Summary: Four more reports/essays shed light on the quaky waters holding — or breaking — the system of commerce
Microsoft’s perversion of the EU system as of late [1, 2, 3] (using hired guns) will not end until people stand up and demand change. On the face of it, rules that were proposed or introduced just over a year ago are not being obeyed because lobbyists are not interested in disclosing their activities, which they would rather conduct behind closed door with budgets and funding sources that they keep secret. As EurActiv has just put it:
Large numbers of businesses, consultancies and industry federations do not intend to sign up to the European Commission’s lobbyists register, found a EurActiv survey presented at a conference last Wednesday (4 March).
It’s not only Microsoft which does this. A lot of US-based companies are doing the same kind of thing in Europe, as detailed here:
Lobbying by U.S. businesses in Brussels is not unusual. More than 30 U.S. companies like Pfizer, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Philip Morris, Westinghouse and Kraft Foods employ lobbyists in Brussels, according to the European Parliament. Foreign countries and businesses also hire lobbyists to work in Washington. But most of the time, lobbying by foreign entities tends to be discreet.
“The author has no idea what lobbying of US companies [such] as Microsoft in Europe is like, rather makes up his mind what it is supposed to be,” says a person who sent this news to us. Also, according to him, Microsoft somehow managed to have the EU fund its own lobby group (formal evidence in
Visa, Microsoft join EU fight against Internet child
The European Commission will provide up to 427,000 euros (537,000 dollars) in funding for the new coalition which was officially launched by Barrot and others on Tuesday at the London headquarters of CEOP.
The amazing thing here is that Microsoft gets positive PR at the expense of European taxpayers. Microsoft did similar things in Australia not so long ago. It was only similar but not identical because it’s akin to EDGI more than anything else. The core idea is to dump software so as to be anti-competitive and at the same time claim to be charitable (in this case, claim to protect children, as opposed to helping their education).
If that’s not bad enough, on top of the lobbying there is AstroTurfing, of which we include many examples in the links at the bottom. There is a new essay about additional evidence because this receives a lot of media coverage at the moment.
Fresh off the presses, another asstroturfing site brags about how they game social bookmarking like it was Three-Card Monte. The story got posted on Reddit so Redditors can laugh and point at Digg, as if the exact same thing never happens on Reddit.
Of all the spam and advertising fraud out there, it is perhaps asstroturfing that is the meanest. Asstrturfers undermine the social web. The story you see that’s voted up to the front page, even though it’s a troll? People were paid to vote that up. Your social-network-site “friend” who recommends spams and scams to you non-stop? He’s paid to pretend to be your friend. The comments that flood a story, flaming about one side of the issue, insulting and modding down everybody who objects, and make it sound like it’s the world-against-you? They’re paid actors. The troll who harassed you in a thread for numerous replies until you gave up in frustration? Paid to do that.
More hilarity can be found here:
Social media marketing is a tricky balance. If you can come up with a viral smash hit, there’s nothing better. But if you grossly underestimate the intelligence of the community you’re targeting- it can create devastating backlash
Unless the system reforms itself by expelling parasites, it will merely protect — sometimes in highly abusive ways — the minority of opulent from the large majority — or as FFII tactfully puts it — the digital majority. █
- LawMedia Group May be Another Confirmed Microsoft AstroTurfing Agency
- The Microsoft Connection with Dewey Square Group and DCI/New Media
- Microsoft ‘Bribes’ Mac Bloggers to Slam Apple, Gartner Hosts Google FUD
- Microsoft, TCS, DCI, Edelman, and Those Fake Letters About IP/SCO/Monopoly
- James Plamondon: Microsoft Guerrilla
- FullSIX and Mr. Youth LLC May Be Ruining the Web (AstroTurfing) on Microsoft’s Behalf
- Microsoft: 800 lb. Guerrilla
- Astroturfing Examples: Learning How Microsoft Tames the Internet
- Waggener Edstrom, Maureen O’Gara and Other Microsoft Shills
- Partial Index: Summary of Bribed Sites, Journalists, and Bloggers (Vista 7)
- Waggener-Edstrom Behind the 2008 Laptop Bribes, Edelman Behind 2006′s
- Manipulation, Astroturfing, and What Governments Can Do
- Beware the OOXML AstroTurfer: “The Wraith”, “multivac1”, “hAl”, Among Other Nyms
- Microsoft May Have Bribed India for OOXML Pressure
- Microsoft Has Been Rigging Votes/Polls for Ages
- Gary M. Stewart (aka “Flatfish”) About Microsoft AstroTurfing: “It’s made me A LOT of money….”
- Former Microsoft Shill Openly Confesses, Alleges Microsoft Still Does This
- Respecting AstroTurfers?
- Some New (But Very Old) Microsoft AstroTurfing Examples
- Joe Barr, Linux.com Editor – My Obituary
- Joe Barr Knew Microsoft’s Tactics All Too Well
- 66 Pages of Microsoft Evilness
- Another AstroTurf Scam Exposed?
- Quick Mention: Sony is AstroTurfing, Just Like Microsoft
- Memo to Novell: Leave YouTube Alone
- Microsoft Blast from the Past: Ads Banned for Spurring Violence
- Is YouTube’s “NovellVideo” a Novell AstroTurfer?
- Microsoft/Munchkin ‘Breaks’ the Web to Break Open Document Standards (Again)
- Rob Enderle Guarantees “Amazing Numbers”, Show E-mails to Microsoft
- Microsoft Agents from Waggener Edstrom Airbrush Wikipedia, Glorify Paymaster
- Microsoft Unleashes Proxies at Journalists to Defend Vulnerable Vista
- Microsoft’s OOXML Viral Marketing Reaches YouTube