Bonum Certa Men Certa

Discouragement by Association

Summary: Comments thread about Techrights reveals familiar pattern

I DO not think I've commented in another site for at least a year, following this change in habit which was a result of people posting under my name, falsely of course. It was Groklaw which taught me never to comment in other sites if there are people pretending to do the same (under the same name) as that would legitimise the fake comments and cause a lot of harm. Pamela Jones (PJ) once taught me that if I prepare to post a comment in another site, then it needs to be announced somewhere where identity can be validated (e.g. in Groklaw in the case of PJ). I thank her for the lesson and I also ought to acknowledge that the comment just added to this piece (in light of concern about the messenger, apexwm, being hackled for merely defending another messenger).



This is a pattern I've been seeing for years and some people in IRC alluded to as well. They sometimes observe people who link to Techrights and end up being cursed for it by some anonymous commenters, sometimes by Novell employees and others to whom Techrights is an inconvenient perspective. Please don't be discouraged and do challenge those people who try to blacklist Techrights. The same tricks were attempted against Groklaw and PJ wrote about it several times.

In any case, I've created a ZDNet and responded to apexwm (whom I never spoke to before). The comment which I put together very quickly says:

I never comment in other people's blogs because some people forge me in them (calling other people "Nazi" and cursing myself), but I've just created an account just to thank you for a good post that I never expected (in fact, people rarely bother to defend defamed sources, so I appreciate it).

Do not be discouraged by people who try to derail your blog and be aware of this article from Wired Magazine. It says: "The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had "retired" from Microsoft last week.

""A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee's to post to ZDNet articles like this one," the email said.

""The theme is 'Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.' The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The 'memo' suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students," the author claimed."

In Techrights' wiki I have a section dedicated Microsoft PR agencies I've been researching and given concrete examples on. Microsoft is outsourcing what Gates calls "evangelisation" because this way it can blame those "rogue" companies when they get caught. It's a cultural thing and the Gates Foundation also spends over $1 per day on this "evangelisation" (planting praise in the press). Sad, but true.

Thanks again for explaining to people not just what people associated with Microsoft (including masked employees who later on turned out to be Microsoft TEs) did to me but also what they do to people like PJ at Groklaw. See PJ's article about how Groklaw was almost driven into closure 7 years ago. It's often done through intimidation and I saw it first hand. This includes campaigns to get critics fired.

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.


As expected, getting involved in the comment only fueled some of the poisonous people, who under an anonymous nym, randomprogrammer for example, posted insults I've seen before (maybe reused). The even funnier thing is Microsoft Jack's hypocritical responses to it. He tries getting the editor involved, too, because he cannot get his way and he chats quite a lot again with Microsoft Florian.

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