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Facebook Employees Wrote 5-Star Amazon Reviews for the Portal Camera

Kevin Roose, on Twitter:

Speaking of coordinated inauthentic behavior, what are the odds that all these 5-star Facebook Portal reviewers on Amazon just happen to have the same names as Facebook employees?

Facebook confirmed the three reviews were written by employees, but claimed it wasn’t a coordinated campaign. Chaim Gartenberg, at The Verge:

Facebook is a huge company with thousands of employees, and even with internal communications, it’s easy to see how a few employees just weren’t aware of a request to not post reviews. But it’s incredible how blatantly deceptive the practice can be: Chappell’s review, which claims rather disingenuously that he has “historically not been a big Facebook or other social media user,” but also “took a chance and got 4 Portals and 1 Portal plus for the family,” isn’t a great look for the company. There’s a reason why Amazon bans the policy in the first place.

Three reviews does not make for a coordinated campaign. But it shows what type of people choose to work for Facebook when one of the reviews starts with “I have historically not been a big Facebook or other social media user.”

Update: The good news is, from what I’ve heard, Portal is selling about as well as Facebook Phone did. (Remember that thing? Can you even imagine what Facebook would’ve done with data collection if Facebook Phone had actually gained traction?)

Thursday, 17 January 2019