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Thomas Hansen
Thomas Hansen

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ProductHunt is a Pump'n'Dump Scheme

ProductHunt has turned into the primary pump mechanism for AI-based garbage pump'n'dump scams. If you search for "ChatGPT" at ProductHunt, you will find 10,000+ products, all of whom were launched since December of 2022. 9,950 of these products are rubbish. Some of these products aren't even working products, but websites created with the sole purpose of collecting emails. Still, they somehow "magically" seem to have 900+ upvotes and 150+ great reviews, and an average score of 4.9 out of 5 possible on their ratings.

The way it works is that corrupt marketing managers will bribe others to like and review their products, artificially inflating the product's evaluation, resulting in that if you become amongst the top 5 products for the day, there's a 99% statistical probability of that you've based your entire value proposition on lying and cheating.

Over the last 18 months I've had almost 10 "hunters" contact me on LinkedIn asking me to like and leave a fake review on their product launches. Some would even try to barter with me and said "if you like my product I will like your product". The result of course is that it's impossible to find neutral product information on ProductHunt, and you have to assume that 90% of everything on their site is manufactured garbage, fake reviews, and fake upvotes.

ProductHunt themselves don't care too much about it. Officially their stance is that they care, but for all practical concerns, it inflates their user base, since a lot of people leaving fake reviews and fake upvotes creates the illusion of that they've got much more "active users" than they actually do, resulting in that ProductHunt themselves gets a higher evaluation on their own stock - So ProductHunt themselves are arguably benefiting on the scam.

This mechanism again is based upon tech startups being evaluated according to how many active users they've got, so inflating the number of active users benefits the startup. Their "active users" again, which are probably 50% marketing managers, will sometime hire 3rd world citizens to leave fake reviews and upvotes, or have their corrupt marketing friends leave fake reviews and upvotes, resulting in "more active daily users" for ProductHunt.

I suspect 80% of ProductHunt users are actually paid one way or another to be actively participating on the site. Either because it's their job as marketing managers, or because they're paid by one of these marketing managers to be on the site.

The end result of course becomes that if it's a ProductHunt "winning product", you can rest 99% sure of that it's garbage.

Psst, we've got the least popular AI chatbot according to ProductHunt, something we're very proud of that too may I add.

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