Youtuber blows whistle on paid gadget news and reviews in India

guaravYoutuber Gaurav Chaudhary, who goes by the name of Technical Guruji, has set off a minor storm in the gadget reviewer circles by accusing many of his peers of passing on paid reviews for the real thing.

Chaudhary dons the mantle of the whistleblower and warns his fellow reviewers and Youtubers not to cheat their audience by posting paid reviews.

“Please care about your audience, make content for them. Brands don’t matter.. if they don’t give a review unit, buy it and do the review,” he urges.

Chaudhary lists the various ways in which the industry allegedly tries to influence reviewers, bloggers and Youtube video makers.

CHOCKING SUPPLY

The primary, and the most effective method involves the denial of the review unit.

Weeks before a product is launched, the company reaches across to the reviewers and journalists, seeking to know if they are interested in carrying an item on the product. If they are, a sample product is sent to them for the purpose of checking.

As a result, one or two weeks before the product hits the market, websites and Youtube are filled with reviews of the upcoming product.

If a person does a nasty appraisal of the product, there is a good chance that he or she will not be approached for the next product. This potentially prevents the professional reviewer from being fully objective and from giving out all the negative factors.

Some brands even insist on ‘reaching an understanding’ about the final content of the article even before the test unit is handed over.

This is also the reason why many people prefer to go by actual user reviews on ecommerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart instead of media, blog or Youtube reviews.

PAID REVIEWS

The second method involves giving cash and non-cash ‘incentives’ to influence the person doing the review. This includes free trips to hill stations and other tourist places, and sometimes ‘forgetting’ to take the review unit back after the article has been published.

On social media, it is also considered acceptable to take money from brands in return for ‘plugging’ their product.

For example, someone who has 100,000 followers on Twitter can make money simply for tweeting that a brand has launched a new product, or for sending out a photo of the product.

In case of smartphones, for example, such sponsored posts involve tweeting or sharing a photo with the tag line, ‘shot with the new XXX model of smartphone’.

The compensation paid ranges from a few tens of thousands of rupees to lakhs of rupees, depending on the number of tweets, videos or posts involved and the number of followers the person has.

AUDIENCE AWARENESS

The main difference between advertisements and paid content is that while in the first case, the audience is told that the medium carrying it is doing so in exchange for money, in the second case, the audience is completely unaware.

This is also the factor highlighted by Chaudhary.



Supreme Court to consider banning charge-sheeted candidates from polls The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a petition that seeks to ban anyone who has been charge-sheeted in a criminal case from contesting elections in India.BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who is among one of the most prolific filers of public interest litigation in India, is among those who had filed such petitions seeking disqualification of such ...
COLUMN: Why it’s hypocritical for Rahul Gandhi to accuse Narendra Modi of taking money from co... One of the interesting aspects of the current accusations and counter accusations around the alleged funding of BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha campaign by corporate houses is the sheer hypocrisy of it.Let's see why.According to third-party figures, an estimated Rs 23,000 cr was spent by candidates and political parties on the 2014 general election.Assu...
Mining baron Sekhar Reddy arrested after Income Tax raids Sand miner Shekar Reddy has been arrested, two weeks after the seizure of crores of rupees and gold in an income tax raid. The arrest has come hours after Income Tax officials conducted a raid on Tamil Nadu's top bureaucrat chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao at his home.It was speculated that Rao's home was raided on the basis of information obtained from...
Rahul Gandhi’s gives ‘earthquake evidence’ on Modi After keeping the nation waiting for 10 days, Rahul Gandhi today dropped his 'bomb' on Narendra Modi that he had promised would 'cause an earthquake'.Gandhi said a company based in Uttar Pradesh has written "that Modi has taken money from them multiple times over six months."Quoting income tax investigation reports, Gandhi said: "They have writt...
Demonetizaton: Govt places limits on last minute deposits The Reserve Bank of India said that any person who continues to hold old notes of 500 and 1000 rupees in bulk will get only one more chance to deposit them into bank accounts and will also have to provide an explanation for the delayed deposit."Tenders of SBNs in excess of ₹ 5000 into a bank account will be received for credit only once during the remain...
SUSPENSE: Will Flipkart sell OnePlus 3 or not? With minutes remaining for the planned 4 PM flash sale of heavily discounted OnePlus 3 phones, the suspense over whether Flipkart will actually go ahead with the sale or not has hit a peak.On social media, there are reports that Flipkart will actually go ahead and conduct a sale anyway.However, there are no signs of the impending flash-sale on the re...
Will OnePlus 3 from Flipkart get warranty support from manufacturer? OnePlus 3, arguably the most successful premium phone of 2016 in India, may not get warranty support from the manufacturer if purchased from Flipkart, going by a statement by the company.The company issued a statement that seemed to suggest that Flipkart's sale of the model is not authorized by the company."We have an exclusive partnership with A...
UPA-era procurement delays kept us back – BSNL CMD BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava blamed delays in procuring key equipment for the present backward condition of the state-owned telecom operator.The company, which was once profitable and dominated India's telecom sector, has run up huge losses in the last several years, while private telecom companies have reaped tens of thousands ...
BSNL JE 2016 recruitment frozen after complaints to DoT – CMD Shrivastava BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said the recruitment of Junior Engineers (JEs) into the telecom company has been frozen by the Department of Telecom on the basis of complaints."It is being held up by the Department of Telecom... due to complaints," Shrivastava said in response to questions by candidates who have qualified in the ex...
Flipkart to sell OnePlus 3 with huge discount; Company says not done! Flipkart, the homegrown ecommerce giant, has listed OnePlus 3 as one of the prominent mobile deals being offered under its 'Big Shopping Days' sale to be held from Saturday, Dec 17 onwards.It has also put up a 'coming soon' page for the sought-after smartphone model.However, OnePlus has an agreement with Amazon India that it will only sell its ph...
Reliance Jio Impact: Online Advertising rates decline in India in November 4G operator Reliance Jio's trial services, which started in earnest about three months ago, has disrupted the online ad industry by massively increasing the total inventory without a commensurate increase in ad budgets.INTERNET EXPLODESToday, Reliance Jio has 50 mln users who, on average use about 1 GB of data per day. This creates 50 mln GB of t...
Petrol Pumps, Airlines Will Not Take Old Notes From Saturday | DEMONETIZATION Old notes will no longer be accepted at petrol pumps and airline ticket counters starting from Saturday, according to sources.So far, petrol pumps and airlines had been given an exemption from demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes.However, in an effort to control the widespread 'whitening' of black money, the government is gearing up to plug...
BJP asks all MPs, MLAs to submit bank statement to party As part of the ongoing crackdown on tax evasion and illicit funds, the Bharatiya Janata Party has asked all its MPs and MLAs to submit the full details of their banking transactions from Nov 8 onwards.The central leadership of the party will examine the bank statements of these representatives to check for any illegal or suspicious cash transactions....
7 ILLOGICAL REASONS to oppose DEMONETIZATION The current demonetization move by the Narendra Modi government has seen a lot of accusations and counter-accusations being levelled by both the supporters and opponents of the move.While the government has tried to deal head on with the official accusations levelled by opposition political parties, a much more subtle misinformation campaign is going o...
DEMONETIZATION: How some earned lakhs standing in queues The government has banned over-the-counter exchange of old 500- and 1000-rupee notes due to suspected gaming of the system by those with black money. According to banking industry sources, the over-the-counter exchange system was being massively misused by hawala operators and others who had illegal funds to convert their old currency into new notes."The...