Of shills and thrills – cryptocurrency is plagued with fake reviews and paid shills

A shill is, by definitiona person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty.

Shilling is part of living in the 21st century.

Social media influence is more important than traditional media nowadays, especially as people disconnect from cable TV and print media.

Influence has always been bought and sold, its just become more apparent.

Things as simple as search algorithms on Google can have huge impacts on what people see versus what they don’t.

Add on top of that guerilla marketing, Super PACs, and unconcious bias of social media serice owners and operators… you get the idea.

There is a thin and subtle line that separates marketing and shilling. With marketing, people know they’re reading promotional materials and they bear that in mind when they’re making decisions. With shilling, people think the information is coming from an unbiased peer investor, and that’s often organized through larger groups of people working together to create a false environment (multiple fake reviews, scripted conversations, etc).

Paid shills are a thing because you’re more likely to think favorably if you’re hearing good things about a company from your “friends” on facebook groups or reddit rather than an advertisement. If those “friends” on facebook or reddit are shills, then you’re being advertised to while thinking you’re hearing an actual review from a consumer, creating a positive opinion of yours toward the company without any factual basis.

If you want to know how organic the hype is around the alt you’re about to invest into just go to the bounties forum on bitcointalk.org

Most ICOs have threads on Bitcointalk which give users rewards in their currency to literally shill coins on facebook, twitter, youtube, reddit and forums. This is called a bounty program. The rules are simple: write 5-20 positive comments and threads about the targeted crypto per week on your chosen online platform.

People are being paid for YouTube “Reviews” and all sort of social media related mentions.  Virtually every Youtuber promoting a coin is getting an under the table paid incentive (coins) to shill a coin by the creators of that crypto. This will often be referenced verbally or textually in the video or description, but it many cases it’s not. The shills who aren’t doing this are trying to pump their recent investment.

They do these things because it is currently what we take in the crpyto world as “marketing”

This is the same for TradingView ‘analysis’ – so much of it is just bad TA informing people we’re going up or down based on the authors long or short position.

You should never trust any coin review, ever, unless you look back at a reviewers history and see if they’re just a slimy shill or a real person.

Especially the YouTube people. Never trust anything you see on YouTube about coins. It’s HUGE money, HUGE business for them. The bigger the youtuber, the most suspect you should be.

It’s sad, but that’s life. Money and greed.

The ultimate tip should be: Do your own research!

Be shilled to, that is fine. But do your own research before investing!

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CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com

Rene Peters

Rene Peters

Rene Peters is editor-in-chief of CaptainAltcoin and is responsible for editorial planning and business development. After his training as an accountant, he studied diplomacy and economics and held various positions in one of the management consultancies and in couple of digital marketing agencies. He is particularly interested in the long-term implications of blockchain technology for politics, society and the economy.

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