The free trading app had been providing easy access for people to buy large amounts of stocks amid a crusade by Redditors against Wall Street, before abruptly curbing it.
Ratings for the investment app Robinhood have plummeted back down to one star on Play Store, even after Google tried to salvage it by deleting thousands of negative reviews. The app, however, still enjoys a four-star rating on the competing Apple App Store.
Google earlier managed to haul the app’s ratings back to around three stars by deleting bad reviews, after them rapidly plummeting. In accordance with its Play Store policies, Google can explicitly ban reviews that are intended to “manipulate the rating” of an app. The company at the time felt the deleted ratings were violating those policies.
The rapid rating decline was caused by several Robinhood users organising campaigns to bring it down after the app’s management banned them from buying stocks from certain companies purchased en-masse by Redditors in an attempt to snub big hedge funds that placed their bets against those said companies.
The Redditors’ raid on Wall Street managed to inflict damage on their target, with some hedge funds sustaining big losses as a result of bets against GameStop stock, the company whose stock price was propelled the most by netizens. The hedge fund Melvin Capital lost more than 50% in January as a result.
Explaining Robinhood’s move, the company’s co-founder, Vladimir Tenev, said in an interview with CNN the company had decided to freeze certain trades, claiming that the company had to “make a very difficult decision to protect our customers and protect our firm”.