The strength of social media for business is in getting the reactions and sentiment about people and giving them the ability to see what their peers really think about a company. The dark side is associated with that strength. What happens when the fake sentiment drowns out the real thoughts?
According to a report by Small Business Trends this week, a group of SEO companies and small businesses in New York State were caught in a sting operation called “Operation Clean Turf.” Spearheaded by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the operation uncovered unethical pay-for-review programs. Under the guise of “reputation management services,” SEO firms were offering to post fake reviews for businesses on social networking sites such as Yelp! It seems that social media’s dirty little secret is not so secret anymore. Inauthenticity, not authenticity, seems to be the rule of the day.