• Pandemanium@lemm.ee
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    4 months ago

    I was skeptical as I’ve never heard of House Fresh before, but this is a damn good expose. It’s not just Google causing the problem with their SEO, it’s big publications selling out their good reputation to private equity firms. When I was looking for mattress recommendations I felt like there was something weird going on but it wasn’t the usual obviously sponsored product or thinly-disguised info-ad.

    A few excerpts from the article, which is pretty long but definitely worth the read:

    CNET bought an entire smart home back in 2015 in order to test products. That was before they were acquired by Red Ventures and found themselves selling the house after reporters told The Verge they were feeling pressured to change their reviews to be more favorable to brands that were being advertised on CNET.

    A few months ago, Futurism uncovered how Sports Illustrated was publishing ‘best of’ articles by fake, AI-generated writers. The magazine’s publisher, The Arena Group, washed their hands of it by stating that the “articles in question were product reviews and were licensed content from an external, third-party company, AdVon Commerce.”

    These Digital Goliaths are utilizing their websites’ authority and the public’s trust in their brands to sell every product under the sun.

    They’re buying magazines we love, closing their print operations, turning them into digital-only, laying off the actual journalists who made us trust in their content in the first place, and hiring third-party companies to run the affiliate arm of their sites.

    And while they do all this, they’re telling you to buy:

    Products from brands that are bankrupt and have class action lawsuits for false advertising against them
    Outdated, inefficient, and underpowered air purifiers that won’t actually clean the air in your home
    Overpriced devices powered by fancy marketing tactics that will perform as well as units half the price