Did company hire web trolls to game comments after Oculus purchase?
Paul Joseph Watson
March 26, 2014
Facebook has been accused of “astroturfing” Reddit by flooding the website with fake comments praising the company’s move to purchase virtual reality headset maker Oculus in a $2 billion dollar deal.
Last night it was announced that the social networking giant had agreed to acquire Oculus for $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in shares.
Reddit users responded to the acquisition by expressing fears that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s control of Oculus could ruin the company’s progress.
Such concerns were met with suspicious rebuttals from several different accounts which used identical language and appeared to rely on canned answers.
A post which read, “Mark isn’t building a giant, single Facebook company. He is a building a giant network of separate companies that leverage the Facebook social network,” was posted by two completely different users in two different sections of Reddit.
Another post which read, “Mark has made it clear that he doesn’t just come in and fuck shit up. He bought them, but they aren’t disbanding. He’s not taking over every last little detail. This can only help Oculus,” was also posted by two different accounts in two different sections.
A third post read, “This whole “DAE hate Facebook?” crap is so annoying. Like it’s always bad when a big company comes in and buys something smaller. Some people just fail to acknowledge that this has always been the way of business and that a lot of good can actually come with the huge amount of money they now have to their disposal.” This was also posted by two different users on two separate sections.
The main user account which repeatedly peddled Facebook talking points was named ‘Lellux’, while three other accounts mimicked the same rhetoric.
Reddit users reacted by claiming Facebook was “astroturfing” the popular website in an effort to create a fake positive consensus about the company’s purchase of Oculus, with one asking, “What can be done to keep the Facebook astroturfers away?”
“Look at the comments. Then at the user names. Different people posting the same remarks – it’s a sham,” wrote another.
“It’s so cute how they’re all on a first-name basis with Mark,” remarked another.
The fact that both major corporations and governments hire trolls to flood comment sections with positive PR is widely acknowledged, as is documented in the video below.