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Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by mrpinsky, Apr 17, 2012. | Replies: 64 | Views: 4790

  1. mrpinsky

    mrpinsky IncGamers Member

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    Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    I'd like to bring to your attention the following academic paper on an increasing trend in Internet marketing / propaganda using Hidden Paid Posters:
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1111/1111.4297v1.pdf

    It is already well known that companies use bots to post favourable reviews of their products and give 5/5 stars on everything to increase customer trust. Most likely, they are also using bots to downvote rivals' products. What seems to be a newer trend is that the PR companies actually hire mass amounts of people to flood forums etc. to influence opinion.

    What makes this seem relevant here is that the paper cites a case of a Chinese WOW community site (called "Baidu Post Community of World of Warcraft" in the paper; not exactly sure what it is), where something like that happened. Apparently a Chinese PR company was using 800 "hirelings" to do flood posting (300621 posts in two days) to keep the forum activity up while the WOW servers were down. This was apparently done "with an intention to maintain the popularity of this online computer game during its temporary system maintenance".

    The paper doesn't mention who might have hired the PR company, but the question is of course, who else except Blizzard could have been so eager to maintain the popularity of WOW while the servers were down...?

    Even if Blizzard was not involved in that, there are some hints that Blizzard is taking a more 'aggressive' route with their PR. I'm thinking of the strict PR rules for fansites (are not allowed to post about other games etc.), the fact that diablo.incgamers as a huge fansite doesn't get invited to PR events anymore etc. I also recall that Bashiok recently went to Europe for a meeting on "how to work with bloggers" (or something like that), so what do you think that could have been all about?

    My question to you is: Have you ever had a feeling that some people here may be Hidden Paid Posters? Certainly myself I sometimes wonder at the amount of people whose contribution on the forums is nothing except supporting the Blizz PR line at all times - even if said PR line changes three times a day.

    I think there is no doubt that the methods described in the paper are effective. There don't seem to be any legal restrictions, either. Whether or not Blizzard would be ruthless enough to go that way, I'm not sure, but with Kotick at the top, I'd say it's not out of the question.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  2. konfeta

    konfeta IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Do Blizzard's Competitors hire Hidden Hater Posters?

    Oh, but this thread has excellent potential.
  3. Carisma

    Carisma IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    I am sure this is a possibility. The only thing that aggravate me is I have now clue how to get a job like that. Imagine getting paid to be on forums like this, just to post the opinion your company wants you to promote. There is nothing wrong with tactics like this, in-fact it is really smart. I think as i clicked in the forum for general there was close to 750 people on right now, although that is a small number initially, but word can spread if news is worth spreading.
  4. marshmallow

    marshmallow IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Blizzard would never do such an underhanded thing. They are the best video game developer in human history.

    I can has under the table cash?
  5. Bad Ash

    Bad Ash IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Isnt this illegal? Like I dont know the actual laws, but I remember discussing with a friend in the past if it was OK for a company to post positive reviews of their own products on sites like Amazon and he was pretty adamant that that is against the law...

    Obviously not the same thing in a message board and people have proof of people on these boards though...
  6. kavlor

    kavlor IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Not really ,its deceitful and a pretty bad tactic.It would work for the present but in time it would create distrust and paranoia.
  7. permaximum

    permaximum Banned

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    I have been saying this for a long time. I'm 100% certain there are paid posters here too and Blizzard is very aggressive with their approach on this regard.
  8. Karpalo

    Karpalo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    My thing on my mind as well.

    Hideo hired by EA? hmmm... makes sense i guess.


  9. Carisma

    Carisma IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    How is this not smart? You should never know 100% that someone is working for Blizzard or another party that represents Blizzard. These people should never admit they are working for there respective company, and even if they did they would more than likely be labeled a "troll." Tactics like this is just business, if something will drum up anyway to make additional money Blizzard probably is doing it. I do not see how this would cause distrust or paranoia, and who these emotions would target, the poster or the company?

