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Cash For Tweets and Facebook Posts? Aussie Startup Pays You to Astroturf

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the mcdonalds-makes-the-tastiest-burgers dept.

Facebook 156

An anonymous reader writes "While the celebs are already charging big money for their Tweets, an Aussie startup is ranking everyday people and turning them into product salespeople. After a successful start Down Under they have now hit Silicon Valley, but will Americans embrace selling to their friends?" From the article: "In a nutshell, individuals sign up to the Social Loot website and are assigned companies to promote to their circle of online friends. They are then paid on a sliding scale based on the amount of traffic their posts generate, and the quality of referrals and number of resulting sales. This is tracked by a code embedded in the links promoted by Social Loot’s spruikers."

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This should be considered illegal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853239)

This is advertising. It is also a lie. That's fraud, plain and simple.

Re:This should be considered illegal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853265)

You! You! You! You aren't even a madowmentment madow! I'm absolutely sickida such as you!

You can turn to dust and die! Your dust can just get its bootyass turned into an elevator, easy!

Why are such in existence!? Such a worthless scrap of existence... LOL...

Re:This should be considered illegal (5, Insightful)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853277)

You make a good point. When the Alan Jones cash for comments scandal broke, he got absolutely slammed in court for not disclosing who was paying him to promote various things on his show.

The same should apply to tweets. They are broadcasts, and so the people making them should disclose whether it is advertising or not.

Re:This should be considered illegal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853355)

You make a good point. When the Alan Jones cash for comments scandal broke, he got absolutely slammed in court for not disclosing who was paying him to promote various things on his show. The same should apply to tweets. They are broadcasts, and so the people making them should disclose whether it is advertising or not.

What a bunch of niggers. People, stop being niggers. See how simple that is, you niggers?!

Re:This should be considered illegal (0, Offtopic)

Kozz (7764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853575)

Phew. Thank you for reminding me to bump up my threshold after moderation.

Re:No sense of humor should be illegall (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853817)

Phew. Thank you for reminding me to bump up my threshold after moderation.

Yer being a nigger. Stop being a nigger. Like he done told ya to.

Re:No sense of humor should be illegall (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854011)

Rather be a nigger than a filthy moronic closet gay Repubican like you

Re:This should be considered illegal (-1, Troll)

TechCar (2628639) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853467)

This is also one of the reasons I would never trust Google or their services. They are basically build and run on money got from lies. Often the advertisers aren't even the real product makers. They are affiliates who get a commission from each sale and have no problem lying to you. And the more information you give Google the more you get targeted. That is pure evil.

I appreciate my privacy so I buy desktop software that doesn't snoop on everything I do and works on my local computer instead of website (SaaS). That's why I use Microsoft Office - a full office suite that respects your privacy - instead of Google's hosted services that snoop your data.

Re:This should be considered illegal (3, Interesting)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853487)

Sounds like the Twits and Facepalmers have a Web 2.0 version of Amway to me. Friends selling to friends (about to be former friends).

Just unfriend such so called "friends" (4, Insightful)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about 2 years ago | (#39853907)

After politely warning them to cease such activity. I cannot understand why there are so many people that want to involve the government in everything, which is what happens when you advocate something you don't like should be made illegal.

Nice astro-turfing! You should have no trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853547)

getting a job. Or are you already working for msft's google smear campaign? You sure sound like it.

BTW: your post makes no sense what-so-ever. And the company you love so well has been caught astroturfing and "phoning home" and much more.

Re:Nice astro-turfing! You should have no trouble (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853735)

I'm thinking that was sarcasm. Poe's law though being what it is...

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853725)

How do you know Microsoft Office respects your privacy, do you have access to the source? From what I've heard Microsoft at the very least keeps track of the hardware on which you run its software.

Re:This should be considered illegal (-1)

TechCar (2628639) | about 2 years ago | (#39853871)

How do you know Microsoft Office respects your privacy, do you have access to the source?

Yes, it's called disassembly. On top of that you have contractual agreement and privacy policy. If they lie in that it would get them in some serious lawsuits. You also have your usual monitoring and analyzing software.

