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Slashdot - Are you getting paid to read it?

Ash Vince (602485) writes | more than 6 years ago

Slashback 3

After reading the Media Defender email leak recently it got me wondering as to how many other companies actually pay their employees to read slashdot. In the case of media defender it seems as though they pay staff to read it but probably don't mind them posting the occasional comment as at one point they talk about a comment being friendly and ask if it was one them posting it.

After reading the Media Defender email leak recently it got me wondering as to how many other companies actually pay their employees to read slashdot. In the case of media defender it seems as though they pay staff to read it but probably don't mind them posting the occasional comment as at one point they talk about a comment being friendly and ask if it was one them posting it.

This led me to wonder how many people actually read and post on slashdot through choice nowadays. Now don't get me wrong, this is not one of those moaning posts where people just carp on about dupes and the like, but I am curious as to how many other companies might have people in their public relations departments reading slashdot, digg and other tech sites to keep them appraised of how well received a particular campaign or product is.

We know there was the whole Intel section recently but alot of companies that are currently less well liked here amongst the regular users (I can think of one in Redmond in particular) would not want to draw any attention to their staff involvement, even if it was only supposed to be in an observational capacity. This also assumes that if you paid staff to read slashdot all day they would be able to resist the urge to post the occasional comment.

Then there are all the strangely modded comments. Even if you were only supposed to READ slashdot, if you happened to log in one day and noticed you had some points, would you not be tempted to use them? The more paranoid amongst us might even realise it would be possible to write a script which looked at a number of different slashdot accounts and inspected the HTML after they were logged in and flagged any that did have mod points. And this is assuming the captcha prevents automated account creation and has not been defeated as well.

If I was getting paid to read slashdot, I would not mind spending a few minutes each day signing up a new account. Then at the end of the day the account gets entered into a database and as soon as the random mod points come round, bingo. I would be very surprised if I am the first person to realise how easily this could be achieved.

Some of you regular readers will also remember that someone recently wrote an algorithm to rate how reliable an article on wikipedia is (http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/31/0259224&from=rss). So does anyone out there have any ideas how we would do this for slashdot to flag up corporate trolls in a similar way? Then they might me able to read, but any regular posting be counter productive if the site could flag your posts with who was paying you.

On another similar note, could any of the paid readers here tell me how they got into the gig, as I would really like to get paid to sit about and read slashdot too.

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3 comments

New accounts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20712385)

New accounts are created, over the course of the day, on average of one every two minutes. Most of those accounts are banked. One or two out of every ten of those are used, initially, for between one and five posts. One or two out of every twenty will create a journal entry within an hour of account creation.

Watching newly created accounts for four hours reveals a remarkable lingual similarity for the vast majority of those initially posted comments. There are two, possibly three, distinct writing styles though it is equally possible that any single person can create more than one writing style--especially if used on a regular basis.

It seems likely that there are one or two groups, each consisting of less than ten members, who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of new account creation.

There is a very easy method of monitoring new account creation in a numerically linear fashion if you are really interested in studying it.

Scripts already exist for checking Slashdot via various hand held devices and generating alerts. Scripts already exist for managing of multiple accounts by integrating with local or remote databases. Defeating captchas is one of the more trivial uses of botnets and automated page generation.

Re:New accounts (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20712471)

Wow, I thought I was paranoid already but your post seems to have pushed me over the edge :)

Re:New accounts (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20712567)

New accounts are created, over the course of the day, on average of one every two minutes. Most of those accounts are banked. One or two out of every ten of those are used, initially, for between one and five posts. One or two out of every twenty will create a journal entry within an hour of account creation.

Watching newly created accounts for four hours reveals a remarkable lingual similarity for the vast majority of those initially posted comments. There are two, possibly three, distinct writing styles though it is equally possible that any single person can create more than one writing style--especially if used on a regular basis.
First, I would love to know where you get this info but I think I can probably guess assuming it is genuine.

It seems likely that there are one or two groups, each consisting of less than ten members, who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of new account creation.
So my next question would be whether one of those groups suspended all activity or changed patterns last weekend when the Media Defender story broke.

But then I would also like to know some of the information regarding the writing patterns of the other groups. Are they well known to the admins here regarding who they represent I wonder.
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