Sneaky Sneaks

October 1, 2006

A while back I wrote a post on a PR firm called Netvocates whose mission was to post fake messages on blogs and chat rooms supporting the point of view of their paying client. The post was piggy backing on the work of other bloggers and my only contribution to the debate was the idea that even though Netvocates presented a professional appearance and had codes of conduct that they were nonetheless engaged in acts of deception and were essentially contributing to the massive avalanche of propaganda that we are all buried under.
This appearance is in fact part of the deception and disguises the sneakiness of their behaviour. Happily a netvocate has recently visited this site and beautifully illustrated this point.

A few days ago a comment was posted to my previous Netvocate posting by someone referring to themselves as Cowicide. It read:

Someone needs to make a website that will start keeping track of all these guys and thier polictical/corporate motives, etc. Hopefully, if the site is done well enough and becomes a popular clearinghouse for this, it’ll pop up on Google searches and more people can start to become aware of these scumbag activities online and align against them. They are the caustic, artificial sweetener of the blogoshere.

Certainly seems to agree with what I am saying but below it was a link to a Netvocate web page defending the Netvocate position and in case you failed to take that opportunity the name Cowicide also linked to the same page. Sneaky indeed, typically in our society if a child behaved like this it would be sent to it’s room.

Generally speaking, I figure if what you are doing is above board and honest there shouldn’t be any need to sneak about the place pretending to be something you’re not. I’m just glad I was never so short of cash that I had to get involved in something like Public Relations.

Lastly, I’m sure I’ve seen the name Cowicide somewhere before, perhaps as a commenter on Deconsumption but if anyone can remember where, it would be interesting to look back at what they have had to say.


One comment

  1. Seems to have posted on one of my posts about Netvocates. Resolves back to a comcast account in Denver. Netvocates uses Comcast but aren’t in Denver…


    Posted by: RobinHamman | 10/10/2006

    Thanks Robin. It’s interesting to see a second one. Seems that Cowicides posts fit in with the general tone of the posting but don’t actually say anything very real. I can’t see what the point of that was though – there was no link or anything

    Posted by: Aaron | 10/10/2006


    Posted by: Cowicide | 11/03/2006

    My response is apparently too large to post here, so here it is instead:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ href=”mailto:49403380@N00″>49403380@N00/241150103/?#comment72157594358501842

    Adjust your tin-foil hats and proceed…

    Posted by: Cowicide | 11/03/2006

    Ok, try this one last time:

    Posted by: Cowicide | 11/03/2006

    OK, I was wrong, I admit it, there’s egg on my face, down my shirt and dripping onto my shoes. You’re clearly nobody’s stooge, but can I suggest next time you be a bit more explicit about your intentions. I’d just written a piece saying I was deliberately not linking to the Netvocates site and there you go putting up the link – twice! It certainly looked like you were trying to undermine me.

    Alternatively you could have kept pretending you were a sneaky Netvocate so that their reputation could take a beating. After all, it’s exactly the sort of thing a PR firm would do

    Posted by: Aaron | 11/03/2006

    “… you could have kept pretending you were a sneaky Netvocate so that their reputation could take a beating. …”

    Dammut… why didn’t I think of that? ; )

    Posted by: Cowicide | 11/04/2006

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