A recent item in the Tokyo Shimbun profiled a young freelance writer who answered an ad to write copy for a jewelry company. The job required her to write 200 blog posts of 500 characters apiece. The agent who placed the ad paid her a small fee per post with a promise of more lucrative jobs later. Since she was not posting these pieces herself the writer did a search using phrases she had written and found them on numerous anonymous or pseudonymous blogs with links to sales companies. She surmised that the agent was paid by these companies to get their products mentioned in as many blogs as possible, and the agent hired her to write copy which was then distributed on fake blogs. The agent was fooling its customer and the general public, both of whom are meant to think that the copy was being written by actual bloggers. The writer eventually stopped working for the agent, but ads for this kind of work remain common on job sites.


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