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Internet Water Army On the March

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the or-on-the-wade dept.

Spam 137

New submitter kermidge sends in an article at the Physics arXiv blog about what's called the "Internet Water Army," large groups of people in China who are paid to "flood" internet sites with comments and reviews about various products. Researchers at the University of Victoria went undercover to figure out exactly how these informational (or disinformational) floods operate, and what they learned (PDF) could lead to better spam-detection software. Quoting: "They discovered that paid posters tend to post more new comments than replies to other comments. They also post more often with 50 per cent of them posting every 2.5 minutes on average. They also move on from a discussion more quickly than legitimate users, discarding their IDs and never using them again. What's more, the content they post is measurably different. These workers are paid by the volume and so often take shortcuts, cutting and pasting the same content many times. This would normally invalidate their posts but only if it is spotted by the quality control team. So Cheng and co built some software to look for repetitions and similarities in messages as well as the other behaviors they'd identified. They then tested it on the dataset they'd downloaded from Sina and Sohu and found it to be remarkably good, with an accuracy of 88 per cent in spotting paid posters."

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Raise your hand if... (4, Funny)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144478)

Your first thought was cyber-payback for "EU says water isn't wet."

Re:Raise your hand if... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144572)

Your first thought was cyber-payback for "EU says water isn't wet."

No, you soft confused silly person. My first thought was "you see, this is why they're rice niggers -- nothing personal." They're smart and they play for keeps.

But thanks for asking.

Re:Raise your hand if... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144698)

Nope.

My immediate thought was "Buy our tasty Internet Water!*"

*(warning, may contain troll faeces)

Re:Raise your hand if... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144884)

Say what you like about Microsoft, but one thing you can't deny is that Microsoft uses reputation management software to create multiple fake social media profiles.

Many of them are used to moderate and influence discussion in tech sites like Slashdot.

Re:Raise your hand if... (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144982)

No, my first thought was internet over water pipes, since they have already tried internet over power lines, and other 'utilities (phone companies, cabletv companies) bundle internet with their services (if you get your internet, phone and cable from us you only pay $25/mo for each...

TDMA works with water pipes (1)

poppopret (1740742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145096)

TDMA is "Time Division Multiple Access". In other words, we use time slots to control pipe usage.

This will definitely work as long as the time slots are big enough. The city sends water for an hour, drains the pipe so that it can serve as a waveguide, transmits ultra wideband internet for an hour, then fills the pipe back up so that water can be transmitted again. Throughput will be excellent.

Re:TDMA works with water pipes (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145232)

TDMA is "Time Division Multiple Access". In other words, we use time slots to control pipe usage.

This will definitely work as long as the time slots are big enough. The city sends water for an hour, drains the pipe so that it can serve as a waveguide, transmits ultra wideband internet for an hour, then fills the pipe back up so that water can be transmitted again. Throughput will be excellent.

No need to drain a water pipe to move RF through it. Water pipes really could be used, although I wonder about signal degradation especially around bends.

Re:TDMA works with water pipes (4, Informative)

Vegemeister (1259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146464)

No, you'd definitely have to drain the water. Water attenuates RF like the dickens. It's usually slightly conductive, and the Van der Walls bonds give it a large permittivity at low frequency, and a large imaginary (lossy) permittivity at high frequency. To communicate with submarines, they have to use extremely low frequency signals in the hundreds of Hertz. At one point, Britain had a plan to turn an entire island into an antenna.

Another way to observe the effect is to put a cup of water in a microwave oven.

Re:TDMA works with water pipes (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148174)

I knew about submarines and their massive retractable antennas and I've used a microwave but never mentally connected them before.

But does it have to be EM? How about sound?

Re:Raise your hand if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147306)

So, in Communist China, the Internet is not a series of tubes, rather it is a line a people passing bit buckets. Easier to filter I guess.

I'm part of the 50% (4, Funny)

mugetsu37 (1485997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144482)

I was paid to leave this new comment.

Re:I'm part of the 50% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144580)

Man, stop being a stereotype. First post and you are completely supporting the idea that a uid > 1million means offtopic or crap comments. Maybe check out reddit. A comment like this would bank you massive karma.

