Summary: Consumer Watchdog’s president reveals this AstroTurfer’s connection to Edelman, which is a hugely unethical ‘PR’ firm that bribed people for positive reviews of Windows and now hosts a “Slog” against Google
They are getting new ‘dirt’ with which to attack Google and as we showed before, it’s merely AstroTurfing. Right now they use Huff&Puff as their platform as they smear Google from over there. “It’s not funny, it’s damaging,” said to us a reader last night. He helped show us proof that Consumer Watchdog is indeed just AstroTurfing that’s connected to Edelman, which was previously bribing bloggers on Microsoft’s behalf. We already knew this and wrote about it, but now there is an admission right from the horse’s month because they are hypocrites:
Over the weekend, we heard back from c Jamie Court, who sent us the following statement:
The company that hosts our server and backend, Grassroots Enterprises, apparently pre-installs Google Analytics as part of a template on any page they host. We cannot control this, nor do we benfit from the display of data in “useful charts and tables.” We are doing everything in our control to leave as soon as possible, and other controllable sites don’t use GA. The choice of Piwik for Oilwatchdog.org and Insidegoogle.com was because we had a choice. By Thanksgiving Consumerwatchdog.org will have made a similar choie… As I said if we owned the site and not just the text in it I might see it differently, but we don’t and we are doing everything we can to change that.
To us, the key part is their admission that Grassroots Enterprises is hosting their efforts. Grassroots Enterprises is a notorious AstroTurfing arm of Edelman. Our reader asks: “Other than being despicable are they breaking any laws here by pretending to be a non-profit?” This was discussed in IRC (more information in the logs).
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has opened a probe into whether Google ranks its search listings with an eye toward nicking the competition, the company announced in a Friday blog post that suggested the concerns have a major sponsor: Microsoft.
Microsoft was also accused of supporting SCO against Linux companies.
Many Gnu/Linux users might be waiting for someone to approach anti-trust authorities in the US to reboot investigations into Microsoft’s alleged anti-trust practices. If you want to buy a branded PC it comes pre-intsalled with Windows OS, thus killing market for competing OSes like Linux.
Do you think there should be an investigation into such matters?
Wired defends Google right now (“Why Consumer Watchdog is Full of It” the headline says), but the author is not naming the source of it all. “Consumer Watchdog” is just the made-up entity, it’s an AstroTurfing arm. People should call this out in the mainstream press, but they don’t. █