Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Aug 2013 14:07 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Apparently, an advertising agency hired by Samsung is trying to buy people to post questions about the company on StackOverflow. This is what Delyan Kratunov was asked to do (he declined):

All we need you to do is talk about the SSAC (Samsung Smart App Challenge) and get the word out. How? We were thinking about 4 questions on Stackoverflow over the span of a month..... as well as replies to posts made by other members. Don't worry about finding the questions to reply to because we will send you links.

Stay classy, Samsung.

Order by: Score:
Classy. And to be expected of them.
by WereCatf on Thu 1st Aug 2013 14:28 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I suppose this goes in the same category as the recent findings that Samsung is cheating in benchmarks: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/07/samsung-defends-benchmark-bo...

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

OOops, I first thought about nVidia...

Kochise

Reply Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I suppose this goes in the same category as the recent findings that Samsung is cheating in benchmarks:


I think what we really need is the corporate equivalent of dog shaming. Find out who is responsible for this, then put a sign around their neck that says, 'I cheated on benchmark results for our flagship smartphone'. Then take a photo of that, and plaster it all over the blogosphere.

Reply Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Hell I think they have ALL stepped up their shilling werecat, some of us on Slashdot were talking just the other day how suddenly companies that were looked at about as favorably as the Klan there (Monsanto, MSFT, Goldman Sachs, Apple, Samsung, Toshiba) are suddenly seeing anyone that says a single bad word about any of these companies downmodded to the basement and every. single. time. its followed by a VERY high UID that will put out some positive spin in defense of the corp, there was even one that said shotgunning insect DNA into plants was no different than "selective breeding".

So I have to wonder if there is a new bunch offering shilling services to these big corps because normally you'd only see this high a level of shilling when there is gonna be a major product launch that they are "iffy" on, see Windows 8 for an example, but for the past 3 weeks or so its just been a constant stream of corporate apologists and modbombing.

To me the bigger question isn't is Samsung paying to have this done, the answer to that is an obvious yes, the question is what company is offering a new shilling service that is obviously VERY enticing to the corps from the amount of business they are doing?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Thu 1st Aug 2013 14:28 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Marketing matters, people.

Reply Score: 3

more widespread than you think?
by project_2501 on Thu 1st Aug 2013 14:30 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

I know first hand of companies that do this on behalf of large clients... going back 5+ years.

Think about it - the web of comments reviews questions tweets etc has a significant influence on how products and companies are perceived. Many of us won't buy a product if the online world isn't positive about it - despite never having tried the product itself. So there's a lot to gain or lose.

I am always suspicious of comments on sites - even this one - and do wonder if some posters are in fact .. er.. working for someone else.

Not a nice thought - but hey that's the world we live in .. messages from avatars from people we know not.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh this happens a lot - in fact, I'm pretty sure out comment sections, too, are... Visited by people who are being paid to post.

It's hard to prove, though.

Reply Score: 5

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Actually it goes deeper than that, certain supposedly independent industry or subject websites are actually run by just or for one company from that industry.

They might review products of different vendors or talk about tips. "what to look for in a X", where X is a feature only very few vendors have support for in their products.

It doesn't really matter, as long as you get the message out about the advantages of certain products from a certain company while still have a veil of independence.

It's the same like certain industry magazines have articles written by and paid for (like an ad) by vendors.

Edited 2013-08-01 14:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Oh this happens a lot - in fact, I'm pretty sure out comment sections, too, are... Visited by people who are being paid to post.

It's hard to prove, though.

I find it scarier that the people you suspect are being paid are _not_ being paid.

Reply Score: 10

abdavidson Member since:
2005-07-06

Man I totally wish I was being paid to post comments. ;)

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

My job entails me working with a large proprietary CMS built on .NET, there is nothing inheritantly bad with the technology itself but it is quite a complicated beast.

When searching google for Information, I come across blog posts from people that are either heavily involved (MVP) which are making a name for themselves to get more work or are blatently written by someone evangelising the tech.

I am a registered Samsung developer and tbh what really irritates me about this is that their developer docs are pretty poor and there is no clear app store policy.

Edited 2013-08-01 19:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Seriously. Some of us use these technologies for a living and its our bread and butter. I honestly wish I could get paid to comment on a forum all day because it beats trying to herd the code monkeys at the office.

Platform evangelism seems like a fun job though, so long as its a declared title and not an Astroturf.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I am not saying that being an MVP is a bad thing or blogging about a particular tech.

What I don't like is content about how someone loves <insert horrendously complicated tech that could be replaced by wordpress 95% of the time>, when I know that any sane programmer would say "I think this is far more than we need for this problem".

Edited 2013-08-02 17:19 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Haha yeah, like being a WCF MVP. Holy crap is WCF in indecipherable thicket of head scratching.

But I'm glad they cleaned ASP.NET up, I'm currently using WebAPI/SignalR (minus MVC) on Azure with Mongo.

I tried node for a while on another project and definitely walked away with a greater appreciation for JS than I once had and even grew to dislike the box that strong typing puts you in sometimes.

Reply Score: 3

Strong Typing
by zlynx on Sun 4th Aug 2013 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: more widespread than you think?"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Strong types let you do things like declare a network serialization structure member as "big_endian_untrusted" and you know your code will never accidentally try to read an unverified 16-bit length value in reverse order.

But yeah, JS can be nifty.

By the way I posted this from a Samsung laptop on the net through a Samsung smart phone hotspot.

*evil grin*

Reply Score: 3

all publicity is good publicity
by REM2000 on Thu 1st Aug 2013 14:51 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

I would almost like the whole thing to never hit the news sites or blogs as i imagine even with the negative aspect it's still getting the word out about Samsung app contest.

Reply Score: 3

stack overflow question:
by SeeM on Thu 1st Aug 2013 15:42 UTC
SeeM
Member since:
2011-09-10

Q: "My Q&A web page is spammed by something about Samsung something. What should I do?"

A: "You mean Samsung Smart App Challenge? I think it's great, too.

for Google -> SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SMAC APP CHALLENGE WIN MONEY www.samsung.com"

Reply Score: 6

Irresponsible
by darknexus on Thu 1st Aug 2013 16:37 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

One would think this agency would have looked into the relevant forum policies, as well as the kind of users that hang out there, before trying to buy them off this way. Now they're facing embarrassment and are having to officially redact their communications. If I were Samsung's chief of marketing, I'd be looking for a replacement agency asap as this puts Samsung in a bad light as well as this ad company.

Reply Score: 5

florian mueller
by TechGeek on Fri 2nd Aug 2013 02:46 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Florian Mueller is a good example of someone who posts and is paid by one side or the other. I am not surprised it happens.

Reply Score: 2

RE: florian mueller
by dodoedo on Fri 2nd Aug 2013 08:00 UTC in reply to "florian mueller"
dodoedo Member since:
2013-08-02

+ 1

Reply Score: 1

RE: florian mueller
by Nelson on Fri 2nd Aug 2013 11:35 UTC in reply to "florian mueller"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

He's declared he's consulted for various companies. That's not the same thing.

Its like the people who are commissioned to write first party Windows Phone/Windows Apps. They're paid consultants, mercenary developers who work off of billable hours. Its a lucrative business.

Edited 2013-08-02 11:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Mission Accomplished.
by bryanv on Fri 2nd Aug 2013 17:04 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

He got people talking about the event.

Probably far more than would if he'd stuck to StackOverflow. Way to go OSNews for successfully being trolled into the mix.

Reply Score: 3