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

04.03.14

GNU/Linux Advocacy Needs to Become Stronger in the Face of AstroTurfing

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Leaked Microsoft document

Summary: In the age of ‘Scroogled’ and other AstroTurfing campaigns we need to become more vocal, not less vocal, in support of GNU/Linux

“The year of the [GNU/]Linux desktop” is a phrase that we used earlier today. FOSS Force correctly calls the phrase “a comical punching bag for a number of years.”

We need to change that.

Just as the Pirate Bay and Pirate Party helped change the connotation of the word “pirate” (more commonly used these days to refer to copyright infringement) we ought to change the connotation of the phrase “the year of the [GNU/]Linux desktop,” insisting that this year is already behind us. Judging by the number of Android devices, this is undeniably true for “year of Linux”.

FOSS Force explains that the “phrase has been At the turn of every new year the question can be found on hundreds of Linux-centered websites.”

It adds that: “The fact is, we’ll never see “the year of desktop Linux.”” This actually relates to a later post from FOSS Force [2], which Robert Pogson responds to in [3].

Giving up on the phrase or conceding (as suggested above) would actually just serve the FUD, or in other words this would make it seem like the FUD was legitimate and true. We need to battle the FUD, not surrender to it.

Surprisingly enough, the Linux Foundation has just published an article from an FSF basher. The article itself is quite good and it is titled “Why Arguing That Windows is Better Than Linux Makes You Look Silly” (we have already rebutted many such arguments over the years).

Jim L., who have been a good proponent of GNU/Linux in recent years (even in IDG), adds his views to the article [5], but he goes as far as chastising advocates of GNU/Linux, Android, etc. Some strong GNU/Linux advocates like Robert Pogson have already responded in the comments and as my wife put it, “I would usually agree. However, a lot of anti-Linux is not fanboyism but part of ‘Scroogled’-like whisper campaigns. A lot of anti-Windows is reactionary. Some of the comments here already point this out. You cannot always turn the other cheek.”

What we need to understand id that much of the anti-GNU/Linux ‘journalism’ from sites like ZDNet (that’s what the original alludes to) can actually be traced down to editorial control. Many writers in ZDNet are connected to Microsoft (some are current or past Microsoft staff) and the parent company, CBS, works with Microsoft. Framing OS wars as two camps of “fanboys” fighting against each other is willingly putting a false image and turning a blind eye to Microsoft PR agencies, which we know are manufacturing GNU/Linux-hostile articles (‘Scroogled’ AstroTurfing is one example).

The bottom line is, GNU/Linux advocacy is often facing opposition from a corporate propaganda effort, not a grassroots effort. We oughtn’t just like the PR agents win. We ideally need to expose them. In recent years Microsoft was exposed rallying propaganda agents in sites like Reddit and YouTube.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Making a Difference the Linux Way

    The year of the Linux desktop.

    The phrase has been a comical punching bag for a number of years. At the turn of every new year the question can be found on hundreds of Linux-centered websites.

    “Will this be the year of the Linux desktop?”

    The fact is, we’ll never see “the year of desktop Linux.” Not the way we imagine it anyway. Many of us long for the time when Linux will become a well known alternative to Microsoft Windows. That just isn’t gonna happen.

  2. Meeting Windows User Expectations With Linux
  3. Making a Difference

    He makes some good points, that don’t actually support his thesis. I can give a single counterexample that shows the error of his ways. There are places on this planet where GNU/Linux is a well known alternative OS on the desktop.

  4. Why Arguing That Windows is Better Than Linux Makes You Look Silly

    It seems as though you can’t throw a rock on the internet without hitting an article which argues for the superiority of Windows over Linux. With titles like “Five reasons I’d rather run Windows 8 than Linux”, these articles are a dime a dozen.

  5. Who cares about Windows versus Linux?

    Platform wars are as old as computing itself, but they never seem to really die off and go away, they just morph into new ones as technology itself changes. Linux.com takes a look at the classic Windows versus Linux battle, and why the Windows advocates make themselves look silly by bashing Linux.

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. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  2. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  3. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  4. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  5. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  6. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  7. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  9. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  10. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  11. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  12. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  13. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  15. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  16. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  17. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  18. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  19. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  20. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  21. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  22. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  23. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  24. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  25. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  26. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  27. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  28. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas



  29. Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

    Links for the day



  30. Blackmail and Lies From the Press and the Government of New Zealand Attempt to Sell to the Public a Deal That Broadens Patent Scope

    Corporate conquest or takeover of New Zealand culminates in empty promises from government officials and blackmail against citizens of New Zealand, especially the country's dairy industry


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