CANADIAN SMARTPHONE MAKER Blackberry has denied involvement in an astroturfing campaign for the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) Android app.
The Google Play store has been besieged by reviews for the app, which has already garnered 10 million downloads in under a week. However, oddly enough, most of them seem to say the same thing:
"Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth."
Unfortunately, some of the astroturfers must have been a little trigger happy with their Ctrl+V, as a few of the glowing endorsements were preceded by instructions about how to cut and paste it into their review.
To add to the confusion, the repetitive praise has become a meme, with many users posting parodies:
"Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth... ps crashes on launch, piece of crap".
Blackberry's response has been emphatic. It said, "We have recently been made aware of a number of potentially fake five-star reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play.
"We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this. There are also many genuinely great and useful reviews from our new BBM users on Google Play. We would like to encourage our passionate fans and users to continue to provide true assessments of the BBM experience through the proper channels."
We understand that Google Play is working with Blackberry to remove the fake reviews, and hope that at that point we'll be able to glean the genuine reaction to the new app.
If you want to know what we make of it, we'll be publishing a hands-on review of BBM for Android on Monday. µ