32 replies
Lately I've been having people asking me to write bad reviews for certain sites. Personally I won't do it... I can only imagine how much I would hate it if I had fake bad reviews showing up on my website, but I was wondering... are there penalties for posting false negative reviews online? I got an email earlier asking for 30 negative reviews on a rival company and 15 positive on their website. I declined and started thinking... that just seems wrong.
#bad #posting #reviews
  • Profile picture of the author Macksheppard
    It seems wrong because it is wrong. There are always people who want to "use the system" for negative purposes. Great to hear you have the character to do the right thing and say no to a fake bad review.

    There should be a penalty or fine for such things. I think it would be very hard to prove who actually did the fake review.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Lamb
    So it's Ok to write fake good reviews but it's not OK to write fake bad ones?

    What kind of twisted morality is that? Aren't they lies either way?

    The only reviews I write are truthful ones. I just choose the ratio of positive to negative "truths" that best serves my purpose.

    I am perfectly fine with writing a bad review whenever the need arises -- as long as the information I base it on is truthful.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Lamb
    In response to the OP's second post, if your comment is anonymous then it's umlikely they would do anything other than remove the post.

    In this case, I think you were morally correct in turning down the request since it was a blatant request to lie. But would you have been as quick to turn it down if you'd have been asked to write fake good reviews?
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    • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
      1) It's immoral. You are right to turn it down.

      2) It is potentially illegal. Under section 255.1 (Consumer endorsements) of the new FCC advertising rules, it states in paragraph (d): "Advertisers are subject to liability for false or unsubstantiated statements made through endorsements..." It is against the law for them to use false testimonials, and if you knowingly assist them in doing that, then I would think you are aiding and abetting them in the commission of that crime. I am not a lawyer, so just take that as a layman's opinion.

      If it were me, I'd inform them that they have asked you to violate FCC regulations and that I am not about to help them break the law. I'd cc the communication with the AG's office in my State and the State where they operate out of. It is this kind of activity that makes all of us look bad and we need to be diligent in keeping our industry clean.
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      Originally Posted by David Lamb View Post

      In response to the OP's second post, if your comment is anonymous then it's umlikely they would do anything other than remove the post.

      In this case, I think you were morally correct in turning down the request since it was a blatant request to lie. But would you have been as quick to turn it down if you'd have been asked to write fake good reviews?
      They had offered to pay me to do both positive reviews for their company and negative reviews for their rival company. I turned down both.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Lamb
        Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

        They had offered to pay me to do both positive reviews for their company and negative reviews for their rival company. I turned down both.
        Good job, Amanda!
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

        They had offered to pay me to do both positive reviews for their company and negative reviews for their rival company. I turned down both.
        I salute you for not dirtying your reputation by associating with a seedy company.
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      • Profile picture of the author Linda_C
        Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

        They had offered to pay me to do both positive reviews for their company and negative reviews for their rival company. I turned down both.
        Two thumbs up!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    If the reviews you write are based on facts and highlight specific, legitimate problems with the rival site, then I see no problem with writing negative reviews. As a positive person who generally tries to avoid negativity, I probably wouldn't be interested in such an assignment, but technically and morally I know that I could fulfill the request.

    I'd spend a lot of time examining the rival site in great detail and find the things about the site that I felt were negative, and then write about those. If it loads slowly, I'd write a review talking about how slow the site is. If it had spelling errors, I'd point those out in another review. If the information on the site was out-dated, that would be the subject of another review, and so on...

    So there's a way that you could do so ethically, but the question really is: do you feel comfortable doing it, even if your reviews are legit?
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  • Profile picture of the author mach12324
    yeah right i agree with you posting fake bad reviews are definitely intolerable.
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  • Profile picture of the author theimdude
    Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    Lately I've been having people asking me to write bad reviews for certain sites. Personally I won't do it... I can only imagine how much I would hate it if I had fake bad reviews showing up on my website, but I was wondering... are there penalties for posting false negative reviews online? I got an email earlier asking for 30 negative reviews on a rival company and 15 positive on their website. I declined and started thinking... that just seems wrong.
    All FAKE reviews BAD or GOOD is fake and wrong and if you write fake 'good' reviews for people you might as well write 'bad' reviews for people
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  • Profile picture of the author GaryBurke
    It seems to me that the company asking you to write these fake reviews is worried about the competition.
    personally If I was to review a site or product it would be an honest review whether good or bad
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  • Profile picture of the author bigorange
    Wow- I can't believe they even asked you to do this in the first place. Couldn't they just do it themselves? (not saying I agree its an ethical mission in any way- kind of like hiring a hit man...)
    Stay away from it.
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    • Profile picture of the author hashif16
      Stay away from these types of craps..
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Unbelievable. What a crap way to do business. Good for you for not doing business with this scumbag.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      This is the result, in my opinion, of the huge proliferation in "review" sites that occurred a couple years ago. It's become rather common and is another good reason not to trust reviews either bad or good.

