mid the coronavirus outbreak, students across China have united in their trolling of a Slack-like communication and collaboration app that is facilitating their continued education despite schools being closed.
Alibaba’s Dingtalk is already reviled by workers around the country for allowing their bosses to keep close tabs on them, recording when and where they are when they clock in/out and pushing them to replay immediately to messages.
The app has expanded its services during the Covid-19 epidemic to help schools with online learning, providing teachers with a way of live-streaming classes and grading homework. It has been picked up by school systems in more than 300 cities across the country.
Students, however, have not appreciated the app’s part in spoiling their extended Spring Festival break.
After rumors starting circulating that Dingtalk would be pulled from app stores if its rating descended low enough, students began leaving thousands of one-star reviews.
The app’s rating ended up dropping all the way down to 1.4.
However, it was not pulled from the app store and Dingtalk’s rating has since recovered, fighting back against the “one-star campaign” via some cutesy memes and music videos.
In one popular video, the app begs to be spared. “I’m only five years old myself,” it says. “Please don’t kill me.”
While students may have toned down their murder campaign, they still celebrated uproariously on Tuesday morning when Dingtalk’s overloaded servers crashed, abruptly stopping classes for tens of millions of kids around China.
It took about one blissful hour for the servers to be restored.