Streams

Two Moves to Civilize the Internet

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eric Schneiderman, New York's attorney general, talks about his investigation into the online reputation management industry and a settlement with 19 companies over "astro-turfing" -- posing fake positive reviews in order to boost online ratings. Plus: the arrest of former nonprofit director William Rapfogel, and a crackdown on high-frequency trading

Then, Eric Goldman, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law and also director of the High Tech Law Institute there, talks about California's new law requiring online companies to remove online records if a minor requests it. 

Guests:

Eric Goldman and Eric Schneiderman

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Comments [30]

whynotnot from upper left hand corner of wc

It does seem a bit ironic that, if my morning memory serves me, on the same show revealing the workings of search results management companies we have and advertisement for Reputation dot com.

I do wonder, in the context of our laws if this type of behavior is free speech or fraud. Bad behavior to be sure..

Sep. 25 2013 11:45 AM
whynotnot from upper left hand corner of wc

It does seem a bit ironic that, if my morning memory serves me, on the same show revealing the workings of search results management companies we have and advertisement for Reputation dot com.

I do wonder, in the context of our laws if this type of behavior is free speech or fraud. Bad behavior to be sure..

Sep. 25 2013 11:42 AM
John A

Books looking back at the first 25 years of iNet social networking might have a fun ole time documenting all the epic screw-ups, were it not for the actual suicides to have to include. It's a mess. Myspace's failure(?) for one might have been in not anticipating how to keep it's customers safe from self-administered embarrassment.

Sep. 25 2013 11:09 AM
WildRainbows

I think people should take responsibility for their actions. As long as we remember people do stupid things, that's how we learn. But to erase your history will create a senseless society.

Sep. 25 2013 10:59 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Why is anyone upset over the NSA.

Google, Facebook and other websites collect data and massage it to derive conclusions. As Steve Rambam has said, Privacy is DEAD.

Sep. 25 2013 10:50 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Taher from Croton on Hudson said:

> New Science tells us that the teenage brain is still developing up to the age of 25. Not a surprise that teenager do impulsive things.

Then Anthony Weiner AKA Carlos Danger must have a < 25 yo brain.

I predict that we haven't seen the last of Carlos Danger!

Sep. 25 2013 10:47 AM
Bo from in town

I'm having trouble finding a video of yesterday's debate to watch online. Anyone have a link?

Sep. 25 2013 10:44 AM
Jessica K. from Forest Hills

Nothing can be deleted permanently from the internet. See the Way Back Machine: archive.org/web/web.php

Sep. 25 2013 10:41 AM
betsy from brooklyn

We are all naked now.

Sep. 25 2013 10:35 AM
RJ from prospect hts

I'd like to expand on something Patty just said: Not only can a "friend" post an unexpected photo with a kid doing something inane, they also may PHOTOSHOP pictures of their friends for either "amusing" or malicious reasons.

Sep. 25 2013 10:35 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

New Science tells us that the teenage brain is still developing up to the age of 25. Not a surprise that teenager do impulsive things.

Sep. 25 2013 10:34 AM
Dave from Rockaway, NJ

I parent my teen by periodically monitoring her posts and I tell her to delete when it's necessary. The delete function can and should be a parent's ally.

Sep. 25 2013 10:34 AM

so this woman googles interns and finds bad things....did she NOT do anything bad in her life...seems likeshe did ok even with past transgressions...we are hypocrites and jackasses

Sep. 25 2013 10:33 AM
Bo from in town

(Oops, inadvertently put this comment on next segment; sorry!)

Brian, I'd love to hear you address the issue of the power to take down internet items about yourself that someone else put up, to correct misinformation.

I appeared at a town hall meeting and made a comment there. I was photographed and the caption contained a mistake (stating that I was "unemployed" instead of "not working because I'm disabled" which is what I actually said). I contacted the website and asked them to take it down but they didn't.

This is an important issue that is not going to go away.

Thanks.

Sep. 25 2013 10:31 AM
Harry from nyc

Facebook does not delete anything.
At best it makes it unavailable.

This will give you a fake sense of security

Sep. 25 2013 10:31 AM
Adam C from New York

Even if it is removed does it even matter since everything can have a screenshot taken of it and that google caches things forever?

