Apple has disabled the ability for customers to comment on and rate products on its online store — and the tech giant pulled down all the reviews and ratings that were previously left on the site.
It’s not clear why Apple made the decision to kill off user reviews in its ecommerce storefronts. Some observers have speculated it might have been to eliminate the possibility that negative reviews or comments will deter potential purchases — particularly during the critical holiday-shopping season.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment about the change.
The elimination of customer reviews was first reported by AppleInsider, which noted that in addition to the U.S., they have disappeared from Apple’s U.K. and Australia sites as well. The change appears to have occurred over the past weekend, with the features absent as of Nov. 17.
For now, Apple continues to offer the five-star rating system and user comments for iTunes content, including apps, songs, movies, TV shows, podcasts and audiobooks. However, for the original series in the Apple TV Plus subscription-streaming service, viewers do not have the ability to publicly comment or rate the shows, which include “The Morning Show,” “See” and “Dickinson.”
Last year, Netflix similarly purged user-submitted reviews of TV shows, movies and other programming from its website for streaming members. However, it still maintains user ratings and comments for customers of its DVD-by-mail service.