Just because it's closed source doesn't mean you cannot analyze what it does. The situation is ultimately same as with open source. Who actually checks the full code of their open source software and fully understands what every part of it does? Note that many things can be hidden in algorithms or via other tricks even if the source is available as it is. This is an old trick that predates computers and modern times.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#39853885)

Privacy Policies don't exist at the moment in a complicated form to help you or define your rights. it's for legal indemnity for any company that has them if it's more than 8-10 sentences long.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 years ago | (#39854033)

I admit I'm very impressed! I know I'm sticking my neck out depending on the eyes of many others to verify that open source programs such as libreoffice respect privacy, but you relying on the output of a disasembler to reveal all potential downfalls of a program all by your lonesome far exceeds my meager abilities. My hat is off to you!

Re:This should be considered illegal (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#39854973)

How do you know Microsoft Office respects your privacy, do you have access to the source?

You don't need it. It runs on your local machine, so you can check every network connection that it makes and, more importantly, you can trivially prevent it from making any network connections.

From what I've heard Microsoft at the very least keeps track of the hardware on which you run its software.

And the reason you know this (it's related to Windows Update, not MS Office specifically) is that people did intercept the data sent to Microsoft from Windows Update and found out exactly what was being sent.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

Maow (620678) | about 2 years ago | (#39855307)

I just knew you'd be here, blowing smoke up Microsoft's arse or slamming Google for something unrelated.

How much do you get paid for this bullshilling you have been doing now for such a long time under oh-so-many different accounts?

Do you look forward to the competition from Social Loot, or do you work for/through them now?

Anyway, good work - any pay you receive is too much as you are such an obvious shill.

And, before you protest that you don't get paid -- well if that's true then you need psych help; but we all know it ain't true. Real fan-boys don't put the care into their posts that you do; they're far too sloppy.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

zr (19885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853471)

Can't have it both ways. Either free speech, paid or not, or, a form of censorship. Because someone will have to be enforcing the disclosure requirement. and that someone would _have_ to be given authority to investigate any twitterer. On the scale of the internet this is _insane_.

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853565)

It's not insane, you just close down the Aussie business.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853507)

It doesn't really matter -- twitter is cutting their own throat allowing this kind of slimy stuff. It's just a matter of time til everyone knows twitter is for suckers that want to read a bunch of really short astroturf. Plus this kind of behavior is practically eternal. "Caveat Emptor", "a fool and his money are soon parted". It's just real life continuing to spread on the internet.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#39854977)

It's just a matter of time til everyone knows twitter is for suckers that want to read a bunch of really short astroturf

About minus four years?

Re:This should be considered illegal (5, Interesting)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853803)

You make a good point. When the Alan Jones cash for comments scandal broke, he got absolutely slammed in court for not disclosing who was paying him to promote various things on his show. The same should apply to tweets. They are broadcasts, and so the people making them should disclose whether it is advertising or not.

Or you could just not be friends with people who will spam you with crap so they can earn 8 cents a week.

Re:This should be considered illegal (3, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#39853909)

You dont understand ho astroturfing works. The goal is transparency and deception. Astroturfing appears as opinion, but is actually scumbag capitalism.

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39853981)

The moral of the story is corporate capitalism is based on lies.

So for people who are against this let me serve the alternative http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto

 

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | about 2 years ago | (#39854035)

You dont understand ho astroturfing works. The goal is transparency and deception. Astroturfing appears as opinion, but is actually scumbag capitalism.

As I understand it, astroturfing doesn't work without people to participate in the process. Don't be friends with those people and you won't have to wonder whether you're hearing opinion or advertising.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#39854515)

The point is that the entire of goal of astroturfing is to make it as hard as possible to distinguish astroturf from genuine opinion. If you can't tell the difference then you can't unfriend only the astroturfers. Especially when the astroturfer realyl is genuine 90% of the time and only schills on rare occasion.

Re:This should be considered illegal (3, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#39854755)

This one relies on embedded codes in their URLs to measure their effectiveness ; it wouldn't be difficult to detect.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | about 2 years ago | (#39855197)

bit.ly much? Is it reasonable that I check the outcome of every shortened URL for referrer data?

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39855239)

I'm pretty sure all popular twitter clients unroll shortened URLs for you automatically. Unless you're reading twitter through netcat, there's nothing to check.

