Trusting Strangers

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Published in On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Mercenary

--Schestowitz 22:58, 6 April 2011 (UTC)


Summary:

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A TECHRIGHTS READER has brought a new comment from John Bilderback to our attention. John writes, "I get $10 USD for each 50 word comment I write. We have a site we log into where we point the auto script to check against our name and the comment".

While this seems absurd, the reader believes Bilderback is serious. At least the name seems real, but we at TechRights are sceptical nonetheless. Consider <a href="http://mrpogson.com/2011/04/04/problems-addressed/comment-page-1/#comment-43305">this</a>:

I get $10 USD for each 50 word comment I write. We have a site we log into where we point the auto script to check against our name and the comment. A heuristics engine checks for certain words. For example, if we use the word “Microsoft”, it gets counted as 3 words. Punctuation doesn’t count. We get bonus points (words) if we link back to Microsoft. I currently make about $700 USD per month. It doesn’t quite pay for a living but it makes for extra spending money.

Tony E. Whitcomb, another so-called insider, has E-mailed us on a weekly basis since 2010. Typically, we do not cover any of his claims (he [cref 39880 alleged that Microsoft's Jon DeVaan had engaged in political corruption/election fraud]). However, there seems to be enough merit to these claims that we decided to [cref 46995 mention then again earlier today]. These same claims are now being <a href="http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/letter-from-a-whistleblower/" title="Letter From a Whistleblower">shared with other sources</a>:

Fellowship of the Minds received an e-mail from Tony Whitcomb, a reader who’s asking for our help to publicize what he claims are Microsoft’s illegal campaign contributions to Obama. Mr. Whitcomb’s plight is heartbreaking and should disturb any American. For his whistleblowing, in three years he has gone from being the CEO of a multi-million dollar Internet start-up (that now is 49% owned by Microsoft) to being flat broke and homeless.

To what extent are these true? And how can one judge? These questions illustrate the difficulty involved when dealing with proprietary sources of all kinds.<a href="#top">█</a>

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