ReviewMe Sells Reviews For Sites They Don’t Represent

Way back in November 11, I wrote a post about some ReviewMe Teething Problems. In the article, I talked about some issues facing ReviewMe’s ranking system and the way it allows blogs into the network. One of the more serious issues was the ability to claim someone elseโ€™s blog as your own.

It looks as if I can submit any other blogs and claim ownership over them as well. ReviewMe has no system for confirming blog ownership at this time.

Now, some people may not see this is a big problem. After all, who would claim a blog that is not their? And the fact that ReviewMe collects money only after a review is complete means a person who claims a blog they don’t own will never make anything since the review would never get posted. However, this is the Internet and on the Net, the best and worst case scenario always seems to unfold. In this case, the worst unfolded.

It seems somebody thought it would be to cool to submit Lifehacker and BoingBoing to the list of ReviewMe publishers. Lifehacker and BoingBoing are what I call FBB (F**ken Big Blog) and would easily command the maximum $500 ReviewMe price.

boingboing.jpg

If you’re an internet marketer and see that you can get a review on Lifehacker for only $500, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Well, that’s what Laplink Software did. Then they sent an email to Lifehacker with information on where to download the test software, reviewer’s guide, etc. Lifehacker’s response was basically, “WTF?”

You can read how all this unfolded at Lifehacker’s sister site The Consumerist. This was BoingBoing’s response after they found out they were listed as a ReviewMe publisher.

You can imagine when two FBBs start calling you ripoff artists, you’re going into damage control mode. And that is exactly what Patrick Gavin of ReviewMe did. This is the IM chat clearing up the mess.

My take on all this? ReviewMe should have read my post back in November 11. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ


38 thoughts on “ReviewMe Sells Reviews For Sites They Don’t Represent”

  1. Carl says:

    Anyone could have seen this coming from a mile away. If anything it’s amazing it took so long!

    1. broc says:

      I agree with Carl
      I dont see why they didnt see this coming, especially after you called them out on it so long ago

      1. Nobody usually takes notice of that until something bad crops up. I guess RM are on their wits end right now. *Shiver..

        1. Jez says:

          I think they will be ok, its a really good concept, I like it

        2. Yeah, it’s the ol’ “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” approach. real smart.

    2. Jez says:

      Yup, funny tho, I dont think it will harm reveiwMe though, the idea is very strong

      1. I agree. I don’t think it’ll harm them. But it’ll make everyone question just how much they’ve really thought out their plan here.

  2. Shawn Knight says:

    If they had only listened to Mr. Evil from the beginning. And yes I agree, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened, although I don’t see why someone would do this because they would not be able to collect on the mooney… well not that I know of anyway…

    1. Kenny says:

      Maybe they did it to make ReviewMe fix it. If nobody did something like this, this “hole” would not have been plugged, or at the very least it wouldn’t be top priority.

      This bad publicity (or good depending on how you want to look at it lol) certainly lit a fire under their ass to make them fix these bugs. Bad reviews such as the one from John obviously were not enough motivation to fix bugs.

    2. Jez says:

      Spose they did it for fun, like the guy in germany who got a DNS entry changed and pointed Ebay in germany to another site, then got locked up!

  3. Mubin says:

    Some people do stuff just for the sake of it, kinda like people that add fake feed burner chicklets to their sites.

    http://www.youtubedownloads.info

    1. Jason says:

      I bet that’s more or less the motivation for this. The scammer who registered a blog they didn’t own had no hopes of collecting undeserved money. They must have been doing it for the kicks of causing the fuss that they did. If they followed up and read the conversations that have followed, they’re probably pissing themselves with laughter right now.

      Jerks ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

      1. Well, ReviewMe did not do a check on their part, so it’s partly their fault. IF they do want to track down the person who did it, don’t they have the available information on their hands as of current?

    2. Jez says:

      Ive read about this, whats the point there are many ways to tell how well a site is doing, its pointless putting forgeries up, its not why people read anyway

  4. Leftblank says:

    It’s no more than expectable to see this kind of things, I don’t see why don’t they don’t include some ‘semi waterproof’ verification methods just like Yahoo or Google webmaster tools do – that way you’ll make sure you’re dealing with the right person.