Anyways, someone will probably just launch a bot looking for links with that referral and calling out shills.

Transparency? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#39854869)

You dont understand ho astroturfing works. The goal is transparency

Quit the opposite, actually.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853545)

Since when is pitching products illegal. It's not something I'd do to my friends for products I don't believe in though.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853619)

It's specifically an Australian company. Australia does have some rules about having to disclose when you are being paid to say something.

They apply to the media, but who knows when a court will decide that a tweet is the same as a hosting a radio show.

Re:This should be considered illegal (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853655)

This has nothing to do with selling product. This is all about corruptly flooding forums with trolls, thousands of them. The marketing and promotional lie is selling products to friends the reality is poisoning every possible social network with an endless stream of bullshit marketing.

How long will an social site's last when you have a couple of hundred thousand trolls flooding the site with links, desperate to collect a couple of cents per click.

The guy is nothing but another mass trolling pig. Doesn't give a crap about people's social interactions, quite happy to bring them all crashing down, basically he wants to become a social forum spammer and that's what the arse hole is selling to corporations.

You can filter out some IP's but not hundreds of thousands of scattered ones, you can block robots but not hundreds of thousands of pathetic greedy ignorant trolls.

A purveyor of lies on a mass scale. Of course the trolls he employs will become the most hated people on the internet, kicked out of social network after social network.

Re:This should be considered illegal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854003)

You are beating a dead horse! If you hate so trolls so much that you would join the Communist Cause. One would have to really see who is the troll now.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

wannabgeek (323414) | about 2 years ago | (#39854395)

Are you telling me that this is gonna kill Facebook and Twitter? Really? REALLY?
Naa, you're just saying it to make me happy!

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#39854435)

I know!

Started to giggle like a little child on Christmas Day when I heard that :)

Re:This should be considered illegal (5, Interesting)

Plunky (929104) | about 2 years ago | (#39854699)

Are you telling me that this is gonna kill Facebook and Twitter? Really? REALLY?

In previous years, usenet was a social gathering ground on the internet.. being unmoderated was its strength, but also its weakness and Canter & Siegel started a movement that killed it eventually. This has the capability to kill off twitter and facebook sure, but since they both have a controlling entity who could institute moderation then perhaps they can stave off demise by some quick thinking..

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 2 years ago | (#39854811)

You can filter out some IP's but not hundreds of thousands of scattered ones, you can block robots but not hundreds of thousands of pathetic greedy ignorant trolls.

Which doesn't really matter on a social network. I have a limited number of contacts. If the filters the site use don't work then it's a few seconds work for me to ignore or remove the person who posted it. People have been doing company sponsored advertising for years, the get a free iPad links being one of the more recent examples. Some people don't consider the negative impact their astroturfing has on the people who it is sent to; remove them and if you feel like it politely explain why.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

Endovior (2450520) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853553)

If it worked as well as all that, you might have a case for 'fraud'. But in practice... it really doesn't. It's a fundamental principle of marketing... though people are pretty stupid, they aren't quite as stupid as you'd like them to be. If you go around advertising to your 'friends' on a regular basis, they WILL catch on, even if you try to be sneaky about it. And then you'll have less friends, and you'll have less people to advertise to. You can mitigate this somewhat by being selective, and not bothering everyone you know every time you get an offer... but if you do that, then you're seriously limiting your own effectiveness, and probably not making worthwhile money, unless you're VERY good at the selectiveness, and have particularly rich and gullible friends (unlikely). So you either crash and burn right away by doing too much or too little, and even if you try to strike a balance, you'll scare a bunch of people away regardless. As such, your job really ends up being a little bit of "think up clever advertising strategies", but mostly "make lots of new friends quickly to replace the ones you've alienated by vomiting ads all over them". This latter is called 'networking', and in practice, the other people who are doing it are in more or less the same line of work you're in. This is, not incidentally, why most of these things wind up becoming multi-level deals; networkers are inherently parasitic, and they can't really succeed without having some way to take advantage of the contact circles of lesser networkers. To actually make a living off this line of work, your job has to be "sucker other people into alienating their friends by pushing services on them for your own personal profit"; to get rich off it, your job has to be "find people who are good at suckering other people, and sucker them into working for you".

