Get Virtual Game Cash For Health Reform Astroturfing

Don’t want to fork over actual cash or start a shady “free” trial in order to get sweet, sweet virtual currency for your favorite game on Facebook or MySpace? Well, you could always take a health care survey that pays you to tell your representatives in Congress how opposed you are to health care reform. Mmm, smell that astroturf!

Business Insider discovered this handy in-game money-making opportunity.

Instead of asking the gamers to try a product the way Netflix would, “Get Health Reform Right” requires gamers to take a survey, which, upon completion, automatically sends the following email to their Congressional Rep:

“I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have.

Not so bad if you already happen to be opposed to a public health insurance option, except for the part where they survey is paying people to write to their Congresscritters. It’s not illegal, but is it ethical? Should it be?

The group paying gamers to take the survey is Get Health Reform Right, a coalition of organizations in the insurance industry. The CEO of the “offer” network that this survey purportedly, Gambit, claimed in a statement to Business Insider that they do not deal in hot-button political issues, and that such a survey offer would have been removed from the network had it slipped through.

Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill [Business Insider] (Thanks, Helen!)

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Edit Your Comment

  1. DH405 says:

    That one had been a Zynga paid survey thing for months. I made note of this to all of my friends over a month ago.

  2. AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

    Does it really matter that it’s e-mailing a rep? Congresscritters stopped listening to the general populace ages ago.

    Really, though, I’m so tired of groups on both sides of the aisle trying to artificially beef up their support. Come to think of it, I’m just plain tired of groups on both sides of the aisle.

    • XTC46 says:

      do you blame them for ignoring letters, when this kind of stuff provides the bulk of the stuff thery receive?

    • Daemon Xar says:

      As a former employee of both the U.S. and two state Senates, I can tell you that members do at least look at the numbers of people weighing in on issues. The U.S. Senator I worked for used to ask for data each Monday on the correspondence from the prior week, and then got more specific information on the hot topics (i.e. what people were saying, what stories were being told, etc.).

      So while they may not do exactly what you ask them to when you ask them to do it, most are at least aware of your letters/e-mails/faxes. However, we did specially mark form-letters/faxes/e-mails and they were given less weight. If you want them to care, you need to care enough to write it yourself.

  3. flugennock says:

    Reform? Reform, my ass.

    I’m a solid leftie progressive type — hell, I’ve been called an anarchist to my face and taken it as a compliment — and I’m opposed to this bill because it does absolutely nothing towards getting people in this country the real healthcare reform they’ve been yelling for since the Lord was a corporal. Instead of single-payer, they’re offering up this lame-assed, picked-over bone called “public option”, and now the Democrats have even rolled over on that one, along with selling out women’s reproductive rights.

    This bill is just another huge-assed corporate giveaway, to the insurance industry this time. Between the shutting single-payer supporters out of the “debate”, and the sellout of womens’ reproductive rights, and the criminal penalties for people so broke they can’t afford health insurance… hell, nothing is better than this so-called “reform” bill.

    This bill is a creaking, rusted, overloaded old pickup truck stuck in the mud so goddamn’ deep that we’re better off just getting out and walking. I can’t believe all these goddamn’ Liberals telling me that I have to support this steaming pile of shite.

    Believe you me, gang, there’s a whole lot more people than the Teabaggers opposed to this worthless-assed “reform” bill. Hearing Holy Joe Lieberman threatening to filibuster this load of crap was the best news I’d heard in a looonnnng goddamn’ time, although it looks like that big, fat sissy Harry Reid has deprived me of the pleasure of watching this bad boy cratering.

    But, aaaaa-aaanyway… that said, I’m not the least bit surprised that corporate astroturfers are trying to pay gullible Facebook users (are there any other kind?) to take their goddamn’ survey, and even less surprised that Facebook is going along with it. Facebook is the new AOL — home of idiots, scammers and suckers.

    • BK88 says:

      I’m confused, what are a “woman’s reproductive rights?” I don’t see them in the US Constitution, nor spelled out in any federal or state laws.

      Are you talking about the right to – have sex, start a new life with cells rapidly dividing and multiplying to become what we call a baby, and then without regard for that life kill it by some form of abortion?

      Oh wait, its not a baby – just a mess of flesh and tissue and not really alive before it comes out of the vagina at the end of the pregnancy.

      • whey says:

        Yay Captain Tangent!

      • AstroPig7 says:

        Yes, because sex is always consensual and contraceptives are always foolproof. Also, when that mass of cells becomes more sentient than a house plant, then and only then do you have a point.

      • LamontLubnub says:

        The thing that “pro-life” advocates often seem to forget in this argument is that nobody, not even so-called “pro-choice” people, want abortions. So, you can dramatise and polarise all you want—we know it’s not good, but the alternatives are arguably much worse.

