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Shooting Yourself In the Foot, 21st Century Style 172

Posted by timothy
from the only-with-long-arms-of-course dept.
rueger writes "Right now there's an election happening in British Columbia. A desperate government is flooding Facebook with "Sponsored Post" spam (example) extolling the wonderful things that they plan to do if re-elected. There's one problem though. Every one of these posts is followed by hundreds of extremely negative comments added by people who either dislike the party in question, or Facebook spam in general. Desperate moderators are trying to control the 'discussion,' but seem to have no hope of doing so. What was thought to be a cool marketing tool has turned into a public relations disaster. Is this the worst use of social media in an election?"
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Shooting Yourself In the Foot, 21st Century Style

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  • Social media (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eksith (2776419) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:48AM (#43077999) Homepage
    Still no one gets it.
    • Re:Social media (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:59AM (#43078063)

      It's not just about social media, very few even understands simple marketing.
      You still see advertisements that try to force themselves onto people, not realizing that this creates a connection with discomfort and the product.

      • by captainpanic (1173915) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:06AM (#43078129)

        They still don't get it.

        The fact that politicians are allowed to lie in an election is just insane. Politicians present a budget that just is not balanced. If a detergent commercial would include lies of such magnitude, they'd be banned from tv. And the politicians wonder why people do not feel connected to politics.

        They still don't get it. Politicians shouldn't be using simple marketing at all. But because one is doing it, they're all doing it. They can only solve it together.

        • by InterGuru (50986) <jhd@intergur[ ]om ['u.c' in gap]> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:17AM (#43078201) Homepage

          We denigrate politicians because they lie, but candidates who tell the truth don't get elected.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:35AM (#43078363)

            Case in point: Jimmy Carter was naive enough to the nation the truth [wikipedia.org], and the public was so upset that they threw him out on his ass and put in a senile movie actor who told us things that made us feel good.

            If the public wanted politicians who told the truth, they would vote for them.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Jimmy Carter was naive enough to the nation the truth,

              Did he tell them how much energy the military was wasting on maintaining the global status quo in order to keep the USA on top of global politics and the economy? No? Half a truth is worse than none.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Bearhouse (1034238)

              Case in point: Jimmy Carter was naive enough to the nation the truth [wikipedia.org], and the public was so upset that they threw him out on his ass and put in a senile movie actor who told us things that made us feel good.

              If the public wanted politicians who told the truth, they would vote for them.

              Hmmm...Many people now think that Regan actually did a pretty good job overall.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Regan#Legacy [wikipedia.org]

              Truly inspirational leaders, (Winston Churchill springs to mind), manage to combine the ability to give the bad news whilst simultaneously outlining credible plans for fixing things, and giving people hope.

              Carter failed on the second count.

              • People consistently rate the last few Presidents among the best ever because they've got goldfish memories. For some reason, Reagan has be exalted on the Right for things he never did and never believed in.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              Give me a break. How your comment is "informative" other than it offering a link is beyond me.

              All this speech did was potentially (if not responded to in the short term with vigor) opened the door for the President of the United States to start telling people to tone down their own lives for the good of the collective. Carter already had terrible approval ratings and SOMEHOW this speech actually helped him in the slightest, but, only for a short time. I'm thankful that some "senile movie actor" was arou
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Runaway1956 (1322357)

              Jimmy Carter was thrown out on his ass because he permitted the hostage crisis to last so long - right up through the election. Being a veteran, Jimmy Carter SHOULD HAVE had some idea how to handle that hostage situation. Instead of handling it, or getting the experts to handle it, he put together this special little Kum-By-Yah task force. And, watched that task force fuck itself in the desert.

              Being a NAVY veteran, Jimmy SHOULD HAVE known that if ANYONE could handle the mission, it would have been the Ma

              • by stang (90261)

                whatever the fuck the Air Force people call themselves

                Zoomies!

              • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:31PM (#43079707) Journal

                They hostage situation may or may not have cost him the election anyway, but that major fuck-up guaranteed that he couldn't be re-elected.

                If the hostage situation guaranteed that Carter couldn't be reelected, why didn't the Iraq war guarantee that Bush couldn't be reelected? The Iraq war was a much larger fuck-up by orders of magniuted. The public doesn't care if you fuck up. They care whether or not you swagger when you fuck up.