Given all that, you might argue that MLM's should be illegal (a worthy argument, but too much money behind them to make it stick). Compared to such juggernauts, small fries like Social Loot, that offer neither the multi-level structure nor all that much in the way of payouts, are hardly a blip on the radar. Seriously, they're hiring people to put more spam on Facebook. It's like pissing into an ocean of piss. It works, of course, because they only pay for results. Like with any internet ads, there won't be all that many. Essentially, their business model is "convince people to betray their friends for pocket change". And there'll always be more then a few assholes out there willing to do just that.

Re:This should be considered illegal (4, Funny)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853561)

What's the problem. This sounds like a revolution in web 2.0 synergies. You win and your friends win by getting vital decision making information regarding the brands they already love. For more information just follow this link?spammer=on&friends=off

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853593)

This is advertising. It is also a lie. That's fraud, plain and simple.

What if I post my dropbox referral code? I don't get anything but free space.

Ahem - hey, I like dropbox, check it out! http://db.tt/hfwPL1N [db.tt] Sign up with that code and you get 500 megs free too!

lol. It's funny because it's true.

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853657)

Question - is Farmville advertising fraud? I assume my friends get some sort of virtual crap if I click their link and visit their farm, but that's not on the link I see. Virtual property is property too, and virtual referral bonuses have been all over the net for years. At least with a system like this, you can get some actual cash in exchange for shilling.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#39853887)

This is advertising. It is also a lie. That's fraud, plain and simple.

Kill it before it multiplies. Hang and eviscerate on site.

Re:This should be considered illegal (2)

MiG82au (2594721) | about 2 years ago | (#39854113)

Oh fuck no. Don't you start making "site" a homonym for seeing things (sight).

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854481)

Oh no, don't "loose" it; he "should of" said sight. ; )

Re:This should be considered illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39853983)

It's no more fraudulent than ANY other type of advertising. You must be an American to claim, "There oughta be a law!"

How could you possible propose that lying should be illegal? Would you want to be held accountable for each and every untruth that has ever issued forth from your own maw? I think not.

But if it were possible to hold people accountable for their lies, where should we start? With the next round of politicians, the next cycle of television & radio spots, the next generation of humans?

Perhaps we should speak to God and seek the answer there?

Muahahahahaa!!

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 2 years ago | (#39854299)

This will fall under what I call "affiliate marketing laws" and the FTC is very serious about them. Go read their website (the ftc) and you'll see how many people and companies they've sued recently.

Re:This should be considered illegal (1)

genghisjahn (1344927) | about 2 years ago | (#39854957)

They've been doing it on slashdot for years. Time to expand I guess.

what Klout is about to be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853251)

Fuck that.

http://klouchebag.com/#slashdot

oh no here come shills, (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853299)

i quit reading facebook update because of all of the adds for different games and crap on facebook. all i wanted was to know what my freinds who do not live near me where doing in meatspace now all there is are posts of "look at this funny/inspirational/religious/photoshopped picture some else posted i and i am reposting" and "i am playing a flash game you need to play the flash game to" i don't want to see more freaking adds. can we a decrapafied section of the Internet where we all agree that any spammer or shill are to be kicked out and never allowed back in?

Re:oh no here come shills, (1)

r1348 (2567295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853333)

While I agree with your overall point, you shouldn't post when drunk.

Re:oh no here come shills, (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853705)

Working on it. First thing to fix: the search engine. I think Google has gotten all the money they are possibly going to get at this point from overlooking SEOs, and should start delisting all of them immediately. Ask the founders to try and find something using their own search engine; when they find it littered with ads, perhaps they will feel motivated to find a way to fix it.

On a separate note, I've been equally annoyed about the Web 2.0, sell your Facebook friends, kind of thing. I have a few friends who are busy pimping various products from their family business with constant updates, and frankly, it's getting annoying.

