∞ AT&T not impressed with Fake Steve's 'Operation Chokehold'

Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) got AT&T’s attention this week and they’re not impressed, according to a story on MacRumors. fake-steveWriting as Fake Steve Jobs, Lyons proposed to his readers a way to show AT&T how angry users were over its data network speeds. Fake Steve called it “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,” wrote Lyons on the Fake Steve blog. “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!”

While most people know that Fake Steve is just a funny blog written in Lyon’s interpretation of how Steve Jobs would react to situations, AT&T doesn’t see the humor.

“We understand that fakesteve.net 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,” AT&T said in a statement. “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.”

Of course, in typical Fake Steve style, he responded to AT&T’s comment saying, “Irresponsible and pointless are pretty much all we do around here.”

  • Eric

    And pointless and irresponsible seems to be AT&T’s attitude towards the problems with their network. Pointless to point it out, and irresponsible to their stockholder’s long-term financial benefit.

  • Michael Adams

    Bring them down!

  • Jim Dalrymple

    Not much sympathy for AT&T here 🙂

  • Brad

    Can we say Streisand Effect? I don’t check FSJ on a regular basis, but I do check multiple Mac and tech news sources, and almost all of them are reporting on this. Good one, AT&T.

  • FSJ gives a couple good recommendations for these data-intensive apps to use durin Operation Chokehold.

  • auramac

    I have no sympathy for fsj either- the man is a moron.

  • SMACK!

    While I have zero sympathy for AT&T either, I’m almost thinking that Fake Steve’s “Operation Chokehold” is more of a joke on the users, rather than on AT&T.

    I’m guessing it will go something like this:

    iPhone User: Alright, Operation Chokehold is in effect!! …aaaaanddd.. Oh Yeah!!! The network is down!!… I have no connection!! We crippled those AT&T bastards!!! Yes!! I’m going to post about this to my Twitte- …oh wait.

    • Jim Dalrymple


  • DGR

    The main point is that Dan Lyons is basically encouraging a form of DISRUPTIVE corporate sabotage, disrupting public telecommunications (AT&T serves vital businesses too, not just iPhone users), which borders on terrorism, in order to force a change of policy on AT&T. This is something that Osama bin Laden does and Hezbollah would love to do to their enemies.

    In a democratic nation (and capitalist society) like the USA, this is unacceptable, and our American culture considers it bordering on terrorism.

    If AT&T was an airline, and Dan Lyons and his 1600 disgruntled followers “called out” for a terrorist bomb threat to bring down an AT&T jetliner… it would be the same thing: terrorism. Just because the disgruntled morons have a beef with how poorly AT&T manages its services, does not give anyone an excuse to call for disruption/sabotage/terrorism.

    • Gustav

      Oh please, quit the melodrama! If AT&Ts network was as vital as you claim, then it should be a lot more robust and stable than what it is now. The fact that it isn’t just shows it’s not that important.

      Are you actually equating using the Internet to calling a bomb threat? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

      The fact is, if AT&T actually provided a quality service, they should have responded “bring it on” with no worries whatsoever.

  • Philip

    I just think it’s hilarious that AT&T calls everyone using something that they should be able to use on their phones “attempt[ing] to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services for more than 80 million customers”.

    So they admit that their coverage can’t cover what it needs to, to be the iPhone’s carrier. Interesting.

  • Stein

    I bet Verizon or Sprint would've welcomed the challenge………..AT&T !!!……………"OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN."