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ZDNet: Are Linux Reviews Fixed?

Jul 12, 2000, 10:50 (23 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

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"In a recent column, Chad Simonds, a Webmaster for Tucows Linux, proclaimed that, "A lot of reviewers" from several small Linux news sites "don't tell you about the bugs and compatibility problems in a program, because they keep getting free software in exchange for glowing reviews."

"While some will find such claims shocking, journalists are all too familiar with such attempts to manipulate reviews. "This is an endemic problem with publications that don't pay their writers," claims one editor. "You get what you pay for. And, when the only 'pay' is coming from the vendor, well what do you expect?"

"Rob Pegoraro, senior technology editor for The Washington Post, reflexes that, "It's not that Linux is special; many software companies see sending out evaluation programs as an extension of marketing. Writers and software makers who buy into this, though, are stupid, because it quickly becomes obvious who's in the tank for a specific company." And, once you've lost your creditability as a reviewer or a magazine, you've got nothing left."

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