For the record, I do not mind (beware: the programmer variant of "mind") a friend or acquaintance letting me know that they provide services or products in a certain area. However, you only get to do it once (unless you change businesses, and even then, if it's more than once every six months...). Leave a business card, and do not try to convince me that being social means buying your product or patronizing your place of business. When I've reviewed your company, at my leisure, against your competitors, I'll decide whether to give you a try. Which puts you on the 1-0 cycle -> your company gets to put out one shoddy product before it gets back on track, or I drop it. That means you get to put out one Vista, one Me, one screw-up before I blackball your company. And I highly recommend not making a habit of it.

on a totally unrelated unbiased note (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853305)

Social Loot has the best service to offer so far. We testet all the available options besides Social Loot and Social Loot is the winner for us. Social Loot.

Re:on a totally unrelated unbiased note (1, Redundant)

xQx (5744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853331)

Where are my mod points when you need them.

+5 Funny

Re:on a totally unrelated unbiased note (4, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853689)

If only there was a website where you could pay people with mod points to mod for you.

Hellz to the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853307)

...yeah, bitches!!

--TechNY/TechLA/Bonch/OverlyCriticalGuy/DCTech/Insightin140bytes/InterestingFellow/Cgeys/westlake/D'Aldredge

:-)

Mother of God.... (-1, Flamebait)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853337)

rah rah something about sheeple and advertising and social media and blah blah knew it was just people....blah just don't use the services blah blah capitalism is it........blah slashdot groupthink..... blah blah bullshit ads blah just unfriend/unfollow them rah de blah blah....advertiser hijinks....

Burma Shave.

This is nothing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853367)

Jeff Bezos has figured out how to get people to do this for free. [amazon.com]

Ah, excellent... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853385)

According to TFA, this 'social loot' nonsense requires some sort of affiliate ID baked in(presumably to the usual bit of gibberish at the end of the URL) for tracking the spamming performance of their little minions.

With any luck, this should allow automated recognition of people who are astroturfing for these guys and it's always good to have a new way of identifying awful people. At a service level, the astroturf can then be removed, downranked by search engines, etc. At a personal level, we can each do our part by reminding those culprits we know that spammers are abhuman scum who go to the special hell, and deserve it.

Re:Ah, excellent... (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#39854081)

Heh, my first thought too was that this is a way to filter people. For otherwise close friends, block their feeds, and have a talk with them in person. For anyone else, instant de-friending. Alternatively, it provides a way to get a list of companies who want to lie their way into your wallet. A useful thing to know and act on.

Ah-ha! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853393)

I was wondering why all my friends suddenly started trying to get me to buy a 747 with a big laser on it.

Re:Ah-ha! (1)

allo (1728082) | about 2 years ago | (#39855277)

i would like a shark with a fricking laser on it.

sue them (1)

Smiddi (1241326) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853421)

This is a much better way to stay in touch with your customer base then suing them (eh MPAA?)

So, is it age related or IQ related... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853429)

How Internet smart are you? (And, for a bonus point is it correct to capitalize Internet?)

I can see it both ways - the youth will be jaded with familiarity about how the world works (wait - new patent idea = "how the worlds works + ON THE INTERNET") vs the wisdom of the more experienced... I don't have a good sample - my kids, are, well, young(er) AND smart, so I have confounding factors in my data points... but they don't believe half the shit on the Internet as it is. How old is the phrase "caveat emptor", anyhow? And yet, a sucker is born every minute...

Bottom line; Everything evens out at an ever higher level of subtlety, as far as the trees go, but the rhythm of the forest remains the same.

In Britain... (4, Funny)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853441)

... this kind of business would be called "Shilling For Shillings".

Re:In Britain... (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853567)

In the US, we can call it 'Prostituting for Pennies'.

Re:In Britain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39853989)

In Vietnam, we call it "Dongling for Dongs".

Re:In Britain... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39854513)

In Poland, we call it "Peddling for Pebbles".

Re:In Britain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854047)

how about twats for toonies?

It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39853457)

Personally I'm happy to see this happening - it was only a matter of time before what you (each and every one of us on Facebook) endorse with your 'likes' become formalized, paid-for, advertising.

I'd like to see this blow up / wreak havoc on Facebook's ad revenue stream - this is akin to "social network optimization - SNO" as SEO is to google.

Hopefully this becomes widespread enough to inject enough noise into the signal that is Facebook's personally-focused ad targetting. Honestly, I doubt it, but it would be interesting to see it pan out.

