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ZDNet Censors Comments Editors Disagree With

Posted in Site News at 1:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ZDNet censorship

Summary: ZDNet deletes important claims — even defenses of the falsely-accused — which are supported by court evidence and direct evidence; Microsoft Jack (Schofield) acting as the hatchet man of malicious corporations which support his convictions using the same site which he works for

AN incident which we mentioned the other day would simply have been resolved by ZDNet UK had the editors bothered to look at the evidence sent to them. But it has been three days and it fell on deaf ears. Our detractors tried to claim that the now-invisible comments were somehow nasty or “unlawful” (since these were deleted, nobody can verify that this is a fallacy), but for those who want to see the comments which ZDNet UK found unacceptable (to the point of deleting them, as opposed to not approving them in a moderation process), here are the 7 deleted comments, which were eventually fetched from Google Cache. These are posted here in full, in order to prove that there is nothing rogue about them (justifying censorship by complete deletion). So, here are the comments in their entirety, including the text I quoted for reply and in defence of myself, due to wrong allegations being made against me (see prior post for more context):

Comment #1:


More people deserve to be aware of the shady industry which calls itself PR and is sometimes the creation of companies which become its clients (it is proxifying). One company which Microsoft uses (and was created by a former Microsoft employee) brags about methods of auto-finding critics and auto-generating blog comments from templates in order to rapidly respond to criticism, so it’s semi-automated. If the message cannot be shot down, the messenger gets disgraced; if that’s not enough, this sometimes escalates to intimidation and harm (not physical harm).

I should add that Microsoft employees have publicly compared me to Unabomber, a serial killer. Those who accuse me of “libel” conveniently take a one-side, double-standard approach. If they have an issue with something I wrote they should speak out as we have a good track record of correcting errors (we amended about 20 blog posts among 13,000+). Just because someone does not like an opinion does not make this opinion “libel”. Blogs provide opinions a lot of the time and Techrights is carefully worded.

If someone wishes to ask questions, issue a correction, and also find out that we are amicable people can join us at the IRC channels. We are not of the stereotype our detractors claim us to be.

NB – it appears as though the ZDNet comment component just devoured links that I put in my previous comments, e.g. the one from Wired Mag.

Comment #2:


Here’s a good example. In this article, http://techrights.org/2010/03/17/rich-uncle-bill-explored/, he writes about Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. They both testified before Congress on the same day urging an increase in US spending on global health. He also notes that there are photos of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton sitting next to each other.

There is far more than that. If one follows the links and does further digging, it will become apparent. Did you know, for example, that the new speech writer of Bill and Melinda is Clinton’s? I wrote a lot more about it than the above, but it takes patience to learn. I could provide links here, but ZDNet devours links that I put with the hypertext.


Then, about nine months later, he writes this article: http://techrights.org/2011/01/02/vietnam-with-proprietary-software/. In that article, he cites the first article as showing “the special relationship between Clinton and Gates”. Testifying on the same day in Congress and being seen sitting next to each other is a special relationship?

No. What you say is akin to claiming that just because Biden sat next to Geffen/other on some arbitrary date we can suddenly deduce that Biden is in Hollywood’s pocket (with copyright policy). You use an anecdote to infer that it is an *isolated* example. It’s not.

Comment #3:


Next time he writes about Clinton and Gates and their “special relationship”, he’ll cite the second article, so you’ll have to click through twice to see original sources and find out his claim is not supported.

There are many examples which you could find. Search Techrights to find external links, too.

Here’s another good example of poor research: http://techrights.org/2011/01/12/kinect-vs-move-and-truth/. He praises Sony for selling 4.1 million Moves in 2 months, and says it is beating Kinect. I invite you to do the research that Roy either didn’t do, or purposefully ignored. You’ll find Kinect did 4 million in ONE MONTH, and by two months was at something like 8 million. (Oh, Sony’s numbers were “sell in”, and Microsoft’s were “sell through”. The former is how many have been pushed into the sales channel, the latter is how many have sold to consumers. I.e., Sony’s numbers included stock sitting on shelves).

Sony seems to have gamed numbers by channel-stuffing, much in the same way that Microsoft always done (and Techrights kept good record of that). If the Sony ‘numbers game’ fooled us, then we may have an error there, one error in a pile of 13,000+ posts (which may make the above nitpicking on being deceived by Sony, makers of rootkits and lawsuits against PS3 enthusiasts).

A final example: http://techrights.org/2010/08/26/aviation-and-windows-2/. He claims the crash of a Spanair plane was caused by malware. This is an outright lie. The crash was caused by the flaps being in an incorrect position at takeoff, because the pilots did not go through the preflight checklist. There was a warning system that should have warned them of this–but it was not a computerized warning system.

