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

07.16.09

Microsoft Propaganda (PR), Embargo, and New Convictions for AstroTurfing

Posted in Fraud, Marketing, Microsoft, Office Suites at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Referee

Summary: Microsoft manages the press in order to hype up Office 2010 and it can be fined severely for AstroTurfing now that laws and enforcement are in place

AS WE pointed out some days ago, Microsoft is likely to be breaking the law when it sends full-time workers to promote Microsoft products in other people's blogs, without disclosure. As the links at the bottom show, our encounter is not an isolated incident and as part of “perception management” [1, 2] Microsoft is looking to control how journalists cover Office 2010. It uses embargoes to limit what they know about the product and how it gets covered. One person spilled the beans on what Microsoft did for Office 2010 coverage.

Well, perhaps. It’s only Office, after all. But then the official Microsoft twitter account @MicrosoftEMEA twittered a link – with a smiley – to the embargo breaker’s copy. A hack twittered back, saying “Thanks for applauding someone breaking the embargo” only to get a direct message saying “I’m not sure if you taking the Michael? :)”. A similar tweet from me got a “me, “official”,??? I couldn’t possible endorse that kind of behaviour.”

Hard to see as MS holding up its end of the embargo deal.

Yes.

Witness how to the so-called “reliable press” actually works. It is an orgy of influence, selling people “perception” (or selling privileged audiences to corporations). That would be Microsoft's PR department. Returning to the subject of illegal AstroTurfing, according to the following report (there are many others), Microsoft can probably be fined millions or even billions for its practices.

The online journal gave a chatty account of a problem-free face lift. “You will never regret it,” the patient wrote.

But the seemingly satisfied customer actually was an employee of the firm behind the Lifestyle Lift, writing as part of a company campaign to plant plugs for the procedure online, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in announcing a $300,000 settlement with the company Tuesday.

His office said the settlement appeared to be one of the first to address so-called astroturf marketing, or creating a bogus grassroots buzz about a product.

People should complain about Microsoft because it is doing the same thing at a massive scale and there is plenty of evidence. Andrew Cuomo may be known for his anti-USENET stance, but he would at least be valuable if he could also put an end to Microsoft AstroTrufing (or “astroturf marketing” as the article above calls it… our server administrator calls it “Internet Astroturfer”).

Related:

“I’m a huge fan of guerrilla marketing.”

Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Fan

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

4 Comments

  1. eet said,

    July 16, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Gravatar

    I bet, Microsofts’s PR department read this site during their coffee-break and laugh their head off. They couldn’t do a better job of portraying Linuxers as nutjobs and Linux software as risky (–> ‘patent threat’ is this site’s buzzword) if they’d invested millions in those top-secret campaigns that Roy wants to make out,

    Nah, Roy, I don’t think Microsoft considers paying people to ‘shill’ your website (as you constantly say when anybody disagrees with you). You are doing a fabulous job all on your own.

    Do you hear them laughing?

  2. aeshna23 said,

    July 16, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Gravatar

    I think you do an excellent job of exposing Microsoft’s dishonest habits. I wonder about criminal charges. I think that freedom of speech implies a right to “astroturf” or advertise. The reader, like the buyer, should always beware.

    At the risk of being obnoxious, but hell I am obnoxious, I would go so far as to say that hoping Microsoft is prosecuted for advertising their products directly flies in the face of the freedom. Freedom gives us that first letter in FLOSS. Perhaps, you need to calibrate these articles to reflect the value of the freedom.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I wonder about criminal charges. I think that freedom of speech implies a right to “astroturf” or advertise. The reader, like the buyer, should always beware.

    I think civility can be ethically enforced by law because it reduces the friction between people’s right/individual freedom to be informed rather than deceived, misled, and consequently abused.

    Sabayon User Reply:

    I think civility can be ethically enforced by law

    Boy, I hope so. That would mean your little operation would be promptly shut down. I’ll take that along with Microsoft’s real[1] illegal astroturfing .

    [1] That would exclude your self-aggrandizing tantrums about being personally targeted by them, which are obviously just a symptom of your desperation rather than being based on facts or reality.

What Else is New


  1. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  2. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  3. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  4. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  5. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  6. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  7. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  8. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  9. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  10. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  11. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  13. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  14. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  15. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  16. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  18. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  19. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  20. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  21. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  22. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  23. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  24. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  25. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  26. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  27. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  28. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  29. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day



  30. Links 10/7/2014: LXLE 14.04 in Headlines, Plasma 5

    Links for the day


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