Annoying Internet trend: Geeks get themselves worked up into a righteous fury that a piece of software is overpriced, or has DRM they don’t like, and they flood online distribution outlets with one-star reviews trashing the product without ever having used it. It happened to EA’s (ERTS) Spore on Amazon, and it’s been happening to paid apps on Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone App Store. No longer: Over the weekend, Apple quietly implemented a new policy — only people who actually purchased a paid application can review it. Try to review software you haven’t paid for or downloaded, and Apple gives the following message:
We reviewed a number of the top paid apps in the App Store, and it seems like Apple stripped out the older one-star harassment reviews from the system.
We’re all for filtering reviews and comments in general, and we’re definintely much more interested in reviews from people who’ve actually, you know, tried the product. But we do have one question: If no one can review an app until they’ve downloaded it, who’s actually going to provide the reviews?
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