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Now Hunger Games and Twilight Breaking Dawn Astroturfing?

Earlier today I posted an article on astroturfing for Mirror Mirror and it’s now been brought to my attention that there were comments made on posts with the Hunger Games trailer on it that are very similar to those made on the Mirror Mirror posts. Again this is some shoddy work here, posting the same exact comment across several blogs, but at least this time they used different names for each. The practice of astroturfing isn’t new of course, posting fake praise as a false grassroots campaign to start up word of mouth. I’ve never seen it work. Why would spreading fake thumbs up comments across the Internet make people want to see something? Especially when they ring so false.

I liked the Hunger Games trailer, was the reception for this one that poor? This has to be the same group of people that did the astroturfing work for Mirror Mirror -it’s just too similar. Since they got away with it on Hunger Games back on November 14th, they felt safe with hitting Mirror Mirror posts only a week later on the 21st. They shouldn’t have. Did they really think nobody would catch on? Look at this screen grab of a savvy commenter who connected the dots in under an hour:

Here’s the comment:

Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG ‘The Hunger Games’ is going to be huge! I can’t wait!!! I’ll be going on opening night with all my girls! Woooo! :)

Putting that into Google will get you a list of the blogs that were hit. Our trailer posting was missed, this is because they’re doing this with software that automated the posting process. They feed into it what they want the comments to be, then a search criteria is given, in this case it was probably “Hunger Games trailer” our post has “Hunger Games Full Trailer” in the title, which is not an exact match.

But wait, it gets more interesting… that Google search revealed a comment on a post for Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I which reads:

Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG it’s almost here! Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is going to be huge! I can’t wait!!! I’ll be going on opening night with all my girls! Woooo! :)

A Google search for the Breaking Dawn comment reveals another swatch of blogs infected with those comments on November 17th, all with the same names that proclaimed they’re going to see Hunger Games with all their girls on opening night. Now this is getting ridiculous. The Twilight series is review proof, so what would be the point of Summit doing this? And these three companies -Lions Gate, Summit, Relativity- all hired the same group? What the hell is going on with this? Is it possible the studios are doing this, or is it just a movie fanatic having a little fun with a new software toy? How many other movie title posts have you seen comments similar to these on?

Here’s a quick list of some of the blog posts that got hit for Hunger Games:

And for Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I: