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Fakers Need to Stop Polluting the Knowledge Space

Fakers Need to Stop Polluting the Knowledge Space

  • "Crossing the Line: Deciding to Fight For Integrity"

    Recently it's been confirmed that employees of the JBoss Group have been for some time been making anonymous and/or fake posts on various Java community sites. They've been aggressively promoting their platform by pretending to be people who are using JBoss and like it - and just as aggressively they've been attacking people who speak against them or their products.

    They even used fake names while loudly accusing people who posted against their views of being imposters themselves.

    When fakers like this pollute the knowledge space we all share and count on to help move technology and innovation forward, we all lose. It's time to stand up and demand better.

    Another example of this is the annual ballot stuffing that allegedly occurs in the voting for the JDJ Readers' Choice Awards. It seems every company that has a product nominated sends out e-mail blasts to their employees encouraging them to vote for the company's products.

    Some companies raise this ballot stuffing to an art form. Their mottos seem to be, "Vote early, vote often, and write a perl script to keep voting for you after you leave for the day."

    As a member of JDJ's advisory board and Editor in Chief of its sister title, LinuxWorld Magazine, this really bothers me. We really want to be a great resource for the community, but we know that the fakers compromise everything.

    As a community we need to demand better of ourselves and our peers; and as individuals we need to have more integrity. If we keep our shared knowledge space clean and reasonably trustworthy, we're all better off.

  • More Stories By Kevin Bedell

    Kevin Bedell, one of the founding editors of, writes and speaks frequently on Linux and open source. He is the director of consulting and training for Black Duck Software.

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    Most Recent Comments
    Cameron Purdy 05/21/04 06:08:46 PM EDT

    It's important to keep the product etc. out of the conversation, and to focus on the behavior, and specifically to the use of anonymous (actually "fake name") accounts to criticize, discredit and silence individuals with differing opinions. Either the behavior is acceptable or it is not, and if it is not, then it is worth pointing the behavior out and trying to do something to prevent it from occurring again.

    JBoss has an official comment now at:

    FleurysMom 05/21/04 04:42:39 PM EDT

    Everything that was said about astroturfing by JBoss is a lie! You're all so jealous about the great JBoss products, which you can buy support for at

    tc 05/21/04 04:20:10 PM EDT

    Porkface - that sounds like astroturfing to me...didn't they say they weren't going to do that anymore? ;)

    JBossUgh 05/21/04 03:07:58 PM EDT

    JBoss is one of the worst app servers actually. My personal favourite is Orion.

    Mike Spille 05/21/04 02:39:33 PM EDT

    Whoops, second link should have been:

    Mike Spille 05/21/04 02:29:47 PM EDT

    SuperKendall - you said precisely the same thing on slashdot, going so far as to say that I was a CDN employee (I'm not). As I said on slashdot, CDN was one small piece of the puzzle, but passion isn't part of the equation - this is about business, and doing what it takes to win business.

    Porkface 05/21/04 02:09:12 PM EDT

    This may discredit JBoss to a lot of untrained people, but it doesn't discredit results of testing and experience of many people I know that say that JBoss is a quality product.

    SuperKendall 05/21/04 02:06:07 PM EDT

    From the sketchy reading I did I formed the thoery that JBoss did this to attack CDN which they belive betrayed them by splitting off, and thier emotions ran away with them. Most of the positive posts did not seem so much like cheerleading to me, and didn't seem to offer than much gain for JBoss as a company.