Monday, February 27, 2006

Visit a Site HITs

Visit a Site HITs have been floating around for a while, and today I got a chance to do a little investigating on them. To be plain, these appear to be click-fraud, using mTurk to get users to click ads. When the ads are clicked the advertiser pays them so much for each click. Here's the HIT I am going to break down.

It takes you here, where it wants you to click on one of two redirection URLs. Which are redirected by an Advertising agency, whose affiliate program's TOS states
".12. You agree not to artificially inflate the number of clicks, impressions or other activity, nor to permit others to do so"
Using mTurk to inflate the numbers is clearly a violation. Now all of the questions in the HIT simply allow the scammer to figure out what pays the most, and whether you actually clicked on the ad or not (the IP request).

Now on mTurk's side, it doesn't appear to be a violation of the TOS. But obviously advertisers don't pay people to pay others to pointlessly click on their ads, they pay you when people who are interested in the product click on their ad, not when you pay people to click on them.

So here's basically what Phillip Tattum has setup, a Turker clicks on ads on his website, the advertising agency pays him so much for every time an ad is clicked, he then pays the Turker 5 cents of this. So the Turker profits, Phillip profits, and the company that paid for advertising gets scammed. Not Good. I've forwarded this to Web Gains so they can take a look.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phillip Tattum needs to be banned as
a requester, he is wasting our time.

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Phillip Tattum said...

Fair comments from the blog owner here.
The reason the HIT value is so low is because up until yesterday we had no sure fire way of tracking the HIT, so were just approving everyone who entered anything even remotely near to what should have been in the answers.

With regards to the affiliate accounts, we run a very high profile UK based rewards website, and are looking at transfering to the american market, the Mturk system is an ideal way to test the water. ALL the advertisers we provide have agreed to incentive advertising, and have all agreed to the incentive being offered (for Ebay, by having it so low, both us and our affiliate manager feel it will deter people doing it just for the money)
If anyone needs proof of the affiliate agreements, they are more then welcome to contact me at phil@look2.co.uk and we'll have no hesitation in providing this (just like we have provided to Amazon.com)

I understand the concerns for the HITS being so low in value, but this is something which will be changing very shortly, where we will operate on a 75% returned, 25% retained basis, making HITS like Ebay worth $9 etc.

Those of you interested in the US arm of our rewards site, keep your eyes on www.itpays2shop.com

1:29 PM  

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