Accused of Fraud

October 18, 2006 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, News 842 views

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Yesterday, when I tried to log into Revver, I was told that my account did not exist. When I submitted this problem to their help system, they told me that my account had been suspended due to suspicion of click fraud, and that I had been emailed about it already. Sure enough, in my Junk email folder, I found this email:

Subject: Account termination

Dear Sir,

We have detected suspicious activity that may be indicative of fraudulent click-through activity on a number of your videos in violation of section 5 of the Revver Terms of Use. As a result, we have suspended your account pending further investigation.

For your information, here is the relevant section of our Terms of Use which you have agreed to:

“You shall not, and shall not authorize any party to generate automated, fraudulent or otherwise invalid impressions or clicks. If, in Revver’s reasonable business judgment, activity related to your Account is suspected or determined to be so-called “click-fraud” or “impression fraud” (the illicit manipulation of advertising revenue), whether in any automated or human way, by the use of a person, an automated script or a computer program (for example, online robots or “bots”) to click on a Site advertisements, or any other fraudulent means, to increase impressions, skew results or imitate a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad for the purpose of generating an improper click value and generating revenue, Revver may suspend or otherwise disable your Account until such time as the matter is resolved to Revver’s satisfaction. You acknowledge that Revver, or a third-party designated by Revver, may use cookies to monitor visitor information in order to track suspicious clicks through
source and behavior of the click traffic in accordance with the Privacy Policy (http://www.revver.com/privacyPolicy/). As further described in Section 3 (“Payment”) of the Content Licensor Agreement, (http://www.revver.com/contentLicensor) Revver retains the right not to credit your Account for those clicks that it reasonably determines or suspects are fraudulent.”

Yours Sincerely,

Ian Clarke
Revver Inc.

Notice that it sounds much less like “suspension”, and much more like “termination”, even though they claim that they will do some sort of investigation using cookies. Personally, it doesn’t sound like they care that much about proving my innocence.

I, of course, know myself to be innocent. However, I did notice, and blog about, some suspicious results on my account page recently. If any one of you, my dear blog readers, are clicking multiple times on my videos, or clicking on every video, please stop.

This “guilty until proven innocent” policy really sucks when you are the one accused. It’s not even remotely fair. I can only imagine how the folks at Guantanamo must feel.

I understand the need to avoid click fraud. And by all means, put my account in “cookie tracking” mode for a week or two, until the malicious IP address can be located and the clicks from said IP expunged from my earnings. But disabling my login and talks of “termination” seem too extreme to me.

I’ve done nothing wrong, and treating your customers this way is not a good way to maintain a good business.

 
  • Paul

    Hmm. I guess I have contributed to your delinquency. I’ll have to admit that I have clicked on every one of your Revver’s videos, or at least I tried to. I was not motivated by my desire for you to be a few pennies richer, however. Instead, I wanted to see your videos. A couple of times I got sucked into clicking on the ads that followed. What can I say? Ads sometimes work on me.

    What probably nailed you was the time (a few days ago) when I clicked on your rapid sunset vido about 10 times in a row. It was over so damn fast, and it was interesting. The minute I spent watching it over and over was enjoyable. I regret it now, though, since I never wanted you to be a criminal.

  • jacob

    It’s that video of me without my shirt on running into the ocean for a quick swim which must be generating all the hits…You’ll just have to tell Revver that is to be expected when you post videos like that.

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ erik

    Well, we’ll just see what Mr. Clarke decides to do. I provided him with my blog url, so that he could see where most of my “video marketing” is coming from, so hopefully he’ll read this.

    No, Jacob, I don’t think it’s your topless beach frolicking that’s getting so many clicks…although I do watch my local copy several times a day.

  • Uncle Steve

    Paul said: “What probably nailed you was the time (a few days ago) when I clicked on your rapid sunset vido about 10 times in a row. It was over so damn fast, and it was interesting”

    I tried to see a sunset on this one with multiple tries and never did see one. But maybe the multiple tries screwed up your numbers?

    They seem like a pretty weird company to treat you that way….

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ erik

    You can read more about my battle with Revver over at the Revver forums, where I made a post called:

    Revver’s Click Fraud Policy: Guilty until proven innocent
    I’ll probably write up a blog entry condemning their asinine fraud policy when the issue comes to a close, be it positive or negative.

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ erik

    Well, I seem to be able to log into Revver now, so maybe it’s resolved. I received no emails about the situation.