And today, again, we see another example of ‘astroturfing’ and the consequences. Astroturfing is when content is developed and seeded online (or elsewhere) by an organisation and presented as being from ‘grassroots’ – consumers, users or non-connected others. This, in the UK, is now illegal – for a brand or company to represent themselves online using an alias or inferring they are a ‘consumer’
A developer has been banned from the iPhone App Store after Glyn Evans advised Apple that a reader of his blog had noticed similarities on reviews for a number of apps – all by the same company. The result is that over 1,000 of its apps for Molinker (from travel apps to instant chat-up lines) have been removed. For Heinz, it would be all baked beans tins being withdrawn from Asda. And Tesco, Sainsburys plus … .. ..
As users rate and review downloaded apps, report problems and share, good ratings see apps rise to the top, bad not.
For brands this is simply, stupidity. And a reminder that social media can build and well as destroy a company.
Update: The Guardian on Astroturfing
9 December 2009
Navigating the emerging landscape
#typed notes explores the emerging landscape from an insiders perspective, commenting on futurology, social media, brand planning and anthropology. And inspiration
He is Founding Partner at Metropolis Partners