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December 17, 2007

Social Media Corruption

Once upon a time, someone decided that it would be fun to journal about their life on-line, hence blogs were formed.  Once folks caught on to blogging, the next item on the list was to figure out a way to make money while blogging, hence the Pay Per Post.

As it turns out, social media is no different. What once started as a way to promote, converse, and network on-line has now taken a turn toward for the worse with black market media. According to Leonard Bartholomew from the Turnkey Business Blog, there is a new site in town willing to pay you for your votes on Stumble Upon and Digg and it is creating quite a stir in social media circles.......... 

"Nothing motivates, and corrupts, like money and there is a new black market site that is willing to pay you for your Digg and Stumbleupon votes. The site is called Subvert and Profit. The site will email you a number of links, not all of them pay so you will not get the fifty cents per post on every one of the links. The links that do pay are hidden. You go to Digg and Stumbleupon and vote your conscience, they do not tell you how to vote. It is only required that you do vote on every link provided."

Leonard is convinced that if this travesty continues, what is intended to be social and democratic will surely turn into the corruption of social media as we know it.

I have to say, I'm not the least bit surprised. Money is a powerful motivator and with the incentive for income from advertising based on traffic it makes sense that site owners would pay for votes. What do you think? Is it unethical to pay for an article to hit the front page of Digg? Let me know with your comments.


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I don't think that paying people to Digg something is as bad as, say, paying people to Digg it positively. It's more like market research. They may pay me to eat their new sandwich, but I'm free to tell them how much it sucks.

I think it's unethical. It's really going against the core of what these sites are about -- sharing stuff that matters to people. If one day we're just seeing people with the deepest pockets hit the front page, then we all suffer.

It's kind of a double edged sword here - the thing that makes these networks so popular (voting) is what might bring them down. People will always try to cheat the system.

Ron, I understand what you're saying but isn't that more for say, a blog post with a paid review or a pay-per-post.

Michael, I would have to agree. It really does go against what these sites are trying to promote and that is honesty. It is hard to trust people you don't know when they are getting paid to say something whether it be positive or negative.

I'm online to make money. Ethics? No such thing when it comes to Internet marketing. Does that make me unethical, no, far from it, as ethics does not exist in this realm.

It's not a game where there are rules already lay down. Just because you say something is wrong does not make it so.

If it works it works. My arguement for buying digg votes is that it does not work for the long term, so my advice is not to do it. But if you can get it to work go for it.

I get paid to write articles designed to get to the front page of digg and I get a lot of success. Those paid diggs with the medicore content are competing with my natural diggs for excellent content.

If this is your hobby and you do this for fun rather than money, I could see why you would get annoyed when people do not play by your rules. But breaking the rules of a website like digg is not a philosophical issue, it is an economic one.

Ethical issues do not apply. If I cheat when playing Chess, that's unethical as the rules are agreed. Breaking the rules of digg, well, if you only play by the rules of multi million pound companies you will never get ahead.

Nothing like stuffing the ballot box, huh?

Well, for someone with writing ability, yes. But I was thinking more of the average internet user, who composes sentences like 'u r teh suk'.

I guess I see it more as like those 'get paid for your opinion with free products websites that I used to be a part of for free food and detergent, or like the old things you could download that paid you 10 cents per hour to have their ad bar obnoxiously block part of the bottom of your screen. I'm one of the few people who actually got checks, plural, from those guys, back in the olden days when nobody on the internet got paid for squat.

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