Once again, corporate tough guys prove themselves whimpering, whining, spoiled brat babies...
Oh, even though the lamp-posts aren't the same or useable, where are the days of "Hang the plutocrats from the lamp-posts."?
Anyway, I'm printing this entire clip from Pinko Feminist Hellcat because her comments are perfect. As to her title -- from her lips/keyboard to Mammon's ears --- read on:
Every time you blog, God kills a CEO
Daniel Lyons of Forbes magazine likens bloggers to a lynch mob. Because criticizing Corporate America is exactly like lynching someone.
Among the members of the so-called lynch mob are gays, who took Microsoft to task for failing to support a gay-rights bill.
Even mighty Microsoft, for all its billions, dares not defy the blogosphere. In April gay bloggers attacked Microsoft over its failure to support a gay-rights bill in Washington State (the company is based near Seattle). "Dear Microsoft, You messed with the wrong faggots,"wrote John Aravosis, publisher of AmericaBlog, which threatened to oppose Microsoft's plans for a big campus expansion unless the company caved in. Microsoft reversed itself two weeks later, saying it supports gay-rights legislation after all. It says pressure from its own employees, not from bloggers, caused the change of heart.
Will these menacing blogs learn any decency? Pressuring the powerful is the same as lynching. It's terrible.
Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity, protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host. Thus they serve up vitriolic "content" without bearing any legal responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate; at times they even sell ads alongside the diatribes. "We don't get involved in adjudicating whether something is libel or slander," says Jason Goldman, a manager at Google's blogging division. In squabbles between anonymous bloggers and victims Google sides with the attackers, refusing to turn over any information unless a judge orders it to open up. "We'll do it if we believe we are required to by law," he says.
What's odd is that corporations are not above this type of behavior, but it's not a problem until it's the lowly plebes like us who engage. Note the conflation of criticism with slander or libel. And if it's not worded politely, if it's "vitriolic," then it's very, very bad.
The article goes off on bloggers' anonymity--even though pro-corporate nonsense is posted anonymously, as are smears against anyone who takes a corporation to task. Oh, and let's not even get into the shill blogs out there. It's the latest version of astroturfing, when you've got shill "think tanks" and "citizens groups" promoting the cause of a corporation or industry. Now astroturfing blogs are sexy. Fine--but don't snivel about naughty bloggers who hurt your fee-fees by criticizing you.
But it matters not. Their money, their lobbying groups, their own shill blogs mean nothing in the face of the all-powerful blogosphere run amok:
No target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of oratory. Microsoft has been hammered by bloggers; so have CBS, CNN and ABC News, two research boutiques that criticized IBM's Notes software, the maker of Kryptonite bike locks, a Virginia congressman outed as a homosexual and dozens of other victims--even a right-wing blogger who dared defend a blog-mob scapegoat."
Dan Gillmor has a pretty good rebuttal to this drek.
Since the writer doesn't fully spell out what he's talking about, I can't speak to several of these allegations. But of the ones I do know about: Microsoft has done plenty to earn attacks (and, partly by adopting blogging itself, has done a great deal to become more open and less feared). The maker of Kryptonite bike locks was selling a flagrantly defective product that could be broken by anyone armed with a Bic pen, a failing that was exposed by the online community. CBS and CNN were attacked for lousy journalism in the 60 Minutes affair and for the idiotic remarks of a senior executive in CNN's case.
One sidebar, attacking a pro-Linux blogger, inveighs against bloggers' alleged attacks on free speech because they complained about journalism they found wanting. This could have been an interesting story to cover, but Forbes turns something fairly subtle into a cartoon. One of the problems with the story the Linux folks were attacking was some unsupported innuendo, which the Forbes piece actually repeats in an especially slimy way. (Perhaps it's worth noting that the Forbes reporter has a long history of jabbing at the open source folks.)
What I found especially hilarious was the sidebar called "Fighting Back." The suggestions include monitoring the blogosphere, starting your own blog and/or get your employees to write their own pro-corporate blogs, pay blog whores to shill for you, dig up dirt on your critic (they say assailant, because someone criticizing you is assaulting you. At least when "you" are a corporation), threaten to sue the hosting company, or sue the blogger. Tactics I've never seen corporations or entitled executives do before.
Note the conflation of "critic" with "assailant." Histrionic much? By this definition, I'm guilty of assault if I say that I don't like the sneaky, passive-aggressive backdoor way that Apple forces us to give them money. They 'upgrade' your iTunes, but in order for you to be able to load any of the songs you've bought onto your Ipod, you must have the newest system software. And if you don't have it, you must buy it. The iTunes update is free, of course. And it certainly wasn't at all slimy or dishonest how the company changed all of the tunes you bought into a new format that can't be read by your iPod until you get the new system software. Not at all.
Oh, was that an assault? Poor babies.
(Once again, Ambidextrous steers us toward something we really want to read)