Belkin employee caught gaming reviews on consumer websites
If you're a two-bit, snake oil-peddling scumbag, then paying people to act as your stooge would be entirely expected of you, but still completely wrong. If you're a global manufacturer of computer hardware on the other hand, then you really should know better.
That didn't stop Mike Bayard, a Business Development Executive at Belkin - the folk who make wireless routers and various other gizmos you'll find flooding off the shelves at PC World. The Daily Background discovered a post by Bayard on Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a site where you can perform tech tasks for people in return for cash. Bayard wasn't after anything too technical though; instead he offered to pay people to write positive reviews for a specific Belkin product:
Oh dear. "Always give a 100% rating... write as if you own the product and are using it... mark any other negative reviews as not helpful." That's not great form for the likes of Belkin. Not surprisingly, when The Daily Background tackled Belkin about Bayard's actions, they knew nothing about it:
No word on what has become of Baynard; while he's hardly the first person to try gaming peer review systems, there can't be many to attempt it on behalf of their multi-million pound global corporation.