Looks Like Samsung Has Built An Army Devoted To Making Apple Look Bad Online

When you play dirty, sometimes you get caught with your pants down.

When you play dirty, sometimes you get caught with your pants down.

Apple and Samsung aren’t on the best of terms. Since Apple won a $1 billion patent lawsuit against Samsung in U.S. court last year, the two have been at each other’s throats in the media. Samsung’s Galaxy TV ads depict Apple customers as mindless sheep. Apple’s Phil Schiller recently went on the offensive against Samsung on the eve of the S4 announcement. The two are clearly at odds.

Would Samsung result to bashing Apple in online article comments? It appears so. In fact, the Korean company may have its own army dedicated to trolling the comments sections of blog posts.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a great writer who covers Apple over at Fortune Tech’s Apple 2.0 column for CNNMoney. Over the weekend, he wrote an article examining the possibility that Samsung is in the midst of a full-blown PR campaign hellbent on defaming Apple. One of his main points was that Samsung recently admitted to paying Taiwanese students to bash HTC phones online. Reports of the same activity have also popped up in other parts of the world. It looks very similar to how China was paying celerities to slam Apple on social networks.

Now Samsung may be deploying its army of commenters in the United States. DeWitt’s article received 300+ comments in 24 hours. He explained the reaction in a follow-up post:

The post drew more that the usual number of comments. Twenty six hours later, we’re up to 343 messages and counting. Some readers supported the thesis. Some ridiculed it. Some attacked Apple. Some attacked me.

That kind of thing comes with the territory, although not usually in such numbers or with such vehemence. But what happened at about 2 a.m. EST — Sunday afternoon in Seoul, South Korea — was new.

In the space of a few hours, more than a thousand votes were cast on the DISQUS feedback system, voting down any comment remotely anti-Samsung and voting up anything — no matter how inane, in-artful or wrong — that disparaged Apple, the thesis, or me.

Read his whole post (including some of the comments) and decide for yourself.

If Apple resorts to this kind of activity, then it’s time to sell your stock.

  • Robert X

    Samsucks proves its company quality again.

  • ModelSociety

    Honestly… I thought it was obvious. Suddenly every financial article regarding Apple I would read had dozens of hateful vicious comments that spread fear about the stock and ridiculed both the products, and the people how used them. It clearly seemed like an agenda. Normal people don’t communicate like that. It has seemed like a holy war… almost like unbridled racism against a company instead of an ethnicity.

    I simply assumed that everyone could just tell that there was an army of people being paid to fight a comment war.

    I hope more of this comes to light. I hope you guys stay on top of it.

  • Bguss

    First it was Microsoft, now it’s Samsung. Haters gonna hate. If you can’t beat them, slander them. Didn’t work all those years for Microsoft. Won’t work for Samsung.

  • RobGcf

    One of the many reasons I’ll never own another Samsung product. And I hate that I have one of their f’ing TVs. And it’s not as good as the Toshiba it replaced.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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