SEO Whizz Network – Rohit Kishore, How an unscrupulous Freelancer Spam Our Facebook Page with 1-Star Reviews
SEO Whizz Network – Rohit Kishore
How a Freelancer Spam Our Facebook Page with 1-Star Reviews – Here’s Our Story
As an agency, we have worked with numerous freelancers from Upwork/elance, freelancer.com and fiverr.com.
On Freelancer.com We have been active since 2009 with over 400+ Projects and 117 5* positive reviews clocked and, over USD50,000 Spend
On Elance (Migrated to Upwork.com) We have clocked over 220+ Projects and spent over USD40,000 Spend
Background We have previously worked with Rohit Kishore from SEO Whizz Network on Upwork once before.
It went well so we gave him a 5-star rating and offered him 2 additional projects to work on in Mid May 2016.
One on freelancer.com , another on upwork.com. One of the projects involves the administrative task of gathering information from the internet and organizing them onto a google doc.
However, some working issues arose during this engagement
- We received his work and were “disappointed” by it. Why?
- We randomly checked 5 entries and found errors in 4 of them
- Naturally, we were unhappy as we wanted to pay a freelancer who could give us a solution. Instead, we ended up having to check his work as the task was passed back and fro with 80% errors.
- At this point, Rohit Kishore from SEO Whizz Network has also submitted a milestone release request so we disputed it on freelancer.com as we didn’t want it released for the unsatisfactory work.
- Rohit Kishore from SEO Whizz Network took offense to the dispute. So he started to call us “uncivilized” and “insane” and started to threaten us with a negative reputation campaign and negative SEO on the separate project on UpWork.
- Rohit Kishore from SEO Whizz Network started to post negative reviews on our Facebook page with around 20+ fake accounts all with Indian based IPs address within 1-2 hours apart.
1 Star Facebook Spamming by Freelancer
Indian Profiles with hardly any active Facebook Usage
- At this point, we rationalized, that best way to move forward was to escalate the issue to Freelancer.com arbitration process.
(a) During the arbitration process, SEO Whizz Network – Rohit Kishore even tried to fabricate evidence submitting a doctored screenshot showing this
This was however easily debunked as we easily provided the arbitrator live access to past chat history. This is
what we said.
(b) In the end, the arbitration ended in our favor. His subsequent appeal to have the amount reduced to $29 was also rejected .
And his account was subsequently closed https://www.freelancer.com/u/rohitkish.html
Rohit Kishore from SEO Whizz Network continues to claim that we are out there to deliberately cheat him.
Our response was that if he really thinks so, then why would we repost the project and engage another freelancer to settle it?
The project has since been completed and the freelancer rated a 5-star feedback. This is also a cautionary tale for other employers who are interested in engaging freelancers from such freelancing sites.
Lesson 1: Facebook’s Rating System Is Seriously Flawed…and in most cases, they aren’t willing to help you because this is a small issue to them.
You are likely to just received a generic canned response saying that your comments will help Facebook improve in the future. To disable a negative rating attack, you can either change your page category from business to website or adjust the country visibility setting.
Lesson 2: Ratings Are The New Currency for online gangsterism
Can’t get your way? Disagree with someone? Ok, I will do a negative review to “get back” at you.
Lesson 3: You can easily purchase 100 negative reviews online for as little as $14
Lesson 4: Taking Matters into your own hands
1. If you are a consumer brand, you could start gathering support among your existing customers to put a positive review in for you.
2. However being a B2B brand, the most practical thing for us was to hide the “reviews” by changing the Facebook page category. The next thing was to expose Rohit Kishore to prevent other employers from falling victim as there are limits to what platforms like Elance and Freelancer can do to root out such people. At the same time, you could link each of his “negative review” spam to the response creating a virality.
Lesson 5: Tit for Tat
“Why don’t you just buy 1 stars Facebook likes right back?” many have asked us. Well, we rationalized that it wasn’t an ethical business practice and an eye for an eye just makes the world go blind.
So we decided to put this episode behind us and focus back on our business.
Lesson 6: No response can be seen as acceptance. – We Got Hit Again With A Second Wave Of Fake Reviews 2 weeks later on another related Facebook Page
Fighting back, we have decided not to remove these fake reviews but instead linking it back to our response.
This clearly isn’t the first time such things have happened and clearly, it wouldn’t be the last.
There may be no formal way to stop anyone from doing this to your Facebook page but what we can do is to rely on our own track record and conduct.