Gator Threatening Those Who Call Their Application Spyware

from the interesting-PR-strategy dept

Many people have pretty strong negative opinions about Gator's adware application (it watches what you surf and pops up its own ads). Gator, like most companies that have strong critics, has decided that they need something of a PR campaign to improve their image - specifically trying to overcome the impression that they're placing spyware on people's computers. So, what do they do? They decide to sue anyone who calls their application spyware. It seems like a debate on semantics, but Gator insists their product is not spyware at all. They claim that spyware is installed surreptiously, whereas their software requires someone to agree to install it. Others disagree with that definition, saying spyware includes any software that is constantly "phoning home" with your information, or which does things (such as pop up ads) without the user understanding why - in which case, Gator would qualify as spyware. However, so far, Gator's "PR" campaign has been winning, and sites are changing how they refer to Gator. This is, most likely, a short term strategy - because of articles like the one linked here, that make Gator look even worse by using threatening lawsuits to quiet anyone critical of their software. Instead of pulling out the big legal stick, wouldn't it have made more sense to make the program less problematic?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Timaaay!, Oct 22nd, 2003 @ 4:26pm

    No Subject Given

    How about we just refer to Gator as "Crapware" and be done with it! No one can dispute that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, Oct 22nd, 2003 @ 7:41pm

    Gator asking to be SLAPPed

    Sounds like Gator is inviting a SLAPP countersuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    eeyore, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 4:51am

    funny that

    We just got told to remove all spyware from all PCs in the facility, specifically Gator. Sounds like someone else just realized that their business model wasn't viable and needs to sue somebody to keep the company afloat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    IceBurrg, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 10:09am

    Re: funny that

    See "business plan, SCO" for further details.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Paul, Apr 14th, 2004 @ 8:17pm

    No Subject Given

    Well, no matter how you look at it Gator is annoying, and is certainly somthing you don't want on your PC. I hope that company crashes and burns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anthony Cea, Jun 16th, 2004 @ 6:50am

    Gator Sucks

    Gator/Claria is a spyware company, these are simply computer hackers that think they have a real advertising business. Look at the Google Gator Page and the Google Lawmakers Page at you will find out why these companies spyware software programs are on the way to being outlawed. No one should have their page views transmitted back to these scumware companies under any circumstances. They can kiss my ARSE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2004 @ 11:27am

    Re: No Subject Given


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2004 @ 6:05pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    google spyware sucks and so do slashdot censors

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2004 @ 12:17pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    techdirt is a censorship organization along with Slashdot their owners, the word is out about your censorship at slashdot, you have NO editorial integrity in your cover up for Google spyware

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Joe, Jun 20th, 2004 @ 2:36pm

    Spyware article

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Steve Mueller, Nov 30th, 2004 @ 4:37pm


    If they're censoring moronic content-free comments like yours, I'm all for more censorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:50pm


    I do not know how well my children understood what Gator was before they installed it on their computers but it certainly seems to have contributed to poor performance, degradation of the registry and ultimately system instability requiring a re-install of windows because nothing else could rip that weed out by the roots.

    In my personal opinion, such software should be illegal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    RvygwMpVVH, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 3:53pm


    BARcuOVJ9o oDj74wDRLFGtYB fEtAI5k0uB

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Tracy, Jan 11th, 2008 @ 8:35am


    That's really dumb. Gator should be totally redoing their program. If they can't handle people calling it spyware then they need to get off their sorry butts and do something other than sueing anyone who calls it spyware! Seriously! Do they actually think everyone is going to stop calling it that especially if it is downloading spyware after they installed the program?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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