Sep. 25 2013 10:28 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Privacy afforded in the past to those who expressed their views should be continued into the future...without privacy, there is no freedom ..privacy is a basic and fundamental human right

Sep. 25 2013 10:27 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Having just tuned in, I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this but "deleted" emails are not really deleted by the internet service providers, such as GMail, etc.

What is the chance of the law insisting that messages are TRULY deleted?

Sep. 25 2013 10:27 AM
xtina

Friends and family writing reviews? What about the owner? A Japanese owned restaurant near me had ten nearly identical reviews, all written with the same exact grammar and vocabulary mistakes.

Sep. 25 2013 10:14 AM
lin from NYC

I am now wondering about Amazon.com reviews.

Sep. 25 2013 10:14 AM
Chriss from Montclair, NJ

What's the harm here? A bad view at a hotel? A cheeseburger that isn't very good?

Any anyone who chooses a medical professional by ONLY reviewing yelp is crazy. Likewise, the guy who called about a contractor. You check references.

We do not need more laws here- we need to educate folks that, in matters of personal significance, it's best to speak to someone who had experience with the professional you're considering.

Ah, but who cares when you have a politician looking to make headlines.

Sep. 25 2013 10:13 AM
sp from nyc

Mr. Schneiderman is wrong: Yelp is completely corrupt. I had previously read their reviews, but had never written one. I wrote a review for my dog's daycare, which has been outstanding for 12 years, and they censored it because, apparently, it was too positive. I tried repeatedly to contact them, and never got any response. I noticed they had an ad for a competing daycare that came up when I checked mine. I no longer trust ANYTHING on Yelp--it's just an ad site, not a review site. Beware of what you see on Yelp--it's not legit.

Sep. 25 2013 10:12 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

I understand that the AG's office is referring to this as illegal "AstroTurf," borrowing and adopting that term to this context.

Is the AG going treat the original forms of AstroTurf as possibly involving criminal conduct? It comes up in the context of groups supporting NYC library sell-offs:

Monday, September 23, 2013
Sell-Offs Of New York City Libraries Gets Focus In Public Advocate Runoff Race Between James and Squadron

http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2013/09/sell-offs-of-new-york-city-libraries.html

Sep. 25 2013 10:11 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I wonder whether Mr. Schneiderman anticipates any statutory law being created to deal with this problem.

I also believe that the penalties should be a lot more severe. If these companies think that these reviews will help them make money, they should be deprived of those illegally obtained profits AND penalties.

Most of all, however, the companies that accept these false reviews should be exposed so they no longer profit by posting the reviews. As long as the reviews are fake, I can't think why anyone would or should trust them in the future and we'll have to go back to word-of-mouth reviews by people we know.

Sep. 25 2013 10:09 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I don't read positive reviews because they're pretty much worthless. I read negative reviews and ignore some because their fault finding is not something that would bother me. Sometimes I find something minor which is not minor to me. I am far more likely to be influenced not to buy rather than being influenced to make a purchase. A few years ago I posted a negative review of a jacket on the website of a tv shopping channel and the post was pulled based on a silly, non-existent reason. That's when I began to take negative reviews much more seriously.

Sep. 25 2013 10:09 AM
pliny from soho

some of the reviews
especially the bad ones
are spot on

Sep. 25 2013 10:08 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Didn’t WNYC advertise for a company called Reputation.com?

Sep. 25 2013 10:08 AM
k

What's the crime exactly? Is it illegal to give a good review of your company? what is the crime?

Sep. 25 2013 10:05 AM
Robert from NYC

I have to say I've often wonder who does the reviews of restaurants not only on Yelp but even Grubhub and other such sites. Who's to stop the owners' friends and families to write five star reviews!! I've tried restaurants based on no reviews just because I wanted to try them the later read reviews only to see that I couldn't believe some of those five star reviewers who are either paid or related to the owners or have absolutely not idea what good food is. Of course the last is always a possibility!

Sep. 25 2013 10:04 AM
Brenda from New York City

I wonder if we're getting confused about the message and the medium. People have been making exaggerated (and false) claims and reviews since there was something to review. Unless you trust the source you generally don't heed a review. The fact that those claims are being made on the internet doesn't make us less discerning does it?
http://heresheisboys.com/2013/09/24/blaming-the-messenger/

Sep. 25 2013 08:58 AM

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