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

06.20.09

More Microsoft AstroTurfing (aka ‘Technical Evangelism’) in Twitter

Posted in Deception, FUD, Marketing, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Crazy face

Summary: Kirk Evans is given as an example of Microsoft guerrilla marketing in Twitter

“Microsoft stalkers,” called them our source, whose account was addressed by a Microsoft “Technical Evangelist”. That’s exactly the type of people whom James Plamondon was training in order to promote Microsoft very aggressively, to this very date.

Let’s step back just a bit and see the example we have at hand. Our source writes:

Having read Microsoft’s IE8: Get The Facts website I posted on our Twitter channel that I’d seen it and thought is was priceless FUD.

Within minutes I got a Microsoft employee following us on Twitter and requesting that Sirius e-mail him to discuss “discuss IE8 opptys” (whatever that means).

See http://twitter.com/kaevans

The MS person responsible is Kirk Evans, an architecture evangelist based in Texas. Note the wallpaper on his Twitter channel is a pile of horse shit.

I’m intrigued to say the least. What’s the horse shit all about? Why should an architecture evangelist care about us pointing out what 90% of the tech industry already knows? The question is, is he approaching every person who criticises this new IE: Get The Facts website?

His Twitter channel includes gems such as:

“Laughing at the slander against #IE8 and the #GetTheFacts site http://tinyurl.com/mj38ly all bile, no substance. Truth hurts.”

This is full on, aggressive technology evangelism/indoctrination where Microsoft ‘evangelists’ are employed to use Twitter et al to silence critics.

Whilst I’m quite keen to reply to him (just for the fun of it) I’m a little concerned that my ‘card will be marked’.

Microsoft does not deny using Twitter to do its PR, marketing, AstroTurfing, evangelism or whatever they wish to call it (many euphemisms exist and Orwellian language is a spinner’s best friend). We wrote about this type of activity from Microsoft at Twitter in:

Based on experience, those who routinely write about Microsoft products (i.e. mention the company’s name or product names) tend to sooner or later be followed or pinged somehow. Microsoft wants these people on its side. One of our readers, Goblin, has experimented to show this empirically. Some of the potential Microsoft bots/AstroTurfers appear to be mass-twitting the same promotional or provocative messages. They defame Microsoft’s competition and promote Microsoft for the most part.

This account is a good example, but shortly after I had complained about it for abuse (identical, abrasive messages sent to many strangers separately) it started saying “This person has protected their updates.”

Dodgy.

“Microsoft is connected to partners via Twitter and it uses PR agencies to do much/all this work.”As examples in the posts above show, I have had what seems like Microsoft bots following me (to be fair, other companies use similar tactics of re-Twitting messages about their products). The same goes for Microsoft managers like Oliver Bell, who apparently wants to keep an eye on what I write about OOXML, which is his area. He also speaks about Boycott Novell in person.

Microsoft is connected to partners via Twitter and it uses PR agencies to do much/all this work. That distances the dirty tactics from the company this way, leaving itself less sensitive to scrutiny.

Microsoft’s PR department (Waggener Edstrom) has already developed new tools to spy on Twits — to then respond to them appropriately. It’s not just a Twitter thing, but this in general is how Microsoft manages to identify damaging posts/articles and intercept them quickly, before people notice. A recent example would be a negative Surface review that they had removed very quickly by phoning the blogger.

Microsoft has always done such things (The Inquirer in particular dares to blow the whistle on censorship attempts and bribes), but with Twitter it is a lot more visible for people to see because the equivalent of E-mail is made public. The anti-ODF campaign from Microsoft is a good example where Twits said a mouthful about what the company has been doing. See the most recent examples in:

If people wish to see how aggressively –and that’s putting it gently — Microsoft competes, Twitter may be an entertaining read. With the intrusion of marketing scum like Pay2Tweet, the death of the platform’s inherent trust may be imminent. Twitter already declines in terms of traffic, like all other Web sites which get hijacked by marketing agents who seize an opportunity.

