"(VVM) ... is using a social-networking company it owns to erode the wall between editorial content and advertising by promoting its advertisers under the guise of community buzz," reports The Stranger. The Seattle alt-weekly made the claim after scouring the user-generated reviews on the Yelp-like LikeMe.net and purportedly discovering that a majority were thumbs-up recommendations written by VVM ad staff. But in a response posted on Seattle Weekly's website, VVM says its employees posted the reviews to "test drive" the new site, which had yet to be officially announced, and that the number of posts do not constitute a majority. VVM also notes that earlier reports that it owns a controlling interest in the new "local recommendation engine" are erroneous.

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