Click Farms Alter Amazon Ratings

For those who haven’t heard about the click farms, they are services that can download free books, or borrow KU books so the author can get paid out of the communal KU pot.

Have Click Farms Broken Amazon?

click farmsHave you noticed an eBook on Amazon coming out of nowhere and suddenly hitting the #1 spot? Not just in the “Free” category, but also in the “Paid” spot. It’s possibly due to the author paying a click farm to get thousands of downloads. Amazon states that manipulating the stats is against their policy, but they don’t seem to be doing much about it.

David Gaurhran has documented evidence of a book using the click farms and has contacted Amazon. He was informed that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously but felt the problem wasn’t quite as bad as he stated. It sounds like they are in denial!

Here is an article you should read on Kotaku.com. It has a video that shows in great detail actual banks of phones while in use. It’s hard to believe the amount of effort that’s put into this scam.

MotherBoard.Vice.com has an interesting article about a farm in Thailand where authorities seized over 500 cellphones and 350,000 SIM cards. A Chinese company reportedly supplied the phones and paid the men the equivalent of $4403 a month to run the scheme.

Besides Amazon, these farms also supply likes and followers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. App Store ranking manipulation is another service that’s widely used.

I can’t imagine it would take much effort to create a program to analyze these kinds of ratings and determine that they’re fake. I’m sure the farms would find ways around it but if it’s difficult enough for them they’d probably move on to other scams.

What are your feelings on this?

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