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Samsung Slapped with $340,000 Fine for Faking Online Comments about Competitors

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We all know that the enormous amounts of money that Samsung spends on marketing is one of the reasons why their products are selling like crazy, but who said that money was being spent fairly? Today, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission announced that it was hitting Samsung with a fine to the tune of $340,000 for hiring writers to post in forums promoting Samsung products. 

Now, if Samsung was upfront about these writers being hired to talk about how awesome Samsung products were, this would not be a problem. This was not the case, writers were posing as regular forum users who would “highlight the shortcomings of competing products.” Taking it a step further, these writers engaged in “disinfection of negative news about Samsung products” and their own brand of Samsung marketing. This was brought to attention of the TFTC because HTC claimed they were the victims of this attack, but HTC was not mentioned by name in the report.

Fair or foul? Keep in mind this was a “large number” of writers from advertising companies doing this for Samsung. Is this how you beat the competition?

Via: The Verge

  • waseem

    I just like the model no. Example gt7100, gt9100, etc…..
    GT means alot to me so I like samsung

  • waseem

    I dont damn care ………….I 1st use it then buy it so m happy

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t like Samsung. {{-_-}}

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    America could sure learn a thing or two here. {{-_-}}

  • John Davids

    People who base their purchasing decisions on internet comments deserve whatever they have coming. Whats next, hand out fines to fans of bands who promote the band and leave nasty reviews for others on YouTube? Get a grip. This is utterly non-news.

  • M C

    Fair play I say, sammy is welcome to start paying me to promote their product.

  • Max L.

    lol I love seeing HTC crying like a baby. Awe poor HTC.

  • Jarred Sutherland

    Fake reviews, just like the fake leather and stitching on the back of their Note 3! Seems Samsung knows how to fake things well.

  • Zack Kolev

    Ugh, samsung is such a douche. Another dick move of many. Almost ashamed to own a GS4 but no one else made a well-rounded, Google Play Edition, smartphone with a removable battery at the time. The removable battery is still very convenient for me. When I know I’ll need more than 1 battery’s worth of juice, I can just bring a very slim spare and swap it in 5 seconds, instead of a bringing a bulky, external battery that will need to be plugged into the phone for a good amount of time…

  • droidify

    340k! Ha, that’s funny. To Samsung, that is lunch money. I’m sure it was worth every penny to them.

    • Maxim∑

      you mean worth 340,000 and bad reputation? Im noticing more and more on DL and other forums that samsung is not liked as much as when the S3 came out

    • LionStone

      But how much is the bad publicity worth?

  • James

    Wow, Samsung really is pushing hard in their advertising.

  • Stevedub40

    Will apple also receive this fine? Just visit BGR once and you will swear these people are paid to support apple.

    • flosserelli

      Applegadget…er, Engadget as well.

  • forgetsammy

    Hah, I was starting to waiver about wanting the G2 and was looking at the S4 and Note3 today, but between the way Samsung was found cheating their benchmarking scores, and now stuff like this, I just really don’t want to support this company.

    • HarvesterX

      The Note 3 I understand, but the S4 seriously had you leaning against a G2?

  • s_a_m_i

    even though HTC has miniscule market compared to Scamsung.. the reason why Scamdung did it was coz they KNOW HTC one is a far FAR superior product.

    Scamdung is the worst thing to happen to android.. and all thanks to silly fandroids,, they fell in love with scamsung coz scamsung made fun of apple ifans.

    • Jeff C

      worst thing to happen to android. id say some good has come of a lot of people buying their devices, switching to android, and on their next phone maybe buying a different android device. especially when they pick on up and it doesnt have touchwiz on it lol

      • angermeans

        The problem is the people that own Samsung products probably never come back to android. Touch wiz is awful, their phones are plastic and laggy, and have zero support for their products. Samsung is the plague of android and one day they will fork android all together or jump on another OS and leave android a bleeding mess. You wait and watch.

        • Jeff C

          that one day is years down the road.so the other android OEMs have time to woo everyone to their way of life, the non touchwiz way of life.

          • angermeans

            I certainly hope so. I do miss the Android days of the Nexus One. After Motorola going belly up (mostly by their own mistakes and ignoring what consumers want in a smartphone) and now the problems HTC is having it certainly looks like Samsung’s success has come at the cost of killing off other Android OEMs. Like I mentioned above certainly they are to be blamed for past mistakes. Still, Samsung is not good for Android in my opinion and the Android game has certainly changed since Samsung’s ever growin success in the market.

