Unscrupulous organizations are using "crowdturfing" techniques -- essentially crowdsourced social spamming -- to promote their interests and bash rival groups and brands, researchers say. Crowdturfers pay foreign workers pennies to churn out thousands of messages praising their brand or disparaging their competitors. "This industry is millions of dollars per year already and [shows] roughly exponential growth. I think we're still in the early stages of this phenomenon," researcher Ben Zhao says.
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