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. There is No 'New Microsoft': Under Nadella, Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android Carries on

    Kyocera is again being targeted by Microsoft, using patent aggression, with a secret settlement being reached whose negative impact on Android remains to be seen



  2. Patent Propaganda, Glamourisation, and Erosion of Citizens' Rights in the Process

    An overview of recent coverage about patents, demonstrative of inherent bias in the world of patent practitioners and the journalists whom they misinform



  3. Corporate Media Should Stop Grooming Black Duck by Calling it 'Open Source' and Repeating Its Lies

    Black Duck uses gullible (or easy to manipulate) journalists to spread its marketing talking points, which grossly overstate risks of using Free software



  4. Links 6/7/2015: Linux 4.2-rc1, YotaPhone Picks Sailfish OS

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft Windows Unsafe at Any Speed, by Design

    More timely reminders that Windows is simply not designed to be secure, irrespective of version, status of patching, etc.



  6. After Moonlight Dies and Even Microsoft Abandons Silverlight, the Abusive Monopolist Keeps Pushing for Other Microsoft Lock-in, Injecting OOXML Traps Into Free Software (Moodle)

    Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)



  7. Links 4/7/2015: Mostly (Geo)Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  8. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  9. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  10. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  11. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  12. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  13. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  14. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  15. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  16. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  17. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  18. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  19. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  20. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  21. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  22. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  23. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  24. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  25. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  26. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  27. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  28. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  29. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  30. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs


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