Taiwan Fines Samsung for Paying People to Praise Samsung and Bash Competitors

Taiwan has fined Samsung TWD10 million (that's New Taiwan dollars, or US$340,131) for mounting a fake campaign to praise Samsung's Android devices and criticize unspecified in article comments and forums. Phys.org reported that Taiwan's Federal Trade Commission began an investigation of Samsung in April and concluded the South Korean giant paid people to talk up its products and bash competitors, a violation of local regulations.

Samsung Astroturfing

Taiwan-based HTC wasn't named in the final ruling from Taiwan's FTC, the investigation was originally begun with HTC as the recipient of these fake complaints.

This sort of behavior isn't unique to Samsung and has earned the name "astroturfing." It does, however, seem to be par-for-the-course behavior for Samsung.

The company has been caught multiple times paying people to fake criticize its competition and talk up its products (possibly in China, too, though it could be a coincidence that a Samsung spokesperson was caught in the #postaround820 scandal).

The company was also convicted of copying its betters, and denied in its efforts to use standards-essential patents to extort protection for that copying. Even sillier, in my mind, was Samsung getting caught pointlessly cheating on hardware benchmarks.

There's a clear pattern of behavior, and remember that these are only the things Samsung has been caught doing. I know it makes me question every Apple-hating or Samsung-loving comment I see.

It also makes me wonder how Samsung can remain the poster child of awesome for Android fanboys.

Image made with help from Shutterstock.

[via Gizmodo]