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2. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Oct 25, 2013, 11:56 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 25, 2013, 11:41:
340k fine? Wow, what's it take them globally to recoup that? 5 minutes? How about a 300 million dollar fine and send some suits to jail?

Four problems with that:
1) What law did they break? Being total asses isn't illegal
2) How do you even prove they were aware of it? Even the fining organization admits that a third party did this, so it's difficult to prove Samsung ok'd this. The Android store is currently full of fake reviews for BBM, of a wide range of scores, that BlackBerry almost definitely had nothing to do with, would they go to jail?
3) Who do you send to jail? Again, it's hard to prove Samsung wanted this and didn't just hire an ad agency that overextended itself. Even assuming it was done in-company, do you send the guy that literally went only and posted, who is likely a 22 year old out of college?? Do you send his boss, who is probably still only in his 20s and making maybe $50k? Do you send his boss' boss, who likely never even met the guy that did it, never authorized this, was never part of the decision making process, and would be incredibly inefficient to make him have to be a part of this process every time (but he'd need to be if it warranted criminal charges)? Do you send the CEO, who has no way of being aware of any of this? In any case, if someone you met doing something so simple is a cause for jail time then pay will certainly jump even higher for people to take on that responsibility
4) Where do you draw the line? Say a Samsung warehouse employee in France is posting his review of the Galaxy S4, a phone he just bought with his own money and has absolutely nothing to do with. Is that considered astroturfing? He works for the company and certainly is more lenient than others, but has no stake, no authority, etc.

Astroturfing is pretty much scum, but it's rarely actually authorized, not criminal, and sending someone to jail requires either figuring out who is responsible (costly and time consuming - certainly something the government does not have resources for) or sending someone that is high up and had absolutely nothing to do with this and no true way to prevent it (which would require paying people significant amounts of money to take on that risk.)
While astroturfing is shitty, who really gets hurt enough to send someone to jail? Does anyone here think they've ever bought a product due to astroturfing? Has anyone been swayed? Can anyone point to a time anyone they knew bought a product they didn't like due to astroturfing? I'd wager Billie Mays was responsible for infinitely more regretted purchases, and no one sent him to jail.
 
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