Sell Your Integrity for $0.65

January 17, 2009
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Everyone has their price, but who knew it was so low? First, we see Burger King persuading people to trade 10 Facebook friends for a Whopper (suggested retal price: $3.69). Then some are suggesting that Twitter might create a business model offer companies a sort of pay-per-click (PPC) approach to friendship where they might pay $1 for each “friend” who follows a sponsored invitation.

But apparently Belkin may have read Ben Kunz’s “Modest Blogging Proposal” and not recognized it as satire. According to The Daily Background, a Belkin employee used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to pay people to write positive reviews of Belkin’s products–65 cents for each review. The scandal has received wide coverage through a post by John Biggs on CrunchGear.

I can’t say I’m shocked (shocked!) to find out that there’s payola going on here. And, by way of an “I told you so,” a big part of the problem is that reviews are anonymous, and anonymity doesn’t play well with information accountability.

But I am disappointed that people’s integrity is so cheap. Even Esau was able to swing a mess of pottage, which by my be

Everyone has their price, but who knew it was so low? First, we see Burger King persuading people to trade 10 Facebook friends for a Whopper (suggested retal price: $3.69). Then some are suggesting that Twitter might create a business model offer companies a sort of pay-per-click (PPC) approach to friendship where they might pay $1 for each “friend” who follows a sponsored invitation.

But apparently Belkin may have read Ben Kunz’s “Modest Blogging Proposal” and not recognized it as satire. According to The Daily Background, a Belkin employee used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to pay people to write positive reviews of Belkin’s products–65 cents for each review. The scandal has received wide coverage through a post by John Biggs on CrunchGear.

I can’t say I’m shocked (shocked!) to find out that there’s payola going on here. And, by way of an “I told you so,” a big part of the problem is that reviews are anonymous, and anonymity doesn’t play well with information accountability.

But I am disappointed that people’s integrity is so cheap. Even Esau was able to swing a mess of pottage, which by my best guess would go for $5 in 2009 dollars.

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