Computerworld – Taiwan’s Truthful Trade Commission this week fined Korean conglomerate Samsung $340,000 for “astroturfing.”
Specifically, the Taiwanese FTC said Samsung paid two “advertising companies” more than $100,000 to hire people to “highlight the shortcomings of competing products,” engage within the “disinfection of negative news about Samsung products,” positively review Samsung products and, (in a unusual flip of phrase), do “palindromic Samsung product marketing,” no matter that means.
Wait, what’s ‘astroturfing’?
Samsung was once fined for paying a “huge number of hired writers and specific staff” to put up comments in online forums praising Samsung and criticizing rivals.
Astroturf is a model of pretend grass; “astroturfing” is a reference to a fake “grass-roots” motion.
The observe of astroturfing has a protracted and sordid history. The term used to be coined by using U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas in 1985, regarding a letter-writing campaign orchestrated through the insurance coverage business. Actually, astroturfing has been an immense software of political dirty tricks because the Roman empire.
The Upward Push of the Web, on-line messages boards and social media — and with it, the rising influence of “the group” — has introduced the follow to industry, including the mobile computing trade, in addition to different forms of companies.
Astroturfing scale stages from the native industry the place the owner asks family and pals to jot down certain on-line evaluations to the largest sustained astroturfing marketing campaign in history: China’s 50-cent army.
The Chinese Language government reportedly pays as many 300,000 folks to submit pro-Chinese executive feedback on boards, message boards and social media Web Sites within China and everywhere the arena. It has reportedly being going on for years as a part of a sustained coverage.
(This effort of disinformation bolsters that executive’s huge monitoring gadget for social media worldwide, which reportedly employs 2 million individuals.)
While China allegedly relies upon sheer manpower to weigh down global public opinion about the Chinese govt, different organizations use automation.
A Category of tool referred to as “persona administration device” magnifies the effectiveness of each and every paid faux opinion writer with the aid of auto-producing a reputable however phony on-line persona (often known as a “sockpuppet”), including a pretend title, email handle, website online, social media profiles and different data. The instrument creates pretend online task to offer the non-existent users a “historical past” or on-line “footprint.”
“Persona administration software” Explicit to social networks is referred to as a “social bot.”
Some industries count almost completely upon web-based opinions, and so astroturfing is rife. Accommodations, restaurants and books are closely reliant on purchaser-generated reviews to attract new business.