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Student-led movement to ban Google Classroom

Posted at 8:42 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 09:56:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's been more than one month since students have been in the classroom. Classes are done virtually, which means students have a lot of extra time on their hands and they're keeping busy with a new trend.

“Now that we’re all stuck at home, kids have enough time to decide they don’t want to do the work, so they’re review bombing so they don’t have to do the work teachers are assigning,” said Cubby Mentkowski, the son of our very own Chief Meteorologist, Aaron Mentkowski.

Mentkowski uses Google Classroom for more than half of his classes at Williamsville North High School.

"It's very easy and simple to use, it's just the fact that people don't want to do the work," Mentkowski said.

This led to a new trend on the social media app TikTok.

@hoodie_vernon

LETS DO IT ##bangoogleclassroom ##noonlikeschool ##foryou ##fyp ##foryou ##DecadesofHair ##shareyourplaylist

♬ Nice Boys - TEMPOREX

In the video, the question is asked: "what if we all gave Google Classroom a zero star review and we got Google classroom took off the App Store?"

In the two weeks since the video was posted, Google Classroom's rating in the App Store has dropped from 3.7 stars to 1.7 stars.

The reviews vary. Some say the app is bad and has glitches, some come from TikTok, and others admit they just don't want to do school work.

“Now that we’re all stuck at home, kids have enough time to decide they don’t want to do the work, so they’re review bombing so they don’t have to do the work teachers are assigning,” Mentkowski said.

"Review bombing" is not a new trend. Cybersecurity expert Arun Vishwanath says students in China tried the same strategy a few months back..

“You’ve gotta get them credit for trying, but they weren’t successful even in China when they tried to bring down this app. Once they recognize this is a movement of an organized network of people trying to do this, it’s not going to be successful unfortunately."

He says it became popular in 2008 and 2009 and started in the gaming community. It's similar to a movie getting low reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Mentkowski remembers a similar Tik Tok-inspired effort to get the location services app Life 360 removed.

Cubby Mentkowski added, “it’s different and it’s hard to adjust to doing work at home. With Google classroom I don’t really support trying to get it removed, just try to enjoy your time at home and try to have fun other ways.”

7 Eyewitness News reached out to Google for a response to the trend and we have yet to hear back.