UPDATE!!! after a deep search on the fiverr forums a couple of similar threads to this very topic existed
For those sellers on fiverr of and/or for deceptive practices that are against fiver policy…
i’m referring those of fake amazon reviews, fake reviews, facebook likes and fake video testimonials
CLEAN UP FIVERR. isn’t everyone tried of fiverr being called A SEEDY UNDERWORLD OF FRAUD, SCAMS, AND PHONIES??? this parties who are volating Fiverr policy need to either LOSE THEIR RANKING OR FEATURE SELECTION FOR A PERIOD OF TIME and remove such bad gigs or issue or worse be BANNED for violating fiverr policy for ill gotten gain and profits through deceptive practice… maybe grandfathering a user to stay but remove their rankings and unethical fraudulent gigs…
i recommend doing a simple google search of the phrases in quotes and heed my advice… … it’s not just in America, most countries in the world have similar policies
"FTC Slaps $250,000 Fine on Bogus Online Reviews"
"ftc guidelines for testimonial reviews Harvard law review"
or "ftc .com disclosures"
or "Wall Street Journal Paid Tweeters Beware: The FTC is Watching "
or try searching "Are You Disclosing? What You Need to Know about FTC Rules and Social Media"
or a mashable article “FTC to Fine Bloggers up to $11,000 for Not Disclosing Payments” - See more at: http://forum.fiverr.com/discussion/26055/its-time-to-clean-up-fiverr-bad-sellers-and-buyers#Item_91
I felt compelled to start a new discussion on black hat Astroturfing after seeing a seller run to the hills with claims of fear and the comment chain suddenly deleted anonymously., Which while trolling the discussions like many i found such odd. when there’s smoke there’s fire, right? Those had been two BIG RED FLAGS for me,
for those who don’t know what Black Hat is…
as defined, it’s someone violating the law and in this case fiverr policy that is acting in a malicious manner to exploit consumer vulnerabilities or for illegal personal gain. the most popular type of black hat used in terms are for “hacking” and “SEO” but the term BLACK HAT has been around long before the term SEO or hacker had been coined. and in this case we will mention BLACK HAT in the general form as a term that is malicious to exploit and deceive the consumer
What is Astroturfing ?
Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from grassroots participant(s). It is intended to give the statements more credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. Astroturfing is illegal most most countries and a violation of fiverr TOS to buy/sell gigs that astroturf without proper protocols
what is the Internet Water Army ? it’s a group of Internet ghostwriters paid to post online comments with particular content. think along the lines of facebook likes, amazon reviews, youtube buys and so on.
today we are going to generalize all three behaviors into one unethical category and call them black hat for the sake of space.
A question in the previously deleted discussion raised was, why is it that fiverr bans some black hat sellers but not others? I understand it’s a big marketplace but isn’t it time to clean up the blatant problem and elephant in the room that most people perceive wrong with fiverr? isn’t it time to take our heads out of the sand.
while reviewing sellers I noticed over 30 sellers of level 1 and level 2 operating doing what we are referring in this discussion as BLACK HAT, even more staggering was that over 10 top sellers that are operating doing BLACK HAT work. it’s actually more substantial than i’m discussing.
Is fiverr turning a blind eye because the revenue to it’s bottom line?
are the sellers turning a blind eye?
the previous commenter was concerned about getting blackballed because of this discussion, it appears that might have happened as the discussion was deleted. I reviewed it, seen in up, then suddenly changed then suddenly delete.
It is fair for for a fiverr seller to act in bully retaliation for another ethical seller speaking out on matter? after all isn’t bullying against fiverr policy?
now, i’m not a newspaper, or a member of media or going to report it to the media, so I won’t call out the names of such sellers or report them or the initial source of the conversation because it’s not the motive or interest and it’s also against fiverr policy… the motive it to bring awareness to fiverr, the buyers, the sellers, and most of all to change the perception with the individuals who think fiverr is a seedy underground of black market flea market behavior because of black hat sellers and black hat buyers and ultimately to see fiverr grow. after all, fiverr conducts buyers surveys to see what similar platform the buyer bought from or is buying from or might buy from, i assume this is done to better the marketplace and to learn and not lose it’s strong hold.
why is it that some fiverr users think certain black hat operations are okay and other black hat operations aren’t?
it seems members of the community want to select which black hat is okay and which is not. it sounds like a positive point of interest and a conflict to me for those who do such.
to me, a black hat operation is a black hat operation, there isn’t much difference, if it’s illegal or/and an ill gotten gain, it’s all the same to me. same to you?
