EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.19.08

Microsoft on AstroTurfing in USENET Newsgroups

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 4:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s poisoning of the literature, the press, and the World Wide Web continues to fascinate. it’s not a secret. It’s all very real and overwhelming heaps of evidence exist to support it.

This subject was dealt with several times in the past. Microsoft dubbed those involved in it “Munchkins” and none of this has ever stopped [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Today’s gem from Microsoft is about newsgroups and how Microsoft expressed its plan to subvert and incline them to its advantage.

Right from the horse’s mouth (Microsoft). [PDF]

Channel of Information, On-line Forums

  • Monitor the relevant Usenet groups at all times
  • Write well
  • Be exceedingly formal and polite
    • It is very easy to give offense
    • Always assume that you are wrong; ask others to explain it to you
    • Developers are impressed by clear, precise, polite communication
    • Don’t sound like a prig

This was worth bringing up in light of the personal abuse directed at several people in Linux newsgroups. Some of these discussion groups are occupied by former Microsoft employees (you have to squeeze out of them to finally admit this). In the Linux advocacy newsgroup, for example, you could find regular posters Greg Cox, Larry Qualig and John Bailo. All are former Microsoft employees who bother to pay a visit to Linux newsgroups in order to praise a former employer. Why? Might the answer lie above in Microsoft’s own literature, which leaked our to the courtroom?

At the moment, there is another class of Munchkins there and they admit extending and branching out to Slashdot and Digg (you can see their comments, but they admittedly use pseudonyms). Some are extremely rude Internet trolls that try to drive away readers using insults, libel, xenophobia, homophobia, ugly imagery and personal threats. According to one member of Groklaw, he disengaged from OS/2 advocacy after he had received death threats.

Yes, going back to OS/2 days, there are some fairly well-documented testimonies. To this date, Microsoft marketing people exist not just in fictitious blogs but also in newsgroups and in government. It is not just unethical but also illegal in the European Union. Microsoft’s political power is immense though, so it’s unlikely to be punished.

There is a lot more to be explored on this subject. Going back to the document at the top, be sure to read some of the things around page 45, including this from Microsoft:

During the mopping-up phase, ensure that the enemy technology is routed. Use the press, the Internet, etc. to heighten the impression that the enemy is desperate, demoralized, defeated, deceased.

Remember how people complained about the press taking things out of proportion when Wal-Mart said it would continue selling GNU/Linux on-line but not on store shelves? Microsoft has a lot of power over the press, some of which it owns. Literally. Big Lies are no exception here.

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

11 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 3, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Gravatar

    Now, how MS began to criticise OS/2 after supporting it for a while are another matter (it is related to the Joint Development Agreement between IBM and MS).

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 3, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Gravatar

    In fact, I’d go as far to say that there are trolls on both sides.

  3. G. Michaels said,

    November 3, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Gravatar

    You should mention that you and your cadre are using the same tactics now to slog away at any criticism of your abrasive tirades:

    http://slashdot.org/~SockDisclosure/journal/214377

    This ‘twitter’ person (Slashdot’s most prolific nymshifter and troll) has probably been tasked with flooding Slashdot with links to your articles, and I suppose any number of other websites. A little “independent” praise never hurt anyone, eh?

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  4. stevetheFLY said,

    November 3, 2008 at 3:40 am

    Gravatar

    The more disgusting trolls are on our side, I’m afraid. No-one is surprised by the questionable method of Microsoft, but to think that ugly shit is spread around by our own camp makes me feel a little de-motivated for the cause of GNU.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  5. stevetheFLY said,

    November 3, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Gravatar

    Yes; thank you Mr Schestowitzk, this really illustrates very well what I meant…

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 3, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Gravatar

    Yuhong Bao,

    Whose side? ‘FSF trolls’? What I show here is that a /company/ coordinates trolling.

  7. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 3, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Gravatar

    “Whose side? ‘FSF trolls’? What I show here is that a /company/ coordinates trolling.”
    True.
    “You should mention that you and your cadre are using the same tactics now to slog away at any criticism of your abrasive tirades”
    Yep, I said that there are trolls, astroturfers, and things like that on BOTH sides, so always be vigilant.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 3, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    Whose side? There are those who care about freedom and those who care only about money, which typically comes from taking rights away.

    This is not an “Apple vs. Microsoft” style of argument. There are no two companies involved here.

  9. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 3, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Gravatar

    “Whose side? There are those who care about freedom and those who care only about money, which typically comes from taking rights away.”
    “This is not an “Apple vs. Microsoft” style of argument. There are no two companies involved here.”
    Yep, the difference is that freedom is a factor in Windows vs Linux, while it isn’t a factor in Windows vs Mac.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 3, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    I reject that notion that people who fight for their basis freedom are “trolls” or “extremists”. It has become an ugly pattern for dismissal of opposition to suppression — digital or otherwise.

  11. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Gravatar

    “I reject that notion that people who fight for their basis freedom are “trolls” or “extremists”.
    I agree.
    “It has become an ugly pattern for dismissal of opposition to suppression — digital or otherwise.”
    And on BOTH sides.

What Else is New


  1. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  2. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  3. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  4. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  5. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  6. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  7. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  8. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  9. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  10. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  11. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  12. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  14. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  15. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  16. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  17. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  18. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  19. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  20. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  22. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  23. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  24. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  26. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  27. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  28. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  29. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  30. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts