A business development rep from Belkin, makers of computer and gaming accessories, has supposedly been paying people to write five-star reviews on Amazon.com. Using a service called Mechanical Turk (Reno and Rude's side business?), Belkin's Michael Bayard was apparently paying people 65 cents a pop for each rigged review. Furthermore, he was supposedly encouraging people to mark low reviews as "not helpful". The Daily Background did some excellent sleuthing, exposing Bayard and his connection to Belkin. The site reported:
Should this story be true, It's a shame that Belkin has stooped to such shady practices. User reviews on Amazon can be a great resource and it sucks that companies are trying to game a community-driven effort. Fake reviews can really break the system. That said, I have to admit at laughing out loud at a fake review of The Beatles' White Album, which said that it was good, but didn't measure up to classics like Guns 'n Roses' Use Your Illusion II.
Does this news make you think less of Belkin? How about Amazon's user reviews?