    Someone else mentioned if it would be possible if other company would pay people to post on these threads to hateful post or promote competing games. I don't know how may times I have seen Torch Light series brought up in these threads, and a number of other similar games that have been or will be released. Again this is a tactic to make money, and one a company could and probably would invest in. It all comes down to the mighty $$$.

    I also agree with Permaximum statement 100%. There is paid posters on these forums on both sides of the fence.


  10. Capt Goodman

    Capt Goodman IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    I think the funny thing about it is, that paid hater postings would most likely have the reverse effect, unless they brought up well thought out arguments against the particular product. If they came on the board and started spouting some nonsense about outdated facts, and were being extremely critical of Blizzard and Diablo, prospective buyers (like us) would bound together against that person, which creates camaraderie that most likely will turn into game sales for Blizzard. But let's be honest, if you're on these boards you're buying the game anyway, the paid pro and anti-Blizz posters are going to be on other non-biased sites.
  11. Karpalo

    Karpalo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    They way world is working today pretty much everyone should already be misanthropes by now. Since this isn't the case and muppets don't seem to mind getting screwed, laissez-faire i say.


  12. Zorrah

    Zorrah IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    This makes me really want to make a sockpuppet called "notblizzard" and start a bunch of DIII loving threads.

    Or if I really wanted to gauge the communities reaction to things, I would post false rumors or even poll or future questions about Diablo III as a fake on fan sites as opposed to just propping myself up. For instance, say they decided 1 more DII character could be released as an expac class. They don't want to go overboard with that, so 1 and only 1, but they need to figure out which would be best. So on a message board like this, they post, hey buddy, I hear the first xpac character is a paladin. Then a week later, a different fake posts, I hear the first xpac character is necro, and then compare the reactions of the two threads.

    At least, that's one way I would consider doing it.
  13. Nizaris

    Nizaris Clan Officer - US West Hardcore

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    As much as I can see this being true, I'd have to say the vast majority of the fawners/haters are actually just randoms on the internet (as much as it pains me to say that).

    I'd love to pin people's attitudes on the grounds of being paid to do it. But, alas.
  14. DarkPhenomenon

    DarkPhenomenon IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    have you guys been to the Blizzard forums? It's filled with the most hateful, angry and spiteful people I've ever had the misfortune of communicating with (League of Legend forums are a close second). There are a relatively small number of positive posters on the forums and it's sad to think that a company as good as Blizzard has that few legitimate positive fans nevermind those fans being "paid posters". I seriously doubt Blizzard would stoop that low.
  15. Zorrah

    Zorrah IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Maybe a good chunk of posters on Bliz forums are the competition? Hehe.
  16. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    i am 100% positive they do this. the company i work for now has us post reviews on amazon all the time talking about how amazing our product is and why anyone who dislikes it is wrong. really i would be shocked if any company does not do this nowadays in some form or another
  17. Raesene

    Raesene IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    I can't see how this is a good idea. If someone is reading posts on a forum talking about your games, then they are going to buy your games. It seems like the risk of getting caught counteracts any slim benefit that would be gained. I don't think the chance is unlikely either. It just takes one of your fake forum posters to rat you out, and someone in such a business is probably not very ethical and trustworthy to begin with.
  18. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    the hidden posters would best be served on other gaming sites and the compitition sites. i am positive most of the really good amazon reviews are from employees while the really bad is the comp. gotta look for the mid level reviews
  19. grunge

    grunge Banned

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Djeez, where's Raveharu when you need him?!
  20. Capt Goodman

    Capt Goodman IncGamers Member

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    Re: Does Blizzard hire Hidden Paid Posters?

    Well, I know I go out of my way to read reviews on games I'm semi-skeptical about, before buying (obviously not D3), but mostly every game that isn't made by Blizzard, (previously included Bioware as well). It would be a very good idea for smaller gaming companies to employ these types of tactics to get the word out about their game or give positive reviews, because it will definitely influence my decision and surely lots of other people's as well.


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