Round 10: Sony vs Exxon

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Sony: Rootkit, PSP Flog, Kotaku (temporary) Blacklist, fake grafiiti
Exxon: Oil spills, advantageous profits, covers baby jesus seals in oil, etc.




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  1. esqdork says:

    Sony’s actions, though annoying, do not kill people. Indeed, I think we hate Sony primarily because they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

    Exxon soils the world makes billions of dollars in profit doing it while blaming their price increases on the global oil market. Two words: Exxon Valdez.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Also with Sony: RIAA / MAFIAA

  3. mopar_man says:

    Sony’s actions, though annoying, do not kill people. Indeed, I think we hate Sony primarily because they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

    Exxon soils the world makes billions of dollars in profit doing it while blaming their price increases on the global oil market. Two words: Exxon Valdez.

    I agree 100%. While I can avoid Sony, Exxon can not be avoided and affects just about everybody.

  4. muddgirl says:

    Wait, am I supposed to vote for the baddest as in the worst or the Baddest, as in the best? I demand a moon-walk-off!

  5. B says:

    I don’t blame Exxon for selling a product people want and a price people are willing to pay. Sony, on the other hand, I can’t forgive for the rootkit incident.

  6. Iron_Dragon says:

    Sony… The PSP flog, rootkits, exploding batteries, and numerous retarded PR releases were bad but threatening Kotaku? You just made my enemies list.

  7. middy says:

    Please… Exxon sells a commodity (you do know what a commodity is, right?) at the going price. Blame OPEC if you don’t like it. Better yet, blame the hippies that won’t let us build more refineries, or drill the Gulf, or even the Godforsaken tundra where nobody wants to live except a few caribou.

  8. kenposan says:

    This was a tough one but I am feeling very anti-media company today.

    Middy: I can’t blame OPEC when big oil is generating RECORD profits. I can’t blame hipppies when big oil chose not to invest in new refineries. I can blame hippies for not allowing drilling in Alaska. But I support them on that.

    Alternative fuels and energy sources is what we need. If we had actually jumped on this bandwagon in the 70’s and followed through, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

    Want to blame someone? Blame the idiots we elect to represent us.

  9. shoegazer says:

    Exxon is no worse (or better) than any of the other publicly traded oil companies, and is probably far better than some of the private ones (whose obscene profits DON’T make the headlines). Sony, on the other hand, should be ashamed of themselves for the DRM, rootkit and flog madness. Don’t forget the asploding batteries, PS3 alternate reality bullshit, and just general asininity.

  10. B says:

    @middy: I prefer to blame the people who drive inefficient vehicles and increase the demand for the product.

  11. AtomikB says:

    Exxon was ordered to pay $5 billion in damages after the Exxon-Valdez spill 18 years ago… but it’s been in appeals ever since, and they have yet to pay the damages.

    At the time of the spill, thousands of animals died immediately; the best estimates include 250,000 – 500,000 sea birds, 2,800 – 5,000 sea otters, approximately 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 orcas, and billions of salmon and herring eggs. And they still haven’t paid reparations.

    Sony may be a rip-off in many ways, but they never destroyed the ecosystem of 1900 miles of Alaskan coastline, and never killed a single baby seal or orca.

  12. Elaine Chow says:

    Yeah, I’m surprised that any people would even contest this. I don’t fault Exxon Mobil for making money (disclaimer: my dad used to work for Mobil), but there’s a lot of other crap that they’ve done that’s just ridiculous.

    1) Funded “scientists” to tell people that carbon dioxide isn’t bad at all
    2) Huge amounts of worker safety violations
    3) Has continued to appeal constantly every single environmental disaster it has ever caused (including a giant one in greenpoint, brooklyn – check for more details)
    4) Engaged in illegal trade with FRICKIN’ SUDAN!!!

    What’s Sony done? Oh yeah, pissed off people with its root kit/exploding batteries. Banned a blog (for a little while). Been a PR dumbass.

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    Exxon isn’t simply a neutral provider of commodity products. Pick any extreme anti-environment, anti-consumer position relating to anything that an oil company could even conceivably have an interest in, and Exxon’s leading the battle against common sense and a longer-term view of our economic interest. This besides all the lobbying/political shennanigans that they do, which would be enough to push them over on their own.

    Plus their CEO is melting before our eyes. Nail the bast*rd before he seeps away to join his brethren in Hell.

  14. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh, and the “poor lil’ oil companies prevented from building refineries by granola-crunching hippies” meme is totally lacking in merit. Simple fact is that there are LESS refineries now than before. The others were acquired then closed – by the oil companies themselves – so they could jack prices up.

    It’s a cannard. You guys saying otherwise might find it worthwhile to investigate this…

  15. Keegan99 says:

    Those 10% profit margins that Exxon’s been posting are EVIL, I say!

    What’s that? Pharmaceutical and software companies, along with many others, typically have margins that far exceed 10%?

    That doesn’t matter. EXXON IS EEEEEEEEVIL!!!

  16. Yossarian says:

    I dunno about you, but I voted for the jowls.

  17. Paul D says:


    I would love…love-love-LOVE to see your source for the “10% profit margin” claim.

    See, everyone else on this planet knows it’s a hell of a lot bigger than that.

  18. Elaine Chow says:

    @Paul D: I bet Keegan99 works for an oil company. Those guys play fast and loose with facts all the time.

