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. Continued Erosion of Software Patents in the US and With It a Demise in Abusive Litigation by Patent Trolls

    Encouraging signs of patent scope tightening/improvement at the US patent system, bolstered by inter partes reviews which crowdsource (or crowdfund) so as to defang serial abusers that rely on dubious software patents



  2. EPO Crushed the Boards of Appeal (i.e. Quality Control) and Insiders Explain Why

    Team Battistelli has made a complete mockery of the EPO and also serves to devalue EPO patents, which in the long term can doom the whole system



  3. Academic Discussion About Patents' Harm and Good, Pushers of Software Patents Still Upset at Alice Decision

    In light of the Alice case, large monopolies and their messengers moan about patent quality control, whereas here in Manchester people have an open debate about the potential harms of over-patenting



  4. Links 30/7/2016: Sysadmin Day, Stardew Valley on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  5. Links 29/7/2016: More Microsoft Problems and Layoffs, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 Alpha Released

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/7/2016: CORD as Linux Foundation Project, Wine 1.9.15 Released

    Links for the day



  7. EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  8. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  9. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  10. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  11. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  12. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  13. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  14. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  15. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  16. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  17. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  18. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  19. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  20. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  21. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  22. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  23. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  24. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  25. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  26. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  27. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  28. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  29. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  30. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)


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