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

07.17.09

Microsoft Reported to the FTC for AstroTurf Marketing

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Marketing, Microsoft at 4:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It could be argued that Microsoft’s unethical Technology Evangelism (TE) practices are “old news”—i.e., that Microsoft stopped using these questionable TE practices long ago. This is very unlikely to be the case, for at least three reasons.”

James Plamondon, former Microsoft "Technology Evangelist", 2008

Summary: Microsoft’s paid AstroTurf exceeded readers’ patience, so a formal complained is filed

WEEKS AGO we wrote about the FTC planning to put an end to bribed bloggers. We have already filed a complaint about Microsoft's PR department (Waggener Edstrom) which is bribing bloggers and we finally find that New York state fines companies for fake testimonials. But the nature of today’s complaint is different.

“One Microsoft employee even edited our Wiki to insert promotional links.”This complaint is mostly sparked by a Microsoft-employed “Technology Evangelist” that keeps flooding us with Microsoft-promotional comments whilst he tracks the site (for Microsoft, he is just one among many, whose role involves unethical and sometimes illegal practices). It is probable that there are others who do the same thing in this Web site (anonymous or pseudonymous) because there are no disclosures and at least 2 other Microsoft employees commented in our site this week (in defense of Microsoft). One Microsoft employee even edited our Wiki to insert promotional links.

The main Microsoft “Technology Evangelist” at hand refused to add disclosures to his comments after being exposed. He was asked politely and repeatedly (here for example) to append disclosures. He had never offered any disclose before he was exposed and he doing the same thing in other Web sites where people do not know that he is paid by Microsoft to do “Technology Evangelism”. This activity includes Google bashing and Linux bashing, obviously.

Here is the complaint I sent.

Subject: AstroTurf Marketing by Microsoft Corporation, Without Disclosure

To:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
E-mail: antitrust@ftc.gov

It has come to my attention[1] that you are working to end the practice of unethical marketing on the Web. I hereby wish to file a complaint about “Microsoft Corporation”, lodged at address:

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-7329
USA
Tel: (425) 882-8080
Fax: (425) 706-7329

The firm employs people whom it calls “Technology Evangelists”. They travel the World Wide Web and comment in Web logs (blogs) in order to manage perception about Microsoft products, without offering any disclosure. I have the identity of at least one such Microsoft employee, who is littering my Web site with Microsoft promotion and offers no disclosure about his job. This phenomenon is very widespread and I shall produce substantial proof as you require it.

With kind regards,

Roy Schestowitz

_____
[1] http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10269962-38.html

This is not being mailed in vain.

Our complaint to the European Ombudsman, for example, was a great success and we have been sending extensive proof now that they are on the case, exchanging E-mails and phonecalls with us.

Microsoft’s perception management [1, 2] for key products like Bing, Silverlight and Windows 7 [1, 2, 3, 4] must end. It is done in a way that violates the law. Other companies are arguably breaking the law in a similar way, but they do not go quite as far Microsoft [1, 2].

We advise other victims of Microsoft “Technology Evangelism” (AstroTurf marketing) to do the same and report such issues. otherwise it will never stop.

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. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  2. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  3. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  4. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  5. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  6. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  8. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  9. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  10. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  11. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."



  12. Why You Should Adopt Debian 10, Not Vista 10 (Windows Vista With Microsoft's Latest Surveillance Add-ons)

    A little personal story and recommendation of Debian "Buster" (10) or Devuan (whose developers persist)



  13. Ethics by Exclusion

    It's the same old philosophical question; can excluding those who are perceived to be intolerant be seen as an act of tolerance?



  14. Even Worse Than Microsoft Inside the Board of the OSI

    The OSI has accepted people from companies that actively attack Software Freedom and there may be more on their way



  15. ZDNet Continues to Stuff Its 'Linux' Section With Proprietary Software of Microsoft

    The above is what the "Linux" section of ZDNet is going to look like throughout the weekend (and this is hardly unusual, either)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 21, 2020



  17. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  19. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  20. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  21. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  22. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  23. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  24. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  25. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  26. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  28. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  30. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.


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