                • The Iraq war was declared a win, and marketed as such. Quite successfully, I'll add.

                  Aircraft crashing and burning in the desert with no enemies to blame it on cannot be marketed as a victory, even to retarded high school kids. Forget trying to sell it to high school kids of even average intelligence.

                  • The Iraq war was declared a win

                    A few trillion spent with absolutely no gain -- but much loss -- for the U.S.? Yeah, that's a win alright.

                    GP is correct: "The Iraq war was declared a win" only by people swayed by swagger rather than substance. By your own admission, it's all in the marketing.

              • The October Surprise is why he lost, period. The fix was in, soon to be followed up with Iran-Contra as payment-in-kind for their win.
              • by RevDisk (740008) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @02:25PM (#43081219) Journal
                I'm not sure why you were mod'd +5 Insightful. At the time, long range helicopter operations essentially did not exist. Because of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, significantly more attention was paid to Special Operations aviation. 160th SOAR is one example.

                The military dropped the ball, not Carter. I read several books on the incident, for obvious reasons. Failures can often teach more than success, if one pays attention and learns from mistakes. Of the 8 aircraft, 2 returned due to navigation issues. One's hydraulics failed. So, the military aborted, which Carter approved. Then a helicopter ran into a C-130. These were RH-53s, flown by U.S. Marines off the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. It was the Marines that essentially killed the mission. Not really their fault, no one had done that sort of thing before and it allowed the US Army to develop its own special forces aviation.

                And essentially, that's what Carter's failure did. USSOCOM now consists of squids, jarheads, grunts, and zoomies. And they do quite well these days. Read Eric L. Haney's "Inside Delta Force" book sometime. His portrayal of Desert One is what caused me to do my own research. And led me to understand the military failed President Carter, not the other way around.
                • My premise was, you don't wave a magic wand, and create a ready unit for a special purpose.

                  You go on to show that Delta Force was created after the fiasco in the desert, in anticipation of future requirements that might be similar.

                  And - how long did it take to integrate Delta Force into a viable unit?

                  I think that you misunderstood my point, then proceeded to make my point stronger for me.

                  At that point in history, just about the only mechanized units that had ever campaigned anywhere near that region were Wo

              • But waiting until after the election got the hostages released without violence, which could have killed some of them. And yes, I know that he tried to extract them, but I don't think you can criticise the long view in that case.

            • by akboss (823334)
              Yeah thats it we booted him because of us. Not because he wasnt a good president. Not because even cute little bunnies tried to attack him while he fished. Not because he told us that for our own good we need to quit doing the things we want because it will make us safer.

              I'm asking you for your good and for your nation's security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel.

              This one had to hurt when he said it.

              In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning....

              Not to say that it was that very same movie actor that ended up bringing down the Berlin wall freeing all those East Germans. Nah Jimmy telling us how he beat that rabbit with his oar was just soooo much

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:18AM (#43078213)

          When polled, the US voting public wants the Federal budget as a whole to go down but wants each individual item to go up. Are you surprised that the representatives they elect can't pass a budget?

        • by Meeni (1815694) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:49AM (#43078479)

          A balanced budget is -not- a sound economic policy. Your budget must have a deficit approximately equal to growth rate. For some retarded reason, this is the way money is created (fed buys treasury bonds, emit money as a result), and available money needs to be commensurate with the size of the economy.

          Now the trick is that bonds have an interest rate. Hu ho. Creating money costs money. The second trick is that growth rate is notoriously difficult to predict accurately, in particular because growth rate strongly depends on public spending. Hence it is somewhat easy to "overestimate" the deficit that should be dialed in to result in best economic output (and it could be argued that being conservative would have direr economic results that overspending, by shrinking the economy today instead of creating a potential problem later, maybe never). Anyway, both issues result in permanent deficit increase, even in % of GDP, which is bad, but is somewhat the result of how "the system" works, independently of politicians ideas.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:56AM (#43079201)

            Sorry, this is a bold faced lie (or at least strongly misleading). First, even if you assume that the Fed has to buy treasury bonds (which they don't - think about the most recent QEfinity nonsense with MBS), the money supply doesn't have to grow. Many economists believe that a moderate rate of inflation (1-2%) is beneficial to economic growth (as opposed to slow deflation which would result with a constant money supply with a growing economy - see 1870-1900), but there is very little empirical evidence to support this position - it's taken mostly on (in my opinion, somewhat dubious) theoretical grounds relating to consumer and producer expectations. Further, even if you posited that the money supply must grow and the Fed must buy treasury bonds, there is still a huge surplus in government debt that would last 50+ years before we would run out of treasury bills/notes/bonds to add to the Fed's balance sheet.

