Browse Definitions :
Definition

sock puppet marketing

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Sock puppet marketing is the use of a false identity to artificially stimulate demand for a product, brand or service. A false identity on the Internet is known colloquially as a sock puppet or catfish, depending upon the level of detail attached to the false identity.  Typically, a sock puppet has very little (if any) detail attached to it and may simply be a fictional name attached to a new Google or Yahoo email account.   

Sock puppet marketing is one example of astroturfing, the practice of artificially stimulating online conversation and positive reviews about a product, brand or service.  Because sock puppets can be created quickly and do not need to be maintained, they are often used on social media sites to grow public interest or conversely, denigrate a competitor’s product, brand or service. Many websites that rely on customer reviews have mechanisms in place to discourage the use of sock puppets.  Some sites, for example, will only allow a verified customer to post a review.

Sock puppet marketing and sock puppetry in general are unethical and in some cases, illegal. If detected, sock puppet marketing efforts can have a negative impact, causing potential customers to lose trust and wonder if the product or service is so lacking in value that it cannot be effectively promoted honestly.  In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the legal authority to levy fines if a company engages in sock puppet marketing.  

Matt Cutts, from Google, explains the hazards of sock puppet marketing:

See also: reputation management, social media influence, content marketing, gaming the system, Internet shill

This was last updated in January 2018

Continue Reading About sock puppet marketing

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • certificate authority (CA)

    A certificate authority (CA) is a trusted entity that issues digital certificates, which are data files used to cryptographically...

  • hacktivism

    Hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose.

  • advanced persistent threat (APT)

    An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a prolonged and targeted cyberattack in which an intruder gains access to a network and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Cerner Corp.

    Cerner Corp. is a public company in North Kansas City, Mo., that provides various health information technologies, ranging from ...

  • clinical decision support system (CDSS)

    A clinical decision support system (CDSS) is an application that analyzes data to help healthcare providers make decisions and ...

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD (solid-state drive)

    An SSD (solid-state drive) is a type of nonvolatile storage media that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.

  • file system

    In a computer, a file system -- sometimes written filesystem -- is the way in which files are named and where they are placed ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close