On April 2017 the SEC announced enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities behind various alleged stock promotion schemes that left investors with the impression they were reading independent, unbiased analyses on investing websites while writers were being secretly compensated for touting company stocks.
We should all learn from it, and we should not take anything for guaranteed.
SEC investigations uncovered scenarios in which public companies hired promoters or communications firms to generate publicity for their stocks, and the firms subsequently hired writers to publish articles that did not publicly disclose the payments from the companies. The writers allegedly posted bullish articles about the companies on the internet under the guise of impartiality when in reality they were nothing more than paid advertisements. More than 250 articles specifically included false statements that the writers had not been compensated by the companies they were writing about, the SEC alleges.
The full article can be found at SEC Fraudulent Promotion of Stocks