      If the reviews you write are based on facts and highlight specific, legitimate problems
      That was the point - they asked her to make up stories about having a bad experience. If you write a "story" about buying an item and then having problems with the site/company - and it didn't happen - it's lying.

      I think the practice can backfire. If I visit a site and what I see is comment after comment putting down a competitor - I go to the competitor's site to see what's up. I may also look for other sources of information. Putting down the competition doesn't necessary make you look good - sometimes just makes customers look elsewhere:rolleyes:

      If you find a writer who is will to take on this work, good to remember that someone who will lie for you may also lie to you.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author micromike
    yeah, I especially liked the part where they put "creative writing needed" in the ad... and I think you were right to turn it down.
    Granted, money has no conscience... but if you feel like you are breaking down your self image to make a buck, then its not worth it. Worse, imagine if it turned out you were good at it, and got lots of work offered for it? Yuck.
    In the end, someone will do it, and never look back... but it won't be you, and you've learned a bit more about yourself in the process.. and its positive (yay)
    Good luck, and you did what was right for you - that's always a good call for more restful sleep
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  • Profile picture of the author Laurie49
    What a disgusting request! Congratulations on turning down the job offer. It's this type of request that gives online business a bad name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leonsroarteam
    I hate it when people post fake "good" reviews, as much as any body else would hate fake "bad" reviews. I think you should totally report them, if they ask you to do that it means that the company/person isn't honest to begin with.
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  • You did exactly the right thing, imo. In fact, I would think about writing an actual bad review for the company that asked, and tell everyone exactly why.

    Kudos to you for listening to your conscience. That's what it's there for.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyong
    this is what happen nowadays. you will have good ways of marketing and the "black hat" ways of doing marketing..
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    • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
      Welcome to the wonderful world of "Public Relations."

      You're probably mostly aware of it during elections when you see the mud slinging campaigns, but I can assure you it's used in business all the time, even in Internet Marketing.

      I just recently watched as someone slung a PR smear campaign at a fellow marketer. It was masterfully crafted, with the perfect mix of ingratiating itself, humility warm fuzzy stories, and a very quick, but very obvious stab, and then back to the business of the warm and sincere... a perfect example to an untrained eye who doesn't know to see through the smoke and mirrors.

      It's dirty pool, I don't agree with it, but it does happen. A good PR course might help some people learn how to spot tells...

      -Dani
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    Well, this is interesting.

    Usually when someone wants to insult someone or something, they certainly
    don't hire someone to write it for them.

    LOL 2011 for you...
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  • Profile picture of the author jiantastic
    that is just highly unethical. if a site deserves the bad reviews it will get them automatically.
    I would ignore that email.
    I mean just thinking about it makes me sick.
    I now have this picture stuck in my head.
    "A guy who works extremely hard, feeds his family through the business and someone intentionally gives his business a bad rating, he is now at risk of loosing his house"
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
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  • IM is a hard world with a lot of money involved but don't go that route.


    Kristof
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  • Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    I got an email earlier asking for 30 negative reviews on a rival company and 15 positive on their website.
    Wow, talk about bush league tactics.
    I hope you told them to get lost!
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  • Profile picture of the author DR's Fynest
    Good on you Amanda!

    I'm glad to see you turned them down. Goes to show there ARE still some people with a conscience

    Paul, I don't know why that cartoon strip immediately made me think of Amazon :| lol (I love Amazon btw!)
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  • Profile picture of the author Berkinb
    Kudos to you Amanda for turning such a lowlife offer down.
    You did the right thing. And not only ethically but also logically. An employer who asks their employees to lie and cheat would easily lie to and cheat them too, if you know what I mean
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    • Profile picture of the author NIKONI
      you're right , so nice to hear you have the character to do the right thing
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  • Profile picture of the author allenjohn
    Beware of karmic return. What you give out, you get back...all the best, Allen
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