            You can make arguments as to why sovereigns should run deficits. The need to run deficits to grow the money supply is not one of them.

            (Yes, IAAPHDE - I Am A PhD Economist)

        • If a detergent commercial would include lies of such magnitude, they'd be banned from tv.

          Um... have you ever seen this?
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jkwQV_5Kb0 [youtube.com]
          That stuff literally eats holes in your close. And that dude was on so much blow while he was doing these commercials he had a heart attack and died. TV = Lies

          • Yeah, I proved that to my own satisfaction when I was a kid. I painted the stitching on one of our deckchairs with a solution of biological detergent, operating on the hypothesis that if this stuff eats biological material, then it would rot the stitches. My grandfather fell through that chair the next day.

        • by FooAtWFU (699187)

          "The fact that politicians are allowed to lie in an election is just insane."

          The alternative is that a government, consisting of or substantially under the control of politicians, is tasked with policing an election, determining what is the truth and what is a lie, and sanctioning those who are deemed liars. Clearly there's no way there could possibly be a massive conflict of interest here.

          In fact, government policing of "elections" to weed out "lies" spread by competing political parties has worked fo

        • by Type44Q (1233630)

          If a detergent commercial would include lies of such magnitude, they'd be banned from tv.

          Perhaps but not for much longer, the way things seem to be headed...

      • It's not just about social media, very few even understands simple marketing. You still see advertisements that try to force themselves onto people, not realizing that this creates a connection with discomfort and the product.

        I think you don't understand marketing. One of the rules of the game is to invoke an emotional response, good or bad. Once the memory is planted in someone's head, it can then be manipulated. A known entity will always have more influence on an unknown entity which is why you have the saying "there's no such thing as bad publicity". This may have been a tactical blunder on their part, but it all helps to cement their brand in the public space.

    • by swanzilla (1458281) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:03AM (#43078099) Homepage
      Perhaps they should have consulted with a Social Media Expert. Preferably one well versed in SEO and targeted ad compaigns. Those guys are great.
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205975/Waitrose-Twitter-backlash-I-shop-Waitrose--I-dont-like-surrounded-poor-people.html [dailymail.co.uk] 'I shop at Waitrose because... I don't like being surrounded by poor people': Internet jokers hijack 'posh people's supermarket' Twitter stunt Supermarket asks Twitter why people go there using the hashtag #WaitroseReasons but got some answers it will not have liked Majority of people who replied concentrated on its posh reputation and only a minority gave serious answers 'I s
    • by fermion (181285)
      I think the thing many firms do not undertand about social media is it is much harder to be in control of the message. So while Facebook and Twitter try to convince advertisers that they provide a useful service worth lots of money, without a very clear understanding of the channel it will backfire. MacDonald's seems to be particularly inept.

      We have also seen thins again with Ann Romney going about blaming the media for all her problems. It is not so much the media as it that average people know have t

      • by colfer (619105)

        I was surprised to see a mobile phone company's official FB page flooded with complaints, and one service rep trying to tell people to email her so she could fix their problems. I guess FB does not allow holding comments for moderation like you can with typical forum and blog software. In FB you can disable commenting, but that's it as far as I can tell.

