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

03.12.09

Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck

Posted in Europe, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Counting money
Shilling for Microsoft for mighty bucks

Summary: A quick look at the most recent evidence of Microsoft influencing through paid henchmen (and women)

IN OUR PAST WRITINGS ABOUT Waggener Edstrom we showed that it was nothing but a shameless spinner for Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. In order to prevent being seen as “biased”, Microsoft passes its AstroTurfing, marketing, journalist-prodding efforts and reckless promotion to peripheral agencies. The company has done this for ages, even when it required some dead bodies to 'write' sympathetic letters to the government.

In our more recent posts where we mention Waggener Edstrom (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) we also show that their activities are ethically corrupt, so in a decent society there would be a ban. Exhibits from Comes vs. Microsoft show that Waggener Edstrom has been there for Microsoft since the company’s early days when criminal activity was more transparent and quite routine.

Yesterday, in a post about Microsoft Portugal, we showed what seemed like 'TwitterTurfing' from Microsoft. It was also yesterday that Mary Jo Foley reported on the activities of Waggener Edstrom inside Twitter. Have a look.

A growing number of Softies are Twittering these days, as are members of Microsoft’s primary public-relations firm, Waggener Edstrom.

Like many tech PR firms, WaggEd also monitors religiously Twitter trends involving its biggest client. On March 11, WaggEd went beyond simply monitoring tweets: It introduced a beta version of a software tool for monitoring and analyzing them.

In related news, Matt Asay has just caught up with the news about another AstroTurf vector, Association for Competitive Technology [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], subverting a European panel about free/open source software.

One such editor is Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying organization with strong ties to Microsoft. There is nothing wrong with Microsoft making its voice heard in the software strategy development process, as it stands to gain or lose much in the process, but it does make for some interesting political gamesmanship in the document.

While the draft doesn’t make it obvious who is saying what, there are numerous instances where editors have tried to soften the appeal of open source or downplay its significance, repeatedly trying to insist that open source not be called out as more significant than proprietary software.

Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) has former or similar identities such as ATL. Another similar pressure group of Microsoft, namely CompTIA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], is intervening with debates on patents right now, including software patents. Digital Majority has some transcripts.

It is obvious that the astronomical cost of litigation is disastrous for many small U.S. businesses, and it requires settlement by the accused infringer. The frequent litigation surround the “patent thicket” can chill economic investment (e.g., venture capital and other R&D spending) and destroy a start-up‟s attempt to enter the market and create jobs. We invite your attention to the patent litigation statistics published by many sources, including the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

To a company like Microsoft and those whom it pays, eternal vigilance and eternal interference is the price of an abusive dictatorship.

This is something to think about whenever asked why Free software proponents are supposedly ‘obsessed’ with Microsoft.

Microsoft et al deserve such treatment because no other company (or ecosystem) is fighting against digital freedom quite so viciously. Their best achievement would be to convince people to stop watching every move, thus leaving villains more wiggling room.

Related:

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

What Else is New


  1. 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



  2. 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



  3. 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



  4. 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



  5. 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



  6. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  9. 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



  10. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

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



  11. 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



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

    Links for the day



  13. 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



  14. 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.



  15. 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



  16. 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)



  17. 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



  18. 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



  19. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather



  20. Links 13/7/2019: Librem 5 July Update, Project Trident 19.07, KDE Frameworks 5.60.0

    Links for the day



  21. The Problem Isn't Women or Minorities in Free Software But Particular Corporations That Exploit or Steer or Hijack Their Agenda

    If technical issues are being disguised using colours and genders (among other things), then it's important to highlight who's behind it (what company/ies) rather than fling back insults at people because it makes things worse



  22. There's No Such Thing as Cloud Computing, Serverless and All That Other Nonsense

    Buzzwords. Confronted.



  23. Linux is Doing 'Well' Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

    Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that's used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it



  24. Consultation About Direction and Future Focus for Techrights

    We invite ideas and recommendations for the future of the site, notably which topics and aspects are worth covering as a matter of higher priority



  25. European Media Continues to Ignore the EPO Crisis While Law Firms and EPO Management Cover Things Up

    The EPO crisis silently deepens because serious problems are lied about, not acknowledged, and the legitimacy of European Patents is greatly diminished, not to mention the EPO's ability to attract talent



  26. Links 12/7/2019: Alpine 3.10.1 is Out and Red Hat Loses Oliva

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/7/2019: KDE Plasma 5.16.3 and Verifying Gentoo Election Results

    Links for the day



  28. Campinos is Already Widely Seen as Battistelli the Second, Even Among EPO Stakeholders

    The Frenchmen in charge of the EPO may have a taste (and waste) for wine, but they have no clue how to run a patent office (except into the ground); patent application numbers are meanwhile falling (a reduction in demand)



  29. The EFF Responds to IBM's Liars and Lobbyists for Software Patents Just a Day After Red Hat is Officially Absorbed

    IBM's unacceptable stance and abominable actions on the patent front continue to haunt it; IBM must quickly dissociate and reconsider its patent strategy so as to not alienate thousands of workers (the real asset of Red Hat) it has just spent a fortune on



  30. Microsoft Putting Patent Traps Inside Linux While Blackmailing Companies Using Patents Associated With These Traps

    In an effort to make exFAT (a patent trap) the 'industry standard', even inside Linux, Microsoft now wants exFAT inside the very heart of Linux and people are pushing back


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