Bonum Certa Men Certa

Is Microsoft's AstroTurf Against ODF Still On?

Singer cat



Summary: Signs of more potential AstroTurfing despite the illegality of the practice

THIS MORNING we got warned about someone called "Ghettoblaster", whose documented edits in Wikipedia resemble those of Albert Zonneveld (better known as "hAl"). It is a well-documented fact that Microsoft offered money for supposedly "independent" consultants to edit Wikipedia regarding document formats (Microsoft's PR department does the very same thing in Wikipedia). And now that ODF (the real ODF) is gaining great traction Microsoft is determined to ruin interoperability and give it a bad name with its pseudo-ODF (MSODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]). This is not surprising because Microsoft fought against ODF all along [1, 2].



Assuming that Microsoft is still paying people to do its dirty laundry (see related links at the bottom of this post), the FTC wants to know about it and maybe have them criminalised (which quite frankly is doubtful given the FTC's track record). A reader has just shared with us the following article from the business press:

Blogola: The FTC Takes On Paid Posts



The Federal Trade Commission wants bloggers to disclose when they've been wooed with cash or freebies from companies they cover


It is rarely being discussed that Microsoft is literally buying journalists, adding them to its staff. We gave an example last year and back in 2007 Microsoft was looking for an "open source" journalist to join its ranks. Jon Udell was named as an option and it turns out now that indeed he is working for Microsoft right now.

In January 2007, Udell joined Microsoft as a writer, speaker, and producer of another series of interviews: Perspectives. This show features projects in which Microsoft works with partners — universities, governments, NGOs — to develop new and socially impactful uses of its technology portfolio.


Wonderful. So people in the media get acquired by Microsoft, then use their media skills and connections to the advantage of one single corporation which breaks the law. Add this to the the pro-Microsoft trolls in USENET, one of whom was explored the other day by one of our regular readers.

Desperation by the MS faithful? I think so, I’d love to hear your opinions.


Those who are uninitiated when it comes to AstroTurf tactics at Microsoft are advised to read the posts below. This is not a myth but a reality. It has got to be stopped.

Related posts:

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