can someone help me understand how is it that fiverr editors can nominate a fiverr seller as a top rank seller when that very seller is violating fiverr policy, as sometimes, as well as united states federal law, regulations guarded and regulated by Interpol and other countries that have similar laws? is it noneducational oversight on the illegal matters by fiverr staff? i mean we aren’t talking about a reviewing a gig, we are talking about fiverr staff that nominated top sellers. Am I the only person that see’s something wrong? i’d like to believe this site isn’t corrupt, i’m a fan of the site, it serves us well. it would serve the pubic and growth more so if it was cleaned up and held firm.
is fiverr concerned by removing top sellers with unethical and illegal behavior it’s community will shrink or lose revenues as buyers will go elsewhere, i’d like to doubt such, but it’s possible… is it the concern these very black hat and sellers dictate the fiverr market and are coercive?
A solution might be to grandfather those who have committed such action but be firm on it’s policy to prevent future action of what i’m referring to as black hat?
i often wonder if the fiverr black hat sellers care or realize or are just brazen or desperate that committing the very crime in some cases or violations of TOC/TOS is worth the possible felony action or IP Ban?. are they naive? do they believe nothing will happen because the amount of revenue generated? do they think a slap on the wrist is all that will happen? do they think their masked IP or foreign country will protect them? do they think they are the next Nigerian fraud scam and everyone will turn a blind eye until then land on a major network news story? do think because it’s so rapid of some time sellers and buyers the fragmentation will allow plenty to time??
why hasn’t anyone else stood up about these very issues?
I often wonder why we can’t do anything to block blackhat buyers/sellers? i mean doesn’t all it take a simple troll and subpoena? after all isn’t that what the IRS did to those unethical lawbreaking Americans with Swiss accounts evading taxes?
Avoid these behaviors, if you’ve done them, stop doing them. do fiverr right
UPDATE!!! after a deep search on the fiverr forums a couple of similar threads to this very topic existed
As a white hat SEO professional, I would like to point out that you are suffering from a slight confusion of terms. You’re conflating so called ‘black hat hackers’ with ‘black hat seo’.
The former is a group of people engaging in illegal activities, etc. The latter is not.
All black hat SEO does is violate Google guidelines - it’s not inherently malicious, and it’s definitely not illegal. It’s somewhat -unethical-, sure, but you’re inflating it into something it most definitely is not.
I think you can stop tossing the legal terms around now. US Federal Law and Interpol? Oh my. =))
I respect your opinion BUT Black Hat is a term NOT just for SEO or hackers. but to my knowledge, although I openly admit i’m not a professional or certified in Hacking or SEO but i believe the term you mentioned and referred to is commonly abused on fiverr and used to deceive a consumer for personal gain, which from my understanding is against fiverr TOS.
by the way, that’s not tossing, AND SOME FORMS OF BLACK ARE in fact ILLEGAL
i get it’s an touchy subject for those dancing on the border, specially those for profit and gain acting in such manner. i expect some fiverr cyberbully beat downs
I’m not a cyber bully, and I’m not giving you a beatdown. I’m simply pointing out that, as you admit you’re not a professional, perhaps you should refrain from using potentially libelous terms like ‘felony’ to apply to behaviors that by your own admission, you have little understanding of.
Try Googling ‘is black seo a crime’ and reading the first article. It’s not like this is a comparison of opinions: the behavior is NOT a crime. Knowing is half the battle.
I appreciate your feedback on the discussion,
To clarify, I do not consider you a fiverr bully, i was merely generalizing the potential action of cyber bullying and retaliation.
I’m very aware of what libel behavior is, what i stated is NOT. we do have crimes that are being committed.
in addition to the common practice on fiverr that we all see such unethical and malicious nature of BLACK HAT in general and it’s clearly against the fiverr TOS to deceive for personal ill gotten gain, which was my point about such activity that is rapid on fiverr…
i did not point to any certain seller or buyer because i’m not the fiverr police or interested in investigating deep into what content sellers and buyers are putting out, i’m simply rather pointing out the obvious truths we stick our heads in the sand about. it’s the truth multiple top sellers, level 2 and level 1 sellers as well as buyers are participating in misleading and unethical behavior which is a deceptive practice for ill gotten gain.
again the term of BLACK HAT has been around longer than SEO or hacking. i’m referring to black hat actions in general. what i’m referring to is on a larger and more grander scale of the term black hat. I recommend to re-read the discussion i started and come back with an open mind. i’m not here to make false accusations, i’m merely pointing out the truths. I also understand not all black is criminal but rather most is deceptive is and unethical and that is the general consensus.
again, i get it’s unpopular to combat against the popularity of such unethical fiverr sellers and buyers
Ok, so this was way too long to read. If we’re talking purely fashion sense, I’d much prefer the black hat. Who wears white hats anymore? I mean, come on! Right?
Reply to @fiveonchris101:
Look. Words have meanings. The phrases ‘black hat hackers’ and ‘black hat seo’ exist. You seem unaware of this, and that these terms have specific meanings. Well, they do.
Who the hell cares about ‘black hat actions in general’? What are these sorts of actions; go on, list a few that don’t fall under the aegis of already existing terms with specific meanings.
You’re not pointing out truths of any kind. In fact, you’re doing the opposite. By playing this postmodernism game of ‘words mean what I want them to mean’, you’re actually obfuscating the truth.
As I mentioned, I am a white hat SEO, with a reputation in the industry. I’m not defending unethical actions. I -am- stopping a person who has zero clue what they are talking about from spreading misinformation. Namely, you.
although i respect seller @brandontvedt personal opinion, by all appearances the seller has a “bent mind” and it’s possible might have vested conflict of interest as he is taking the discussion personal and defensive, as well as turning the matter into personal attack. I have meant no intention to offend any individual and apologize to those of ethical behavior.
the term black hat is viewed in negative light, period, spin it anyway you want while you’re on the soapbox, that’s your opinion.
What I don’t understand is why this turned into a semantics discussion. The original poster is simply saying that he feels there are some shady deals going on here at Fiverr.com and they are being rewarded with levels, both automatic and editor selected. He is suggesting that perhaps if some of these shady deals were cleaned up, Fiverr.com would improve on its reputation (as he perceives it or believes others to perceive it). I believe by shady deals, he is speaking primarily about the bots for likes, views, links, fake Amazon reviews, etc. I that not the premise put forth?
@newspoet yes, indeed, thank you… although some of the issues you touched on are just scratching the surface of a larger amount of issues with astroturfing but yes bots for likes, views, links, fake Amazon reviews, black hat seo, etc and other similar issues but nevertheless you are heading down the right direction in understanding my point.
the cleaner the community gets and with a little more integrity it may allow the fiverr community a broader reach for us all
thanks for the input
fiveonchris101… why did you just message me that I’m astroturfing and accuse me of committing a crime? I think you might reconsider this campaign you are on as I’m sure I can’t be the only one. You point me here for suggested reading? So I can read your post? That sir… is astroturfing.
By the way, I just made a formal complaint.
@tsweezey i understand your frustration due to your conflict. i’m not paid to astroturf, i don’t believe you understand the definition.
just because you aren’t the “only one” and (admission of guilt which is gross negligence i might ad) doing such possible FTC violation doesn’t make your behavior correct not to mention it’s against fiverr TOC/TOS to commit such action. it appears hypocritical of you to file a complaint
i see your mind appears “bent” as you stated you filed a formal complaint. sounds like a cyber bully to me trying to squash someone informing you of ethics and possible education you might find worthy. it’s not to harm you but rather help you.
i apologize if you’re offended but your defensive nature of your reply and threat of a formal complaint is troubling.
a formal complaint on what grounds? educating you of a post and information regarding astro turfing based on your samples of work published for the public to see
You sent me a private message and accused me of 20 crimes, and you think I have a problem because I get defensive?
I think it’s prudent if we let fiverr deal with you. This is nuts.
@tsweezey maybe you don’t know what astro turfing is, i didn’t out you, you outed yourself.
it’s prudent maybe fiverr handles astro turfing but why attack a user for giving you helpful information on astro turfing to help you be educated?? your samples are published for the world to see.
if you have nothing to hide why act for defensive? astro turfing is illegal and a violation of fiverr policy
@tsweezy, it appears you are acting in malice with a personal issue and a “bent” mind, what is the purpose of trying to bully me? attempt to make me and FTC disappear? the law isn’t mine, the fiverr policy isn’t mine, i didn’t make them up. you are taking it personal. no reason to act such way. simply state your case and move on. the flagging behavior is abusive
this discussion is meant to be positive, for those who hold a different opinion, please be respectful and don’t take is personal. it is disruptive and unprofessional to act in such bully like manner. buyers take notice of seller behaviors in the post who have attacked me for pointing out unethical behavior that is against fiverr policy, that might be someone who you might not want to work with