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Ken Dreifach ZwillGen , PLLC ken@zwillgen

Ken Dreifach ZwillGen , PLLC ken@zwillgen

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Ken Dreifach ZwillGen , PLLC ken@zwillgen

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  1. Astroturf, Sockpuppets & Flogs: A Brief History of Fakes & FoolsAss’n of the Bar, City of New York, Ken Dreifach, ken@zwillgen.comZwillGen, PLLCApril 30, 2013 Ken Dreifach ZwillGen, PLLC ken@zwillgen.com

  2. Sockpuppets, Astroturf & Flogs: An Introduction • Background • What are these things? • “Astroturfing” = fake grass(roots) • Reviews, posts, • “Sockpuppet” = fake online identity • “Flog” = fake blog (undisclosed sponsor) • Purpose: Create buzz, viral marketing, influence decision-makers

  3. Does is really matter (& Isn’t the Internet fake anyway . . . ? • These devices mimic influential groups: • Consumers • Peers • Journalists

  4. A Brief History of Astroturfing . . . • Cassius “Astroturfs” Brutus: I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, writings . . .

  5. Walt Whitman reviews Walt Whitman circa 1855 = • Leaves of Grass - - reviewed by Anonymous • “as if all the sounds of earth and hell were tumbled promiscuously together”

  6. Political Sockpuppetry • Lloyd Bentsen:  “A fellow from Texas can tell the difference between grass roots and Astroturf . . . this is generated mail.” • Discussing mail supporting insurance cmpanies, 1985.

  7. WHO’S ASTROTURFING NOW?

  8. Book and Product Reviews • “The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy,” NY Times (August 26, 2012) • Gettingbookreviews.com: • $499 = 20 reviews • $999 = 50 reviews • April 2013: Samsung apologizes for posting fake (negative) reviews of HTC devices • Hired students to do it

  9. Political Sockpuppetry • Former SF Mayor Newsom’s Chief of Staff • Disguised blogs, posts • “It was fun -- it's [the Internet is] where people are having fun." But "there's probably a different standard for me.“ • Russian youth group Nashi – payments to bloggers, journalists and others online to flatter Putin and discredit rivals.

  10. Flogging Across America • “Wal-Marting across America” Blog (2006) • Laura & Jim in an RV, staying in Wal-Mart lots • Failed to Disclose Wal-Mart sponsorship

  11. Whitman to Wal-Mart: Why Now? • Social Media • Viral, crowd-sourced • Big Data • “influencers” (and cheap labor) are cheap and easy to find • Need for online monetization • Entertainment is consumed online • Ad dollars & techniques are still catching up • Online ad models are still evolving

  12. Whitman to Wal-Mart: Why Now? • Social Media • Viral, crowd-sourced • Big Data • “influencers” (and cheap labor) are cheap and easy to find • Need for online monetization • Entertainment is consumed online • Ad dollars & techniques are still catching up • Online ad models are still evolving

  13. What Laws Apply? • FTC and deceptive practice laws • Ethics Standards • Advertising • Journalism • WOMMA • The law of public opinion

  14. Advertorials & Journalistic Ethics

  15. Advertorials & Journalistic Ethics “Sponsor Content”

  16. The Critics . . . SPONSORED: The Taliban Is A Vibrant And Thriving Political Movement NEWS • News • ISSUE 49•03 • Jan 15, 2013

  17. On the Other Hand . . .

  18. STOP TALKING NOW. Ken@zwillgen.com 347.210.1798