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Posts Tagged ‘fakers’

Facebook Sued for Faking It and Liking It

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Meet Anthony Ditirro

He has filed a huge lawsuit because (in his opinion) Facebook posted a “sponsored story” that showed him endorsing USA Today, even though he claims never to have visited USA Today’s website or liked it on Facebook. Big deal, right? You may as well as made fun of Ditirro’s mother because dude went off.

Ditirro filed a class-action suit against Facebook under the assumption that if it happened to him, many others may have been created to “fake it,” although no one else has stepped forward yet.  And there’s more…

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UPDATE: Deaf People Want to Give Mandela Memorial ‘Fake’ Sign Language Interpreter the Finger

Fake SignWho videobombs a funeral? And no, this isn’t a political joke; I’m talking about the guy standing next to the president throwing up the equivalent of gang signs.

According to the hearing-impaired communities everywhere on the planet, that dude may as well have been picking his nose on international television, because he knew about as much sign language as an 18-month-old baby putting its hands together to say “more.”

Wilma Newhoudt, the first deaf person elected to South Africa’s parliament and a vice president of the World Federation of the Deaf, said:

“Shame on this male so called interpreter on the stage,” she wrote on Twitter during the memorial service. “What is he signing? He knows that the deaf cannot vocally boo him off. Shame on him!”

Unfortunately, there’s more… Read more

PR Stunts: Fake Study Links Fox News to Low IQs

Fox News ChannelIt was a headline destined to simultaneously inspire a dozen highfalutin op-eds and a million bitchy comments: Fox News Viewers Are the Dumbest. One problem, though: it was what we in the media world call “a bunch of BS.”

Here’s the funny thing: the “story” wasn’t some sort of stunt pulled by MSNBC or another one of Fox’s many ideological opponents in the so-called “lamestream media.”

No, this little bit of fakery came from the inside—its source, according to a Huffington Post follow-up, appears to be a longtime “PR guru” and dedicated Republican who wants his party of choice to loosen its ties to the Fox News brand in the interest of its future electoral fortunes. See, the purpose of the “study” wasn’t to call Republicans dumber than Democrats: it was to insinuate that conservative Americans who choose not to watch the Fox News Channel are smarter than those who do.

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Sandy Twitter Troll Outed and Shamed

To the unfortunate few who pay attention to online flame wars: the nightmare is over. ComfortablySmug–the Twitter “troll” who posted false messages during Hurricane Sandy claiming that Con Ed was about to shut off power to all of Manhattan and that the New York Stock Exchange had experienced severe flooding–has been named and shamed. Get ready for some huge surprises:

  • He lives in New York
  • He works in finance
  • He doubles as a political consultant
  • He has trouble maintaining serious long-term relationships

After a Buzzfeed post revealed the offender’s name, he disappeared, only to pop up again with what amounted to an apology combined with a press release promoting Christopher Wight, the Congressional candidate whose campaign he managed until his abrupt resignation this week:

Well, at least he doesn’t stray off-message. Once a flack, always a flack.

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Yelp Cracks Down on Fake Reviews

Regular readers will know how much we dislike the “fake ‘user’ review” phenomenon, so we’re somewhat encouraged to report that Yelp, that notorious bastion of foodie self-promotion, recently made some big moves to crack down on the cheaters.

Want to see the practice in action? Here’s a craigslist post specifically offering to pay for positive Yelp reviews. The site’s famous review filter can only get rid of so much of this stuff.

OK, we get it: Yelp is extremely influential within the hyper-competitive restaurant world. Bad Yelp reviews can be worse for business than negative editorials in local papers. We can see why the temptation to encourage friends, employees and paid “freelancers” to post glowing write-ups might be hard to resist, but that doesn’t make the practice acceptable. It’s fake, cheap PR.

In a possible attempt to justify its dubious “Real People. Real Reviews.” tagline and acquire something resembling credibility, Yelp decided to adopt an unusual strategy: publicly shaming any businesses caught cheating.

Here’s the deal:

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New Study: Fake ‘User’ Reviews Are Here to Stay

We recently posted a story discussing whether fake “user” reviews posted to social media and retail sites on behalf of clients could be considered acceptable PR tools. The overwhelming response we received from PR professionals strongly hinted at a critical consensus: While the practice is somewhat common, it is never OK.

Gerard F. Corbett, Chairman and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, even weighed in to state unequivocally that posting reviews under fake names is unethical and should not be tolerated by any respectable PR organization.

Unfortunately, researchers behind a newly released Gartner study believe that the practice will only continue to grow despite our ethical quandaries. It’s a bit of a chicken-egg scenario: As consumers conduct more of their research and shopping online, positive social media reviews will become more and more important to brands—and in the rush to establish and expand a product’s online reputation, quite a few individuals will end up breaking the rules. (Researchers place the percentage of fake reviews at 10-15% by 2014.)

According to Gartner, someone will pay for cheating—and soon.

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Got Fake Twitter Followers?

We thought we’d heard it all, but Twitter followers apparently now double as currency, and “clandestine Twitter trading” may very well be a real thing (someone please help us figure out how this would work). At any rate, quite a few big-name accounts have found themselves in the news lately for accumulating thousands of fake followers. Is your feed hiding any fakers? Maybe you should double check.

Take a look at StatusPeople’s Fake Follower Check to find out how many of your besties are anything but–and let us know how it pans out.

BTW, don’t feel bad if you find a few fakers on your list. It can happen to the even best and brightest among us: Read more