I think most of you have heard of the recent unrest in Israel/Palestinian territory. Arabs have viewed Facebook as a biased social media platform that favors Israeli posts. Therefore, they've started giving a one-star rating for the Facebook app on Google Play, which caused the Facebook rating to plummet to 2 from 4.5

So, I'd like to ask a question about the mass downvoting of a certain app and its effects on the technical and business levels. Is Stack Exchange a suitable place for that? If so, where can I post this question? Politics? Android Enthusiasts?

  • 3
    Politics would most likely work, but I would check in the per-site meta first. Source: I’m pretty active on politics SE Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:18
  • @EkadhSingh Thanks, do you have any idea how can I get the necessary reputation to ask in meta? Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:40
  • 1
    Ah, I forgot about that, I’ll ask there for you. Here is the link. Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:47
  • 1
    Please clarify what you mean by "mass downvoting". Is this fictional (i.e. what if analysis) or correspond to past or current events? Is this behavior organic, manipulated (i.e. by spreading fake news / social engineering) or done by a single or collective entity ( i.e. hackers) ? Are you an app programmer, a researcher or just curious?
    – Rubén
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 15:15
  • @SamIbraheem Thank you. I think that as a single question it's not a good fit for any site on SE but it might be possible that some event aspects might be on topic on certain sites. i.e. Community Building maybe they allow questions about how the CM could handle this situation.
    – Rubén
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 15:46
  • engadget.com/… Seems useful for context Commented May 24, 2021 at 2:20

4 Answers 4


If you want to focus on the business aspect of what impact user reviews have on sales and brand value of apps listed on Play Store I think the question might be on-topic at https://economics.stackexchange.com

What topics can I ask about here?

Try to ask something that a member can answer using facts, studies, economic theory and reasoning

On-topic, but

The following topics belong to economics and are welcome here. However, there may be a different StackExchange community with a more narrow focus, where you might get an answer of higher quality:

Financial Economics: There is also Quantitative Finance.

Corporate Finance/Business Economics: Corporate Finance/Business Economics is usually either really simple Economics, or horribly complex applied micro-macro-economic-o-metrics (and then some). Fire away and ask though, and we will see what happens.

There is probably a wealth of existing research on factors influencing marketing and product performance given user reviews. I recall one such recent case

Controversy - Ryse: Son of Rome

paid for fake organic reviews, and bound Machinima Inc. to "not portray [Microsoft], the Xbox One, or the Launch Titles in a negative manner"


A question if the premise is true might belong best to Skeptics. Your initial assertion is at odds, skeptics deals exactly with that.

  • Searching on Skeptics israel palestine created:2021-05 returns 9 results
    – Rubén
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 15:53
  • 1
    The question is not on topic for Skeptics because Skeptics is about fact checking notable claims
    – Laurel
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 16:12
  • @Laurel the premise could be a question for Skeptics: "is it true that X resulted in Y?"
    – Trish
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 16:24
  • 4
    Yeah but you didn't explain that and as a result OP posted (and has since deleted) a question on Skeptics that was off topic :(
    – Laurel
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 16:28

I'd like to ask a question about the mass downvoting of a certain app and its effects on the technical and business levels.

This is what one might term... problematic. From your choice of sites - it looks a lot like you're trying to affect the ratings of an application - not based on its "merit" or usability presumably as some form of activism.

'Ethics' and corporate policies aside - Android enthusiasts is for the use of android apps, and I don't feel like its a good fit for politics, based on their "on topic" page.

I do also think the respective app store would be quite interested in preventing such 'synthetic' votes.

Considering this somewhat leans into 'blackhat' use of technology, and even with the 'best' of intentions, kind of comes close to what someone trying to game the rating systems for software would do, I wouldn't be comfortable suggesting a specific site, even if I felt one was suitable.

  • 1
    I'm sorry you felt like that. That's not my intention at all. The thing that we had some unrest in the Middle East, and people in the Arab and Islamic world have been downvoting Facebook like crazy, so I was just curious about the issue that's all Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:16
  • 1
    Sometimes, you can use the same tools for good or evil. That said, if its unhappy people downvoting an app - its not clear from your question, and you can ignore the last two paragraphs, but its still not a great fit for either IMO Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:20
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek -1 "Blackhat use of technology" is absolutely on-topic on Stack Exchange. Commented May 23, 2021 at 22:39
  • That's not what I said. I pointed out it wasn't on topic on either site, and said I wasn't comfortable with suggesting a site. Its not that different, as I'd initially read the question to paying/encouraging people to down-rate a site, from a company or a collective of people downrating/downvoting an app because they disagreed with the company Commented May 24, 2021 at 1:45

This what you've done is basically trolling. There was a site proposal for Trolling, but it was probably only a trolling...

You've exploited the vulnerability of the one particular site (Google Play) to the coordinated trolling. The actual questions that you would like to ask, is how likely such action is to have any long-term effect, which translates to: how likely it is, that Google engineers would notice a massive anomaly in voting for one of the most popular apps. Which is the speculation about the processes in one particular company. Which is AFAIK not on topic on any existing page.

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