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This topic contains 17 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  SwissExPat 7 Dec 2018
at 17:45
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • mkcol74
    Participant

    It may just be me however I’ve noticed a sudden influx of comments on the news articles lately. Not all of them but there seems to be a subset.

    For example look at all the chatter going on on this Emirates A380 anniversary service piece.

    Is the site being spammed?


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Morning,

    I’m keeping an eye on it, but once an article reaches a certain stage it seems to take off in that way.

    Another example is Singapore Airlines pyjamas debate.

    Why Singapore Airlines doesn’t provide pyjamas on world’s longest flight

    This received over 50 comments.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Bath_VIP
    Participant

    Having now just read the comments on this article, I would say it is more likely than not to be a spam attack by someone who wants to support Emirates for whatever reason.

    The comments immediately brought back memories of my online dating days and back then I quickly learned which female profiles were probably fake and which were probably genuine. One of the key differences was brevity. Brief comments and sentences, short and largely incomplete profiles were usually indications of a spammer whereas genuine people add more depth. So if someone is praising Emirates here, I’d expect to hear details about why that is and relate specific examples. Out of the 30 or so comments, well over 20 are single sentences with bland and vague sentiments. I also notice that many are by usernames that I don’t recognise and look to be first time posters.

    Edited to add that I’ve taken a look at the Singapore Airlines examples that Tom referred to and that is a clear contrast to the Emirates article. The majority of comments are 3 sentences or more (usually complete) and refer to specific details so they look to be genuine.

    Tom – as a statistician, I would put the probability of this being a spam attack at over 90%.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    rferguson
    Participant

    It’s like TripAdvisor reviews – the first thing I look at is how many reviews the reviewer has made. If their amazing or terribly negative review is their sole one i’ll pay little attention to it focusing more on the reviewers that have done ten plus reviews. I like that you can see how many comments or reviews tripadvisor members have left. I wish Skytrax would do the same.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I suppose, but with Trip Advisor there’s some purpose to it, while with the comments on stories, there isn’t any gain – they don’t build a profile, there are no links allowed, so it’s just a name.
    It doesn’t give them the rights after, say, 10 postings, to do anything more than comment on stories, and for Emirates stories, we just get a lot of comments.
    It is one of the biggest airlines in the world, so any news about them seems to attract a lot of comments.
    Just because something is low grade content doesn’t necessarily make it spam, and the majority of people who comment on stories make only one or two comments and then leave.
    Finally, if it was spam, we’d get it on other pieces as well.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    PhilipHart
    Participant

    In support of @rferguson‘s assertion, check out this guy’s video explaining how he totally gamed TripAdvisor: I Made My Shed the Number One Restaurant in London 🙂


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    With so many pax they must have some who like their service ‘though it does seem a bit one-sided and I never fly EK because of previously bad service.
    It could be EK staff PR, I think the Americans call them “lurkers”!
    I once made a humorous comment on another site about an American logistics company taking over a European one – about getting too many brown vans pushing us off the road – and their lurkers stepped in immediatly with good comments – without success because they didn’t buy it. Its just entertainment!


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    True, but that article was read 20,000 times over the weekend, so it’s only a small proportion of people reading who comment. Perhaps they want to see their names in ‘print’


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I am suspicious. Most of the comments, are effusively over the top in their fulsome praise of EK, and are not written in the style that I would expect of a reader of Business Traveller Magazine. Only two, mine and one other, are negative.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. BT Magazine is not in the public domain and has limited readership, but some of those comments could have been taken from the Daily Mail readers’ comments page.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    I spent some time to read all the comments and it doesn’t look spam mail at all to me.
    People (may be first timers) just congratulating the airlines for the milestone and sharing their good experience. Compared to all American and most European airlines, Emirates is definitely better (mine and many people opinion), so nothing fishy about these comments.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Due to some business commitments in Dubai, and as Emirates offer a free stopover, it made sense for me to recently route my last three journeys to South Africa via Dubai with Emirates. I experienced First, Business and Economy in 16 segments, 12 on the 380 and 4 on the 777.