  19. BillyMumphry says:

    Ok math-tards here is their profit margin…you will find it under “Net Profit Margin”. if you need any more explanation you seriously need to take Finance 101.

  20. BillyMumphry says:


  21. orielbean says:

    Here is an article which supports some of what Billymurphy is alluding to :

    Billy, I think the complaint here is that since Exxon has almost the biggest amount of revenue compared to any other single company (surpassed only by Walmart), they are in a similar position to Walmart to act in a responsible manner above and beyond the normal bounds of capitalism.

    They have taken the irresponsible short-term postion to maximize revenue even as they plan to take on big losses when the supply runs low.

    They’ve admitted to this. BP and Royal Dutch Shell both are now moving to capture the alternative energy research, whereas Exxon is still squatting on its carbonated haunches and has gobbled up as much as possible without a single look to the future.

    That willful 5-year blindness has enamored them to shareholders and yet is putting them at odds with common sense and the future. Just think of what that group might accomplish with the 9.9 billion pure profit invested into something more meaningful than dividends. But thinking and innovating are damaging to bottom-lines and stability and usually get punished by traders.

    That is why they are “evil”. Not b/c they appealed the Valdeez spill, not b/c they are war-profiting with unsavory Sudan, not b/c they like money. B/c they are afraid of a little cash stability versus a certain doom for many people when alt fuel sources don’t magically ride in from the sunset when the teat runs dry.

    Part of being a corporation – being greater and separate from your employees and product – you have the ability to look ahead and act accordingly. Why be the greediest kid on the block?

  22. orielbean says:

    Paul, you and Spatula are incorrect about the net profit margins exceeding that of other companies – Exxon is a little above-average. But I agree with the general corporate stewardship of resources being way more important than anything else.

    Keegan – just because Microsoft and Pfizer can do shady things with lawsuits and legislation does not exempt their bad behavior or allow Exxon to make 2 wrongs and come out right.

  23. ahwannabe says:

    the Godforsaken tundra where nobody wants to live except a few caribou.

    And a few gray wolves, a few polar bears, a few brown bears, a few black bears, a few artic foxes, a few lynx, a few musk oxen, a few moose, a few otters, a few wolverines, a few seals, a few Dall sheep, and 194 species of birds.

    oh, did you mean no humans? And a few Kaktovikmiut people.

    oh, did you mean no white humans? You’re right, it’s worthless. Let’s tear it up.

  24. Touche ahwannabe. Touche.

  25. flimmet says:

    Just the fact that some people vote for Sony instead of Exxon just show how screwed up the world is, that is, the blog world.

  26. Morton Fox says:

    For Exxon-Mobil:

    Profit margin: 10.46%

    For Sony:

    Profit margin: 1.59%

  27. Americana says:

    Oh noes a company making money!

    Sony better win this, Exxon is such a stupid vote.

  28. Xkeeper says:

    Exxon 66.6% (2719 votes)

    Even Satan’s on their side.

  29. chickymama says:


    Thank you for pointing this out. My dad is still waiting for this to settle so he can be compensated for his loss of income as he was part of the commercial fishing fleet that was shut down due to oil being found in the salmon runs.

    Doesn’t take much for one drunk captain who passed out in his bunk and one inexperienced first mate who didn’t know how to drive a tanker to do much damage.

  30. Jesse in Japan says:

    When voting, I had to make a fine distinction between just plain stupid (Sony) and outright evil (Exxon).

  31. Sony frustrates gamers.

    Big Oil frustrates the planet.

    No contest.

  32. Orval says:

    Well Exxon never lied to me, never tried to damage my equipment, never sold me shit that didn’t perform as advertised.

    Yes Exxon rapes the planet, as do you every time you insert that fuel pump nozzle into your hummer’s gaping gas intake. But they don’t really lie, true they shirk responsibility and prop up vile dictatorships, but they don’t sell you gasoline that takes over your car and says where and what it can drive.

    Big Oil is a complete whore, it will sell what is has to whatever. But it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. As a consumer, I know what I am buying when I buy from Big Oil, and it is nasty. As consumers, well, we aren’t all that far away from hooker and porn consumers, we are complicit in the business.

    With Sony, well, you might or might not get what you paid for, and you might or might not actually own your own computer, and you get raped again after the original transaction.

    This is a consumerist site afterall, not an overall ethical one: you play ball with Big Oil, all the time, you do not have to do so with shysters and crooks.

  33. jlgreen19 says:

    Get a clue folks!! If you look at Exxon’s profti in relation to it’s revenue, it’s still less than a lot of tech companies and financial services firms. For those people posting a comment while connected to the power grid, they need to think how transportation works in this country. Exxon sells gas and oil. We all need this to drive cars and heat our homes. If you really need to demonize anyone then why not all those people who drive those gas guzzling SUV’s and who live in McMansions. (Have five bedroom, two bath homes with only 3 people living in it).

  34. raindog says:

    When casting my vote, I asked myself, “What has Sony done that other media companies haven’t done, and what has Exxon done that other oil companies haven’t done?”

    I came up with a bigger list for Sony than Exxon, so they get my vote. But that’s because I think the entire oil industry needs to get kicked in the balls, not just Exxon, whereas Sony seems clearly the most deserving of some testicular impact among the media companies right now.