Fake Reviews

It's 1:30 in the morning on tax deadline day and I've finished my taxes. The good news (if there's no bad news) is that I'm getting $49 back, because I'm due some credit for last year's health insurance premiums. I also recently received my condo insurance payment for cleaning up flooding from my neighbor's AC unit that took place in December, and I got a partial refund of the security deposit at my last apartment.

So the only outstanding payment is $20 of revenue share from Fingerprint Play. It's technically outstanding, since they told me just before the pandemic the check's in the mail, but realistically I hold no hope of getting paid until they go bankrupt and I'm classified as a creditor, like when I got finally got my $50 Nabi (they did specify a minimum payout, but really, what's up with these kids app companies?).

I'm thinking that $20 went to fake reviews, like this spate of five-star reviews that showed up on the App Store all at once a year ago.

Each one is a two-line review, with English user names (where's the diversity?) spelled out properly with capitalized first and last names, unlike the typical alphabet soup of App Store reviewer names, like this sample from one of my apps.

And each first and last name is oddly separated by an underscore or period in addition to a space. It's like someone got tired of working on the fake reviewer name generation script and said good enough. Which apparently it is, if Apple didn't catch it.

So next time I sign an app distribution contract, besides requiring an advance payment, I'll insist on getting paid for both real and fake users.

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