That seems like revisionism from you. It has been well established that malware caused it.

Comment #4:


There was (possibly) malware on a computer owned by Spanair. That computer was at headquarters, hundreds of miles from the plane and crash, and was used to file maintenance reports. Its connection to the crashed flight was that if all had gone well, a day or two *AFTER* the crash, a maintenance report on that plane was due to be filed, and the computer was supposed to then notice that the plane had had the same problem three times in a short period (a problem unrelated to the crash), and flag for further investigation. There is speculation that this flagging would have perhaps failed due to the malware.

That’s beside the point. There was malware there. The context in which I wrote this post was a claim from Microsoft Florian (the lobbyist) that IBM was to blame for the crash — a lie which he repeated several times.

I’ll stop with the examples now, although I have dozens more (some hilarious, like a fairly recent one claiming that the iPad–excuse me, hypePad–has been a big failure commercially).

Got more example? Go ahead. Don’t entertain the audience with mythical ones. SCO said it had “mountains of evidence” that Linux was a ripoff of ‘its’ UNIX. Did it show these “mountains of evidence”?

Comment #5:


I challenge you to actually SERIOUSLY read Techrights for a couple of weeks. By “seriously” I mean read each article and do a good fact checking on it. Follow the links until you get to original sources. Check those sources and see if (1) they actually support what Schestowitz is citing them for, and (2) if they seem to be legitimate sources.

Thanks for urging people to read it from the source rather than by hearsay about the site.

I guarantee that if you do this, you’ll be posting another blog entry, retracting this one.

This does not seem to be the case, does it? And I’ll tell you why. Over the years we’ve had people who entered the IRC channels only to troll us. And you know where these people are today? They are on the channel defending us. They defected. They realised that they have been incited against a site which actually *does* defend their interests. You can go ahead and try comparing me to Beck all you want, but people who actually spend a day reading me on Twitter/Identi.ca will see a stereotype mismatch.

Comment #6:

Microsoft’s Public Relations department, Waggener Edstrom, edits Wikipedia. It’s well documented. http://techrights.org/2008/12/05/waggener-edstrom-wikipedia/

Comment #7:

Well, while we’re at it, Techrights also published leaked E-mails from Waggener Edstrom — E-mails that very clearly show how Microsoft coordinated with ‘reporters’ the planting (their term, not mine) of news which was hostile towards Linux, which is why my suspicion of the likes of Jack is not unfounded.

Microsoft is not just a normal technology company, it’s more like a marketing company. And I can’t help but feel baffled by the account summary of http://twitter.com/zdnetuk_News because it says “All the latest business technology news, covering security, mobile, Microsoft and much more”.

Why is Microsoft the only brand mentioned? It’s not even the most highly valued technology company anymore. Let’s talk about the real issues, not about people. You’re steering the debate towards ad hominem.

This is apparently material which ZDNet finds unacceptable. Amazing, eh? Is there something that is not family-friendly here? I even sent them supporting evidence, but they did not reinstate the comments. They did not even reply after asking for this evidence. What is the point of asking for it if the editors won’t do their job?

Right about now Novell employees are publicly providing “material’ for Microsoft Jack to smear us with (one example among several for reference), omitting context of course (because it’s so much easier to manufacture evidence). He of course goes along with it and posts/repost this. And guess what? It now appears as though they only deleted one of Jack’s comments (censored by his own employer, probably for defaming us with distortions), but they also deleted my own direct response to him which said:

And even though Schofield’s claims above are incorrect and thus libelous, I very strongly doubt ZDNet will have them removed. Mine were correct, but ZDNet has not reinstated the comments as promised (I provided supporting evidence by E-mail) It says a lot about ZDNet. But hey, it’s not like anyone failed to see the bias of the site…

Jack, your immature name-calling is being noticed by a lot of people in Twitter, which helps people learn who really lost this debate. Have a good day. I can’t help suspecting you encouraged your colleagues to remove those comments which you simply did not agree with.

They hide the fact that they have censored fine comments and then, when faced with evidence, still failed to reinstate the comments. The short story is, I won’t bother ever commenting in ZDNet again, and not just because of Microsoft Jack, either (by the way, it’s not a name we made up. “Microsoft Jack” is a name that Guardian readers have used for ages because of his obvious biases). Many of the commenters there have only just joined the site with very vague names and as some commenters explain, these may be people with a vendetta that they hide (Novell employees are known to be anonymously smearing us from other sites, as Carla Schroder once confessed). As for Microsoft Jack, his Microsoft dogmatism has him smearing individuals who do not approve the act of a multinational monopoly abuser. He even insults other commenters in the same thread, belittling them because he arrogantly believes his opinion is the Fountain of Truth. This is pathetic (and possible pathologically so) behaviour which shows he has totally lost the plot, so his retirement is probably well overdue. As for ZDNet UK, he is just a liability to them because he drives away participants.

