Updated: Jun 15, 2020
TikTok's rating on the app store fell from 4.5 to 1.2 stars overnight, leading Goggle to delete millions of negative reviews.
The app was flooded with one-star reviews on the Google Play store after influencer Faizal Siddiqui posted a video of a fake acid attack on the video-sharing platform. In the short video, Siddiqui throws a liquid at a woman's face who had decided to leave him, and the next scene shows the woman's face covered in make-up resembling the scars that acid attacks cause.
Since then Siddiqui has apologised, and TikTok has suspended his account. TikTok told the BBC, “As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks the safety of others, promotes physical harm, or glorifies violence against women."
Google intervened after they determined that protestors had set up bot and fake accounts to maximise the negative reviews of the app, currently the official Android marketplace shows that TikTok's rating is still below two stars.
This isn't the first time that sexist or misogynist actions have been instigated on social media, according to Amnesty International "Although people of all genders can experience violence and abuse online, the abuse experienced by women is often sexist or misogynistic in nature, and online threats of violence against women are often sexualized and include specific references to women’s bodies."
Despite this, TikTok's popularity is not waning anytime soon, according to the data firm Sensor Tower, TikTok's monthly revenue topped that of any other non-gaming app in April and May, including YouTube and Netflix.