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Bill Kroske, the vice president of business development at American Traffic Solutions, posed as a Spokane local on The Spokesman-Review website in an attempt to promote his company's products

A business executive at American Traffic Solutions has been suspended after posing as a local resident of Spokane on the company's website and newspaper websites, where he posted comments supporting the red-light cameras that were placed in the Washington city.

American Traffic Solutions, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializes in photo enforcement and red-light camera contracting. The company has red-light cameras placed throughout the United States, with one of the cities being Spokane, Washington. 

Bill Kroske, the vice president of business development at American Traffic Solutions, posed as a Spokane local on The Spokesman-Review website. He posted comments encouraging the use of the red-light cameras in Spokane provided by American Traffic Solutions. 

From January through July of 2010, Kroske posted nine comments under the username "Obie1" on the website. He would talk as if he was not himself, but rather, a Spokane local that was happy with the red-light camera issues. It was an attempt to promote business in that area for American Traffic Solutions. 

He would call red-light camera critics the "camera paranoia group" and denounce those that didn't agree with their purpose. 

"It is that same lack of common sense and emotional control that is found in aggressive and dangerous driving," said Kroske in the forums when other users disagreed with the use of red-light cameras.

Kroske also encouraged "safe drivers" to unite when a bill in the legislature intended to cap red-light tickets, and even defended red-light cameras when a user showed statistics that crashes increased at intersections with red-light cameras in winter.

Kroske's last post was in July 2010 when another user blogged about Tim Eyman, who sponsored a ballot measure to reduce the use of red-light cameras in Mukilteo. 

"I hope the safe drivers in Mukilteo will unite and support their police department," said Kroske. "However, I would recommend we have an initiative here too: one banning Eyman from ever moving to Spokane!"

But The Spokesman-Review isn't the only website that Kroske was commenting on. A reporter for The Herald, of Everett, Washington, was covering the "Photo Red" program. Kroske would comment on the articles under the username "W Howard." According to The Herald's editor, Neal Pattison, the username was linked to Kroske's company e-mail, tracing the comments back to Kroske. Kroske never mentioned who he really was. 

According to American Traffic Solutions' Spokesman Charles Territo, Kroske was very passionate about the company, but just went about it the wrong way by posing as someone else for company promotion. 

Kroske is now suspended for an uncertain amount of time.


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By Some1ne on 5/24/2011 6:34:50 AM , Rating: 5
"Red Light Camera" Exec Suspended for Getting Caught Trolling Internet Sites

There, I fixed it for you. Many companies (and also political and religious organizations) pay good money for people to troll around the Internet and promote their product (or candidate or cause). It's kind of sad, really. But it's also only news when someone gets careless and ends up being exposed for the amoral shill they are.

RE: Title
By Dr of crap on 5/24/2011 9:11:38 AM , Rating: 3
It's only when they get caught that we HEAR about it!

RE: Title
By VahnTitrio on 5/24/2011 10:30:19 AM , Rating: 5
Which is more disturbing: the fact that they do so or the fact that 4chan is the most likely entity to catch them doing so?

RE: Title
By CZroe on 5/24/2011 11:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
It's called "guerilla marketing" and it seems legal as long as you pay a third party to do it. ;)

RE: Title
By EricMartello on 5/24/2011 10:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
It worked well (and still works well) for Newegg. Just keep that in mind when you peruse review sites and blindly accept what is said as legit. Over 40% of the reviews, recommendations and other user feedback out there is fake.

RE: Title
By AntDX316 on 5/27/2011 8:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
so the company suspended him for promoting the company's product?

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