"Post Around 8:20" -- The Coordinated & Paid-For Anti-Apple Campaign in Disguise
So I have said before that some of the anti-Apple press has seemed coordinated and paid-for, and I've been told to hold on to my tinfoil hat. Personally, I had my suspicions about the anti-Apple press being a set of coordinated anti-Apple commercials that were disguised as social media and blog posts, but I have resigned myself to believe that the articles were being written as an exaggeration in order to simply draw page views and increase advertising dollars.
However, now John Gruber has linked to this story which shows that when state-run Chinese television network CCTV ran an exposé on Apple it was accompanied by anti-Apple remarks posted by various celebrities on the Weibo social network, right around 8:20pm. One of the celebrities, however, had a bit of a copy-and-paste failing that exposed the coordinated effort.
Peter Ho, who the original article refers to as a "Taiwanese-American movie star and spokesperson for Samsung" posted:
#315isLive# Wow, Apple has so many tricks in its after-sales services. As an Apple fan, I’m hurt. You think this would be acceptable to Steve Jobs? Or to those young people who sold their kidneys [to buy iPads]? It’s really true that big chains treat customers poorly. Post around 8:20.
According to Liz Carter, who wrote the original piece:
#PostAround820 quickly went viral on Sina Weibo, only to be censored some time later. Internet users took to calling the implicated celebrities the “820 Party” and criticized them for selling themselves.
If this sort of thing is being done (presumably by Samsung) to coordinate the anti-Apple posting of celebrities, one has to ask oneself, how far would Samsung go? I truly believe that for 90% or more of the press, that Gruber's piece on "Ceding the Crown" is correct. They are simply "bored with the king and they want to write a new coronation story." However, I do believe there are some paid shills in the media who coordinate anti-marketing for a fee. The intent of these bad seeds is to get the rest of the press to jump on the bandwagon. Certainly, paying celebrities to post to social media is just another one of these avenues.
Carter concludes with:
The 8:20 incident has already been picked up by every major Chinese news organization, and is sure to be a public relations nightmare for the celebrities, CCTV, and Sina Weibo. The only party poised to gain from the scandal, it seems, is Apple, for whom CCTV’s consumer rights expose may prove a blessing in disguise.
Via: Daring Fireball