Re:I'm part of the 50% (4, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144714)

Great, now the internet is being Aquaturfed, not just astroturfed....

Feedback loop... (4, Funny)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144518)

And, the moment this detection software is for sale, it will be inserted into the paid posters submission workflow.

Re:Feedback loop... (2, Interesting)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144628)

a.k.a. game theory [wikipedia.org]

Re:Feedback loop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147990)

More like a.k.a. "arms race" (in the game theory sense).

Re:Feedback loop... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144848)

but to counter this method you need to be more unique i.e. put more time into each post, it is an economic weapon increasing the cost of abuse significantly and therefore reducing post quantity and number of sites economically target-able.

Re:Feedback loop... (2)

tqft (619476) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144950)

or evolutionary pressure could cause the spam masters to write semi-intelligent software to bot post useful on topic information

Re:Feedback loop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145178)

Re:Feedback loop... (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146142)

I would use the excuse of the of not knowing about that xkcd but there is an xkcd for everything and as soon as I saw the xkcd link I knew.

Re:Feedback loop... (3, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146630)

In some ways this isn't as much of a benefit as it might seem. Currently the spam reviews/emails etc are of such low quality that it is easy to mentally filter them out. Systems like this that require the quality to improve may decrease volume but will make it harder to spot the ones that get through.

Ultimately this is why the 'social web' is becoming so important. If I know the people who are telling me something is good then I know they aren't paid for posters. Obviously one side affect of this is that companies are realising that 'influencers' (users who drive adoption amongst their social group) are more valuable and trying to buy their love.

Re:Feedback loop... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148330)

Except the "ability" to build webs of trust across social networks is a step backwards compared to when sites were small and actually had moderators who cared to keep the quality up. Mainly it is because this "ability" has not been developed beyond an infant level. There has been an incredible dearth in progress on interactive federated trust systems, both for encryption purposes, and for anti-troll/spam purposes. Can you tell a piece of software "I trust this guy to post good stuff, but I trust this other guy not only to post good stuff, but also I trust his list of other people who post good stuff" or "I trust this guy's original material but I don't extend that trust to his likes/dislikes of other material" and then expect the system to use that information intelligently to help you filter? Probably not. And that's just the first step -- then you have to make it usable for the average person in a way that encourages frequent tweaking.

Now, since people seem to like to play with things like Mafia Wars/Farmville/4square and whatnot, one way to move forward in developing such a system might be to develop a game which allegorically involves either (as a hero) developing and effectively using a trust web or (as a villain) defeating the trust web. If you could manage to get a bunch of facebook addicts raving over that then you'd have the ultimate beta test team.

Re:Feedback loop... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146718)

Even so, some organizations seem to consider it worthwhile even at elevated prices. In the forums of www.Spiegel.de (a German news magazine), I sometimes notice first-time posters who defend $CORPORATE_POINT_OF_VIEW with rather eloquent wording. To me that looks a lot like professional advertisers being paid to influence the discussion.

Re:Feedback loop... (4, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145734)

Not necessarily. I think one important point when dealing with website trolls and spammers is not to delete their messages, but display it only for them if you can log their IPs / username. This way they see their own messages, but nobody else can. Kind of hard to do when the attack is distributed, though.

Ron Paul is the choice of most improvement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144552)

Research conducted in many top institutions have concluded Ron Paul is the efficient choice, OK.

SPAM race (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144554)

It's just another SPAM arms race, the fact that nobody is challenging the reviewers yet is why it's so easy.

Re:SPAM race (5, Insightful)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144834)

That's why I love /. !!

A thorough review process makes sure that only the best and top quality posts make it to the front side, where intelligent and well educated people can add their remarks. A volunteer group of unbiased moderators that show the almost dream-like ability to not mistake witty irony for trollish flamebait then judges the comments purely on their merits. Wonderful!

Re:SPAM race (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144868)

Then how did I get such good karma? o.O

Re:SPAM race (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145124)

</sarcasm>

You forgot to close your tag. You would think the AI folks could at least teach the bots how to html.