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. jocaferro said,

    April 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm


    - “Follow the money”.

    Jack Schofield in another article, called stupids to all IT that didn’t migrate from XP to Vista/7. I collected this and other comments and write to the portuguese government sice they adquire 2 million and an half netbooks aon laptops for distribuition among students.
    They aeu currently distribuiting them and all with XP and a GNU/Linux portuguese distro Caixa Mágica.
    In this plan, the companies choose what OS they think is the best and in this case Microsoft Portugal choose XP. Since a voice like Microsoft Jack calls everyone stupid he knows something that MS Portugal should know too right?
    So in this case I can only see 2 alternatives:
    - Microsoft Jack is wrong and most apologize his dumbness;
    - Microsoft Jack is right and Microsoft Portugal deceived the portuguese government (as usual…) and the 2 million and half kids and their families.

    But in not only Portugal since the portuguese assembler also sold 2 million Magellan for Venezuela. I’m thinking that writing to president Chavéz is also a very good idea.

    After all ZDNet is a very responsible company or not?

    Best regards.

    PS: I dont comment to people like that because I don’t want to feed them.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I am preparing an interesting article about ZDNet and earlier today I contacted ZDNet to give them a chance to defend themselves before it’s published. It’s basically about their sources of income.

  2. twitter said,

    April 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm


    Thanks for documenting this grossness. Jo Shields, Florian Mueller, Microsoft Jack and the rest deserve each other.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    How did you know the role played by Jo Shields? In the comment from Jack (which ZDNet deleted) he quoted Shields’ outrageous claim that associates Techrights with calls for the death of Microsoft employees.

    twitter Reply:

    I read Jo’s twitter stream which is linked in. I did not see or notice that particular comment in the ZDNet attack but I did see Jo bragging that Microsoft Jack was quoting him. Jo’s stream is vile.

    As I said earlier, the attention given PJ and Techrights has the stink of an organized campaign. These dorks are passing around three year old smears. I wonder if Microsoft Jack is ashamed he waded into Jo’s lair or if Microsoft wants him to splash it out.

  3. kozmcrae said,

    April 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm


    I just want to tell you Roy that your voice is important to me. I care greatly about GNU/Linux, FLOSS and our Digital Freedoms. We are fortunate to have many fine voices like yours and others but sometimes it seems like it’s not enough.

    From my stand point it’s a war of corporations against individuals. If you look at the progress FLOSS has made in the past two decades the corporations are losing ground. But the more ground they lose, the harder they fight and the dirtier they fight too.

    Thank you for standing your ground in the face of such insults. They are lesser men than you.


    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks for the kind words. Quick response to something important:

    If you look at the progress FLOSS has made in the past two decades the corporations are losing ground.

    I don’t think that’s the case at all. In fact, since the economic crash of 2008 things have gotten a lot worse very rapidly. Those that really empower of individual (people’s rights as opposed to corporate ‘freedom’, meaning deregulation) are Wikileaks and other activist groups that use information to achieve objectives. That’s why between December and March I spent so much time covering these issues in Daily Links. Free software is part of a broader battle for human rights. Techrights tends to look more at the IT side of things because focus — not breadth — is required for deeper understanding of subjects of choice. As expected, 90% or more of our opposition comes from the expected places, e.g. Microsoft, Novell, companies that want to turn FOSS into something else. Their heckling only helps validate our effectiveness.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    “Free software is part of a broader battle for human rights.”

    That about sums it up. It is about time that freedom and human rights centers start to join in after all these years. Question is how to bring them in.

    twitter Reply:

    The obvious way to get other “human rights centers” to understand software freedom issues is to give them their software freedom. Because non free software can not be trusted, no activist should use it.

    The same privacy, security, convenience, features, cost and performance advantages apply to activists as the rest of the world but activists should be more receptive. They see the same astroturf harassment as we do and many of them have been harassed by government as well. They have been put on various government watch lists and been scrutinized at airports and elsewhere. Protesters were raided in their sleep and preemptively arrested at both US presidential conventions, for example, and had their computers seized. Whole drive encryption and email encryption that’s both easy and can be trusted should be of great interest to people at risk of that kind of privacy violation.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The obvious way to get other “human rights centers” to understand software freedom issues is to give them their software freedom. Because non free software can not be trusted, no activist should use it.

    It’s not just trust or privacy intrusion but criminalisation too.

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