        As far as I am concerned, the solution to “the abortion problem” isn’t to ban the procedure. Like anything else in life, sometimes there are good reasons to do “bad” things. Instead, if we stop allowing right-wing lunatics to force abstinence-only sex education on our youth, and stop allowing them to keep away contraceptives like Plan B, the number of abortions for unwanted pregnancies would go way down because there wouldn’t be nearly as many to begin with.

  4. parrotuya says:

    Let’s have a tea party! Let’s show the world how dumb, stupid and ignorant we really are! Now where are the keys to the double-wide…

    • angelwolf71885 says:

      says the socialist go back to cali we dont want you in our country any more

      • AstroPig7 says:

        Are you here for any reason other than to insult others with baseless lies? Please note that this comment is a reference to your other posts as well.

        • angelwolf71885 says:

          lts s tht wll knwn vd clp f bm t j th plmbr syng “whn y sprd th wlth ts gd fr vryn” v gt hg p f crw fr y

          • ARP says:

            So president Eisenhower is a socialist? He had personal income taxes at 72% during the 50’s for the highest earners. In fact, except for a short time during the 20’s and more recently tax rates have always for the wealthy have always been much higher than they are now for the wealthy. They’re all socialists? What a strange world you live in.

          • AstroPig7 says:

            Spread whose wealth, though? Also, as another poster has already noted, this makes Eisenhower a socialist, as well as any other president who has used government funds to aid the poor, the hungry, or anyone else in need. The problem is that you don’t actually know what socialism is.

  5. metsarethe... says:

    Haha – awesome! If you are willing to trade your opinion for something for points in a game, go for it. Bye bye public option, yes!!

  6. BK88 says:

    And Soros has never funded any “grassroots” (liberal astro-turfing) through

    • whey says:

      Yes, it’s exactly the same thing! Donating funds to an existing grassroots group is the same as creating an astroturf group and paying people to pretend their grassroots. How could we have missed this all these years?!?!

    • ARP says:

      Those grassroots groups don’t pretend they’re anything else. An astroturfing group is a group created by an industy or lobby that pretends they’re grassroots. Misrepresentation is they key difference.

  7. EverCynicalTHX says:

    A lot less offensive than getting paid to to vote for certain candidates like we’ve seen with Acorn..and with special interest money directly funneled from the govt…yep, you and me as taxpayers.

    But I’d also say, if you don’t like the message – take advantage of the offer and yes you can indeed “stick it to the man”, where it hurts most..

    In their pocketbook :)

  8. angelwolf71885 says:

    whn y cnsdr tht Cnsmr Rprts YR prnt cmpn spprts th sclst GRBG bm s pddlng thn Y dnt hv rm t tlk.. th pst shldn’t cll th kttl blck

    • psm321 says:

      Would you care to tell us what “socialist” actions Obama has taken? all I’ve seen is more of the same corpratist stuff…

      • psm321 says:

        Oh, and please don’t come up with the TARP and automaker bailouts… corporate welfare != socialism. It’s a different -ism, one that starts with an f.

        • Zowzers says:

          Yup, corporate welfare is not socialism, but its not capitalism either. Its probably more like Despotism, where a small group decided to privatize profit while socializing the debt.

          If capitalism were to apply, we would have let those companies fail.

        • angelwolf71885 says:

          Fascism IS socialism just like Markism they are all the same just the beat of a different drum

          • littleAK says:

            Facism isn’t Socialism at all. They are almost opposites. One promotes equality, the other inequality. Social programs are not the same as the Socialist ideology you want to invoke in people’s minds when you use the term. There are plenty of social programs that have been in place for ages (long before Obama, mind you) and the country has still managed to maintain a sense of capitalism.

      • angelwolf71885 says:

        th pblc ptn fr .. cld b sl slvd wth lw rqrng nsrnc cmpn’s t ccpt LL cndtns t rsnbl cst nd llwng ntrstt nsrnc cnsmr rprts nd rp bck th pblc ptn tth nd nl lts s ls vn jhn’s nd hs gv th ghtt ll th wlth nd s mr r shld jst strt pstng glnn bcks rgng wth dts?

        • AstroPig7 says:

          So your solution to what you view as socialism is to move further away from capitalism? The patients who are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions often lack the funds to cover a fee that would make it worth an insurer’s while to take them on. Either your proposed law would do nothing useful or it would force insurers to take a hit on risky patients, which smacks of socialism (at least, by your definition). Also, if you’re going to bandy about terms like idiot, could you first learn how to spell and properly construct sentences?

    • Chuck Norris' wig says:

      Consumerist is basically an arm of the Democrat party. You’re wasting your time with this.

  9. TheDoctor says:

    Zynga having a shady paid offer to give people in game cash, no, say it aint so!

  10. stormbird says:

    I’m against the current health care reform being considered* and I think this is sleazy.

    * Send my check to 1313 Mockingbird Lane….