Satirical blog post may incite real AT&T protest on Friday

For the better part of three years, author Dan Lyons has run a popular blog under the nom de guerre "Fake Steve Jobs." It began as a satire of Apple culture and was written from the perspective of the Apple CEO, but its tone changed significantly when the real Jobs took ill. Since Jobs' return to work at Apple, "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs," has become more of a straight up tech comedy blog.

In response to AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega's dialogue about encouraging customers to consume less data on their mobile devices, Lyons crafted a satirical post about an "internal Apple e-mail" which encouraged iPhone users to consume even more data in a December 18 protest called "Operation Chokehold."

Subject: Operation Chokehold


On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. The goal is to have every iPhone user (or as many as we can) turn on a data intensive app and run that app for one solid hour. Send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network and sick of their abusive comments. The idea is we'll create a digital flash mob. We're calling it in Operation Chokehold. Join us and speak truth to power!

The post, like all other posts on the site, is a joke. It didn't come off sounding like a great rallying cry for a major protest, but readers of the popular blog seem to have taken a shine to the idea, and many are pledging to actually take part in the flash mob of data consumption.

AT&T has directly addressed the action, saying "We understand that is primarily a satirical forum, but there is nothing amusing about advocating that customers attempt to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services for more than 80 million customers. We know that the vast majority of customers will see this action for what it is: an irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog."

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