she wished, leading to developer complaints and reports of astroturfing. While the rule was changed, the older, possibly fraudulent reviews remained on the pages of the App Store until this week. Mac Rumors reports that several long-released apps have seen noticeable drops in the number of reviews; for example, Super Monkey Ball has dropped from 4197 reviews to 3714, while Pac-Man has gone from 395 to 122. Interestingly, the reviews for iPod Click Wheel Games continue to include numerous reviews from people who acknowledge that they have never played the games.

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