Re:SPAM race (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145176)

First mod in the door goes for "insightful" rather than "funny". Meta-humor or anosognosia? You be the judge!

Re:SPAM race (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148354)

A thorough review process makes sure that only the best and top quality posts make it to the front side, where intelligent and well educated people can add their remarks. A volunteer group of unbiased moderators that show the almost dream-like ability to not mistake witty irony for trollish flamebait then judges the comments purely on their merits. Wonderful!

My sarcasm detector just clocked itself and started on fire. Damn you... I just got it replaced too...

Glad I'm safe! (5, Funny)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144560)

Well, at least we'll be safe in the English speaking world. Legitimate user reviews are always so intelligent and well-written I could easily distinguish freelancer's bullshit from the thoughts of intelligent users. Just look at the comments on Amazon and Youtube!

Re:Glad I'm safe! (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145158)

Umm yeah.. good luck with that. I'd be a little more careful. Even Bablefish is pretty good now a days. Just saying...

Re:Glad I'm safe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145618)

Here's Google Translate's attempt at a quick random spiel I wrote in Japanese:
IPHONE
I love Apple over IPHONE3. It very light! Clean, bright colors!

Still has noticable issues...

Re:Glad I'm safe! (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146432)

Umm Yeah .. and good luck. I will be more careful. Even Bablefish is pretty good, now a days. Just saying ......

English -> chinese -> english again, in google translate

Re:Glad I'm safe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147048)

The spelling hints that you're one of those drones promoting Babelfish. "Pretty good" may be good enough if you are a unicorn, but for the rest of us it is just the difference between "exquisite" and "unlimited beautiful":

http://brog.engrish.com/2011/11/23/brack-fryday-is-coming/

Re:Glad I'm safe! (0)

somename (1139943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146802)

I'm guessing you're just being sarcastic as I find sifting through reviews on Amazon (whom I think has one of the better customer review system) annoying enough. I do wonder if these spam reviewers target websites in other major languages also. I mean it's fairly easy to find someone to write English semi-competently pretty much any where in the world. I'm not sure if that's true for even for a language such as Spanish.

Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (4, Informative)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144576)

This "army" has been a staple of the CCP for years. They're usually pretty easy to spot on Chinese language sites and (increasingly) on English language sites. The name comes from the reputed 5 mao (or 1/2 of a Chinese yuan) they're paid for each message. That's about 7 US cents. For the Chinese psyche, it's much more satisfying to see a large number of shill posts that "agree" with the party line than to "waste" effort on even a thin veneer of truth.

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144612)

This "army" has been a staple of the CCP for years. They're usually pretty easy to spot on Chinese language sites and (increasingly) on English language sites. The name comes from the reputed 5 mao (or 1/2 of a Chinese yuan) they're paid for each message. That's about 7 US cents. For the Chinese psyche, it's much more satisfying to see a large number of shill posts that "agree" with the party line than to "waste" effort on even a thin veneer of truth.

Isnt' it a tad racist to classify an entire large group of people as having a certain, characteristic, ascribed "psyche" or tendency on the basis of nothing more than having the same genetic race in common?

I don't think you hate them or anything but I don't think you've really thought about why you believe this.

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144682)

Some things are racist, this sounds more like cultural bias, if you will. I would say similar thing about social norms, but given the context, the same words can be deemed racist, or enlightening.

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144756)

Some things are racist, this sounds more like cultural bias, if you will. I would say similar thing about social norms, but given the context, the same words can be deemed racist, or enlightening.

So it's not like telling a "nigger joke", then?

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144888)

I see it pretty clearly: the psychological trends are clearly sloped. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0AhCPkU9sM_R4dFpyaXJXamxKUURyUFZJTnozc252Y1E&oid=2&zx=upmkrqcflv4 [google.com]

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145010)

the psychological trends are clearly slanted.

FTFY

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145122)

I laughed at your comment.

then I came back an hour later and wanted more.

