Telco Astroturfing Tries To Bring Down Reviews Of Susan Crawford's Book

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posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 01:23 AM
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So what happens when you combine incompetent astroturfing and fake Amazon reviews? Check out the reviews on Susan Crawford's book, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. Now, I should be clear: while I respect Crawford quite a bit, and often find her arguments compelling and interesting, I found Captive Audience to go a bit too far at points, and felt that the book lost a lot of its persuasive power in really overstating the case. We agree that the broadband market is not even remotely competitive, but we disagree on the solution to that. Still, I think the book is very much worth reading, and an important contribution to the discussion on broadband/telco policy.

But, boy, the telco lobbyists and shills really have been going overboard trying to smear the book every which way. Front groups set up by the big broadband players going by names like NetCompetition, Broadband For America, and Media Freedom have wasted little time attacking the book as if it has no redeeming merits at all.


What is AstroTurfing?
It is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, or public relations) to give the appearance of it coming from a disinterested, grassroots participant. Astroturfing is intended to give the statements the credibility of an independent entity by withholding information about the source's financial connection. The term astroturfing is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.

Who is Susan Crawford?
She is a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She has served as President Barack Obama's Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2009) and is a columnist for Bloomberg View. She is a former Board Member of ICANN, the founder of OneWebDay, and a legal scholar. Her research focuses on telecommunications and information law.



The Book: Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age

I do not know about you, but I just added another book to my must read list. 89 reviews on a obscure non-fiction book? Someone doesn't want me to buy this book.




posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 04:40 AM
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How much is broadband in the US?

I'm in Sweden and I get 10mbit/s for 27 usd or 100mbit/s for 40 dollars, no restrictions on downloading.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 05:28 AM
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I'll have to pick it up as well. Curious to see what she has to say about the telecom industry. I know that the FTC was most likely pretty lax in regards to oil company mergers over the last 15 years. We were asked to keep the Shell-Texaco (Equilon) hush hush. Before that, the market that we were in was divided at 20% shares between Chevron, Shell, Texaco, Arco, and I believe BP had an 18% market share. When Texaco went to merge with Chevron in 2000, Sen. Ron Wyden began screaming because what they were beginning to engage in was zone pricing and redlining. FTC pretty much said that fleecing the hell out of customers was a-okay and it became a ruthless and bloody gas war. And the merger? FTC told Texaco they had to divest their gas stations. The funny thing is that I have it on good authority that another oil company was attempting to enter the market. They never made it in despite that Texaco having to divest those gas stations. Go figure. Haven't seen an Arco in years. Just Shells, Texacos, Safeway and Costco. And heck, Safeway has partnered up with Chevron/Texaco so you can use your reward points at any of the three...what a deal.


That's how good of a job the FTC did with the oil companies so I'm just dying to see how they behaved with the telecom industry and if it is just as bad as oil. No great surprise on the fake reviews. Knew a woman who did that for a living and I found it so duplicitous that I ended up not being able to stand her for that choice.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 05:37 AM
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Originally posted by TheLaughingGod
How much is broadband in the US?

I'm in Sweden and I get 10mbit/s for 27 usd or 100mbit/s for 40 dollars, no restrictions on downloading.


Verizon: $49.99 for 15/5mbs. $59.99 for 50/25 and $69.99 for 75/35. Plus tax on all but no caps on downloading. Comcast has more tiers but, for comparison's sake, 105 mbps is $114.95 for the first 6 months. After those 6 months have passed, they jack up the price considerably.

Net is a lot cheaper in Sweden, lol. Or maybe I should cry.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


Well, at least you've got good gas prices, I know you complain but a gallon here would be 8 dollars!

(Of course, there's so many other factors so the comparison may not be relevant at all, but you know, just sayin')



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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Great thread. It seems a lot of astroturfing is done by people in the developing world; websites to hire them focus in tech needs of companies, mediapresence, and writing papers for college students.
There's always been ways to cheat; yet I felt Icky just seeing thesite. It was too easy & cheap to have work done for you to claim as your own. Good thing the mastery of the English language is subpar, though. Easy to spot, for now!





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