Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Propaganda (PR), Embargo, and New Convictions for AstroTurfing

Referee



Summary: Microsoft manages the press in order to hype up Office 2010 and it can be fined severely for AstroTurfing now that laws and enforcement are in place

AS WE pointed out some days ago, Microsoft is likely to be breaking the law when it sends full-time workers to promote Microsoft products in other people's blogs, without disclosure. As the links at the bottom show, our encounter is not an isolated incident and as part of "perception management" [1, 2] Microsoft is looking to control how journalists cover Office 2010. It uses embargoes to limit what they know about the product and how it gets covered. One person spilled the beans on what Microsoft did for Office 2010 coverage.



Well, perhaps. It's only Office, after all. But then the official Microsoft twitter account @MicrosoftEMEA twittered a link - with a smiley - to the embargo breaker's copy. A hack twittered back, saying "Thanks for applauding someone breaking the embargo" only to get a direct message saying "I'm not sure if you taking the Michael? :)". A similar tweet from me got a "me, "official",??? I couldn't possible endorse that kind of behaviour."

Hard to see as MS holding up its end of the embargo deal.


Yes.

Witness how to the so-called "reliable press" actually works. It is an orgy of influence, selling people "perception" (or selling privileged audiences to corporations). That would be Microsoft's PR department. Returning to the subject of illegal AstroTurfing, according to the following report (there are many others), Microsoft can probably be fined millions or even billions for its practices.

The online journal gave a chatty account of a problem-free face lift. "You will never regret it," the patient wrote.

But the seemingly satisfied customer actually was an employee of the firm behind the Lifestyle Lift, writing as part of a company campaign to plant plugs for the procedure online, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in announcing a $300,000 settlement with the company Tuesday.

His office said the settlement appeared to be one of the first to address so-called astroturf marketing, or creating a bogus grassroots buzz about a product.


People should complain about Microsoft because it is doing the same thing at a massive scale and there is plenty of evidence. Andrew Cuomo may be known for his anti-USENET stance, but he would at least be valuable if he could also put an end to Microsoft AstroTrufing (or "astroturf marketing" as the article above calls it... our server administrator calls it "Internet Astroturfer").

Related:



"I'm a huge fan of guerrilla marketing."

--Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Fan

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