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As a result of a year-long investigation, New York regulators will announced on September 23, 2013 that they would crackdown on deceptive and fake Internet reviews on products and services. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.


1. Where were some of the fake reviewers located (i.e., countries)?
2. Who are some of the companies that were fined?
3. What was the range of penalties?
4. Besides state Attorneys General, which Federal regulators would be interested in “astroturfing?” Explain.


Seltzer, L. (2013). Astroturfing dragnet laid by New York State. ZDNet, Sep. 24 (Retrievable online at

Streitfeld, D. (2013). Give Yourself 5 Stars? Online, It Might Cost You . The New York Times, September 22 (Retrievable online at,r:6,s:0,i:108&iact=rc&page=1&tbnh=183&tbnw=276&start=0&ndsp=24&tx=89&ty=59