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      What retard modded this as flamebait? It is a perfectly on-topic example of the sheer fucking stupidity of most social media "hey guys let's take this viral!" marketing bollocks. The only surprise is the relative good humour of the gamed company, but then again they can afford to.
    • Further down the same article, they offer these gems:

      Waitrose may have had an uncomfortable few days following a PR campaign online that went sour but it is not the first big player to be burned in this way.
      Many other businesses have tried to whip up interest on Twitter only for it to blow up in their faces, while others initiatives have just been plain poorly judged or in bad taste.
      In 2009 the Daily Telegraph wanted to show how techno-savvy it was by allowing tweets about the Budget to appear on its website automatically using a Twitterfall.
      If someone used the hashtag #budget it would pop up on telegraph.co.uk but it was quickly hijacked by those who used it to make jokes at the paper's expense (pictured right [dailymail.co.uk])
      Some choice comments included: 'Even the Indie is better than this drivel'.
      McDonalds also wanted to boost its profile online by using the hashtag #McDStories to ask people to regale stories of their hard-working staff - but it didn't go at all to plan.
      Tweeters came straight back with their horror stories at restaurants, claiming they were given food poisoning, and that one burger contained a finger nail.
      Search engine giant Bing also courted controversy when it pledged to donate to charity following a devastating Japanese earthquake in a stunt they believed would also boost their profile online.
      Their staff tweeted: 'How you can #SupportJapan - For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100k'.
      But instead all it got was a barrage of abuse from people convinced it was in poor taste.
      Only this year coffee giant Starbucks put its foot in it on Twitter.
      They were forced to issue an apology after it managed to upset people in Ireland.
      It 'erroneously posted' a tweet which encouraged followers on there to 'show us what makes you proud to be British' - and outraged replies followed.
      And sometimes companies get it completely and utterly wrong.
      Condom giant Durex decided to run a PR campaign with the hashtag #DurexJoke.
      In utterly disastrous fashion it decided to start the ball rolling with this joke to its South African followers - 'Why did God give men penises? So they'd have at least one way to shut a woman up. #DurexJoke'.
      It went very badly for them from there.

      ----

      (A bit Off-Topic, but every time I copied some text from there, it automatically appended

      at the end. I wonder what technical trickery they are doing ;p)

  • "Worst" or "Best"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:59AM (#43078075)

    Depends on your point of view - as a publicity stunt, it is an epic fail. It should have also been expected. Keeping open discussions on the internet is inherently problematic, even if you are posting the most non-controversial of statements. Start a discussion on how cancer is bad for humans, and there will be someone posting about how good it is for population control.

    On the other hand, if some of the top government officials can be bothered to read the criticism, they might actually learn something. While democracy is great and all that, once people get into office they might as well be governing from the moon. It's easy for you to refuse to allocate funds to fix my roads if you don't use them on a daily basis.

    The internet has made it easy to offer feedback and that should (in theory) help people govern better. While it is true that we could always "write/call" our congressman, it isn't really practical when you get to higher levels of government (e.g. do my tax dollars go to fund a war or education).

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:41AM (#43078401) Journal

      On the minus side, it has become readily apparent that the internet's SNR has some... room for improvement. It's also pretty easy for moderately competent jokers to combine trolling skills with sock-puppetry, poll stuffing, etc, etc.

      Even on parts of the internet where controlling the discourse is worth essentially nothing, some nutjob is probably wasting his life winning the edit war or posting about how he earns $68/hour working from home. If there were a location where politicians were actually listening(and, implicitly, money and power were available for allocation), you'd need explosives to cut your way through the astroturf...

      • Both insightful and amusingly-written. Well done, Sir or Madam.

      • by martas (1439879)

        If there were a location where politicians were actually listening(and, implicitly, money and power were available for allocation), you'd need explosives to cut your way through the astroturf...

        There already is a place like that, and it's called lobbying. Explosives = $1e+9.

    • by locopuyo (1433631)
      One of the many reasons why government should be more localized Instead of one giant blanket.
    • by s.petry (762400)

      The internet has made it easy to offer feedback and that should (in theory) help people govern better. While it is true that we could always "write/call" our congressman, it isn't really practical when you get to higher levels of government (e.g. do my tax dollars go to fund a war or education).

      Basically the way Internet posts, forms, etc.. are treated is identical to how they treated letters. Some schlep reads them and replies with a rubber stamped signature with generic responses that always result in the same statement. "tough shit"

      I used to have some faith that they read letters and took action, but knowledge has made me rather cynical. Money votes currently, not people. That has been a progressive trend that we have allowed to happen and need to organize to revert by replacing people in o

  • keyword: desperate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:07AM (#43078131)

    If the advertiser is truly desperate, it may have been worth the gamble.

    Here, I interpret "desperate" as "likely to lose." They may have realized that the normal route (kissing babies, buying TV ads) wasn't going to work.

