Mainstream publications collude with AI company to load searches with fake, AI-generated content
05/15/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

An investigation by a tech website has found that mainstream publications have conspired with an artificial intelligence company to push AI-generated content on their websites, helping those sites and their products to appear at the top of search results.

Maggie Harrison Dupre of Futurism revealed that the media outlets, which tech giant Google manually whitelists, partnered with an AI company called AdVon Commerce to publish tens of thousands of fake product reviews and fill up Google Search results with AI-generated content.

The bombshell information emerged when Dupre started to investigate AdVon. Staff at media company Gannett noticed product reviews get published on the website of USA Today with bylines that seemed like not real people's names. The articles were stilted and formulaic, leading the writers' union to accuse them of being "shoddy AI."

"I kept digging into that AI company behind Sports Illustrated's fake writers. Turns out it's created tons more fake writers across the web, sometimes for surprisingly huge media clients. And then things get even wilder," she said on X, formerly Twitter.

The comprehensive report indicated that Dupre soon found that AdVon had been running a similar operation at Sports Illustrated magazine, publishing product reviews using bylines of fake writers with fictional biographies and AI-generated profile pictures. Upon learning about this, the publisher cut ties with the company and fired its CEO before losing the rights to Sports Illustrated entirely. (Related: Sports Illustrated caught publishing articles created by non-existent AI-generated writers.)

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According to a writer who worked with AdVon and agreed to speak in conditions of anonymity, he first wrote online product reviews for the company and was paid per word. However, his responsibilities soon shifted when they were tasked to polish drafts generated using an AI system the company was developing.

"They started using AI for content generation," the former AdVon worker disclosed, "and paid even less than what they were paying before." Eventually, they were fired when the AI system called MEL "got trained enough to write on its own.”

"AdVon engages in what Google calls 'site reputation abuse.' It strikes deals with publishers in which it provides huge numbers of extremely low-quality product reviews – often for surprisingly prominent publications – intended to pull in traffic from people Googling things like 'best ab roller,'" Dupre explained. "The idea seems to be that these visitors will be fooled into thinking the recommendations were made by the publication's actual journalists and click one of the articles' affiliate links, kicking back a little money if they make a purchase."

She also exposed that the firm's "ghost" authors' network was particularly extensive at McClatchy, a large publisher of regional newspapers, where they found at least 14 fake writers in more than 20 of its papers, including the Miami Herald. They are even in celebrity gossip outlets like Hollywood Life and U.S. Weekly.

For Dupre, it's not surprising to see AdVon turn to AI as a mechanism to produce "lousy content" while cutting loose actual writers. "But watching trusted publications help distribute trash content is a unique tragedy of the AI era," she lamented.

Human employees never try products reviewed by AdVon

Another source from the content company denied that the product reviews they publish are baseless for human employees to try the products being endorsed. "No," laughed one AdVon source. "No. One hundred percent no."

Another source said: "I didn't touch a single one."

Dupre said many products appear in AdVon's reviews because their sellers paid for the publicity. She linked this to another venture of the company's CEO Ben Faw and President Eric Spurling, who quietly operate another company called SellerRocket, which charges the sellers of Amazon products for coverage in the same publications where AdVon publishes product reviews.

In a series of promotional YouTube videos, SellerRocket employees lay out how the scheme works in strikingly candid terms. "We have what's called a curation fee, which is only charged when an article goes live – so SellerRocket advocates for your brands and if we can't get an article live, you would never pay a dime," said a former SellerRocket general manager named Eric Suddarth in the said video. "But if the articles do go live, you'd be charged a curation fee." After that, he said, clients are charged recurring fees every month.

There was no reply from the "content monster" when asked about AdVon's relationship with SellerRocket and whether it was ethical for the seller of a product to pay for placement in a "product guide" or "product review" sans disclosure.

Visit for more stories related to the craft of writing news and how it has turned out to be "corrupted" due to the regime's interest.

Watch the video below that talks about the Sports Illustrated fake writers controversy.

This video is from the High Hopes channel on

More related stories:

Google's Gemini AI caught creating fake book reviews to defend Big Tech.

Google's AI is completely fabricating fake quotes to smear truth tellers.

Report finds China uses fake accounts and AI-generated content to manipulate public opinion (but so does the U.S. government and the CDC).

Job cuts in mainstream media outlets could lead to AI TAKEOVER of news industry.

Sources include:

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