01.18.09

Another AstroTurf Scam Exposed?

Posted in Deception, Fraud, Hardware, Microsoft at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Violation of EU law

Microsoft AstroTurfing is a reality and undeniable fact, not just a reasonable assumption. Using concrete proof and admission from Microsoft, we last showed this a month ago. We also asserted that one of the key people who organise AstroTurf campaigns for Microsoft — a gentleman who goes by the name of Marshall Goldberg — was seemingly leaving fake reviews in Amazon.

Well, thanks to this new report, it seems like there is a whole business behind fake reviews in Amazon.

I just contacted Belkin to confirm but this doesn’t look good. A site called The Daily Background found evidence that Belkin Bizdev guy, Michael Bayard, is paying folks 65 cents to write good things about Belkin routers. Why? I’m not sure. I sure didn’t mind Belkin routers in the first place and 65 cents isn’t a lot of money for a paragraph. Maybe a flat buck or a USB hub instead? Is false praise really that cheap?

We are not through with such exploration of AstroTurfing by Microsoft because it is a crime in the European Union. The company can probably be sued already because there is sufficient evidence and victims.

Who can we trust
Who can you trust?

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3 Comments

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Gravatar

    This is now confirmed:

    Belkin boss ‘extremely sorry’ for cash-for-good-reviews plan

    According to an open letter from Belkin big cheese Mark Reynoso, the “unethical practice” was conducted by “one of our employees”, who offered cash in exchange for good reviews.

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/01/20/belkin_prez_apologises/

    The CEO tried to deny it earlier. IOW, he lied to the public!

  2. Shane Coyle said,

    January 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Word is, Belkin will next make a router that writes it’s own reviews… (anyone recall the router with built-in ads?)

    Anyhow, here is a photo of one of the alleged ads, as originally posted on The Daily Background, which is still uncovering more possible astroturfing work of Mike Bayard, the Belkin employee.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Gravatar

    They can be sued in the EU now. LXer has a story too.

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