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Adventures in Shilling: Cote Sud Rocks the Vote

Adventures in Shilling is a celebration of the latest and greatest shills from around the world wide web. As always, you too can help fight shills.

2008_01_cotesud.jpgIt's an election year, so it's only appropriate that the first episode of the new season of Adventures in Shilling takes a look at some highly suspicious voting shenanigans over at good ol' Citysearch, specifically the listing for the Castro's Cote Sud. Now, nearly every week, Cote Sud sends out a newsletter, rife with new promotions and special deals that usually get glossed over and discarded, but this week's email included the following very exciting tidbit:

Did you know ? Citysearch voters rated the best restaurants in San Francisco. Cote Sud finished in the top 10 in 12 categories and won 4 awards, including Best date spot 2007 or Best Special Occastion [sic] Dining 2007. We would like to thank you for voting for us !
Wait, what? Cote Sud is the best date spot? In the whole city? Upon reading this, the Department of Shilling was notified. Further investigation at Citysearch revealed that not only did Cote Sud capture the title of Best Date Spot and Special Occasion as mentioned in the newsletter, it also "somehow" was chosen by "Citysearch users" as the Best Fine Dining and Best Business Dining. Really.

One of these is not like the others, at all:


The Complete List of the Best Fine Dining: Restaurant Gary Danko, Jardiniere, House of Prime Rib, The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton, Fringale, Cityscape, Farallon, La Folie, Bix.


The Complete List of the Best Business Dining: Boulevard, Le Colonial, Aqua, One Market, Levende Lounge, Laurel Court, Luella, Jeanty at Jack's, Rubicon.

Entire Scam, Shill Probability: 97%

Sidenote: We should also mention that the 2008 voting is already open, and Citysearch decided to keep Cote Sud off the ballot.
· Cote Sud [Citysearch]