    Being objective and putting aside the politics, First is good but by no means as polished as Swiss or Lufthansa. I would describe it as an enhanced business product. You do have suites but I’m not so bothered by that, but what I do like is the very large bathroom on the 380 with a shower. The 777 bathroom is pitifully small and no better than an economy bathroom on any other airline – room for improvement there EK. As regards the shower, at first it was a novelty to be able to shower at 35,000 feet, and then useful on 1 occasion. Otherwise I did not bother.

    The crew are very friendly, but the same goes for LX/LH crew. Recently on going to use the bathroom on LH’s 747 at night over the Atlantic, the FA opened the door and then lowered the window blind. Nice touch, but as I thanked her I asked who was going to see me? It was too soon for Santa to be flying past and despite Lufthansa keeping their planes very clean, I don’t think anyone was going to be cleaning the outside windows at 35,000′!

    As for the lounges outside of Dubai, you share them with the Business class pax and there is no priority boarding. Not that it matters as it’s all very quick and efficient.
    One other way EK’s product is inferior to LH/LX is they do not escort you through security and immigration, nor greet you on arrival at your destination and assist you with your baggage. But then again they are about 30% cheaper than LH/LX so I suppose some cuts have to be made.

    On my flight in August, the plane was only Business / Economy, with the front section normally used for First configured all economy. My son was with me, me in C and he in Y, so I put him upstairs to be closer to me. It was my first flight in Business with them (though I had a First class ticket/fare) and to be honest found the seat very uncomfortable. Seeing my son had all 4 seats to himself, and sitting next to him to try the seat, I was surprised by the legroom and the overall comfort, to the extent I told him he could have my Business seat. He thought I was joking but I wasn’t so he really enjoyed his flight, which was a day flight of 6 hours from Dubai to Milan. I’m not sure i could do that for a 9 hour overnight but i was impressed and did get some excellent service, in fact much better than that given to the other pax, but this was probably due to the fact they knew I held a first class ticket, and no objections when i went to the bar at the back. What was impressive was the size of the bathroom, which was the first class bathroom minus the shower.

    All in all, and again politics aside, I was impressed but will still choose Swiss and Lufthansa over them.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I am suspicious. Most of the comments, are effusively over the top in their fulsome praise of EK, and are not written in the style that I would expect of a reader of Business Traveller Magazine. Only two, mine and one other, are negative.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. BT Magazine is not in the public domain and has limited readership, but some of those comments could have been taken from the Daily Mail readers’ comments page.

    Hello, it is in the public domain.

    Magazine: The current print run in the UK alone is 80,000 for the December / January issue (65,000 normally), and this website also is the website for Business Traveller Asia-Pacific and Business Traveller India. Worldwide there are around 500,000 copies each month (there are 14 print editions).

    As for the website, well yes, anyone can visit and make a comment (provided I approve it, which I do unless it is spam or offensive etc…)

    Most of the comments on that piece are positive, but then again, most of the comments on BA are negative. And then you have comments such as these, which are, well, a little odd…

    Liverpool’s historic North Western Hotel to become Radisson Red


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Tom, sorry, my words were badly chosen. I probably shouldn’t post on the internet until after my second cup of tea.

    Of course it’s in the public domain, what I meant was that it is not a publication of general interest to the public, to Joe Soap, the man in the street. It’s a publication appealing to a niche market, and comments such as below really don’t strike me as being of the calibre that most business travellers reading a publication such as BT would make.

    Warm Welcome this Fantastic Super Jambo to PAKISTAN
    We hope you the best
    Happy 10th Anniversary for the First Class Service frm Heathrow to Dubai. God bless
    Emirates put the seven of us up in hotel for 36 hours all expensive paid and returned our money within 36 hours. Well done Emirates we will see you again in 2020

    That said, you obviously know your readership better than I do.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I think you’re right. Certainly not a typical reader. Great to read such enthusiam though!


    Henryp1
    Participant

    I don’t think there is a typical reader as a public site available to all and numerous types of people research travel, be it business or leisure. The public articles and forum etc are not highly technical, and comments made may well be from leisure travellers, people who’s first language is not English or just being very casual/street in style. Just about anyone wanting to pick up a little bit of information about travel.

    There may also be the comments posted as a joke or in ‘humour’. The days of having to be a particular type of person are fortunately long gone and our society no longer has the barriers it once did. As the stats show, there are far more readers than forum posters.

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