“The main thing I’m pissed off about right now is that they pulled all the ads, which mean we’re taking a revenue hit.”
–Michael Arrington, Microsoft-paid cheerleader in disguise
Large companies continue to thrive in ignorance and seemingly innocent and independent voices on the Web do not always tell the truth. Clarification is probably needed about a character which was originally known as "eet", but has morphed endlessly over the past several months only to be unmasked again and again. As long as IP addresses can be changed, not even a sign-in (account) can prevent or reduce such bad behaviour.
“As long as IP addresses can be changed, not even a sign-in (account) can prevent or reduce such bad behaviour.”In the past few weeks there was even an observed pattern where a nym-shifting troll changes names and immediately uses proxies to then ‘defend’ those other names. It’s a sock-puppet technique and it’s something that readers are not able to see because additional bits of information about comments are not visible to them. When someone uses fake E-mail addresses with fake domains (like an incorrect domain of an Australian university while posting from Germany using the same ISP as ‘another’ Internet troll called “eet”), then it seems rather clear what is happening, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Some readers demand evidence, having not followed the saga from the early days or seen all the details. What can a person do?
For those who are interested in specifics or have followed the recent incidents, here is the gist of it all. The name “stevetheFLY” emerged immediately after the “cuss” name was caught for very definitely being “eet”. All names come from or share the same ISP and use the same pattern of insults, which were seen in hundreds of comments already. If readers, who are often attacked by this person too, wish to see evidence, it will gladly be provided. But false accusations against that who is attacked rather than the attacker seem a tad over the line and premature.
It’s always interesting to go back and find roots of bad behaviour. Watch this one for example:
As their business practices come under fire on several fronts, we can expect to see the Microsoft PR machine do whatever it can in an effort sway public opinion. One of the tactics we’re likely to see more of is what I call the “pseudo-grass roots” campaign, in which Microsoft instructs companies they have some degree of control over to act as shills on their behalf (not at all unlike the phoney “write-in” campaign uncovered by the Los Angeles Times a few months ago).
The point of this type of campaign is to try to create the perception of wide support for the Microsoft way of conducting business. But make no mistake — their message comes straight from Redmond.
There’s nothing “grass roots” about this group — the companies are either partly owned by Microsoft (Vanstar Corp) or highly dependent on them in some way.
Lots of the same type of stuff was found in OOXML [1, 2], with a well-proven record of AstroTurfing and what was referred to in the press as “pseudo-grassroots” (even in 2006). Speaking of such deception, it reaches the press as well.
Microsoft’s simultaneous press release trumpets, “the [European] Commission’s … decision … upholds Microsoft’s right to receive royalty payments from SCO if software code developed by Microsoft is used in SCO’s Unix products,” and insists, rather oddly, that the old Unix code SCO went to such lengths to be free of, “continues to play an important role in SCO’s OpenServer Unix product.” How could this be, in the face of the fact that SCO expressed such blessed relief at the ability to finally consign this code to the bit bucket?
At no point within this press release does Microsoft directly acknowledge the European Commission’s ruling against them. Instead, they attempt to cloud the issue, stating that “the European Commission rejected SCO’s request for further action and approved our request to close the file on this case,” though it is never clear what further action SCO had requested. We also learn of Microsoft’s 1988 award from UnixWorld Magazine, a highly relevant tidbit.