‘Review bombing’ trend adds Google Classroom to its list of victims




Kaitlyn Gibson, staff writer

Students have recently attempted to get Google Classroom taken off the App Store by giving it bad reviews. As the concerns around the pandemic grew, schools closed their doors and moved to remote learning. Many students were not happy to find that they still had to complete schoolwork, so they took to TikTok to devise a plan. Several different TikTok users created videos urging everyone to give Google Classroom a bad review. As one user put it, “If enough people rate this app one star, we can get it taken down.” 

The video that seems to have started it all was posted on April 4 and uses the tag “#bangoogleclassroom,” a tag that has amassed nearly 2 million views. In the video, the user attempts to persuade viewers to write bad reviews, saying, “If we get it [taken] off the App Store, that means no homework, no assignments, no nothing. What are they going to do, mail us assignments?” Although his efforts to avoid doing homework can be considered impressive, the idea of removing apps by lowering their ratings is nothing new.

Review bombing became popular last year when TikTok users asked everyone to give Life360, an app designed for parents to track their children’s locations, a bad review in hopes of getting it removed. They were unsuccessful in their attempts, but the fate of Google Classroom isn’t as clear. As of May 8, the app’s rating was down to 1.6 stars on the App Store, which is 2.1 stars lower than it was on April 4. Since the original TikTok was posted, the amount of reviews for Google Classroom has increased by over 1.2 million.

Although there has been an overwhelming amount of participation in the review bombing, many people are against the idea. “I think it’s selfish of people to give an app a bad review simply because they don’t want to do their homework,” expressed Esmeralda Cisneros, a sophomore at Joliet West. She added, “Even though so many people are giving it a bad review, I really don’t think this specific app will get removed because of how much students and teachers depend on it.”

Regardless of whether or not these TikTokers are successful in removing Google Classroom from the App Store, students should follow their school’s remote learning plan and complete their school work. The last day for JTHS seniors and underclassmen to submit late work is May 15 and May 22, respectively.