Highly Rated Apps and Games Could Be Due to Violations of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk System


Uh oh. It looks like a developer was caught red-handed breaking policies detailed in terms of use statements in both Google and Amazon software. Game developer Noosoft Games used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system, a system which allows companies to pay everyday users for doing menial and tedious tasks, to get users to rate one of their games in the Google Play Store.


A user would be paid $1.35 for successfully completing the task. Something like this affects the integrity of reviews in the Play Store. A user can trust nothing but reviews when looking at an app (particularly paid apps) and using this form of manipulation is very sad. Google feels the same way as they specifically prohibit developers from doing this sort of thing in their terms of use. (You cannot manipulate downloads and ratings for better placement in the Play Store.)

Amazon also prohibits its Mechanical Turk users from forcing users to download software to complete a task. The HIT, what the actual task and listing are called in the Mechanical Turk system, has since been removed, but the app still remains in the Play Store with unbelievably high ratings. Is it a game deserving of five stars? It might be, but that isn’t up to developers to decide – it’s up to the users who are actually downloading and playing these games and using these apps.

It’d be great if you could completely fool-proof a ratings system and prevent developers from gaming the system, but the sad fact is that you can’t. If you notice things like this, though, you should definitely reach out to Google and Amazon to let them know of the wrong-doings. Amazon’s already done their part on this specific issue, and we expect Google will, too, once they’ve taken notice. The least we can hope for is that they clear the ratings history and force these developers to start from zero. [via Android Police]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. check the reference at the bottom please

    1. Quentyn is notorious for not proof reading/verifying links. I tried to help them out with small mistakes (like this one) but day after day they fail to verify and proof read. Tisk Tisk….

      1. No way!.:D

  2. lol. good story, but WRONG HYPERLINK AT THE BOTTOM!

  3. Developers caught doing this should be banned from the Market.

  4. Yeah, if I saw this sort of thing on mechanical turk, id report it for sure.

  5. >we expect Google will, too, once they’ve taken notice.

    IMO, Google doesn’t care too much unless/until the bad press becomes an issue.

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