    If you're going to lose, gambling big makes sense. The downside is losing (and you were losing anyway). The upside is winning (and it is huge).

    I always wondered if this is why immigrant Americans seem to start so many businesses...they have little to lose while us native born folks with equal skills have decent jobs and houses and see no reason to risk all that. (I'm biased, I still prefer arguing with my son over homework to driving a fancy car).

  • by MikeLip (797771) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:10AM (#43078149)
    It's just an indication that the sheer ignorance on the part of government of the use of the internet in general and social media in particular is world-wide. Hell, the people who dreamed up the idea probably think spam is a good mass marketing tool. Politicians are the same everywhere - disconnected and with a blind sense of entitlement.
    • by j-stroy (640921)
      The BC Liberals are fully ignorant. They are the a hollow skin of a snake who writhes beneath so many issues in so many places today. Woefully incompetent and what should be criminal misappropriations have occurred endlessly under such governance. Actions like theirs are a contemptuous threat to the rule of law since to allow them to continue even through their legislated mandate is to not to be a diligent citizen. Even within the governing cabinet they want to stop the train and get out of office.
  • I don't see how this is anywhere near as much of a failure as when Reagan showed his complete lack of understanding of Springsteen's Born in the USA, or when Paul Ryan did the same with We're not gonna take it, or Michele Bachmann with American Girl or Sarah Palin with Barracuda.

    The real tragedy is that one of the four were elected.
    • Well, the major difference is that, in the cases you mention, the politicians fucked up in the same direction as the electorate, and thus(from a pandering perspective) didn't fuck up at all...

    • Just to be fair, you can include Clinton with Won't Get Fooled Again. I'm pretty sure they all pick a song based on one key phrase without ever understanding the bigger message. Really all they are looking to do though is fire up their base for a little while.
  • Not surprising ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:18AM (#43078215) Homepage

    When Facebook started injecting "sponsored content" into the news feed, I started getting quite annoyed and letting the owners of that content know in my comments to their link.

    As much as Facebook wants to sell ads, if the people whose ads are there are getting angry comments, they might figure out that people don't want it.

    When you start injecting ads into things people can comment on, you might quickly discover the people those ads are being sent to don't give a crap about you and your product. These ads are intrusive enough that people notice them and don't like them.

  • Opposing forces (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QilessQi (2044624) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:18AM (#43078229)

    Advertising -- especially political advertising -- is about controlling the message.

    Social media is about allowing the message to be debated.

    If you want the market penetration of social media, fine. But unless you can disable commenting, you have to take the bad with the good.

    • Advertising -- especially political advertising -- is about controlling the message.

      Social media is about allowing the message to be debated.

      If you want the market penetration of social media, fine. But unless you can disable commenting, you have to take the bad with the good.

      I wouldn't be so optimistic. The Chinese, for instance, have been doing considerable R&D on the problem of 'guiding' the conversation without pissing people off by banning the medium entirely. Here in the Land of the Free, we have fine people like HB Gary Federal working on 'Persona management software' for more efficient sock-puppetry.

      I'd assume that, with a little more polish, Facebook will soon offer not only Sponsored posts; but(for a small additional fee) 'curation' of responses to sponsored conten

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The Chinese, for instance, have been doing considerable R&D on the problem of 'guiding' the conversation without pissing people off by banning the medium entirely.

        But they do that in all forms of media. If you write a poem which criticizes the government and your neighbor reads it and reports you, they'll haul you off for that if they need more kidneys that day. We have already established here on slashdot that adding "...on the internet" doesn't automatically change stuff. The Chinese people are used to being pushed around in all other areas of their lives, so pushing them around on the internet seems only natural.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We let two corrupt groups of people both offer up a corrupt person to be our representative, and we get to pick which one we hate the least.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @10:30AM (#43078309)
    The BC government has done such a horrible PR job that I don't like them from the opposite side of the country. I detest the government here yet I can make a bigger list of reasons to hate the outgoing BC government starting with the Chinese miners.

