Samsung faces fine over anti-HTC astroturfing campaign


If a smartphone company is doing its job well, it’s going to lead to that company’s fan base having some very vocal opinions about its products. While we may decry over-the-top fanboyism, what company wouldn’t want passionate users, singing its praises online and throwing criticism after criticism at the competition. Well, it’s one thing when that sort of situation happens naturally, but another altogether when those voices are bought and paid for. That’s the scandal Samsung’s facing, as it’s hit with a big fine in Taiwan over unfair promotional activity.

Samsung’s accused of orchestrating a campaign to post positive opinions about Samsung devices, while at the same time specifically attacking HTC models. Once Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission got wind of this, it slapped Samsung with $340,000 fine.

Granted, Samsung’s got the money to spare, but that doesn’t make its actions any more respectable. HTC’s got to be asking itself just what impact Samsung’s astroturfing shadiness has had on its income taking a nose dive. We can’t imagine it’s very substantial  – surely, Samsung reaches more users through more traditional advertising  channels – but try telling that to HTC.

Update: Samsung states that it deeply regrets the incident and promises a full investigation into how this happened.

Source: AP
Via: BGR

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!