Desperate times call for desperate measures? If a product you manufactured is doing poorly, do you: A. Take it off the market and go back to the drawing board? B. Pay people to write positive reviews about the product even if they never used it for a measly 65 cents? Or C. Refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem with said product?
The correct answer would be A, and maybe even C, but definitely not B, right? Well, some people would turn to option B for any of the other options. A person named Mike Bayard, who’s believed to be the Business Development Representative at Belkin International, recently created a task on Mechnical Turk, asking for people to write a positive review and “give [it] a 100% rating (as high as possible).”
Now, every person who fulfills this job will receive 65 cents, so it seems like a quick way to make a little money. The Belkin router is listed on Amazon and has barely any positive reviews, so it makes sense that Bayard wants innocent people to give it fake, high reviews. At this point in time, we don’t really know who Mike Bayard is and if he has any connections with Belkin. Maybe it is just a fake name, maybe he doesn’t exist, but good old LinkedIn comes to the rescue. According to his profile, which is pictured here, he is the Business Development Representative at Belkin International, and his specifically involved in product sales to online retailers such as Amazon. In addition to Amazon, Bayard also created tasks for people to post reviews on Buy.com and Newegg.
The Daily Background also went so far as to contact Belkin for any word on this matter. It is an interesting story and it will definitely be interesting to see what Belkin and even Amazon have to say about this. It just goes to show that with a little patience and Google Search, normal people can uncover some pretty shady things. Unfortunately, the tasks from Mechanical Turk have disappeared, but at least there are still some pictures that speak for themselves.
Read [The Daily Background]