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148260)

Americans are often classified as having certain tendencies in foreign media, is that racist? Chinese, like Americans, are not of one single race, there are dozens of ethnicities, as China often likes to point out. If ascribing certain characteristics to Americans isn't taboo, why should it be so for other nationals?

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (1)

chad_r (79875) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147322)

The CCP?? Do you really think the Communist Party is paying for these ads? Or was "China" too long to type?

Re:Wu mao dang (50 cent gang) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147572)

Yes, the CCP. None of the other shill political parties in RPC are being advertised, so this "water army" is an internal organ of the CCP, rather than the state.

Slashdot Good (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144582)

I like Slashdot. Very good website.Soulskill best editor ever.

Re:Slashdot Good (3, Funny)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144602)

slashdot.org the best news site for apple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To be fair it's better than a goat sea hurricane army. But still dishonorably dirty at sugarcoating enough praise to give web sites diabetes.

Re:Slashdot Good (2)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144620)

Well I was still trying to make sense of that one right up to the word "diabetes".

Good God I'm easy....

Re:Slashdot Good (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145156)

Have you ever used it. Dont brag, I am an iPhone lover, but WP7 is good. Used all three platform now . No doubt WP7 is better. I am not a fanboy of anyone though. Try reading the reviews you will understand why eveyone is behind WP7. I think Microsoft has learned a lesson and turned around.

- A verbatim reply to one of my recent posts somewhere else. Hmm... 7 cents for that? They overpaid.

Re:Slashdot Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146914)

You bad man! You spammer! You go wash soap in mouth or bring to justice circumstance directly!

No different from slashdot really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144610)

What could possibly go wrong?
In soviet Russia ....
Some jingle by the Golden girls
etc, etc, etc

Re:No different from slashdot really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144734)

In Soviet Russia, you thank me for being a friend! Road travels up and down you! And if a party threw you, I would be from the biggest gift.

Re:No different from slashdot really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146136)

It's cosmonaut, you idiot.

That is "amazing" .... NOT! (1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144634)

88% to spot paid posters? Stick around the internet long enough and you can recognize them with better abilities then that software.

This post was a paid poster. Peddling a product that is less effective then other means available to people with a half decent but also half lousy reasoning as to why we need it.

Jim

Re:That is "amazing" .... NOT! (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144792)

Yeah but try using that skill on 10,000 posts. You'll see why you want automated software after your brain melts around post 1000 or so.

Re:That is "amazing" .... NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145070)

Just look for the username CmdrPony. The latest nick in a long illustrious line of shills going back to Soppsa, cgeys, techla, and culminating with CmdrPony. Guess what? In a month, he will abruptly stop posting and another will come and take his place.

Re:That is "amazing" .... NOT! (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145658)

That sounds like most slashvertisments.

slow news day again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144648)

As the comments in the linked article said, paid shills and astroturfers are a fact of life since time immemorial ...and ooooo....they're now doing it in China....ooooo.....I'm scared.....

Re:slow news day again (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144652)

Well, this article was a paper about how to detect them

Re:slow news day again (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145538)

Just firewall all of China. Problem solved.

Re:slow news day again (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145862)

China is trying, but then there is this free speech movement that tries to poke holes in that great firewall all the time.

uhm but this is also how the API works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144680)

and a bunch of other 'legitimate' news websites.

their overlords at corporate get some backhanded deal going, from govt or business, they agree to spam-blast information.

you arent just fighting 'underground spammers'. you are fighting the very concept of Public Relations.

Re:uhm but this is also how the API works (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144688)

To be more precise, legacy PR based on controlling the message. "PR 2.0" don't have these fundamental problems

How do we know this is not a generated story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144696)

So if this how slashdot plans to continue having random quality stories on weird topics that look good on google trends?

How about an example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144730)

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IP address (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144814)

100% method.... just drop all traffic coming from china. Nothing of value will be lost.

Re:IP address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145700)

I agree, the internet would be a better place with half as much spam instantly if all providers did this.

This article very Super Good Thing ! (5, Funny)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144820)

Slashdot Very Good Super Big Fun Site! Very Like Much Good For You Fun! Rate 5 Star Posted.

