Microsoft Accused of Unfairly Promoting Xbox One

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is being accused of manipulating comments about the soon-to-be released Xbox One on social media site Reddit.

Reddit users (called 'Redditors') can post news articles, reviews, photos, etc., on the site and have the public vote a submission "up" or "down" in an effort to rank the post and determine its position on the site's pages.

Now, a Redditor using the alias "mistysilver" claims Microsoft representatives have been voting up positive comments about the Xbox One and voting down negative posts about the console, which is expected to be released later this year.

Microsoft Employees Seen Using Reddit

"I work for a marketing firm in Redmond that has a contract with Microsoft," mistysilver said.

"We had a semi-formal meeting in one of the larger meeting rooms, followed by lunch and some more touring. At one point we visited one of the Xbox offices, and our guide went off to find a particular manager for us to meet. Just nearby were two guys chatting at one of their PCs, and they caught my attention because they were on Reddit!" (Source:

The post went on to describe the conversation between the Microsoft employees, claiming the two discussed having generated hits on a few of their submissions to the site and reasoning that they should start spending much more time on Reddit's main gaming forum.

The anonymous tipster also claims to have seen these Microsoft employees down-voting negative comments on the site.

New Division Raises Questions

Another report notes that Microsoft recently hired public relations staff to act as "reputation management" for the Xbox One. People in this division are reportedly responsible for creating a positive impression about the console and highlighting its main features ahead of the competition.

Reddit admits that, if Microsoft did post their own comments on the site, it would be perfectly acceptable. However, when a company "pretend[s] to be someone else" or "create[s] mass downvote or upvote campaigns," it has violated the site's rules and regulations.

When asked for a statement, Microsoft insisted that "there is no coordinated or sanctioned effort by Microsoft employees, or anyone paid by Microsoft, to unduly influence Reddit or other online forums." (Source:

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