I’ve been a bit remiss in my blogging about the train wreck that is called Overstock. com. The CEO, Patrick Byrne (known to many as “Wacky Patty”) and his Director of Communications, Judd Bagley regularly engage in questionable behavior in an attempt to shut up the critics of Overstock.
The crazy thing? Why don’t they just run the company? I mean, really. Overstock.com sucks. The company can’t turn a profit. Loss after loss after loss. You think they’d be concerned and actually try to do something right with the company??? Nope. Too busy chasing after Sith Lords because they shouldn’t be pointing out the problems with the company.
Well here’s the latest, and it’s good. I’ll break it up into 3 posts to give you a little time to digest it all…
A great sleuth who goes by the screen name ScipioAfricanus has a blog called O-Smear. The purpose of his blog is to expose online smear campaigns, such as the one that Patrick and Judd are waging against Overstock’s critics.
Scipio has been on a roll! He started at the beginning of this month with a post on the “Black Ops” at Overstock.com. Patrick Byrne has long disclaimed any involvement with Judd Bagley’s “AntiSocialMedia” (ASM) website. Bagely uses that site to intimidate Overstock critics. Well it’s pretty clear that Byrne directs him to a large extent, and that he runs the website while on “company time” at Overstock.
The “Black Ops” posted proved that, in fact, Bagley is using Overstock computers to maintain the ASM site. Is that in and of itself wrong? I’m not sure. Maybe not. But you’ve got Byrne and Bagley claiming that this doesn’t happen, so clearly someone is lying.
Here’s Scipio’s summary:
For a remarkable example of hijacking discourse, one has to look no further than the charades that were going on at the InvestorVillage message board for Overstock.com. It becomes strikingly clear that the PR and smear campaigns are far more than a weekend hobby. It’s clear to anyone who follows it closely, but we need to descend into the “Rathole of Analysis” to see the scope.
I have examined the message board activity for Judd Bagley under his various pseudonyms. What becomes clear is that Overstock “Black Ops” are part of day-to-day affairs. What follows are just the message board posts that would fall into general business hours, M-F 6am to 6pm.
What are the odds that the Overstock “Black Ops” have been simply someone’s “hobby” given this much activity on a stock message board? Remember, this is not even taking into account activity at other sites such as Wikipedia, Yahoo, Motley Fool, WikipediaReview, etc. The effort directed at Wikipedia alone likely dwarfs that of the stock boards.
What are the chances that Patrick Byrne really has nothing to do with this work of Bagley on ASM? Well if you’ve followed this story for any length of time, your answer most likely is: zero.