            Google is smart and I doubt they will go quietly into the night while watching Samsung kill it’s beloved Android, but if HTC goes down and they can’t get some successful devices out of the Motorola acquisition I could see the wonderful world of choice in Android dwindle to just Samsung ‘S’ devices and no support for these devices beyond a single update and 6 months of support until they come to market with their newest ‘Next Big Thing is Here’ device and forget about all the people that purchase their last products. We need to see some great innovation out of Android OEMs and (like Ron stated in his last opinion piece) it is going to take Google setting the market with the Nexus lineup to show what an Android device is supposed to be like and not just make a second version of another partner device. They need to push the envelop (the X started this and is the only Motorola device I’ve been excited about since the original Droid). It will be interesting to see where it goes, but my comment remains Samsung will drop Android as soon as it can create its own OS or the next big OS comes out. They want way too much to be like Apple for comfort and if they leave they will leave a trail of destruction through the Android world.

  • Josh Shaw

    $340,000 to Samsung is like $3.40 to us, maybe the bad press will catch up with them.

    • Maxim∑

      you can still do a lot with 340k and now its been lost.

  • patricia606

    just before I saw
    the check of $5372, I didnt believe that…my… best friend had been realy
    making money part-time from there new laptop.. there neighbour started doing
    this for only 13 months and by now repayed the dept on there place and
    purchased themselves a Maserati. pop over to these guys http://www.Pro67.ℂom

    • mustbepbs

      No way tell me more

      • Nex

        LOL, the irony of a troll comment, in a article about troll comments LOL.

        No you but the, “I got paid $$$$” comments that pop in every now and again.

  • flosserelli

    I think they finally caught onto Richard Yarrell.

    • LionStone

      Ha, he probably bought a speed boat with all the extra cash! :-)

  • Daistaar

    Words of wisdom from a great boxer (me)
    Ahem…. If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em”

    -Daistaar (and apparently Samsung)

  • reyalP

    SAMSCUM!

  • MikeSaver

    Samsung is such a piece of crud

  • CaptainDisillusion

    And this is why I never read the comments section of sites like BGR.

    If you’ve ever read the comments, the way Apple/Samsung/HTC/etc. supporters act reminds me of American politics. They will support literally ANYTHING that comes out of their “side,” no matter how ridiculous. Those commentors are likely financially vested in their “side” (as in this lawsuit), and I would imagine that’s the case for their counterparts in the political world too.

    I’m glad at least someone is getting slapped on the wrist for creating all of this white noise that detracts from the true usefulness of the internet, as a place where a combination of minds is more complete than any individual.

  • Dre Fay

    I just want to know how i can get on there payroll.

    • shecalledmejay

      Exactly, I want to know where to apply for these positions.

  • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

    I am paid by Samsung to diss HTC. :P

    • Dre Fay

      I knew it!!!!

    • jose

      At this point I wouldn’t doubt it! You’re one of the regular trolls.

      • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

        Jose, darling…no offense, go look up any news article about HTC from the past 8 months. Everything that I’ve said or predicted has 100% come to fruition.

        And I could honestly give a crap about Samsung. I can’t wait until the Tegra 4 Note products start coming out so I can get a cheap tablet with s stylus that isn’t bloated with their garbage.

        • jose

          Darn. I was hoping to find out how much you got paid. I’d jump on the ScamScum boat if they paid me enough :D

  • Timothy Sternig

    If you don’t think most companies do some form of this than I’d say you’re naive…

    Heck, some companies will even give the people who write the reviews a free customized Moto X ahead of it’s release and persuade them and their team to talk about it for months on end in every single article they write ;)

    • Tirionfive

      I see what you did there ;)

      Honestly though, at least Moto wasn’t false advertising their stuff when they made this phone. It sure as hell isn’t laggy like the S4/S3.

      • Timothy Sternig

        The Moto X is definitely a nice phone. No argument there!

  • hero

    ohhhhh, this explains a lot

    • Tirionfive

      He also slobbers all over T-Mo’s c*ck. Must never go on road trips, because if he did, He’d know that T-Mo doesn’t do so well.

    • Brian Menius

      You win ten internets for this. Well played.

      • hero

        ty

    • jose

      I always knew these Samsung fanboys on DL were full of chet. But now I know they’re paid to be full of chet.

      • michael arazan

        That explains why people just type in Note # and get 10-20 up votes instantly, or speak negative of a samsung product and get downvote several times too, if its a legitimate comment.

    • holdthiscat

      Some of us get paid by companies to actually do a real job. I’m afraid Mr. Yarrell isn’t one of them.

