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Buying Votes on Social Networks

Are stumbleupon, digg and co already gamed?

     
8:15 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I got an email from a service that claims to have undercover 'ninjas' installed on big social networks that can get submissions on the home pages - for a price.

It seems a shame as i think social networks were one of the best ways to navigate the web, i guess they had to be gamed sooner or later, human nature etc

I'm curious to know if they work and if they get found out - i presume digg etc must be policing this kind of thing.

10:58 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There are definitely Facebook viruses which inject scripts and cause messages to be written on every one your friend's "walls." I'm pretty sure they have patched/fixed the two in particular I've seen...

One involved something about, "I know who has a crush on you...click this link to find out." So it's definitely possible to get a huge volume of backlinks through wall writings on facebook.

Home pages, though, I am not sure about. Certainly, it's possible...but it doesn't seem plausible. I mean, they're social networks...if it were true I feel like you would have heard about it from 10,000 sources by now; particularly a competitor.

You can also purchase paid advertising on social networks. I should think some big outfit would have complained about unpaid advertising where the problem widespread.

Anyone else have any ideas?

2:37 am on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ignore the email, it's bogus.
3:34 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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digg bots have existed in the past, and they were quite effective. But I think Diggs security is far tighter now so this shouldn't be possible.
12:44 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I was actually talking more about insiders paid off to post. If you get something posted by a top Digger or Stumbler it can generate huge spikes in traffic - that's happened to one of my sites by chance.

These services claim to have enlisted the services of these inside people...

I don't like it much as social networks seem to me a great alternative to relying on google, stumbleupon sends 15% of my traffic these days.

2:20 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This has been going on for a while. There was a high profile expose a couple of years ago (I can't find the link). Some guy paid one of these services you're describing to promote a really boring, lame page that had nothing but stock photographs of crowds. It hit the front page of digg and got thousands of page views before being eventually buried.
6:45 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Shills have been around since the days of Ugh and Ughette. The only thing that changes is the window dressing. Sadly, in any generation of whatever there are those who can't see past the window dressing and get taken.