- Posted August 17, 2012 by
Reche Canyon CA, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Ask the iReport community
'Payola' Scandal Rocks CNN IReport's Citizen Journalist Platform
CNN: 'The Most Trusted Name In News'. Anderson Cooper: 'Keeping Them Honest'. Larry King: 'If You Do Something, Expect Consequences'!
After a three week investigation by several top rated and long term senior Ireporters, it was revealed that "The Most Viewed Ireporter" on CNN's citizen journalism platform was alleged to have purchased millions of views for her stories in a 'botting' scam.
Yes, you can buy up to 10,000 views for your ireports for a measly $10 in U.S. dollars. The software 'pings' servers worldwide, generating thousands of fake views to the reporters stories.
The alleged cheating scandal has rocked the close knit ireport comunity to its core. The top Ireporters have contacted the ireport staff in Atlanta, and this is their response - and their 'final answer':
"We have removed over 5 million views from her reporters profile. She has been warned never to use the practice again..." "Since it was not against the 'terms and conditions' at the time of the alleged incidents, there is nothing else we can do".
However, she will not be banned from the site for this alleged cheating scandal, that reminds us of the payola scandals in Radio back in the 60's.
And the scam does not end with botting and pinging external servers for thousands of fake views. This ireporter is also alleged to have purchased hundreds of thousands of fake Twitter and Facebook 'followers' in an effort to inflate her page views.
Now she is alleged to be re-tweeting even her old stories from 2009, still trying to game the system and increase her views.
This ireporter also won the 'Community Service Award' for 2012, this award is voted on by the rest of the ireport community. But how many of these votes were fake also?
So, I would urge this ireporter to do the right thing: Issue a public apology and admit to the alleged misdeeds. She can delete her own account and start over.
With her coming forward and being accountable for her alleged actions, we would welcome her back with open arms. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but few choose to step up to the plate and admit to their sins.
The Ireport team and we assume CNN legal has threated many of the most senior, experienced, and long term ireporters via email today that 'They will ban all of us' if our protests continue.
So, punish the hard working, honest citizen journalists that built the site into the worldwide force that is today - and keep and continue to 'Vett' the stories of the alleged cheater?
What a slap in the face to the entire citizen journalist community worldwide. This injustice actually made me cry today!
So, CNN, this story is big news in the ireport community. It is big news worldwide...hundreds of ireporters have have contacted me in the last few weeks.
There are many great, solid ireporters that we have already lost to this alleged scandal. The have terminated their accounts, or are no longer posting news reports.
So, a special note to CNN Producers: I have saved this ireport to my hard drive just in case you try to censor it, delete it, or ban me. This is big news in our community that finally needs to come public.
I am claiming my free speech rights, and I am doing my job as a citizen journalist. Please do not censor, delete, or pull this important ireport.
For the reporters that comment, please do not mention her by name. Lets protect her dignity, treat her with class.
Most viewed ireporter? You know who you are and what in your heart what you need to do: 1) A public apology to us. 2) Give the award back so CNN can give it to the rightful owner. 3) Delete your account, start over...and stay honest.
Love to all of the beautiful friends that we have made since joining ireport 4 years ago. We could have not done it without you...
Love and Hugs, Al & Roberta