Belkin paying for positive Amazon reviews?

Sadly, it looks like the answer to that question is “yes”. According to The Daily Background, an ad recently appeared on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk site looking for folks to fill out positive reviews of Belkin products, regardless of whether or not they had actually used them. In return, reviewers would be compensated to the tune of $.65/review. Sounds….shady, but perhaps the ad was posted by some frenzied Belkin fanboy looking to improve his favorite company’s product ratings, right? Wrong. Further investigation revealed that the ad was posted by gentleman by the name of Mike Bayard, who just so happens to be a Belkin employee at the helm of e-retailer sales. Yipes. Sadly, this probably isn’t the only case of such tomfoolery, but Belkin certainly should not be applauded for their actions. We’ll probably have to wait until Monday for an official response from the company, but in the mean time this is probably a good point at which to re-evaluate Amazon’s ranking system, perhaps only allowing folks that have legitimately purchased the product to provide a review? Just a thought…

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