Innovative new spam ideas! (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853569)

Just when you thought all the innovation in spam ideas was over... they hit you with another one. This is only marginally better than the 20,000 or so previous innovative spam ideas, but it's still missing the point of direct advertising on the internet. You're not moving product on the internet unless you're giving people a reason to like you. If they don't like you, they're not going to buy from you. And there's nothing that makes people like you less than spam. Call it social media advertising, call it gods gift to god knows what. It's still an attempt to trick people into buying something they would otherwise have no interest in. And unless it's significantly cheaper than Facebook ads, there's no reason for it to even exist. Or maybe that's the point? In any case, it's dumb, because I said so. And since I'm awesome, you should listen to me. So there.

Block It (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853595)

I don't know about Twitter at least, but on Facebook, all the posts came from the Social Loot application. It took all of 5 seconds to "block all posts from Social Loot" to my wall, and now I need never know of its existence (except for Slashdot - thanks guys).

Re:Block It (1)

Naso540 (2304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853759)

Very nice pull - love that idea.

Re:Block It (1)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853769)

#
# /etc/hosts
#

127.0.0.1 localhost twitter.com fb.com facebook.com ... ...

No more trust. (3, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853643)

Great. So now when a friend or acquaintance says something nice about a product or service, I won't be able to trust their opinion because I won't know if they were paid to say it or not.

Nice job polluting Twitter and other sites with stupid marketing and more distrust in what people say. It's freaking bad enough already.

Re:No more trust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39853865)

Protip: if they provide you with a long-ass referrer link, that should be a red flag.

Re:No more trust. (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 2 years ago | (#39854967)

Protip: If they rap it up with Bitly.com how will you know???

DOH!

Re:No more trust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39855009)

They will provide bit.ly link of course ;-) long-ass link won't fit into tweet together with ad blurbs.

Re:No more trust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854043)

Nice job polluting Twitter and other sites with stupid marketing and more distrust in what people say. It's freaking bad enough already.

You must be new here.

Good for them! (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39853783)

If social media websites are making a mint off of harvesting personal information, it's high time their users started seeing some money as well.

It's up to the service providers to police their own services, and I feel no pity for them.

Cash for twits. (1)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39853867)

...are assigned companies to promote to their circle of online friends.

What a load of crap. "Go promote this crap you may or may not have used or like, and we'll pay you".

I know not everyone shares my belief on this, but the only way I'll endorse or promote your product is if I believe it's a good product and a good value. Mostly, that means I personally use your product and like it, but there are some cases where I know a product is good and popular, but doesn't serve my needs. In that case, I'll still recommend it to people I think will benefit from it. If I don't know your product, or I don't think it's a good product, or I don't think it's a good value, then I won't promote it, period.

I'd be willing to do this (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 2 years ago | (#39853943)

I'd be willing to do this just as soon as I develop a new set of friends that I don't care about, so I don't have to lose the friends I actually like! :)

Re:I'd be willing to do this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854017)

You say: "...as soon as I develop a new set of friends that I don't care about..." but that's weird. By definition a friend is someone you care about. They are not really your friend if you don't care about them.

The word "friend" has been co-opted by faceplant and similar websites. It has no meaning at all now. If it has no meaning, does that mean we no longer have friends? Or just people we deal with on the 'net are not our friends?

Nothing new here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854027)

This was happening albeit on a smaller scale way before the interwebs. How many are old enough to know a friend who joined some scheme such as Avon [avon.com.au] , Bessemer [bessemer.com.au] and a multitude of other sales pyramids?

This is no different. Pretty soon the web sellers will be marked as annoying salesmen by their friends and then ignored. Simple.

Re:Nothing new here... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#39855031)

Heh, I remeber a boss of mine at a small bussiness who caught the Amway bug from a famous cricket player. He came in on Monday and started yammering about it and my first thought was "I'm goinfg to need a new job when is garage is full of the finest stainless steel pots and pans money can buy". Fortunately his wife had more than his ounce of common sense.

Cash in no matter what? (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 2 years ago | (#39854235)

Anything I write must tickle at least someone's fancy.

Either I like a product, it makes the company happy, or I don't like it, it makes their competition happy.

