Microsoft-hired agency paying bloggers to write pro-Internet Explorer stories

“SocialChorus, an ‘advocate marketing’ firm working on behalf of Microsoft, has been offering to pay bloggers for promoting Internet Explorer,” Himanshu Arora reports for TechSpot. “The campaign was exposed after popular blogger and Twitter designer Paul Stamatiou, who also contributes to TechCrunch as a guest writer, was approached by the company to write a paid piece. Besides Stamatiou, TechCrunch founder and former editor Michael Arrington also received the offer through an email.”

“A quick look at the marketer’s website reveals that Microsoft’s Bing team is, or at least has been, one of its customers. Microsoft officials, on the other hand, are distancing themselves from the campaign,” Arora reports. “When reached out for a comment, a Microsoft spokesperson said the ‘action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media.’ Since then, the program has been suspended.”

Arora reports, “SocialChorus’ poor execution certainly backfired, harming Microsoft more than doing IE any good. A quick search for the #IEBloggers hashtag on Twitter reveals the hilarious — if unintended — results.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we just wrote on Monday:

Good God, they just keep getting stupider.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “goddess” for the heads up.]

33 Comments

  1. well what Msft is doing is still one step better than Samsung who hired people to write fake hate reviews of RIVAL products like HTC phones for which it was fined.

    Samsung still has program of cash awards for the ‘best’ blogs …

    I still suspect 80% of antenna gate, maps, “my iPad screen has spots on it and when I complained Phil Schiller sent me a hate email and it work’s like sh*t compared to my sister’s wonderful Galaxy Tab which runs 24/7 for weeks without a recharge!! ” etc posts were due to shenanigans by android ‘marketeers’…

  2. As I see a proliferation of “fake” news websites (eg- Fiscal Times, which tries to portray itself as a news site, and is often linked to by Yahoo News, but is backed by a neo-conservative group), I question whether a number of the comments that I read on websites are by real people or paid people. I remember once reading an article about an Estate Tax (which affected millionaires), but read dozens of comments by people who were against taxing millionaires. I thought, “Gee, I didn’t know so many millionaires read Yahoo News. But looking back, many of those comments were probably from paid hacks . . . I’m curious what that business model looks like in which people are paid to write fake comments.

    1. That won’t change. Even the New York Times is now a fake news site that parrots the Democrat party talking points while pretending to be unbiased. And they don’t even have to be paid to write their propaganda pieces.

  3. Dang, all this time I could have sold my soul and posted great things about what the heck explorer instead of getting involved with Apple…
    oh wait a minute, I own stock, lots of stock.

    I rest easy.

  4. Microsoft killed Explorer for the Mac as an attempt to hurt Apple. It didn’t work.
    So, if Microsoft is now trying to promote Explorer, why don’t they bring Explorer back for the Macintosh?
    Is MDN’s take THAT dead on?

  5. I take everything. Read on the internet with a very large pinch of salt because the people writing have no accountability – unlike the printed press whereby you write something libellous you could go go prison.

    Most of the stuff written on internet new sites are written by unqualified bloggers who think they are cutting edge news reporters, when in reality they are unemployed teenagers sitting at home in their bedroom.

  6. The fact that Microsoft continues calling it “Internet Explorer” shows their woeful grasp of cool. “Internet” explorer? It’s a f**king browser. What else would it do? I’m gonna write Ford a letter suggesting they change the name from “Mustang” to “Fast Car.”

    This isn’t 1985. People know what a browser is. Just call it “Explorer” or something younger people may like to use again. When I think of IE I think of miserable elementary school computer classes and being asked a million times whether I’m really sure I want to so something.

    In fact, I think Microsoft is due for a serious rebranding treatment, company-wide.

    1. They can’t call it Explorer, because that’s what Windows calls its version of the Finder (file browser).

      Maybe Microsoft originally *planned* that the two become synonymous, but got too many support calls from confused users…

  7. So, pay people to write lies about a product that was past it’s use-by date 10 years ago? Amazing these companies don’t invest in making decent products instead of wasting resources on fake reviews!

  8. Marketing at its worst: Pay for the reality you wish for. Sick stuff.

    …The ‘action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media.’

    So desperate. What cowards.

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