Evidence of Video Astroturfing Exposed – Proof of Fake Testimonials Online

Please read this entire post so see all the evidence of astroturfing by video – which is set to become yet another internet disease designed to deceive internet users like you and me.

The internet is becoming a marketing tool for deception – some companies will do whatever it takes to make their business look much better than it actually is. In business word of mouth and testimonials exist to build up trust between businesses and customers – however on the internet things are completely different.

As a regular user of the net I guess I know pretty more than the average guy – especially when it comes to online marketing – over the last few years I have seen a dramatic rise in the number of fake testimonials – obviously whether a review or testimonial is truthful and was writen by an actual person who used that business is ultimately hard to prove- however just reading some of them gives an often uncomfortable feeling and one can instantly tell that something is amiss by the nature of the language. Many businesses are exploiting online testimonials and reviews by writing them themselves – either to talk their business up – or their competitors business down !
Anyway – cut to the chase – I run a small business and came across a company called Orgnot, I did a quick Google of them and this video came up first in Google.

As I was considering doing business with this company then I began to watch the video, however, about 10 seconds into the video I felt very uncomfortable, I could tell from the guys eyes and his body language that what he was saying was a complete lie. Then something clicked – I remembered a site I was surfing on a few weeks back, where people would do almost anything for five dollars and I had seen a few advertisments about people making testimonial videos – I  went to the site http://www.fiverr.com and searched for ‘video testimonial’ – I found the guy who made the video in an instant !

http://fiverr.com/russellwilliams/provide-a-video-testimonial-for-your-product-or-service

You can see the original video as above – or heres my copy below just incase the original gets removed because we are onto him.

Here you can see Russell Williams clearly bragging about how he will make a testimonial for any company – even though he will never use the services of that company.
So, it ends up the so called ‘testimonial’ for Orgnot is nothing but a lie – a video made as an attempt to deceive others by giving their company credibility – it has been made by a member of the public who did it for just $5 – he did it through the site fiverr.com and whats more this fiverr member alone has fulfilled about 70 orders – as well as there being dozens of other fiverr members also providing a video testimonial service.

How many companies are out there that are partaking in this deceitful practise ?
Anyway now that I have published the URLS – which prove conclusively that this video is a lie and Orgnot are guilty of Astroturfing – then I do not expect the original video to be up much longer – therefore please please do leave a comment on this page saying that you have seen the evidence BEFORE they remove the video and send a link to this page to your friends to see the proof before it gets removed, it could be a matter of hours !! (click  leave comment at top of page) – As a backup I have recorded the video anyway, and have posted it below, but seeing the video on the site is much more evidential.

Here is the video script of the fake testimonial – which was obviously fed to the maker Russell Williams
“Hi, my name is Russell and I used to own a business that was really struggling, in turn it was taking years off my life, I still own it now but it is truly flourishing and it’s all thanks to Orgnot, you see I knew I needed help and when I saw that they were offering to double my sales I got really interested, then I saw they had a 200% money back guarantee and that was it, I purchased their services, well erm, I was going to win either way, now after 26 weeks I am so happy that I did, my sales have more than doubled and for the first time in 10 year I am going to have a decent holiday and all because I followed simple week by week marketing instructions, I really can’t thank Orgnot enough, they’ve more than saved my business, making it more profitable than ever, I think they’ve saved my life as well, thanks for watching.”

A simple count means the video contains exactly 20 false statements – the only thing true in the video is the the first 5 words – the rest of the words are a deliberate attempt to deceive others.

Astroturfing is now moving onto video and sites like Fiverr are cashing in on it. This and other companies should be banned from selling or approving of the sale of such services as they are illegal.

I have wrote to Fiverr about this – please check back to see if I get any response.
The sad fact about all of this is that people are willing to lie for $5 (actually they receive less than $4 as Fiverr receives $1 and they also have to pay electronic payment processing fees) – and that companies are willing to use those lies in order to promote their business.

It’s not a small issue to me – what kind of society are we making ?
In my view anyone who makes such a video or uses the video to promote their business is deceiving the general public and should be charged for deceit and even fraud.

Copy of Correspondance to Fiverr
Dear Fiverr,
I would like a response from your company regarding an illegal practise on your site. Members are making video testimonials for products and companies that they have not even used – the result is that the video is full of lies and that the buyer uses those lies to promote his business. This is known as Astroturfing and is illegal. Please advise me what you intend to do about this.

Here is my copy of the original video as i am sure the company will remove it once they realise they have been caught astroturfing. also theres 2 screenshots of the evidence.

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