The internet has given us new ways to make our voices heard, and reviews are among the most powerful. Reviews tell us which businesses are reputable and which to avoid. It can either be a powerful asset or a bold warning label.
Take for instance, the messy relationship triangle between Google, Robin Hood, and Dogecoin. After what started as a meme, Reddit users united against hedge funds and found a way to beat them at their own game, costing investors short selling Gamestop stocks billions. Many who owned shares of Dogecoin (the nickname for the Gamestop stocks) used the app Robin Hood, a business focused on making investments in the stock market easy. However, due to some questionable practices on Robin Hood's part, users were locked out of Gamestop's stock and unable to buy or sell.
This did not go over well with the novice investors and in turn, began to vocalize what was being done. Overnight, Robin Hood's 4+ star review rating on Google plummeted to a 1 star. In an article published by The Verge in late January 2021 confirmed, "Google is actively removing negative reviews of the Robinhood app from the Google Play Store". However, the users of the internet continued to protest, driving Robin Hood's rating back down again.
Why is this so important? We place a lot on the value of an online presence. After all, businesses had virtually no choice but to have some kind of online identity with the onslaught of Covid19. Back in the good old days when we would recklessly shake hands and hug loved ones, we utilized in-person protests complete with signs and catchy chants. However, times have changed and we now use hashtags and reviews as a way to have our voices heard.
But there is a cautionary tale involved here. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Reviews are important because it lets other consumers know whether or not a business is reputable. And while this is true for companies of all sizes, it is especially true for small businesses. A bad review can be the difference between a small business making a sale or not. Making sure that you are fair when leaving a review is important and can have a major impact on a company's image.
While I can't say Robin Hood's trading practices being called out is unwarranted, reviewers should be aware of the power in their words. The keyboard is mightier than the sword when it comes to protesting in 2021, and we all should be aware of exactly how our words can impact those around us.