Even the biggest of names in the tech business cannot take justified criticisms, such was the case with Microsoft. The company has hired a PR agency to upvote its reputation on Reddit in regards to their upcoming next-generation Console.
The representatives have been keeping an eye throughout Reddit for comments about Xbox One, and have been upvoting positive comments and downvoting negative comments. It was also found that Microsoft has been artificially boosting the hype over Xbox One via Reddit User nicknamed “Misty Silver”, who claims that he/she works for a Redmond based marketing firm contracted by Microsoft. Silver Misty overheard conversations and several Microsoft employees lurking around Reddit, even found one of the Microsoft employees doing a mass down voting multiple posts and comments.
This isn’t anything new. Many companies, even Tier 1 brands, who are in self denial eventually succumb to such level of marketing. Social media marketers pose as ‘Happy Customers’ in social media websites, mass liking positive comments, making positive comments, tweeting, Redditing and even post positive comments in e-commerce sites like Amazon. It shouldn’t be even surprising that such managers would be doing the same on tech forums as well. Such Social media marketers are called as ‘reputation managers’. Such actions become obvious when one’s history and past trends are observed.
However, in the interest of the readers, Reddit clearly knows how to deal with such nuisances as they have strict rules against such mass voting, even in extreme cases have banned the entire company.
Whether this is the real truth or not is another story, as the observations are based on circumstantial evidence. Add it with a countless number of management and 3rd party contracted agencies for such companies, denying may probably be easier.
There have been times when even 3rd party entities take matters into their own hands. Microsoft made the following comment:
“There is no coordinated or sanctioned effort by Microsoft employees, or anyone paid by Microsoft, to unduly influence Reddit or other online forums.”