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MMORPG.com Discussion Forums

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General Discussion 

The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Paid posters "Shills" and marketing.

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55 posts found
  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7640

 
OP  12/26/12 12:27:45 PM#1

Looking back on this past year on mmorpg.com, I can't help but think some of our former members (maybe current) were infact "shills". 

 

This is a quick google search on paid paid forum posters. They seem to be in high demand. 

 

The University of Chicago estimates 1/3 of reviews have some sort of financial incentive. 

 

Here is an actual add form a company looking for posters

We'd like posters who'll be able to make at least 20 posts a day; the more the better. 

Skills required: 
1. Have excellent written English skills and can interact with the users of the forum you are asked to post on. 
2. Have excellent research skills as you’ll have to research about a particular thread topic before you post a reply to it. 
3. Ability to read and understand something and write about it in their own words. 
Payment will be on Net-30 basis and we'll pay based on performance. 

 

My questions are do you think this is going on within our community? If so, how do we spot them?

What do we do when we spot them? 

Is it possible to prove that they are "shills"? 

Can our forum sites do anything about them?

 

Lastly, and most important, how has this affected the mmorpg industry?

  PsiKahn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/26/12
Posts: 124

12/26/12 1:13:27 PM#2
I don't know if there's an effective way to stop this (certainly without ensnaring earnestly excited fans), but I wonder how harmful these posters are.  Most people on a forum like this are pretty knowledgeable about their subject matter.  Are they buying the company talking points hook, line, and sinker just because some no-name posts about it?  Spend enough time online and you get pretty saavy at reading through the bullshit and finding the angle, be it in a message board, blog or major news website.  It seems like these posters are more an annoyance than anything else, and hopefully the day will come where companies realize it's not only ineffective to have posters shilling for them, but potentially disastrous PR.
  DashiDMV

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 368

12/26/12 1:20:06 PM#3
STAR WARS THE OLD REPUBLIC IS THE BEST GAME EVER AND HAS 0 PROBLEMS. EA IS A WONDERFUL COMPANY TO WORK FOR AND ADMIRE AND JEFF HICKMAN ALWAYS MAKES GOOD DECISIONS.
  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2662

12/26/12 1:25:46 PM#4

OP - Weren't you on Funcom's payroll during TSW launch?

I'm just kidding. 

I've noticed some suspicious poster(s) this past year.  I don't think we can do anything about it.

"I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you." - Robin Williams

  User Deleted
12/26/12 1:32:29 PM#5

Hu hu, a subject very dear to me ^^  I remember one but everybody was too busy circle jerking to notice.

 

Originally posted by bcbully

(...)

My questions are do you think this is going on within our community?

Without a doubt.

 

If so, how do we spot them?

To me, they post as if they had stocks with the company. Overly defensive and some almost to the point of aggressive. posting wayyy too much in a single day, almost exclusively in the subforum in question. Claiming they have several million hours clocked in the game but I could swear they live on the forums to even come close to the gametime they claim.

Unless they're taken of and all they have to do is...nothing too important IRL.

 

In between doing household chores (single) and whatever other crap IRL I have to do, I don't have as much time for gaming as I would like.

So how do they do it? If they're not shills that is. My hats off to those folk.

 

What do we do when we spot them? 

What CAN be done? Nothing. They have all the time in the world (it's their job) to debate anything you may throw at them.

 

Is it possible to prove that they are "shills"? 

Maybe. Wasn't one exposed, from EA, back in the early SWTOR days post launch?

 

Can our forum sites do anything about them?

Not that I know of. As long as they abide to the RoC then there's nothing that can be done about them.

 

 Lastly, and most important, how has this affected the mmorpg industry?

Negatively: I'd say some titles were painted in such a light that people have steered clear from them (for a while). Until they decide to man/woman up and try the game for themselves and not rely on hearsay.

Positively: people who normally wouldn't have touched the game with a ten-foot pole, have been easily persuaded into buying/trying the game. Or to believe the game is doing better than it actually is.

  TribeofOne

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/10/05
Posts: 979

12/26/12 1:35:47 PM#6
Originally posted by grimal

OP - Weren't you on Funcom's payroll during TSW launch?   I remeber that too..

