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Idea that I hate of the day:

Oh, no.

Remember when we outlined how to spot a fake review, and noted that there is a rise of less-than-ethical reviews being placed online because a vendor purchases them? Spotted by Jon Benya, the company above (who shall not be linked to) is the idea that I hate of the day– you log in, see who in your area is offering to buy your review, then go say nice things about them and get paid, yippee! The company seems to operate on the premise that you would have written a review anyway, but we call bull. The ecosystem of reviews is already unpure without paid incentive to sully it even further, plus this completely violates the terms of Yelp and other review sites that do not allow paid reviews.

Tell us in comments– do you think this is legit, or is it an idea that you hate of the day too?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Jennifer Windrum

    October 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Easy peasie answer: Total bullshit. Added to my list of ideas I hate for the day, especially TODAY. I swear nothing is "pure" or genuine these days. Thanks for pointing this out.

  2. Allen Mireles

    October 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I suppose that this is inevitable, given the tendencies of human na†ure to try and game the system, but I really hate to see examples like this. This cheapens the entire online review site concept and makes the company who purchased the reviews look bad too.

    I hate to see this kind of thing. This would qualify as an idea that I hate too.

  3. Stephanie

    October 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    The only good I see in this is going on the site to see who in my area is willing to pay for reviews and avoiding them.

  4. Tinu Abayomi-Paul

    October 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Hate! Have to throw all kinds of shade.

    Upfront disclosure by my esteemed colleagues of things they got for the purpose of reviewing, I get. People send them stuff, they Choose to review the things they *actually* love. But in their case, they're also reviewing things that they happened across, that no one sent them. And over time, you build a trust relationship with a blogger, and come to find their opinions to be truthful or full of BS when you try the same products based on a review. There's a level of transparency there.

    I know money makes the earth spin, so I'll even buy through their affiliate links. I can dig it. Even the pay per review sites, though they feel icky to me, aren't completely devoid of ethics. They still have to disclose.

    But this. This is, regardless of intent, going to create a cottage industry of people who will review things just to make money, whether or not they have experienced the product. Who regulates that? Throws a huge film of filth on what is not a fully transparent process already.

    Worst thing to me is that these systems give an incentive to lying, and on favoring going to one place over another based on netting free stuff at the end of the day.

  5. Danny Brown

    October 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Reminds me of IZEA and all their cruddy sites like PayPerPost. If you like something, you'll write about it; if you don't, you'll write about it. But at least they'll be honest.

    As soon as money changes hands, the spike in positive reviews goes up many times, from the simple fact people want to be chosen again by a company when the next, possibly higher-paid, batch of review gigs come around.

    Can paid reviews be honest? Yes – but the chances of that happening drop when the encouragement to write something nice for money is there.

  6. Brian Carter

    October 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Wait, did this idea just come out of a time machine from 2008?

  7. Doug Haslam

    October 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    That the site copy is written as if there is nothing wrong with the very idea of the business is scary. Alas, there are several businesses that will do that– there was one (I won't call it out nor do I remember the name of the company anyway) attached to a monitoring platform that would essentially muster a blog posse to write on your product/service/topic- fake reviews, fake seo fake– everything. I ran away from that demo.

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