So either way, I should get my money right? No need to get influenced by money.

Can I cash in retrospectively for all the things I ever wrote? There must be a lot of money in there. Just need to pitch it to the right 'clients'. $_$

Why pay when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854267)

Microsoft astroturfers will do it for free.

Re:Why pay when... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#39855091)

If they are doing it for free then it's not astroturf, it's a socially acceptable delusion, it's in the same mold as god, santa, the american dream, the founding fathers, unix for dummies, flying reindeer, and a bottomless sack of loot.

Financially desperate and/or greedy people who cling to the last delusion will always be attracted to the accountanting equivalent of perpetual motion.

Quickly Squelched (3, Insightful)

silverhalide (584408) | about 2 years ago | (#39854287)

People have a very low tolerance personal space intrusions. People on the whole have a pretty decent intuition on whether someone genuinely is recommending something vs. is being paid to do so. People also have a pretty good intuition on figuring out who is a paid shill. Anyone who seriously tries to make money from this will quickly find themselves without friends. I can't think of a single friend of mine that would tolerate this shit on their feeds. I hope this gains traction as it will be a quick and easy way to thin out the online social circle.

If this catches on (it won't), you'll just end up with a circle of technically ignorant folks circle-jerking each other for ad revenue while the rest of us get on with our lives.

Please wreck facebook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854367)

We need something new, seriously. Once the signal to noise ratio gets good enough it won't function as a spy network anymore either.

Let the advertisers know what you think (5, Interesting)

mb.72 (2629421) | about 2 years ago | (#39854557)

I just emailed Minidisc Australia and Social Loot sales this email:
---
Hi guys

I'm a previous customer of yours (I purchased a Cowon J3 a couple of years ago, order no 40580), and previously I've recommended other people buy stuff from you.

I note that you are now using Social Loot advertising (having come across this company via slashdot post):
http://www.socialloot.com/minidisc_australia [socialloot.com]

My opinion is that the kind of 'shill advertising' promoted by Social Loot is about as low as it gets. As a result, I will:
a) no longer be recommending you, in fact I will be recommending against purchasing from you (and will explain my reasoning regarding the use of Social Loot)
b) no longer consider you for future purchases for myself

I realise I'm just one person. However, I am the 'go to guy' for a number of relatives and friends for technology matters, and based on past experience I am pretty sure that this will cost you a sale every three months or so. Over the course of one year I would estimate lost revenue at AUS$500 - AUS$1000.

If you stop using Social Loot advertising I will be happy to reverse my decision on this matter. Please note I've also cced this email to the Social Loot sales email address - unlike them, and apparently you, I am fine with being honest about my opinions.

Regards

Mike Both
----
If enough people do this, it could make a difference.

Re:Let the advertisers know what you think (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#39855245)

GoodonyaMate! and I mean that with sincerity, otherwise I would have said "GoodonYa....Mate!". :)

However the old fart cynic in me says: Good luck competing with "A current affair" and "Today tonight" who have both been shilling these kind of "pocket money" schemes for at least a decade. Then there's "Australia's most read columnist", Andrew Bolt, a shill for God in an Akubra ....errr... I mean the minning industry. And who can forget "Australia's most popular talk show host" Alan Jones [blogspot.com.au] ,[NSFW]*, a convicted shill with a small army of devoted thugs...errr...I mean dedicated listeners.

In a land where the people are famous for their bullshit detectors such shills should stick out like the proverbial "dog's balls", yet statistics strongly suggest we can't get enough of it.

* - The photo is real but cropped, I remeber it from the 80's when he stood for election under the count-ry party banner, we have some brilliant, yet under-appreciated political photo-journalists in this country.

Aussie Aussie Aussie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39854591)

No one pays us to do this, its just very ingrained.

time to move on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39855205)

u know when in the 2000`s everyone was talking about the internet...and how people would take it more serious if its used more by businesses? well 12 years later...seems businesses are the only thing that remains.
Freedom of speech X
Freedom of Information X

Those are kinda past time things. Nah...well time to move on.

No spam policy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39855249)

They have a no spam policy O.o

pft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39855281)

what a shitty idea

already there on many sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39855289)

People post negative/positive reviews for money.

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