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Bogus reviews of Adobe AIR on Google Play

Participant ,
May 28, 2014

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While browsing Google Play I noticed that many of the reviews for Adobe AIR are obviously bogus reviews. These reviews make ridiculous or gibberish claims that have absolutely nothing to do with the software, and are always 5-star reviews. An example:

Thank you ADOBE! I normally don't review apps but this is too good not to comment!! The hair on my palms has stopped growing and I am no longer blind thanks to the power of Adobe AIR. You've saved my marriage! Also, my car has stopped making this weird clicking noise, my annoying cousin stopped dropping by unexpectedly, the dog's worms have disappeared, and my cholesterol is the lowest it's ever been"

These clearly bogus reviews have several threads in common:

  1. They are well spelled and punctuated (this is already a sign that they are not legitimate reviews)
  2. They always include "Adobe AIR" and usually "Adobe" in the review text
  3. They don't make sense or have nothing at all to do with the app
  4. They are 5-star reviews

Fake reviews such as this are common on Google Play, but you usually find them on apps that are obviously junk from the screenshots (or have no screenshots) but have high ratings - most of the reviews will be junk, but every 10th review or so will be "installed a bunch of ads and ruined my phone don't download". The conclusion is obvious - there are shady businesses offering fake app review services. I've seen these businesses on Craigslist, offering to buy up old Gmail accounts by the barrel.

What I find really appalling is the notion that a major company such as Adobe is stooping so low as to pay for fake 5-star reviews on the AIR app. This has been ongoing for at least a year. I invite anyone to take a look at the reviews on Google Play; see for yourself, the conclusion is obvious.

I am a huge fan of AIR mobile - I use it for my freelancing, I make quality multiplatform apps and get paid good money. I am frankly shocked to see Adobe resorting to tactics usually used by Chinese malware peddlers.

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Bogus reviews of Adobe AIR on Google Play

Participant ,
May 28, 2014

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While browsing Google Play I noticed that many of the reviews for Adobe AIR are obviously bogus reviews. These reviews make ridiculous or gibberish claims that have absolutely nothing to do with the software, and are always 5-star reviews. An example:

Thank you ADOBE! I normally don't review apps but this is too good not to comment!! The hair on my palms has stopped growing and I am no longer blind thanks to the power of Adobe AIR. You've saved my marriage! Also, my car has stopped making this weird clicking noise, my annoying cousin stopped dropping by unexpectedly, the dog's worms have disappeared, and my cholesterol is the lowest it's ever been"

These clearly bogus reviews have several threads in common:

  1. They are well spelled and punctuated (this is already a sign that they are not legitimate reviews)
  2. They always include "Adobe AIR" and usually "Adobe" in the review text
  3. They don't make sense or have nothing at all to do with the app
  4. They are 5-star reviews

Fake reviews such as this are common on Google Play, but you usually find them on apps that are obviously junk from the screenshots (or have no screenshots) but have high ratings - most of the reviews will be junk, but every 10th review or so will be "installed a bunch of ads and ruined my phone don't download". The conclusion is obvious - there are shady businesses offering fake app review services. I've seen these businesses on Craigslist, offering to buy up old Gmail accounts by the barrel.

What I find really appalling is the notion that a major company such as Adobe is stooping so low as to pay for fake 5-star reviews on the AIR app. This has been ongoing for at least a year. I invite anyone to take a look at the reviews on Google Play; see for yourself, the conclusion is obvious.

I am a huge fan of AIR mobile - I use it for my freelancing, I make quality multiplatform apps and get paid good money. I am frankly shocked to see Adobe resorting to tactics usually used by Chinese malware peddlers.

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May 28, 2014 0
Contributor ,
May 28, 2014

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I saw those too - but I always interpreted it as people being sarcastic about an app they've been forced to download but consider useless (I certainly got that impression from my own users). It has probably become fashionable to troll AIR on some forum somewhere.

I strongly doubt that Adobe would feel the need to fabricate reviews about a product that isn't even downloaded because of its popularity.

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May 28, 2014 0
Contributor ,
May 29, 2014

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Those are from real people. I remember when it started. It's a common joke

that people are perpetuating because they don't know what Adobe AIR does so

they make up stories like how it saved their marriage or gave them super

powers like seeing through walls. People do this for some products on

Amazon too.

I've been putting products on Google Play since it opened and I can spot

the fake ones and like the poster before mentioned, those that

are trolling. Read through them and you'll should get a few laughs.

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May 29, 2014 0
Participant ,
May 30, 2014

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How do you know they are from real people? I seriously doubt thousands of people independently decided to write 5-star reviews in a uniform style for an app that they don't understand the purpose of, and have been doing this continuously for at least a year.

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May 30, 2014 0
Engaged ,
May 30, 2014

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xTLS wrote:

How do you know they are from real people? I seriously doubt thousands of people independently decided to write 5-star reviews in a uniform style for an app that they don't understand the purpose of, and have been doing this continuously for at least a year.

You're just being paranoid. Why would Adobe hire "professional reviewers" just for their runtime app? They don't have any need for it. And also, why would they make people write such ridiculous joke reviews? It doesn't make sense.

People just don't know what Adobe AIR is for. Some think it's a new name for the Flash Player plugin, others think it makes their phone go faster...

So since it's not very clear for them what it's for, they joke about Adobe AIR being all kinds of things.

Also, in the Spanish version of the Play Store there are also similar joking comments about Adobe AIR. Example:
"Genial. Mi vida cambió por completo con esta app, creo que bajé 10 kilos en poco tiempo y ya tengo novia"

Translation: "Great. My life changed completely with this app. I think I lost 10 Kilos in a short time and now I have a girlfriend"

See? It's just bored people making jokes and being silly ;-). I guess someone started the trend, and the rest followed.

This is similar to the hilarious fake reviews in Amazon for the expensive cables they sell (some of the comments are comedy gold!):

http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AKDL1-Dedicated-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B000I1X6PM

Amazon.com: AudioQuest K2 Terminated Speaker Cable - UST 2.44 m Plugs 8' Pair (Discontinued by Manuf...

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May 30, 2014 0
Eddy_Li LATEST
Explorer ,
May 31, 2014

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I agree with OMA2k that Adobe wouldn't hire reviewers.

If anyone have been following Adobe Air in the past 5 years, it's hard not to feel that Adobe had withdraw a lot of resources from their Flash development. Most evangelists and dev members that I used to follow either have moved on to different things or just disappeared. I don't remember Air getting anything mind blowing in the last 2 years, and I don't remember reading something amazing is down the road.

So my guess is Adobe Air wouldn't even have the budget to hire reviewers at all

Don't get me wrong, I still like Flash and Air a lot. I just think the tech and tools are matured enough that there isn't much to develop more at this stage.

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May 31, 2014 0
Engaged ,
May 29, 2014

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Why is this being posted in the development section of the AIR forums?

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May 29, 2014 0