Everyone has their price, but who knew it was so low? First, we see Burger King persuading people to trade 10 Facebook friends for a Whopper (suggested retal price: $3.69). Then some are suggesting that Twitter might create a business model offer companies a sort of pay-per-click (PPC) approach to friendship where they might pay $1 for each “friend” who follows a sponsored invitation.
But apparently Belkin may have read Ben Kunz’s “Modest Blogging Proposal” and not recognized it as satire. According to The Daily Background, a Belkin employee used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to pay people to write positive reviews of Belkin’s products–65 cents for each review. The scandal has received wide coverage through a post by John Biggs on CrunchGear.
I can’t say I’m shocked (shocked!) to find out that there’s payola going on here. And, by way of an “I told you so,” a big part of the problem is that reviews are anonymous, and anonymity doesn’t play well with information accountability.