07.17.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Reported to the FTC for AstroTurf Marketing

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Marketing, Microsoft at 4:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It could be argued that Microsoft’s unethical Technology Evangelism (TE) practices are “old news”—i.e., that Microsoft stopped using these questionable TE practices long ago. This is very unlikely to be the case, for at least three reasons.”

James Plamondon, former Microsoft "Technology Evangelist", 2008

Summary: Microsoft’s paid AstroTurf exceeded readers’ patience, so a formal complained is filed

WEEKS AGO we wrote about the FTC planning to put an end to bribed bloggers. We have already filed a complaint about Microsoft's PR department (Waggener Edstrom) which is bribing bloggers and we finally find that New York state fines companies for fake testimonials. But the nature of today’s complaint is different.

“One Microsoft employee even edited our Wiki to insert promotional links.”This complaint is mostly sparked by a Microsoft-employed “Technology Evangelist” that keeps flooding us with Microsoft-promotional comments whilst he tracks the site (for Microsoft, he is just one among many, whose role involves unethical and sometimes illegal practices). It is probable that there are others who do the same thing in this Web site (anonymous or pseudonymous) because there are no disclosures and at least 2 other Microsoft employees commented in our site this week (in defense of Microsoft). One Microsoft employee even edited our Wiki to insert promotional links.

The main Microsoft “Technology Evangelist” at hand refused to add disclosures to his comments after being exposed. He was asked politely and repeatedly (here for example) to append disclosures. He had never offered any disclose before he was exposed and he doing the same thing in other Web sites where people do not know that he is paid by Microsoft to do “Technology Evangelism”. This activity includes Google bashing and Linux bashing, obviously.

Here is the complaint I sent.

Subject: AstroTurf Marketing by Microsoft Corporation, Without Disclosure

To:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
E-mail: antitrust@ftc.gov

It has come to my attention[1] that you are working to end the practice of unethical marketing on the Web. I hereby wish to file a complaint about “Microsoft Corporation”, lodged at address:

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-7329
USA
Tel: (425) 882-8080
Fax: (425) 706-7329

The firm employs people whom it calls “Technology Evangelists”. They travel the World Wide Web and comment in Web logs (blogs) in order to manage perception about Microsoft products, without offering any disclosure. I have the identity of at least one such Microsoft employee, who is littering my Web site with Microsoft promotion and offers no disclosure about his job. This phenomenon is very widespread and I shall produce substantial proof as you require it.

With kind regards,

Roy Schestowitz

_____
[1] http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10269962-38.html

This is not being mailed in vain.

Our complaint to the European Ombudsman, for example, was a great success and we have been sending extensive proof now that they are on the case, exchanging E-mails and phonecalls with us.

Microsoft’s perception management [1, 2] for key products like Bing, Silverlight and Windows 7 [1, 2, 3, 4] must end. It is done in a way that violates the law. Other companies are arguably breaking the law in a similar way, but they do not go quite as far Microsoft [1, 2].

We advise other victims of Microsoft “Technology Evangelism” (AstroTurf marketing) to do the same and report such issues. otherwise it will never stop.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  2. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  3. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  4. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  5. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  7. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  8. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  9. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  10. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  11. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  12. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  13. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  15. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  16. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  17. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  19. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  21. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  22. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  23. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  24. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  25. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  26. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  28. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  29. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  30. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts