Shel Holtz writes an important post, "The PR industry must condemn massive, automated sock-puppetry."
Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary Federal is providing software to companies that allow management of personas in social media.
And that HBGary Federal is seeking to pitch for a contract from the US Airforce that seeks to retain a vendor that can provide such fake persona software.
I've discussed the issue of transparency and authenticity many times before on this blog; most completely in my joint post, “30+ Diverse Opinions On Social Media Agency Transparency,” with Toby Bloomberg last year, where we saw a range of opinion about agency transparency.
As social media has matured, the industry has grown larger, and more actors have come into the industry that either don't have an understanding of how to conduct themselves in social media, or merely seek to game the system.
Like Shel I recommend companies and organizations seriously consider the potential problems that arise from using such systems. They can only backfire.