    • angermeans

      Funny thing is this is who I actually thought about when I read the article and low and behold first comment. Nice job my friend.

      • hero

        thanks. literally the first thing I thought of when I read the article too

  • Bionicman

    I would imagine Samsung wouldn’t be the only company doing this…maybe they are the only ones that have gotten caught!

    • Josh

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple did it. They did hire actors to stand in line during iPhone releases.

      • LionStone

        Apple is guilty of price fixing, kinda the same.

  • Jaxon Wright

    This article is terrible. Samsung is the greatest company ever!

    Alright, Samsung do I get paid now, or what? Whoops! Am I typing this in the comment right now? How do I delete? Press this button?

  • PaidSamsungWriter

    That fine was unjust and the claims are unfounded! We also get paid to troll “U mad Bro” and “U Jelly” ….ummm, I mean…there are no paid writers.

  • shooter50

    Whats the problem with this? It’s the same tactic the current administration uses to prop up Obama care. Fake testimonials. Samsung got caught doing what everyone else is doing, big deal

  • deadpenguins

    Lol, this is absolutely pathetic. I’m done with these douchebags.

  • http://www.hammertechnologies.net/ Chase Johnson

    I say it would depend on if the information posted was fabricated or was factual. If its factual then well it might be on the low blow side but not illegal.

  • Stewie

    Seriously? Ok so now we need a vetting of all DL posters now …. If you can’t go anywhere to read opinions without fear that some are paid opinions … Foul. The fine should be much much larger.
    Short diversion, discus on chrome, not working, or have I a setting somewhere to correct? Thx.

  • Trevor

    That’s pretty weak Samsung. Makes me wonder how many other companies are doing the exact same thing and not getting caught.

  • John Doe

    Samsung’s competitors all suck!!!

    • Abgar Musayelyan

      given the amount of downvotes, its safe to assume that no one can attempt being funny without a “/s” at the end of their comment.

      • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

        Samsung is the best!! /s {{-_-}}

  • aaron nyquist

    But so many people would have done that for free? comon sammy…

  • Akashshr

    Samsuck should feel ashamed! Its sick such a big company can do this…Its funny cause its so sad!

  • Higher_Ground

    I wonder if this will shut up some of the samsung fanboys I see on other tech sites (not so bad here)… or maybe they were part of the game?

    • JoshGroff

      To be fair, the Note series is worthy of a cult following, other Samsung devices not so much.

      • Tirionfive

        Yea, what’s up with that? Every Samsung phone flagship is generally pretty horrible, but their phablets are like the best you can get. I personally hate the Galaxy Phones, too laggy and bloated. But the Notes seem OK, but too big for me.

        • JoshGroff

          Yeah, they really fit a specific niche, but if that’s what you’re looking for, they blow the competition away. Would be nice to see Moto or HTC release a solid phablet with a good creative suite to bring in some competition.

  • Eric

    Just another reason why I hate Samsung.

    • jose

      I pray for the day ScamScum company leaves the Android world.

      • Bolt

        Hopefully that’s when another company releases flagship Android phones with removable and optional extended batteries and SD card slots.

        • Peters

          Those are the only reasons I’m using an ugly glossy S4. I wonder why flagship phones for non-US countries (mostly Asia) sometimes get these. They even get dual-SIM slots too. I would have a use for that.

  • jamdev12

    Chump change. Next!

  • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.

    You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Though the fine is laughable.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Let’s follow up this with the BBM fake reviews

    • Maxim∑

      BBM is used to contact people from 2008

      • Jarred Sutherland

        Undocumented feature : Time Travel

  • n11

    Blah, why would they do that? In the end they get a bad image and less sales due to it.
    Not impressed SS.

  • jbdan

    I would assume bringing this to light is much worse than the measly fine.

    • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.

      Pretty much.

    • Cory_S

      Whats sad is how obvious the comments were. They hit anandatech pretty hard on the HTC One review.

      • Butters619

        I think people sue too often, but in this case, HTC should sue.

        • holdthiscat

          We probably would if we had the money!

  • Droidzilla

    That’s like a rounding error for Samsung’s bottom line. That would be like fining me 2¢; probably not even that.

    • Adrynalyne

      Exactly. This is just a PR stunt. If they meant to actually punish them, there would be an extra zero or two on there.

      • jose

        Hopefully the bad publicity will have a bigger impact.

        • Droidzilla

          Anything will have more of an effect on Samsung than a fine with a denomination that doesn’t start with “b.”

  • Dr_Buttballs

    EL OH EL