Friday, June 7, 2013

Microsoft Has Hired People To Make Positive Comments About Xbox One On Reddit, Says Redditor Claiming To Be A Contractor

VIA: Microsoft is doing something on Reddit that is a big no-no, according to a Redditor that goes by the name "mistysilver."

Representatives of Microsoft may be hanging out on the social news site voting up positive comments about the Xbox One, voting down negative comments and adding pro-Xbox comments of their own, Misty Silver says.

Misty Silver didn't reveal his/her real identity, except to say. "I work for a marketing firm in Redmond that has a contract with Microsoft. I can't say specifically which division, but suffice to say we are not involved with the Xbox."

The story goes: While at Microsoft for a meeting, Misty Silver saw and overheard some employees on Reddit. She looked at one of the employee's screens:

"I noticed he was mass-downvoting a ton of posts and comments, and he kept switching to other tabs to make posts and comments of his own. I couldn't make out exactly what he was posting, but I presumed he was doing RM (reputation management) and asked my boss about it later. According to my boss, MS have[sic] just brought in a huge sweep of SMM managers to handle reputation management for the Xbox One," Silver reported.

"Reputation management" is the term social media marketers use to "pose as happy customers" on social media sites. They upvote/downvote and make comments.

In the last year or so, Reddit has become a prime target for reputation management, Misty Silver says.

Reddit says its ok for people to submit their own info to Reddit within reason. But it's strictly against the rules to either "pretend to be someone else" or to "create mass downvote or upvote campaigns."
In extreme cases it can get an entire company completely banned from Reddit.

That's probably impossible with Microsoft. Legit Redditors are going to want to discuss the company and its products. But this kind of stuff still really irks Redditors. One of them even outed a Reddit account they thought belonged to a Microsoft marketer.

Obviously, we can't confirm this story. We asked Microsoft for comment on if they have people on their payroll using Reddit.
This is what Microsoft told us: "There is no coordinated or sanctioned effort by Microsoft employees, or anyone paid by Microsoft, to unduly influence Reddit or other online forums."
Still the idea of "reputation management" is for real.

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