Facebook wasn't in a very good position to launch a device like the Portal, featuring a video camera with facial recognition, after the many privacy scandals it was involved in last year, so it's only natural that it would make a big push to sell the product. The company did try to address privacy concerns with the camera, but it looks like it may have used some less-than-respectable methods to promote the product.
Kevin Roose, columnist for The New York Times, posted a series of images earlier today on Twitter, showcasing three five-star reviews for Facebook's Portal on Amazon. The names of the customers reviewing the product all match those of employees at the social network:
As Roose points out in another tweet, Amazon's terms forbid users from posting reviews for products built by their employer, as well as friends, relatives, and so on. Roose's discovery quickly spread around the internet, and Facebook's Andrew Bosworth, known as Boz, responded saying that none of the employees were instructed to review the devices and that they would be asked to take the reviews down:
Even if the reviews weren't posted under instructions from Facebook, the whole situation doesn't do the tech giant many favors. Roose underlines the fact that it's somewhat ironic something of this sort this would happen, as Facebook has been taking down pages related to inauthentic behavior.