Symantec caught astroturfing blog comments

In this day and age of social media and reputation management it isn’t unusual to find companies on places like Twitter and Facebook looking to improve their image. I’ve even had experiences of company representatives showing up in the comments of posts I have written to defend their company but for the most part it is done with full disclosure of who they are.

It is a lesson that Symantec apparently hasn’t learned as the bloggers over at Geeks Are Sexy have caught an employee of the company posting anonymously about how great Symantec’s products are:

A little earlier today, I posted about Symantec’s brilliant new ad campaign, asking if any of you guys had any experience with their new Norton home security products. I mean, I haven’t used any of these in years, mainly because of their reputation as bloatware, so I was kind of curious if they improved over time. The next thing I know, an anonymous user leaves this comment:

These products absolutely have gotten better since 2008. They are a complete reinvention of the old Norton bloat-ware and in my opinion are way less resource-intensive than comparable products today. In fact, Norton Internet Security and Norton 360 are consistently ranked #1 or 2 in industry reviews.

It was such a glowing review from an anonymous commenter that I started to get a little suspicious. I grabbed the person’s IP (216.10.193.X), and did an IP lookup on it.

OrgName: Symantec Corporation
City: Cupertino
StateProv: CA
Country: US

Symantec Corporation? NO WAY!

Yup, caught red-handed.

Personally I don’t like Symantec’s Norton line of products and have always recommended competing products when it comes to anti-virus and security related software. I have even less respect for the company after something like this btu still had to have good laugh over the idea that the employee of a security software company didn’t think a blogger would be smart enough to check an IP address, and then blog about it.