I'm just kidding.  teehee

I've noticed some suspicious poster(s) this past year.  I don't think we can do anything about it.

 but seriously, an opinion is an opinion, wether its paid for or freely given. Its up to each of us to take what we hear or read with that proverbial "grain of salt" and ultimately make our own descion/opinions.

 

"I am disillusioned enough to know that no man's opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he's talking about."
H. P. Lovecraft

  apocoluster

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1305

\m/,

12/26/12 1:37:32 PM#7
  Well all I can say is..if these companies are hiring..where do I go.  Job is a job yall.  I mean, I am employed but I also have 8 hours of time to fill..might as well get paid twice during a 8 hour work day :)

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  User Deleted
12/26/12 1:41:51 PM#8
Originally posted by apocoluster
(...) Job is a job yall.  (...)

Hear, hear.

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7640

 
OP  12/26/12 1:42:33 PM#9
Originally posted by TribeofOne
Originally posted by grimal

OP - Weren't you on Funcom's payroll during TSW launch?   I remeber that too..

I'm just kidding.  teehee

I've noticed some suspicious poster(s) this past year.  I don't think we can do anything about it.

 but seriously, an opinion is an opinion, wether its paid for or freely given. Its up to each of us to take what we hear or read with that proverbial "grain of salt" and ultimately make our own descion/opinions.

<span bqquotelink"="">"I am disillusioned enough to know that no man's opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he's talking about."
H. P. Lovecraft

Yeah, so I was a little hyped... I'll own it  500+ skills to choose from. That touched me in a speacial place.

  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2662

12/26/12 1:46:10 PM#10

The site could alter the TOS to not allow viral marketers to post.

I do recall one very very obvious one during GW2 prelaunch.

"I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you." - Robin Williams

  vgamer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/27/11
Posts: 155

12/26/12 1:46:40 PM#11

Let me put it this way.

 

Why pay for things when there are enough fanbois/trolls to defend you? Sure, an occasional shill might be there but you will never be able to distinct them from genuines...

This makes it so a forum can not possibly do something about it (unless the shill is extremely stupid and blatantly admits it). A better question is how reliable these reviews of videogame sites are. I barely see games that are rated 7 or lower. That is really suspicious to say the least.

 

How it affects the industry? Not at all. I think for every critical consumer out there, there are 10 that are willingly to give them their money without any thinking. It explains why series like fifa and cod do so well every year despite barely any changes between the editions.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4102

12/26/12 1:49:55 PM#12

There's nothing new about this and goes way beyond just forum discussions. If you want an entertaining read about it just pick-up William Gibson's (he of Neuromance and "cyberpunk" fame) "Pattern Recognition" and "Spook Country."

And FYI... the obvious ones you think you can easily spot are the unpaid amateurs. The pros have more skill at influencing opinions stealthily.

  apocoluster

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1305

\m/,

12/26/12 1:55:04 PM#13
Originally posted by Iselin

There's nothing new about this and goes way beyond just forum discussions. If you want an entertaining read about it just pick-up William Gibson's (he of Neuromance and "cyberpunk" fame) "Pattern Recognition" and "Spook Country."

And FYI... the obvious ones you think you can easily spot are the unpaid amateurs. The pros have more skill at influencing opinions stealthily.

Great books...little upset with Zero History though...didnt seem like much of a "ending".  Maybe not a trilogy..that would be awesome. 

I try not to think that there might be someone like Hubertus Bigend and Blue Ant out there manipulating me hell my entire country on to what I think is cool and what I should buy....

Dammit Iselin..now Im gonnna need a tinfoil hat :(

 

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4102

12/26/12 1:58:07 PM#14
Originally posted by apocoluster
Originally posted by Iselin

There's nothing new about this and goes way beyond just forum discussions. If you want an entertaining read about it just pick-up William Gibson's (he of Neuromance and "cyberpunk" fame) "Pattern Recognition" and "Spook Country."

And FYI... the obvious ones you think you can easily spot are the unpaid amateurs. The pros have more skill at influencing opinions stealthily.