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

7 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    June 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Gravatar

    Hasn’t approached me or anyone else I got it from or who retweeted me. Mind you, we did post it as Microsoft comedy. Along with the one where IE8 trashes boot.ini.

    Roy Bixler Reply:

    Speaking of IE8 fun, here’s a nice spoof:

    Windows Internet Explorer 8; Get the Facts STRAIGHT
    http://kilianvalkhof.com/ie8fun/

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    June 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Gravatar

    BTW, this is IMO a good time to discuss this from :
    “[J]ust about every PR firm offers to help “manage the perception of your company in online communities” these days. What do you think that means? Astroturfing Slashdot, Youtube, etc.”
    That shows a fundamental flaw in PR. It is that perception can be manipulated independently of the truth.

  3. Chips B Malroy said,

    June 21, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Gravatar

    Yuhong Bao said:
    “Just about every PR firm offers to help “manage the perception of your company in online communities” these days”
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Now while there could be a lot of truth or wisdom to what Yuhong has to say, I’ve yet to see a company that has employed “managed perception” to the degree that M$ has, or even anywhere close to it. The fact that the “shills” come out of the woodwork to defend IE8, is in itself a clue to the thinking of the higher ups at M$. What forum online do you not see them in?

    IE, this was the product to kill the competition, Netscape, for all time. IE, this was the product that was going let them install all sorts of multimedia extension “standards” like wma, and others. It would in time turn the internet into just another M$ software purchase. The web would run entirely on M$ patented and copyrighted software, if Gates and Ball
    mer’s dream came though. Too bad for them that Netscape’s death spawned Firefox, and good for the rest of us.

    The only people that use IE are those who do not know better, or pretend to (M$ Shills). I hope the EU does everyone a favor and makes M$ totally remove this malware target from the next version of windows.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We have reasons to suspect that Yuhong too is among those “shills”, so he is trying to justify it. See this and this from last night.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    BTW, I am a student from Shorewood High School from Shoreline, but that IRC chat was a lot of fun for me. I learned a lot about MS shills, was able to get two people’s opinion on whether I am a shill or not, and some more. It was very interesting.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    I do agree that MS is the worst and most unethical in this area.

What Else is New


  1. Links 29/9/2014: OpenDaylight Helium Release

    Links for the day



  2. European Patent Office Disorganisation: Problems With the Audit Mechanisms - Part IV

    A prelude to a long article about a thug called Topić, his controversial Battistelli-sponsored appointment, and the removal of auditory functions by Battistelli



  3. More Good News About Demise of Software Patents and Along With Them, Consequently, Patent Trolls

    A weekly roundup of news about patents in the United States and elsewhere, with special focus on software patents



  4. IRC Proceedings: June 22nd, 2014 – September 13th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  5. Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

    Links for the day



  6. CBS Continues to Get Heavily Occupied by Microsoft Staff to Spread Microsoft Propaganda

    The CBS-owned ZDNet continues to hire people who have worked or are currently working for Microsoft and unsurprisingly enough they use their newly-acquired positions to praise Microsoft and bash Microsoft's competition, usually with no disclosure of their conflict of interest



  7. Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft Fakes 'Charity' and Uses Religious Groups to Acquire Lock-in in the Public Sector

    Microsoft's involvements with NGOs and with governments lead to more distrust, more surveillance, less freedom, and ultimately systemic corruption



  9. Bill Gates' Privatisation Crusade

    Mr. Gates, seeking to increase his huge profits and political power, reaches out to Catholic leaders and David Christian



  10. Tux Machines Under DDOS Attack

    Most of Tux Machines continues to work as usual, but some parts are temporarily restricted to keep the server running



  11. Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

    Links for the day



  15. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  16. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  17. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  18. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  20. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  21. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  22. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  23. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  24. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  25. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  26. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  27. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  28. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  29. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  30. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts