Debate: Legitimate Commerce? or Outright Fraud?

Posted by davidmcnab 4 years, 4 months ago to Business
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A story of Warner Brothers paying reviewers to give positive reviews. What's the perspective of other objectivists here? Is this just legitimate trade? Or is this utter fraud?

On one hand, Warner Bros and the reviewers are in a private commercial contract, and have privacy rights in this respect.

On the other hand, the buying public has a right to know the authenticity or otherwise of their sources of information about a product they are considering buying, and for Warner Brothers to represent their game review as positive when in fact it's not is criminal fraud.

What are your thoughts?
SOURCE URL: https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/12/warner-bros-ftc-settlement-paid-game-reviews/


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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 4 months ago
    Yes it is fraud, immoral and unethical. Although, reviews are subjective, they should be honest. If every business, corporation and governmental agency were honest...we'd have some Real competition and the consumer would the winners.
    I stated in my book that if the Corporations made the consumer a priority the stock holders would make out just fine,
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  • Posted by $ Technocracy 4 years, 4 months ago
    My initial thought is that both sides of that contract are ethically challenged.

    Due to subjective perceptions, I've always given reviews very little weight unless I know the reviewer . If I know the reviewer, I at least have a few clues on how their views compare to mine. So those reviews I will give some weight, otherwise not so much.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 4 months ago
      Good on you, Technocracy, for maintaining high standards with screening your information sources.

      That opens up another area for debate with freedom of trade - the cost of accurate objective product information. If the cost of information - in terms of energy, money and time - is prohibitive, people will just choose whatever feels right. This makes them susceptible to manipulation, and sends a message to looters that they can trade their way to the top with inferior, smartly packaged product over those who instead dedicate their resources to creating great product. Think - Orren Boyle triumphing over Henry Rearden.
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    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 4 months ago
      I used to know one of the restaurant reviewers at the Mercury News. He revealed that the editors there would often change bad reviews to avoid driving advertising away. So even if you know the reviewer, (1) could that happen and (2) would he dare tell you about it if it did?

      Then again, I'm not convinced that there is such a thing as an objective point of view. Which is why I try to read all sides. I wonder if I'm the only one here who reads both Daily Kos and InfoWars. At the very least, if either group is up to something they'll probably try to recruit me for it.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 4 months ago
    This goes on frequently in the software business. Back in the day, Jim Dorrian, a founder of Arbor Software, hired writers to create biased content and to publish them as independent reviews in trade magazines. Eventually he was exposed for doing it but Arbor was sold for about $400 million to Hyperion. Hyperion later sold to Oracle for $3.3 billion. Big paydays for unethical conduct. (Arbor did have a good product, but the promotion was unethical.)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essbase
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 years, 4 months ago
    Warner Brothers is welcome to pay who they want, what ever they want. Allowing people to believe these reviewers are unbiased is fraud, either by Warner Brothers or the reviewers.
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  • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 4 years, 4 months ago
    Reminds me of the "Payola" scandals with records and DJ's on radio stations.

    This stuff has been going on for ages and will never stop. "Let the buyer beware." "A sucker is born every minute." "A fool and his money are soon parted."

    To me, personally, Fraud is something that YOU are at fault for, for not doing your research and paying attention. Fraud happens when we each get stupid and do not read the fine print.
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  • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 4 months ago
    Just a government ploy to confiscate money from an honest business. You do know the government is money hungry and they will do anything that THEY think (do they) they can get away with to get some.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 4 months ago
    Warner is perpetrating a fraud. I'm not a lawyer, but if that's true, it is the very definition of a fraud. A similar case can be seen happening at the manufacturers of VW cars, where they claimed untrue mileage tests. In the USA they are paying through the nose for it, and if it gets that far in Germany, they claim they'll go bankrupt. (Which will never happen because it would throw too many out of work.)
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