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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.

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Feb 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Given what the Olympics have become...

    So, you are effectively boycotting watching hard-working athletes compete because you dislike the company with the broadcasting rights and the organization that runs the games. Except, at the same time you totally ignore the real drama happening in the 86 actual events themselves.

    Yes. I don't see problem with it. And it's not because of NBC's coverage of it, but the way the IOC has handled itself in a variety of issues. To me, it's not worth supporting an organization that abuses power the way it does.

    I'm glad you like sucking up to the Olympics and justifying their actions. I don't.

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