by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
adware, begg-smith, malware, olympics, spam, spyware

An Olympian Spammer Discovers That Reputation Is A Scarce Good You Don't Want To Destroy

from the it's-your-reputation dept

Given what the Olympics have become lately, I have to admit to not paying attention to any of it so far. I heard the news of the luger's death, and that's been about it. So perhaps more people already knew about this, but apparently one of the mogul skiers has a bit of a reputation as a spam/spyware purveyor. It sounds like the guy is now out of that business, but what's fascinating is how his reputation has been tarnished over all of this, despite winning Olympic medals. The Canadians wouldn't let him on the team this time around years back, due to their dislike of his activities, so he switched his citizenship to Australia, and basically, it sounds like everyone hates him:
After Begg-Smith's second place finish in Vancouver this week, one Australian news organization published an article calling him--in the headline, no less--a "sourpuss." Another, the Sydney Morning Herald, labeled the Olympic athlete as "Mr. Miserable" and speculated that he was "simply flying a flag of convenience" with no real ties to Oz.

Canadians were more direct. Facebook groups such as "Dale Begg-Smith is a sourpuss" and another calling him a "traitor" have popped up. Twitter messages after the mogul race have included "traitor," "fake Canadian and all-around jerk," plus other phrases entirely unsuitable for a family publication.
Obviously, some of that hatred is due to him switching citizenship, but the article explains why his spamming/spyware activities are a large part of it as well (and may have resulted in the citizenship switch). I find this interesting not just because of the Olympic angle, but because of the reputation angle.

Reputation is a rather valuable "scarce good," and destroying your reputation through shady activities can come back to bite you for a long, long time, even if you do plenty of other amazing things. Just ask Metallica.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    anon, 17 Feb 2010 @ 7:27pm

    He doesn't have to talk to the press

    This is a rich guy that doesn't need the press to further his career. He just likes to ski and he is damn good at skiing. This has ticked off some reporters and they are lashing out. Most of these athletes need the reporters so that endorsement deals follow. This guy doesn't care about that. That is where most of the sourpuss comes from. the reporters are bitter.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.