Bonum Certa Men Certa

Bad Apple, Part III: Receiving Glowing Reviews From Business Partners, Without Disclosure

Mossberg and Jobs
Mossberg loves dancing with the stars and he was on the Charlie Rose
show praising Jobs' questionable creation (photo by Joi

Summary: How Apple interacts with the media and with the world in order to ensure it gets positive reviews

Apple relies on a certain dosage of fake hype. It's like those AstroTurfers of Microsoft whose job is similar to audience managers (or 'plants' or extras) in comedy-filming studios where they stimulate laughs among the crowd. We wrote about that around yesterday or the day before that (depends on time zones) and HypePad too was a good example of hype generation through selective gifting.

According to TechDirt, the FTC's new regulations which were intended to suppress AstroTurfing may apply to Apple because of conflicts of interests and lack of disclosure.

And, more recently, there were some concerns over the NY Times' lack of disclosure concerning its relationship with Apple when reporting on the iPad.

Here is the older corresponding post from TechDirt.

Dan Gillmor shares these concerns, but notes an even more concrete conflict of interest — Apple’s advertising of the iPad consistently features a screenshot of the New York Times app, including of course the Times’ logo. Although Apple no doubt hopes to show that its device can be used to read the Times, surely attractive content to many of its target consumers, the image is also terrific advertising for the New York Times. Gillmor indicates that he has no doubt that Times’ reviewers truly believe the contents of their swooning coverage of the iPad, but argues that the benefit that the Times is receiving is a conflict of interest that ought to be overtly acknowledged and discussed by Times management. Yet, he reports, nobody from the Times has been willing to respond to his questions about the issue, such as whether the Times has received any compensation for the display of its logo on the iPad as shown in the ads. Gillmor raised these concerns a week ago, and the Times has yet to address publicly the possible conflict.

Now, watch this new post from Joe Wilcox, the Microsoft watcher who some years ago said "I'm a huge fan of guerrilla marketing."

He argues that "Microsoft pays for enthusiasts Apple gets for free," but it's not entirely true that Apple gets all enthusiasts for free. Some of them are paid and Apple too has this job title called "evangelist" (which is akin to being an AstroTurfer).

On the one hand, I commend Microsoft for using company blogs as marketing tools and for doing some aggressive evangelism around Windows 7 products. Microsoft critics are quick to wave the monopoly flag -- arguing that Windows sales are automatic. Oh yeah? Then explain the Windows Vista fiasco in terms of monopoly might. The majority of Windows XP users stayed put. Now their PCs creak at the bones and it's time for some fresh Windows 7 blood. Given the large number of Windows XP users who should be easy Windows 7 upgrades -- at least according to the monopoly might theory -- Microsoft should be able to sit back and collect the license fees. Instead, Microsoft is marketing the hell out of Windows 7, which is evidence enough that monopoly has more limited benefits than critics admit.


But that was decades ago. Today, Microsoft engages enthusiasts from its Websites and by using social networking and sharing tools. The approach is good, but larger Microsoft brand and product problems hamper the work. Enthusiasts are any company's best evangelists. Microsoft's number has dwindled over the years, while Apple's numbers increased -- at least as measured by the volume hype. Noise about Apple is so much louder than for Microsoft.

In summary, hype is coming from agents of Microsoft and Apple too. In some cases, Apple receives reviews from people whom it pays in one way or another. Apple is nowhere near as bad as Microsoft, but it does require vigilance. A lot of Apple hype is fake or exaggerated.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme/Photography] Photos From the Tux Machines Parties
took nearly a fortnight
SLAPP as an Own Goal
We have better things to with our limited time
GNU/Linux at New Highs (Again) in Taiwan
latest numbers
Dr. John Campbell on Gates Foundation
Published two days ago
How Much IBM Really Cares About Software Freedom (Exactly One Year Ago IBM Turned RHEL Into Proprietary Software)
RHEL became proprietary software
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day
Links 22/06/2024: Chat Control Vote Postponed, More Economic Perils
Links for the day
Uzbekistan: GNU/Linux Ascent
Uzbekistan is almost the same size as France
Independence From Monopolies
"They were ethnically GAFAM anyway..."
Links 22/06/2024: More Layoffs and Health Scares
Links for the day
Rwanda: Windows Falls Below 30%
For the first time since 2020 Windows is measured below 30%
[Meme] IBM Lost the Case Over "Dinobabies" (and People Died)
IBM agreed to pay to keep the details (and embarrassing evidence) secret; people never forgot what IBM called its staff that wasn't young, this keeps coming up in forums
Exactly One Year Ago RHEL Became Proprietary Operating System
Oh, you want the source code of RHEL? You need to pay me money and promise not to share with anyone
Melinda Gates Did Not Trust Bill Gates, So Why Should You?
She left him because of his ties to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein
Fedora Week of Diversity 2024 Was Powered by Proprietary Software
If instead of opening up to women and minorities we might open up to proprietary software, i.e. become less open
18 Countries in Europe Where Windows Fell Below 30% "Market Share"
Many people still use laptops with Windows, but they're outnumbered by mobile users on Android
[Meme] EPO Pensions in the UK
pensioners: looks like another EPO 'reform'
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 21, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 21, 2024
During Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 IBM and Its Subsidiaries Dragged to Court Over Discrimination at the Corporate Level
IBM is a deplorable, racist company
Workers of the European Patent Office Take the Office to Court Over Pension
pensions still precarious
Gemini Links 22/06/2024: FreeBSD vs XFCE and Gemini Bookmarks Syncing Solution
Links for the day
Links 21/06/2024: Matrimony Perils and US-Sponsored COVID-19 Misinformation
Links for the day
"A coming cybersecurity schism" by Dr. Andy Farnell
new from Dr. Andy Farnell
Links 21/06/2024: Overpopulation, Censorship, and Conflicts
Links for the day
IBM and Subsidiaries Sued for Ageism (Not Just for Racism)
This is already being discussed
UEFI is Against Computer Security, Its True Goal is to Curtail Adoption of GNU/Linux and BSDs on Existing or New PCs
the world is moving away from Windows
[Meme] Chat Control (EU) is All About Social Control
It won't even protect children
The Persistent Nature of Freedom Isn't About Easy Routes
Resistance to oppression takes effort and sometimes money
EFF Not Only Lobbies for TikTok (CPC) But for All Social Control Media, Irrespective of Known Harms as Explained by the US Government
The EFF's own "free speech" people reject free speech
Microsoft's Search (Bing) Fell From 3.3% to 1% in Turkey Just Since the LLM Hype Began
Bing fell sharply in many other countries
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 20, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Real FSF Lost Well Over a Million Dollars Since the Defamation Attacks on Its Founder
2020-2023 income: -$659,756, -$349,927, -$227,857, and -$686,366, respectively
The Fake FSF ('FSF Europe') Connected to Novell Via SUSE, Not Just Via Microsoft (Repeated 'Donations')
'FSF Europe' is an imposter organisation
Just Less Than 3 Hours After Article on Debian Suicide Cluster Debian's Donald Norwood Recycles a Fortnight-Old 'Hit Piece'
The fall of Debian is its attack on its very own volunteers