return to the netvocates thing

A few nights ago I posted here about this blog having been visited by NetVocates. Little did I know, when I did, that quite a few others would suddenly pop out of the woodwork and do their own sleuthing and the debate about “paid for trolling” would start to spread.

See the post and 26 comments on Deconsumption, UtahAdventureVideos asking Chip if he can name some clients, and this forum discussion over at NobleRealms.

I think a lot of bloggers share my concern about the idea of people being paid to post, even if they’re only being paid to post about, as Chip says in his reply to my original post: “ask [their] activists to only engage on issues they actually believe in. Second, [NetAdvocates] ask everyone not to lie about anything. Third, [they] ask [their] activists not to create multiple online personalities to engage in blogosphere conversations.”

And that’s where the apology comes in. I originally misread this rebuttal and gave Mr. Griffin, the guy behind NetVocates and CustomScoop, an easy ride. Having re-read the post following LOTS of inbound traffic relating to the post and from NetVocates itself, I’m feeling a bit quesy again – paying someone to post is paying for trolling, anyway you look at it. Thanks villageblog for the investigative work, and excellent post, you made on this matter. You’ve moved the debate about netvocates (and other online sockpuppet services) forward…

[see my other posts about netvocates]


  1. One last attempt to make you less queasy. I want to note another portion of my original post:
    “‘You say who you’re speaking for.’ That’s the draft standard proposed by WOMMA for this industry and that’s the policy NetVocates will enforce with its staff and activists. Period.”
    Bloggers and their readers will not have to guess if a paid partisan is in their midst. It will be clear and everyone can make their own judgment as to the value of the commentary offered.
    With that said, I’ll step back and let you decide for yourself whether that makes you feel any better or not. Either way, I appreciate the opportunity to share this information.

  2. Get Out Your Tinfoil Hats

    Isn’t This Fun …Blanton’s Ashton’s reports that a group called Netvocates has been watching their blog. Who or what is Netvocates, you might ask? Their website claims they go after blogs who say bad things about a company or its

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