Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

MysteryFCM
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Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by MysteryFCM » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:32 am

Opinion A recent newspaper investigation uncovered evidence that companies are paying agencies to create false online reviews for their services. But what those companies may not realise is that this is illegal and could ruin their businesses.

The practice is called astroturfing, because it fakes grass-roots support, and it is not only ethically questionable, it is illegal. And if the law doesn't damage the business of those who engage in it, the verdict of the public will.

The laws surrounding the practice are yet to be fully tested, and business owners might think they can get away with some of the activity uncovered by The Times's investigation. But business owners must realise that, law or no law, faking support could cost them their most valuable asset: their reputation.


Read more
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/23/fake_reviews/

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RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by Guest » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:47 am

Would the shill reviews on Google, like "Read this first before you . . ." fall into this category?

MysteryFCM
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RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by MysteryFCM » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:48 am

One can only hope .....

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Myxt
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RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by Myxt » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:55 am

This is verrruh good news, Captain.

Companies are paying shadowy agencies to artificially inflate their presence in many ways which are designed to appear organic. The more successful this seems, the more likely that small business owners are tempted to dip into this "Lord of the Flies" world.

With all the other global distractions, correcting this may be a protracted process.

Guest

RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by Guest » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:59 am

From the "asknerd" site:
  1. ""The issue lies in the explosion of spam-review sites which are nothing more then websites promoting affiliate links under the guise of an official " review " site. There main goal is to accomplish one thing - to send you to the site they are promoting and hoping you buy the product they are selling - if you do, they get up to a 75% cut of the sale. In other words, their reviews are up for sale - and are not anything but thinly veiled sales pitches. For example, if you do a search for the term " Paid Survey " or " Registry Repair " you'll notice that the paid listings all include sites that say " read our review " or " warning, don't download anything until you read this..."
Stating the obvious, but that's an excerpt from many years ago.

Glad the media is finally looking into this. About time . . .

Guest

RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by Guest » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:14 am

<quote user="bobjam">
Glad the media is finally looking into this. About time . . .
[/quote]

Someone must have posted it on Twitter or the would've never realized. ~big grin~


alphacentauri
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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:52 pm

RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by alphacentauri » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:42 pm

I don't know if there is anything in the US comparable to that UK law, unfortunately.

I called out a company that was astroturfing restaurant reviews and posted links documenting it on one of those review sites. The site admins removed my post and emailed me to say they do not accept such posts. So much for the public reaction to astroturfing being a disincentive.

alamctg
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RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by alamctg » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:19 am

I guess the people involved in the said businesses weren't thinking. They'd do anything to gain the reputation without working for it. They wanna cover their flaws and pay people to make the perfect impression of them. This has been going on for some time now which actually gives me doubts when I see reviews online. It's hard to tell which ones are genuine.

Guest

RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by Guest » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:33 pm

<quote user="alamctg">
I guess the people involved in the said businesses weren't thinking. They'd do anything to gain the reputation without working for it. They wanna cover their flaws and pay people to make the perfect impression of them. This has been going on for some time now which actually gives me doubts when I see reviews online. It's hard to tell which ones are genuine.
[/quote]

It's probably safe to assume that at least 90% of reviews you see are either paid shills (like the Google "Sponsored" ads that start with "Read this before you . . . ") or are reviews by print media for the very software that advertises in that print media (which is like the Fox guarding the Hen House). Electronic media is the same.

Your best bet is getting opinions from individuals you know and trust.

Some reviews, like those found on legitimate security sites, may be valid, but I'd suggest taking ANY written review with a grain of salt.

Are any reviews "genuine"? Maybe, but you need to exercise not only common sense but keep your antenna for red flags up. Skepticism in the arena of reviews is justified.

Whenever you see "studies show", the antenna should pop right up.

For example, when you see favorable reviews for IE and then look into who funded the "study" you'll see that it was . . . you guessed it . . . that 500 pound gorilla on the block . . . Microsoft.

Likewise for FF and the Mozilla Foundation.

And each will be behind those "studies" that bash the other one.


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Myxt
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RE: Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

Post by Myxt » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:31 am

@BobJam - oh yeah? Well, studies have proven that:

The single common cause of death for all people is "being born".

The average human being has one testicle and one ovary.

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