Last year amidst the various privacy scandals and controversies that Facebook found themselves caught up in, the company debuted the Portal video chat device. It was an odd choice to launch a product that would have raised eyebrows any other day, during a time where there was a public outcry to #DeleteFacebook.
It is unclear as to how well the Portal is doing, but a tweet from the New York Times’ Kevin Roose has revealed that Facebook employees have actually been leaving 5-star reviews of the product on Amazon. Now this isn’t to say that these reviews aren’t genuine because for all we know, these employees really like the Portal.
However doing so actually violates one of Amazon’s rules where they state that employees of a company aren’t allowed to review their company’s products. Facebook’s VP of augmented reality and virtual reality Andrew Bosworth has also since confirmed that those reviews came from Facebook employees, and stated that internally Facebook had told employees not to engage in reviewing products sold to Amazon. He also stated that he will be asking them to take it down.
Like we said, these reviews aren’t necessarily fake, but there is a clear conflict of interest which casts some doubt as to how well the product is doing since a product that sells well probably doesn’t need that extra boost from the company’s own employees, right?
Speaking of coordinated inauthentic behavior, what are the odds that all these 5-star Facebook Portal reviewers on Amazon just happen to have the same names as Facebook employees? pic.twitter.com/bF7U8Fj5kN
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) January 17, 2019