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

06.29.13

CBS is Censoring Its Writers’ Articles, Not Just Polite Comments It Disagrees With

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money determines agenda and regulates the message, apparently

Canadian money

Summary: Evidence of interference with editorial independence in a network notoriously friendly towards Microsoft, its large client

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is a great writer (highly knowledgeable, technical yet eloquent) and I want to start this post by clarifying that none of it came from him. It was really just me who inquired for answers. He never complained about his employer to me. He is sincere and he wanted to respond to me frankly. I will refer to him as the “author” from here onwards as I can no longer hide his identity as I attempted before (the context gives it away now).

“Several days ago I wrote, without dropping any names, that an article got deleted from ZDNet.”Several days ago I wrote, without dropping any names, that an article got deleted from ZDNet. It was very critical of Microsoft. “The short version is it shouldn’t have been published until we knew more about what was going to be revealed at Build 2013 about Windows 8.1, RT and WP8,” the author explained to me. “What appeared on Sunday was an early draft.” Okay, but if it got published, then it’s not a draft anymore. In fact, it got published and syndicated in several sites, which means it was up there for quite some time. Some Windows-friendly sites posted fragments of it. I asked the author: “Couldn’t something be modified as new information surfaced? And what is it that so dramatically changed the headline?

“From what I can make of it, you published an article – even somewhat speculatively perhaps – and other CBS staff did not like the message, so they pressured you to change the message or withhold it (requiring alternations even if by self-censorship), which means editorial interference, and not the first I would see from this network. Is that fair to say?

“I worked for Datamation and I saw how self-censorship works. I stopped writing for them and started focusing on my own platform where I can’t be bossed around like that, even by implicit deterrence.”

I remain quite convinced, based on what I found out, that the author faced opposition from other people. Maybe even people who fired other FOSS writers in ZDNet (he is the only one left after Paula left and Dana got fired).

“I remain quite convinced, based on what I found out, that the author faced opposition from other people.”Our contributor iophk says: “An acquaintance is on university faculty [....] ostensibly has the topic of media manipulation. I’m not sure if I can re-establish contact but this is the kind of thing I would expect him to cover.

“In another direction, exposing these kind of shenanigans is similar to what Dvorak was asking about. Someone on the inside coming clean with the dirty tricks.

“Going back to a very old discussion about bait headlines, I suspect that editorial staff have been pressuring authors for a while. Of late, they seem to have been stocking the author pool with their trolls (Perlow, Whittaker, etc)”

Those two names are of people who work for Microsoft or were working for Microsoft. Now they are writers for ZDNet.

“Those two names are of people who work for Microsoft or were working for Microsoft. Now they are writers for ZDNet.”The author of the above piece says: “This piece really did go out prematurely and I really did decide to switch the focus and headline as we got more info about what was what from MSFT and Intel.”

He had said that there was an editorial challenge from within, so withdrawal of the original article was not purely his choice. “The conclusion is still the same,” he said, “RT and WP8 will soon be history.”

It no longer says it in the headline like it used to. This is de-emphasised, but I agree, it still conveys a similar message. The main issue here is this: colleagues should not have interfered, or perhaps these were superiors. The culture in ZDNet is hostile towards FOSS and it shows. The author says “that’s the Web in action, once something is up you can never really pull it down.”

I responded with: “There are ways to correct or enhance by updating. Even MSM sites like Reuters do this excessively to match new information as it arrives.”

“ZDNet is rubbish and it’s well-documented that it’s a self-inflicted prognosis.”Everything I have heard from the author reassures my suspicion that they are censoring articles critical of Microsoft at CBS sites like ZDNet, even just by discouraging writers. It is self-censorship as we called it the other day. Here is the modified article. It says: “In time, Microsoft’s mobile operating systems, WP8 and RT, will be left to wither and die. They’ll be replaced by Windows 8.1/Windows 9 as the next-generation x86 chip family becomes more tablet- and smartphone-friendly. Then, no matter who “wins” the mobile platform wars–Android, iOS or Windows; ARM or Intel–Microsoft will still find profits.”

Watch the comment that says: “Your comment contains words or phrases associated with spam and will not appear on the site until it has been checked by a moderator.”

The thing about ZDNet moderators is, they deleted my comments despite these comment violating no policy and just because the moderators did not agree with what I said. ZDNet is practising censorship at several levels, not just when it comes to comments. Microsoft is a client of CBS, but for ZDNet to sell out like this or give up on integrity because of that simply means that it’s not news/journalism, it’s agenda or propaganda with a tinge of truth for posturing as “balance” or “facts”. It’s like Rupert Murdoch’s Fox ‘news’.

Techrights, by contrast, in almost seven years of existence, never deleted a single post or even a single comment. Moreover, I tend to publish all site-related E-mail that I receive, e.g. in IRC (publicly archived), sometimes anonymised or trimmed to respect privacy. There is no room for ‘leaks’ against us as we are as transparent as can be. We did receive several leaks in the past and we did publish them without ever failing to protect their source. So, we cannot be accused of hypocrisy here. ZDNet is rubbish and it’s well-documented that it’s a self-inflicted prognosis.

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. Links 22/1/2018: Linux 4.15 Delayed Again, Libinput 1.9.901

    Links for the day



  2. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  3. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  4. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  5. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  6. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  7. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  8. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  9. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  10. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  11. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  12. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  13. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  14. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  15. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  16. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  17. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  18. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  19. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  20. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  22. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)



  23. Press Coverage About the EPO Board Revoking Broad's CRISPR Patent

    Even though there's some decent coverage about yesterday's decision (e.g. from The Scientist), the patent microcosm googlebombs the news with stuff that serves to distract from or distort the outcome



  24. Links 17/1/2018: HHVM 3.24, WordPress 4.9.2

    Links for the day



  25. No Patents on Life (CRISPR), Said EPO Boards of Appeal Just a Few Hours Ago

    Broad spectacularly loses its key case, which may soon mean that any other patents on CRISPR too will be considered invalid



  26. Only Two Weeks on the Job, Judge Patrick Corcoran is Already Being Threatened by EPO Management

    The attack on a technical judge who is accused of relaying information many people had already relayed anyway (it was gossip at the whole Organisation for years) carries on as he is again being pushed around, just as many people predicted



  27. EPO Board of Appeal Has an Opportunity to Stop Controversial Patents on Life

    Patent maximalism at the EPO can be pushed aback slightly if the European appeal board decides to curtail CRISPR patents in a matter of days



  28. Links 16/1/2018: More on Barcelona, OSI at 20

    Links for the day



  29. 2018 Will be an Even Worse Year for Software Patents Because the US Supreme Court Shields Alice

    The latest picks (reviewed cases) of the Supreme Court of the United States signal another year with little or no hope for the software patents lobby; PTAB too is expected to endure after a record-breaking year, in which it invalidated a lot of software patents that had been erroneously granted



  30. Patent Trolls (Euphemised as “Public IP Companies”) Are Dying in the United States, But the Trouble Isn't Over

    The demise of various types of patent trolls, including publicly-traded trolls, is good news; but we take stock of the latest developments in order to better assess the remaining threat


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