London Times Caught Cheating Social News Sites

| 1/31/2008 9:08:00 AM

The London Times has been caught resorting to shady practices in search of online friends. Andy Baio at revealed yesterday that he discovered the newspaper’s “extensive campaign to spam social media sites.” Using accounts at over a dozen social news sites, including and StumbleUpon, an employee at an SEO consulting firm hired by the newspaper posted links to hundreds of Times articles under the guise of normal users. This is a bit like those attractive, friendly women you meet at bars who always seem to steer your conversation around to how Bacardi makes a night magic—before encouraging you to buy them another Bacardi and Coke. It’s a bad practice to try to willfully deceive your readers, and at the very least the Times should fire its SEO consultants.

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