Re:This article very Super Good Thing ! (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145120)

Hey! I see what you did. You're sneaking a very favorable /. review of Slashdot into your comment.Clever.

The mods should be more careful. I suspect you might be one of the spammers. You have 2.5 minutes to respond.

Re:This article very Super Good Thing ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145160)

Either those spammers are so bad you can identify them by that kind of text or they are real good and post that kind of text in purpose.

Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Community (0, Troll)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144892)

They just keep cutting and pasting the same debunked arguments and pretend that nobody notices.

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (2, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145174)

It's working for global warming. I mean climate change. No, enhanced weather variability. Wait, let me start again.

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145264)

The new term was popularized because the common folk don't understand the difference between climate and weather. Doesn't mean "global warming" is really a less accurate term, since it refers to climate and global averages (as it always did). Thanks for trolling out, folks.

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (-1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145406)

You guys can't even be coherent in your messaging, but can't fail at being condescending even as AC. You just don't get it. You've seized control of your little corner of academia and think that entitles you to rule the world. Well, it doesn't, and you're a fine example of TFA's point: a bunch of folk posting on blogs and well-placed news articles isn't going to sway the mass of people. That used to work, back in 2002. New age, new rules, new tools.

You could win if you weren't a bunch of pricks, if you understood how to do this in the current day. But I'm not going to help you.

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (4, Insightful)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145928)

It's not "Our little corner of academia." It's every major academy of science in the entire world. And they aren't focused on "messaging" because they are scientists, not PR flacks.

It's true that in recent years the coordinated propaganda of the fossil fuel industry has managed to sway masses of uneducated people against the scientific community. But that's not because the fault of the scientific community. Some people out there are just going to believe whoever has the loudest microphone or the endorsement of their local pastor, no matter what the science says.

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146126)

Keep telling yourself that if it makes losing more comfortable. It's that the fossil fuel industry is out to get you, that the public is a mass of morons. It's not about scientific integrity, credibility, or not being a prick to people you're trying to convince. Stay with that. It's working Grrrrreat.

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146480)

that the public is a mass of morons

Well, that at least is a well-known fact. And if you never had the pleasure of working in a customer service job, and never got the chance to discover this fact for yourself..

Then have a look at http://clientsfromhell.net/ [clientsfromhell.net] and http://notalwaysright.com/ [notalwaysright.com]

Re:Spammers are like the Climate "Skeptic" Communi (1)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148286)

Keep telling yourself that if it makes losing more comfortable.

Science isn't about "winning" or "losing" in the court of public opinion. Science isn't an American Idol finale where consumers vote for their preferred scientific theory and thus decide the fate of the natural world. Do you honestly not understand that? Do you literally believe that we should seek scientific truth by polling the opinions of our least educated citizens?

What they do becomes a list of what not to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144910)

Stagger the day's activity across forums so it's not one account posting every 2.5 minutes, throw in a bunch of "lol" or "qft" comments in other threads, disable the CTRL button and right clicking on the PC, and make sure to post something, anything weekly for a few months. Boom, defeated.

Blackhole apnic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144946)

And this is why I blackhole all of apnic

Ob (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144968)

Michael Kristopeit is cowering.

China = sluicegated.

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145472)

"i'm not hiding... i'm michael kristopeit. i live at 4513 brittany ct. eau claire, wi 54701. my phone number is 715-514-0916.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic."

Unfortunately this is the status quo (3, Insightful)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145138)

Unfortunately this is the status quo. It's been long known companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Blockbuster, have been paying hordes to scavenge google or bing for posts like " Win 7 sucks" or Win 7 just as bad, and then post things like " I don't know, I have 3 computers running it and have zero issues like you say. Might be your hardware. This is just bringing it to the mainstreams attention IMO. I guess the days are coming to an end when I go to Best Buy to get something and look it up on my phone to get reviews. Now the kicker: How many times have you went to buy something from a non name brand and looked them up before using your credit card? Say you Google " mom and pop xx widgets R us" and the word scam or fraud. Well, when do the scammers start flooding the results to show stellar listings for the latest fraud sites? Kind of changes the whole community concept doesn't it? .. Just something to think about.

Re:Unfortunately this is the status quo (4, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145524)

Just because someone never had issues with something that you dislike doesn't mean that they're a shill. This is something that bothers me a lot about modern discourse on the internet. You can't say anything without being accused of being a shill, troll, or fanboy. On the other hand, people credulously read outrageously biased review sites that give every single product they review 4/5 or 5/5. The absolute worst are tech and gaming sites. I forget which site it was (I think it was AnandTech), but a few years ago, one of the writers did a bit of investigative journalism and put out feelers to see how open hardware review sites were to the idea of paying for positive reviews. A small number of them (they refused to divulge who, unfortunately) openly agreed to it.

The internet is full of trolls, fanboys, and shills, to be sure, but they're not hiding under every rock. Sometimes, it's just a normal person who's trying to express a legitimate opinion. Simply saying that you didn't have any problems with a product is not enough for any accusations, or else you risk labeling every single satisfied customer a shill (and, believe it or not, there a whole lot of easily satisfied people out there, and they simply won't be annoyed by the things that drive you fucking crazy).

Re:Unfortunately this is the status quo (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145882)

(and, believe it or not, there a whole lot of easily satisfied people out there, and they simply won't be annoyed by the things that drive you fucking crazy).

And this makes their opinion of a product no more useful than the 'opinion' of a spammer. Strain them out with the same filter, please!

Re:Unfortunately this is the status quo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146472)

The tech sites and users deserve each other especially the overclockers ones. I mean how can you complain about a company because you think that if you buy 3 CPUs they should overclock the same. Being able to overclock one to 5GHz one to 4.5GHz and one just to 4Ghz isn't one of the advertised features and so you cant complain about that. If you want to overclock feel free, but don't complain that the chips don't have same limits. They are guaranteed to work at stock speeds.

BF3 vs MF3 (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145200)

I think I noticed it a bit. Just a tad.

Ni hao (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145322)

They also move on from a discussion more quickly than legitimate users, discarding their IDs and never using them again.

I bet not a one of them has as many IDs as Michael Kristopeit.

extreme advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145430)

Celebrities paid by sponsors to promote Nike, Adidas, Wheaties, Omega, Rolex, ... is the milder form.

Water Pump? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145670)

I thought it was Russian hackers [theonion.com] that got that water pump in Illinois [slashdot.org] , not the Internet Water Army...

bit34 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146210)

numbers continue encountered while Development m\odel

OK, yeah, but what about the Kardashians? (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146570)

Never done the Twitter thing, I found the following posted on some humor blog, nice response to someone paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do the 7 cent thing.

- @KhloeKardashian: "OMG! Wheat Thins has a new limited time sweet cinnamon flavor. Why am I so excited about this?”
- @Kris_Humphries (Not Kris Humphries): "Because you’re an idiot."

Non-english too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146626)

I have been commenting on a some Danish sites regarding tech companies moving go China. One thing I have noticed about China is that everytime someone points out the worker conditions(enviroment / pay etc) or mentions something about human rights, the comments are rated down if options exists and it is followed with answers like "have I efter lived there?", "don't believe the newspapers" etc. But when I become specific, like comments on internet censorship etc, the defense stops or becomes vague nonsense.

There are spammers in China (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146660)

Where is the news here?

Try CorpSpeak (1)

SoothingMist (1517119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147494)

CorpSpeak is a program readily downloadable. Given a few keywords it can generate loads of nonsense that makes perfect sense. It would be easy to apply that program to the subject application.

Internet Water Army (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147898)

Truth is truth. A kingdom even China without truth will not stand.

tripadvisor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148042)

TripAdvisor is flooded by water army, too. Many comments are far from accurate.

Workaround (1)

Otonotachibana (826415) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148086)

Might as well use that stupid Great Firewall of China to do some good. Add "Free Tibet", "Ai Weiwei is innocent", and "Taiwan is a country" to your site to avoid this spam.
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