Microsoft Allegedly Pays for Positive Xbox One Press on YouTube Videos Tagged with ‘XB1M13’

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 21 2014 10:34 AM
Looking for video reviews of Microsoft's Xbox One console on YouTube? You may want to play close attention to the tags, one of which may indicate that the video you're watching is little more than a paid advertisement and not a true review. The latest rumor making the rounds is that of a stealth promotional campaign involving Microsoft and Machinima.

If you jump down the rabbit hole like we did, you end at iGamerResponsibly, which posted the supposed contents of an email from Machinima offering its video partners a monetary incentive to post Xbox One content. To qualify for the $3 CPM bonus, users had to incorporate at least 30 seconds of gameplay or footage of any Xbox One game, verbally mention in the video they were playing on the Xbox One, tag the video with "XB1M13," follow the guidelines listed in the assignment, and submit the YouTube link through Poptent.

Xbox One Controller

While a little sketchy, that alone isn't cause to cry foul, especially if the person uploading the video posts a disclosure that it's a paid video. However, Arstechnica points to a leaked copy of the full legal agreement associated with the promotion, and according to the terms, participants "may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its games." Furthermore, the details of the promotion must be kept confidential in order to qualify for payment.

NOW you can cry foul, because a paid review in which you're not allowed to say anything negative about the product you're examining is not a review at all, but a marketing tactic, and a potentially illegal one at that. The bottom line here is be wary of YouTube videos with the tag XB1M13, and if you want a truly unbiased look at the Xbox One, look no further than the one posted here at HotHardware (as well as our YouTube video above, which in no way participated in Machinima's promotion).
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Johnny3D replied on Tue, Jan 21 2014 11:44 AM

Cool. I hope more companies do that. I write or say positive things about products all the time. It would be nice to be paid for it.

Getting outraged about this seems silly. Should Microsoft pay people for complaining about their product? No. Are they paying people to make good reviews? Nope... they're just paying people who have good things to say about their product. If you want to say something negative about it, then you don't get paid... they're not stopping you from saying negative things about their products, they're just not paying you to do it.

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Paul_Lilly replied on Tue, Jan 21 2014 11:58 AM

I couldn't disagree more. and the same may be true of the FCC, which as Arstechnica points out, requires full disclosure when there's "a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement."

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Jan 21 2014 12:27 PM

> "they're not stopping you from saying negative things about their products, they're just not paying you to do it."

They're paying people to drown out your voice.

I'd rather not have to read through a ton of whitewashing sockpuppets when considering purchases, and neither should you.  Just because you like this one product does not mean you should condone the behavior.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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Does not really surprise me. They are not the only ones doing it im sure ;) GAME BEEF

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RiCoFrost replied on Tue, Jan 21 2014 5:22 PM

And other companies pay people to write bad press about competitors.... the shit all goes around.

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RiCoFrost replied on Tue, Jan 21 2014 5:25 PM

I have to say there is a lot more negative information about products because people are simply misinformed or don't understand it.

Whats the saying if someone hates something they will tell 10 people if someone likes something they will tell 2 people.

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Well they didn't pay me

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