Great books...little upset with Zero History though...didnt seem like much of a "ending".  Maybe not a trilogy..that would be awesome. 

I try not to think that there might be someone like Hubertus Bigend and Blue Ant out there manipulating me hell my entire country on to what I think is cool and what I should buy....

Dammit Iselin..now Im gonnna need a tinfoil hat :(

 

 Hehe. Yeah Gibson is a bastard when it comes to making us feel uneasy :)

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

12/26/12 2:03:22 PM#15

Is there a sign up form?

I'll say whatever the gaming companies want for some extra $.

I spend enough time here every week...

 

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  madazz

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1312

12/26/12 2:05:37 PM#16
Originally posted by BadSpock

Is there a sign up form?

I'll say whatever the gaming companies want for some extra $.

I spend enough time here every week...

 

LOL. Let me know how the pay structure works ;)

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

12/26/12 2:09:40 PM#17
Does it happen? Sure. But not as often as you think. The amount of people that blindly defends a thing is rather high. You can see it everywhere, from someone defending a style of clothing to automobiles to politics.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  TheScavenger

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 700

Those who ask a question, are stupid for 30 seconds. Those who never ask, are stupid for life.

12/26/12 2:13:28 PM#18
Originally posted by BadSpock

Is there a sign up form?

I'll say whatever the gaming companies want for some extra $.

I spend enough time here every week...

 

you actually get paid under the table, no contract and don't go emailing them because they'll say no. Or in some cases, get really angry. 

 

Get paid quite a bit though. A lot more than minimum wage in the US, which is funny. But it probably varies.  Even more if you make a thread and it does really well. The pay goes by how active the thread is, and how many pages it has gotten to in x amount of time. Don't get much just by making replies. 

 

It is a team effort though. Generally the company or person hires an x amount of people, and one or two people (or up to 5, depending how big the game/company is) are negative and "non-believers" so to speak, and the rest post good reviews or posts or whatever. Then the team leader is generally the one that is more skilled at creating topics and being much more subtle about it. But not everyone will be posting in the same thread, because that is rather suspicious.

 

 

Isabella and Laenaya are on Photobucket!

http://s4.photobucket.com/user/Vendayn/library/Skyrim/Anime%20Skyrim

My (mostly) scenery screenshots of heavily modded Skyrim

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  Amana

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 1/03/11
Posts: 2417

12/26/12 2:17:18 PM#19
We do have a rule against advertising on these forums and we find and ban shills frequently. If you guys want to continue this discussion, please do not discuss current or past posters on this site. And definitely not by name. Thanks.

To give feedback on moderation, contact community@mmorpg.com

  Kothoses

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/08/10
Posts: 692

12/26/12 2:20:23 PM#20
Originally posted by bcbully

Looking back on this past year on mmorpg.com, I can't help but think some of our former members (maybe current) were infact "shills". 

 

This is a quick google search on paid paid forum posters. They seem to be in high demand. 

 

The University of Chicago estimates 1/3 of reviews have some sort of financial incentive. 

 

Here is an actual add form a company looking for posters

We'd like posters who'll be able to make at least 20 posts a day; the more the better. 

Skills required: 
1. Have excellent written English skills and can interact with the users of the forum you are asked to post on. 
2. Have excellent research skills as you’ll have to research about a particular thread topic before you post a reply to it. 
3. Ability to read and understand something and write about it in their own words. 
Payment will be on Net-30 basis and we'll pay based on performance. 

 

My questions are do you think this is going on within our community? If so, how do we spot them?

What do we do when we spot them? 

Is it possible to prove that they are "shills"? 

Can our forum sites do anything about them?

 

Lastly, and most important, how has this affected the mmorpg industry?

Do what the majority of internet posters do, if some one likes something that you did not, instantly resort to accusing them of being one of these people.

 

PS where did you see this advert, in what context and for which company because I know a lot of media outlets use people like this to direct discussion towards topics that are being discussed on their site/in their publication.

Promoting thought a new Gaming video blog http://www.youtube.com/user/quinnthalas discussing games, gamers and the internet with gameplay footage as background.

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