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Fake WordPress Users by Premium Plugin Sellers (13 posts)

  1. Zara Walsh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I'm seeing a lot of comments and replies to reviews on many plugins that back link to plugins that have premium editions.

    The comments are cheesy as if up selling.

    Is it possible we can have all reviewreplies with links in them deleted straight away? A review reply does not need a link in it, agree?

    Also I would like to discuss these authors. I'm confident they are responsible for giving one of my plugins 10 one star ratings in 2-3 days. Following 12 months after that I get 3 one star ratings. Doesn't add up does it. These guys need some pressure to stop their activities where they simply lie and make WordPress part of this growing cyber BS that we all know about. It's in the news, even the largest companies are at it.

    A little searching and you can easily find premium plugins where a so called WordPress.org drops off the radar after a spree of links. Some of the names can be found commenting on the plugins own website many times, praising the plugin and generally being cheesy. Whats worse the fact that these developers think it's not obvious or the fact that it may actually work on people?

    I have requested investigation to the ratings I have had on my plugin but nothing done yet. A mod did mention that the idea of resetting all ratings prior to the review system has been discussed. I thought great that will help somewhat but now I realize there is yet another issue. One that will be easily solved by not letting anyone reply to the review other than the plugin author.

    Sorted. How about it ?

  2. Is it possible we can have all reviewreplies with links in them deleted straight away?

    Automatically? I personally don't think that would be helpful. If you see someone spamming the review forums then you can tag that topic with modlook and one of the moderators will take a look.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Forum_Welcome#Contacting_the_Moderators

    Be aware that someone posting something you dislike with a link to another plugin (premium or otherwise) doesn't necessarily count as spam. ;) And don't abuse that tag either, that's really frowned upon.

    Also I would like to discuss these authors. I'm confident they are responsible for giving one of my plugins 10 one star ratings in 2-3 days.

    When someone games the review system it generally gets caught and dealt with. Sometimes a user will post a 1 star rating and that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you address the review positively then they can change their rating.

    Or not; you have to realize that you can't please everyone.

    One that will be easily solved by not letting anyone reply to the review other than the plugin author.

    IMHO sometimes other users chime into a review and letting that happen is just part of the community process. Just as there are detractors there are also other users who point out unfair statements.

  3. Zara Walsh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I think anyone working on the internet for many years can quickly tell the different between natural reviews or feedback from genuine users and BS.

    What I'm talking about is a growing stream of BS which is being seen in all aspects of the internet. It is worse on open source CMS like WordPress though because it is free yet there is a competitive nature behind the activity.

    The people being done over are the newer internet and WordPress users who are obviously going to be blind to the fact that many of the tell tales signs of a good product are actually fabrications.

    Everything you say is true. Such as 1 star rating not being a bad thing, but it is when the user is brand new and never comments again. I could show you loads of so called users. It's obvious accounts are being created as part of a competitive e-commerce campaign.

  4. Zara Walsh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Oh and I should point out that your reply kind of encourages this activity. You've basically told us we can go around posting replies to negative reviews with links to plugins that have premium editions right.

    It's just a bad situation when the original review was the same person replying in a systematic attempt to make it look natural and it is happening. I didn't make this post without proof, I just can't post it here. It includes talking to many authors who do it and think it is fine.

  5. Andrew
    Forum moderator & snail smusher
    Posted 2 years ago #

    You've basically told us we can go around posting replies to negative reviews with links to plugins that have premium editions right.

    Sorry Zara, I don't see how Jan said this.

  6. Zara Walsh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Sorry I didn't mean that I think I read something the wrong way.

    I think I may have meant to say that there is no way to class the activity as spam. It doesn't look like spam, they are taking the time to avoid just that. I know it for a fact. I've had emails from developers advising me on how to do such things in order to push sales on our own premium plugins and they send this advice due to me being new to web development.

    They are being kind but at the same time admitting participation in what seems to be common practice in the web development industry.

    I still think only the authors need to reply to reviews. I've seen reviews where good authors haven't even had a chance to be the first to reply and I feel the process should be a one to one rather than a community discussion.

  7. Andrew
    Forum moderator & snail smusher
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I could show you loads of so called users. It's obvious accounts are being created as part of a competitive e-commerce campaign

    Please do address these to moderators.

  8. Andrew
    Forum moderator & snail smusher
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Although it's a rare case for me, I have seen one such "bait and switch" tactic for a hosting provider. The culprits were switching between 2 accounts on 2 IP addresses pretending to have a conversation that contained an overwhelming appraise for a particular hosting organisation and oddly only lasted 5 minutes.

    That has been dealt with and many other bait and switch tactics too.

  9. Zara Walsh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Yes that is pretty much what I see happening. Good to know there is so much effort to keep WordPress clean. Maybe one day I can be part of that effort ;)

  10. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I've had emails from developers advising me on how to do such things in order to push sales on our own premium plugins and they send this advice due to me being new to web development.

    If those developers are users here, we'd also very much like to know who they are.

    We do monitor the Reviews forum as much as humanely possible - looking for the kinds of behaviours you describe. When we do find it, we take immediate action. If you feel that has not happened in your case, please let us know and we'll investigate.

  11. Zara Walsh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I'm not pointing fingers because it can't be proved.

    You just need to monitor tweets and pings for specific keywords. You soon see unnatural activity in terms of users promoting a plugin, not just praising it or discussing it. It's just cheesy quick comments, we can all tell the difference. What random user makes every effort to spread the word about a plugin plus adds a link from their own websites footer to the plugins site? It shows developers are creating blogs for their alias and the blogs always blog web related content often with reviews of their own plugin Not impossible but highly unlikely.

    I still think it would still be dangerous to take action again'st plugins connected to this sort of activity.

    Anyway thanks again for all your effort and the fact that you are protecting WordPress. Great job.

  12. Andrew
    Forum moderator & snail smusher
    Posted 2 years ago #

    You don't have to explicitly say who's doing what, just tag a thread with 'modlook' and that means you suspect something is not quite right. If it's all fine, the moderator reviewing the thread will leave it as is without saying anything and then remove the 'modlook' tag.

    Adding tags does not notify the original poster.

  13. *Jan drinks the magic elixir that some refer to as "coffee".*

    I'm not pointing fingers because it can't be proved.

    Yes. That's basically my point it can't be proved and just restricting the review forums and/or deleting posts that are frankly just inconvenient to the reviewed plugin authors is not a solution.

    When it can be identified then it's dealt with. If you suspect that's the case with a review then do please let us know and a moderator will take a look.

    You just need to monitor tweets and pings for specific keywords.

    Ha! No.

    As has been mentioned above the moderators do see, identify, and deal with when someone tries to game the system. Yes there are people who spam the forums and the review section is not any different.

    Like you we're unpaid volunteers not censors. *Drinks more coffee*

    I still think it would still be dangerous to take action again'st plugins connected to this sort of activity.

    Yes exactly. See my first "Yes" above. ;)

    Plugin authors on the forums are no different then forums users and sometimes a plugin author will/has/will again do something incredibly bone-headed on the forums. It happens and we're all human.

    It gets dealt with when found and I don't think it's a big deal. If someone gives you a bad review you reply well, try and get them to change their review and move on if they don't.

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