SciFi Wire did some neat investigate reporting and found that hundreds of spam accounts have shown up on Twitter all to tweet the exact same message promoting Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. None of these accounts seem to have followers, so it looks like they were set up simply to appear in searches for the key word Transformers (or perhaps to make it a Trending Topic).
This is pretty fascinating to me because it looks like a step the studios are taking to combat the power of instant buzz. My bad review of Revenge of the Fallen probably has little impact (realistically) but a teen looking at his Twitter feed and seeing a dozen other friends hating on the movie definitely makes a difference.
But this, of course, is just a first step. I don’t know who really clicks on the Trending Topics or does searches (and anyone with a brain doing a search on ‘Transformers’ would have noticed the hundreds of identical tweets), and to really battle bad buzz Paramount needs to get the good buzz into people’s actual feeds. Could that come by paying regular people to tweet nice things about the movie? I have to imagine someone out there is being paid by corporations just to man dummy a bunch of dummy Facebook and Twitter accounts that try to shape buzz.
Honestly, I think studios have beaten the critics. Can they now beat the fans?