Teens are fighting back against the Trump administration’s tough talk about potentially banning TikTok, and the official Trump 2020 app is a casualty of war.
It’s now sitting at an abysmal 1.2 out of five stars.
“Why are you banning TikTok?” asks a one-star review on the iOS App Store from “YEETERQUEEN” posted yesterday. “There are so many things that are more important than an app. You said you wanted to make America great again but idk if you understand how powerful we are. We still have more apps like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and much more. I’m sorry that you think you can stop us by deleting an app.”
That’s just one of literally hundreds left in the last few days as the Trump administration has amped up tough talk about China and Chinese apps.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo floated the potential ban by saying the U.S. government was contemplating taking action against TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps three days ago. Yesterday President Trump said “it’s something we’re looking at” to, as Fox News puts it, “punish China for its Coronavirus response.”
This option wasn’t even on the table a week ago, but India — embroiled in a border dispute with China — showcased it as a possibility by banning TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in late June.
That ban cost TikTok 200 million India users.
A U.S. ban would cost it tens of millions more, but teens are not taking it lying down.
Popular TikTok user @unusualbeing posted a step-by-step method of retaliation for his 795,000 followers, showing them how to review-bomb the Trump 2020 app.
And many were happy to oblige.
“Honestly just take back what you said you were gonna do to tiktok because your taking away one of the obviously most used apps to freely express yourself in America at least so it’s almost like your trying to take our right away because you don’t like how much power it is giving the youth to communicate and spread a message,” says one.
Like many things teens do, Trump app review bombing has turned into a competition: worst review wins. And there are some fairly “creative” challengers:
- “Not only did it take 5 hours to download but when it finally finished my phone sparked and electrocuted me.”
- “Now I have 36 hackers in my basement. Three of them even came to my house and killed my pet cat and they cooked the baby.”
- “When i first opened the app it was fine, but about 37 seconds in, my phone started shaking, and I realized that something was crawling out of the camera!”
- “This app took 4 days to download. As soon as it finally did, the login/ signup took multiple hours to complete.”
More than likely, those attempts will fail over time, as Apple does its best to find and remove inauthentic reviews. But for now, the damage is done, as an app with fewer than three stars will rarely be recommended or rank high in searches.
Others seem to be trying to avoid that inevitable platform ban on fake reviews, as they begin their reviews with a copied-and-pasted “Okay I am not part of this whole ‘gen z thing trying to remove the app’ I seriously got the app because I wanted to see what Donald trumps plans were for the election and all that kind of stuff.”
TikTok is currently ranked first on the App Store in the Entertainment category and has 85,000 reviews.
Average score? 4.7 out of five.
It also has almost 6.5 million reviews on Google Play, with an average score of 4.3 out of five.
Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be a coordinated attack on the Android version of the Trump 2020 app. But Trump’s Android app still has an average 1.1 star rating out of five, based on almost 50,000 reviews.