    1. Jez says:

      They are gong to have to, if they have any sense they will be working on it as we speak

    2. Especially considering how simple of an implementation it would be. Even something like the “upload this file” approach would be a no brainer.

  5. Roosh says:

    ReviewMe could not have paid for better exposure

    1. BlueFur.com says:

      I wonder if this was done on purpose for exposure?

      1. John Chow says:

        I can’t imagine wanting to piss off Lifehacker or BoingBoing on purpose. LOL That would make them more evil than me!

      2. It doesn’t look like an exposure ploy. To be blown up to such a proportion, you must consider the consequences of what might come next. Doesn’t do much in pushing their reputation up the ladder though..

    2. HMTKSteve says:

      Bad press is better than no press!

      1. Jack says:

        You said it all! Thats why the call it infamous, because it still has the word “famous” in it

        1. Jeff Kee says:

          It’s like the word flammable and inflammable!!!

          Anybody watch the simpsons?? ๐Ÿ˜›

      2. Jez says:

        Not sure about that, its a bit of an embarrasement really, but as companies are not paying for listings on reveiew me directly I think they will get away with it

  6. HMTKSteve says:

    Now that is a post from the John Chow we all know and love, root of all evil that he is!

    I remember thinking of that post when I saw this story on BoinBoing. I also remember thinking, doesn’t ReviewMe read reviews about there own service?

    Kudos John…

    I’d submit this to Digg but you’re on the auto-bury list…

    1. John Chow says:

      Yep! Any subbed gets buried instantly! I should have stay banned!

  7. I don’t know how well ReviewMe will benefit from the exposure, but LapLink just got way more exposure then they would have if it would have been lagit.

    Good for them, FREE is Great.

  8. Philip Liu says:

    Why was it necessary for Boing Boing to use words like “scumbag” etc.? I didn’t think it was all that egregious and Patrick even explained the mistake. But there you have it “scumbag” is still in the post.

    It really reflects badly on Cory and BB to use such charged language before HE got the facts straight. And for that, he violates Rule No. 10 in The Open Letter From Reader To Blogger post I made a couple of days ago. Just verbal diarrhea.

  9. OZaC says:

    I can understand being caught by surprise, and I can understand that the writers and owners of Lifehacker and Boing Boing may be worried that these fraudulent listings may have a slight impact on their site’s editorial integrity in the short time before they were deleted, but is this really a necessary response from Boing Boing?

    “If you’re planning on suing them for fraud, get in touch with us, we’re happy to sign out an affidavit to help you turn these people into a wet smear on the pavement.”

    I read that, and thought “Wow”. Seems like Cory really flew off the deep end without first getting a grasp on the entire situation. That almost reads as if he thought “A site I’ve never heard about is making tons of loot selling fake reviews on Boing Boing”, and immediately threw up that post without another thought.

    1. Yea, anyone reading can sense that it is very heated up on their end. There is an extent to which it warrants their anger, but to ‘blow’ things up before even getting on to basics or a conclusion is not a good idea at all. Both parties should have tried to settle this privately first off.

  10. jake says:

    hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚ poor laplink.

  11. Maki says:

    I wrote about this earlier as well and I think ReviewMe (Media Whiz) really screwed up on this one.

    Getting slammed by the second largest blog on Technorati is never good. Boing Boing is known for their fierce journalistic integrity and I can understand why they’re generally pissed off.

    Patrick Gavin should really do a post on ReviewMe’s blog to address the issue.

    1. Philip Liu says:

      Hey Maki,

      I think BB was just off base here. Look at Consumerist’s response–much more balanced. BB’s journalist integrity took a hit here–they didn’t do their research before making that post. Not only that, they went off the deep end, wrongly. That makes them more National Enquirer than Wall Street Journal.

    2. Jez says:

      Yup really bad planning, hard to believe they dont authenticate

  12. I guess they could have done something to verify that the blog is theirs. Such as when we claim our blog at technorati. This is in fact causing a damageable loophole.

    1. Jez says:

      Im surprised they did not do this up front, its not hard to add verification

  13. I just requested to get a review from whitehouse.gov! Sweet.

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