    This just confirms a pet theory that government needs to be wide open to the people. The internet is helping yet the BC government has thought that they could do what they want and somehow retain power by creating their own reality. This is becoming harder and harder to do but backroom deals still abound in most governments. Quite simply governments should not be able to hide almost any information. When I mention this to government people they say No No No that would prevent us from doing what needs to be done; to which I reply it would prevent you from doing what people don't want you doing.
  • I don't think that slamming the party is really relevant for talking about the flaws in social media advertising. (Nor really is loaded terminology used to describe it.)
  • What really sucks (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is that American style "politics of hate" have taken root here in Canada, over the last decade or so.

    Arrragggh! Pee pee doo doo he is a bad president I am mad I have no job blargh a blag a fucking bloo.

    • Although I agree with most of your rant, do you honestly think that not having a job despite one's best efforts is not something to be unhappy about? Or is it that not having a job prima facie evidence that best efforts were not made because, obviously, in a paradise like [insert non-third-world country name here] with our current full employment, no one could ever be out of work?

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:12AM (#43078727) Journal
    Usenet between 1989 and 1998 was gold. Despite flame wars in places like soc.men and soc.women, or soc.culture.indian / soc.culture.pakistan in general the quality of discussions were good. Quality of information unbiased or the bias of the poster was obvious. The "travel agents survey" of soc.culture.indian was gold to the PIGS. (Poor Indian Grad Students). When commercial ISPs were being discussed, many usenet users predicted the death of usenet. They were prescient. Usenet died under the weight of spam and shills.

    Early internet had so many review sites that gave relatively unbiased information while the established players like PC Mag was seen to be basically shills. Eventually those review sites died or became shills or got lost in the noise of shill sites. Reviews in Circuit City, Best Buy, Costco etc all started out decent and died due to shills. Amazon seems to be fighting a losing battle with the shills.

    Essentially the basic rule is this: If costs nothing to post a review or a message, expect to be overwhelmed by spam and shills. It is simply vendors adapting to the new medium. No way good samaritans would be able to keep up with the volume churned out by the vested interests and they will be lost in the noise. Bold prediction: Same fate will befall wikipedia, eventually.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      usenet is still there and I get more mileage out of it than ever. I actually get useful answers to questions I ask by replying to stuff I see in google groups.

    • by rwv (1636355)

      Amazon seems to be fighting a losing battle with the shills.

      From time to time I suspect that something on Amazon will have "paid" reviews. I don't particularly trust Vine Reviews. That said, I still think *most* things on Amazon have honest ratings. Most of the time, I'd rather have a dozen or a hundred posts on Amazon for something I'm thinking about buying than the sales associate at some store telling me what they think my options are.

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:03PM (#43079293)

    This is the dangerous side to social media. Because you can't control the message, things can spin wildly out of control particularly if the numbers aren't extremely in your favor to begin with. If you're a small company with a small customer base, one negative comment, justified or not, can destroy you. A negative comment can quickly go viral and they you're completely borked. You have no legal recourse to punish the liars and set the record straight. If you have an enormous positive following, that works to your advantage because they will defend you when someone brings up a negative even if it is true.

    • by http (589131)
      In this particular case, negative comments are not lies.
      • But they are colored by the fact that people dislike spam and therefore dismissed the sender's political ideas as having the same value as spam. For my own part, I dislike political robodialing with a passion but I will still vote for the candidate who represents my views.

    • You have no legal recourse to punish the liars and set the record straight.

      You absolutely do, it's just hard. Libel is defined as damaging known-false public statements (in the US anyway), and a troll lying about your business and costing you money is absolutely culpable. Taking them to account is difficult, to be sure, but it's certainly possible.

      • Technically yes, but it's become so impractical to do so that it's rarely worth it. And in the case of a political campaign, B.S. is considered free speech even when it comes to the media. Trouble is that they know it and are abusing it. They'll make some bold-faced, large font claim on page one above the fold on Monday thus igniting a firestorm and they publish a "clarification" (rarely a real retraction or apology) a week or so later. At that point, the damage is done and the opinion of people who get

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The party in government is basically selling off everything owned by the government to either private corporations or semi-independant authorities, (authorities which apparently aren't covered by freedom of information legislation), doesn't understand that it was private debt that created the financial crisis, not public, that it wasn't anything in Canada that created the financial crisis, etc. Despite calling themselves Liberal, they are basically Conservatives, (the actual BC Conversatives just have thos

  • why don't you try this again on Twitter.

    Go ahead, give us another laugh. Please?

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