Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Crime Persists: AstroTurfing a Regular Practice, Reddit Full of Paid Microsoft AstroTurfers

"Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!"

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Summary: Infiltrating social networks is one of Microsoft's strategic operations and this brings back older evidence, complementing the new

Several years ago I complained that Reddit had been filled with Microsoft influence [1, 2], similar to what happened to Digg [1, 2] and Slashdot [1, 2, 3, 4]. Well, Microsoft has just been caught AstroTurfing through proxies again. For a criminal company which tries to legitimise racketeering, this is actually a relatively minor offence, but still, it should be noted.



Microsoft's AstroTurfing on the Web is nothing new and Microsoft's shadowy PR agencies are, as usual, are managing it. Microsoft did this with Nokia too, Nokia being the proxy at the time (Nokia is also a patents proxy).

As for the evidence of the latest claims, here it is:

Looks like Microsoft just got busted for doing something on Reddit that is a big no-no, according to a Redditor that goes by the name “mistysilver.”

Representatives of Microsoft may be hanging out on the social news site voting up positive comments about the Xbox One, voting down negative comments and adding pro-Xbox comments of their own, Misty Silver says.

Misty Silver didn’t reveal his/her real identity, except to say. “I work for a marketing firm in Redmond that has a contract with Microsoft. I can’t say specifically which division, but suffice to say we are not involved with the Xbox.”


I have been a victim of systematic down-voting, demonisation, identity theft etc. in Digg and elsewhere. Now we know for a fact that Microsoft hires people to do such things. Xbox is a rogue product which significantly harms privacy and consumers' rights (we correctly called the coverage fake hype and paid-for nonsense; to give one example, "[s]hifting the blame from Microsoft" is what iophk calls this latest odd piece), boosted by illegal practices that the FTC said it would go after (but never really did, it was just a face-saving announcement).

"We asked Microsoft for comment on if they have people on their payroll using Reddit," says the report. This question is asked improperly because Microsoft uses its many proxies to hire the AstroTurfers, as we repeatedly demonstrated before. Microsoft can try to deny using a cleverly-worded reply. "They won't use their own payroll," iophk pointed out. "It will be a contractor or sub contractor or subsub contractor etc" (we covered this before).

"Barkto taught them to have a layer of separation," iophk added. We wrote about Barkto in [1, 2].

Gates and Ballmer, with the two operations they run for patent profiteering, do not do the illegal directly. Their PR department is not inside Microsoft, either. It is just like Intellectual Ventures. When you break the law you always try to obfuscate and remove yourself from a position of accountability. The thing about those thugs is, their "Communications" (PR) heads are often hired from one of these proxies, like Waggener Edstrom (also working to hide or rewrite the scams of the Gates Foundation).

Those who like Canonical can pretend that Microsoft has changed [1, 2, 3, 4] are doing everyone a massive disservice, helping to lend credibility to what clearly remains a criminal enterprise where ordinary people get abused and accomplices share a loot with Ballmer, Gates, and the rest of this legendary Mafia. If you had been on the receiving end of their attacks, you too would understand how serious this whole matter is and why federal action is needed. The FTC hardly did a thing when I filed formal complaints about these abuses by Microsoft; the FTC is there to serve corporations (as in rich managers and shareholders), not people. This means that nobody is regulating against AstroTurfing, not in the land of PRISM anyway.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] Debian's 'Cannon Fodder' Economics
Conflicts of interest don't matter
According to Microsoft, It's Not a Code of Conduct Violation to Troll Your Victims Whose Files You Are Purging
The group of vandals from Microsoft think it's "funny" (and for a "nominal fee") to troll Microsoft critics
Microsoft Inside Debian is Sabotaging Debian and Its Many Hundreds of Derivatives With SystemD (Microsoft/GitHub Slopware With Catastrophic Bugs is Hardly a New Problem)
What is the moral of the story about The Scorpion and the Frog?
[Meme/Photography] Photos From the Tux Machines Parties
took nearly a fortnight
 
Links 23/06/2024: Twitter/X Wants Your Money, Google Reports a Billion DMCA Takedowns in Four Months
Links for the day
Digital Restrictions (Like DRM) Don't Have Brands, We Need to Teach People to Hate the Underlying Restrictions, Not Companies That Typically Come and Go
Conceptually, the hens should fear humans, not the farmer who cages them
Going Above 4% Again
Maybe 4% (or above) by month's end?
Conviction, jail for Hinduja family, Debian exploitation comparison
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
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
SLAPP as an Own Goal
We have better things to with our limited time
Independence From Monopolies
"They were ethnically GAFAM anyway..."
GNU/Linux at New Highs (Again) in Taiwan
latest numbers
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
Dr. John Campbell on Gates Foundation
Published two days ago
Melinda Gates Did Not Trust Bill Gates, So Why Should You?
She left him because of his ties to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein
How Much IBM Really Cares About Software Freedom (Exactly One Year Ago IBM Turned RHEL Into Proprietary Software)
RHEL became proprietary software
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