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If you are planning to buy a new smartphone or laptop, you look up internet reviews and customer ratings to check out what device is best for you. But remember not to always believe everything you read on the internet. Samsung was fined $340,300 by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission for paying people to post messages online those attacked HTC products at the same time as they flattered Samsung’s.
The site lists almost 4,000 examples of these kinds of assaults, with a lot of instigating on the Chinese message forum Mobile 01. People on Mobile 01 are permitted to state their love of Samsung or detest of HTC, but Samsung openly paid them to make these types of posts, in spite of. This approach is also known as astroturfing because it emulates a grass-roots campaign, but is completely fake and unnatural.
Sun Lih-chyun, a spokesman for the Taiwan FTC, said that Samsung’s astroturfing was the first case of its kind in the country. “The deceitful behavior has negative impacts on market order and violated the fair trade law,” he said, as reported by the wire news service AFP.
“We are disappointed that the Taiwan FTC has decided that we have violated the Fair Trade Act based on online marketing activities,” said a spokesman for Samsung. “Samsung Electronics Taiwan is carefully reviewing the decision and will take all necessary steps to protect our reputation as a company which values its customers.”
Astroturfing doesn’t only take place with companies overseas. Lately, the online reviews site Yelpsued the McMillan Law Group in San Diego for astroturfing when it shaped fake positive reviews from nonexistent clients.
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