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01.13.10

Microsoft-Funded and Microsoft-Derived Blog Tracker/AstroTurf Agency Receives $22 Million to Expand

Posted in Finance, Marketing, Microsoft at 11:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More capital for former Microsoft employees (with Microsoft investments), who are eavesdropping on individual people for “Microsoft, political groups, billionaires and advertising agencies to monitor and manage the online reputation of products, brands and individuals,” according to the Seattle Times

LAST YEAR we provided extensive background about Visible Technologies. Its name should be inverted to say “Invisible Technologies” because this low-profile company is the Microsoft-funded (and made out of former Microsoft employees) equivalent of Radian6, which we last mentioned here. Microsoft is among the clients of Visible Technologies (well, obviously) and this firm is hounding particular people or posts. It offers services to Microsoft, such as gagging of critics and tracking them. It’s akin to AstroTurfing, but of course they would use PR and spin to ‘perfume’ what they are doing.

Here is the press release and coverage that followed:

For those who are not aware of the very unethical behaviour of this controversial company, here are some prior posts [1, 2]. Many people have publicly complained about Visible Technologies.

Isn’t it funny that no news report about this latest development (an investment) talks about the dark side of this company and the negative impact of its planned expansion? As Brier Dudley puts it, “Visible’s service is used by large companies such as Microsoft, political groups, billionaires and advertising agencies to monitor and manage the online reputation of products, brands and individuals. It was started in 2003 in a Kirkland apartment.”

Yes, with roots at Microsoft it is ‘policing’ reputations now. As we showed before, they use automated responses to overwhelm critics of their clients. That includes Microsoft and we have seen how it works.

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