Oct 24 AT 1:17 PM Dima Aryeh 16 Comments

Samsung caught paying for positive online comments, fined $340,000


There was recently a controversy with Samsung accused of paying writers to write positive things about the products and the company itself while pointing out the negatives of the competition on various websites, a practice called astroturfing. This was happening mainly on Taiwanese forums. And while we’re happy to have received a paycheck from Samsung, we’re glad it’s over (absolutely kidding!).

Samsung did not do this itself, but through two marketing firms. We’re unsure of whether it was directly Samsung’s decision or the firms’ decision to pull this move, but both were fined. The firms were fined over $100,000 together, while Samsung was given a paltry $340,000 fine.

Samsung has stated that it is “committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers.” However, there are no guarantees. $340,000 is barely a slap on the wrist for the massive company, so we don’t know what will happen. What’s your opinion on astroturfing? Leave a comment!

Source: The Verge

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • ElvisonD

    Well dam…I don’t want to buy anymore Galaxy phones……SIKE!!!!

    I mean, it’s not good “sportsmanship”, but to be honest…it’s sloppy for Samsung to get caught lol, because I’m pretty sure it isn’t the only company to do this…Samsung branded products aren’t even bad for them to have to do this anyways, but whatever, $340,000 is nothing compared to what they profit…they’ll be iight

  • MyMilan

    The fine should have been more, MUCH more.

    I know several people who won’t buy Samsung protects precisely because they ridicule other companies. That’s bad form. Tell people why they should buy your product. If your product is as good as you say it is then people will buy it, Ridiculing other companies only makes ‘your’ company look bad. Paying people to praise your product makes your product look weak too.

    • ihatefanboys

      Not buying a product because they ridicule competitors is childish. It should be based on whether it fits your needs. Its not Bad Form, its called competition. How long was Apple ridiculing the PC in dozens of commercials ? Doesnt seem to be hurting them.

      • John Hogan

        Nonsense. They were doing that out in the open which is fine. Marketing 101 is to highlight why your product is better. Paying people to do things covertly is not competition, it’s illegal, dodgy BS. If you win by using such tactics, you’re actually a loser as a person. Obviously plenty of mansions are owned by such people but look at their lives (as I’ve done) and very few are actually happy. Being a lying loser ends up costing you.

  • Josh

    Fined by whom? ..and why should they be fined more money ? …. this shit is done by every damn company.

  • LG G Pro lite

    How about the LG G Pro lite, a mid-range LG G series phone?


    • SGB101

      Did you get paid for this?

  • Fulaman

    I’m pretty sure Apple is paying people to write positive comments as well. Samsung are not the only ones.

    • donger

      Samsung is just bad at it.

    • Craig Jones

      Yah, duh. Some of the Apple comments – anywhere – are much too parochial.

  • John Hogan

    Samsung is a kind and loving company and I’m sure this is all a big mistake ha ha sorry my last cash-for-comment cheque bounced so you know what, screw Samsung!!!

    This really is bad form. It’s dishonest, dishonourable and simply weak. Of course, the hard-heads who think all’s fair in love and war will agree with this kind of stuff. But it’s a bit like saying it’s OK to cheat on your husband so long as you get away with it. It’s pure Bravo Sierra, perpetrated by corporate psychos. I’m not an Apple user but I’d be even more disappointed if they were found to be doing this kind of thing. An authentic organisation lets their products speak for themselves. In Australia you mainly see this kind of stuff in two areas – crowd-sourced feedback sites like urban spoon and in the political sphere on forums, especially on abc dot net dot au. For savvy netizens they’re visible from low earth orbit. Even then, it’s wrong. It’s actually fraudulent, as this ruling highlights.

  • hiw kee lin koo

    the reason i don’t trust koreans

  • Craig Jones

    Hey, I like and use many Samsung products. Samsung never called me to say they’ed pay me to hawk their products. Damn. I could have used the money!