A while ago -- at approximately the same time -- Facebook and Digg both started using a 'Navigation Bar' plopped at the top of all their outgoing links. Anyone who will remember the late 90's on the web will find this tactic familiar. Why is it annoying? Because it steals traffic, that's why.
Back in December, Chrysler purchased a full-page ad in many US newspapers 'thanking' Americans for bailing them out (to the tune of half a million dollars, no less). This was very unpopular: it provoked widespread outrage, and nowhere is that more obvious than the blog entry of it where many commenters have expressed their anger.
Michael Geist picked up a story about how Industry Canada staff are systematically trying to edit Wikipedia pages, deleting criticism of the new 'Canadian DMCA'. I say 'systematically' because certain text was deleted multiple times after being restored, and the edits come from the same IP range. And it's limited to a few specific points: criticism *of* the proposed act, and the fact that nobody in Canada wants it: only the US Big Media conglomerates.
A major downside of the proliferation of major blog sites (Windows Live Spaces, livejournal, blogger, blogspot, wordpress.com, etc etc) is that many of them require you to be logged in to comment. This creates the problem of needing to keep so many accounts that are only to comment, and while blogger is the notable exception, I'll never use them for anything else. Gods, the 'net needs more people to support OpenID (and a functional openid server for wordpress would be handy too).
Businessweek has a story about an astroturfing debacle where Wal-Mart was (indirectly) paying bloggers/journalists to say good things about them. This seems to be happening more and more. And it will, too.
I think the reason for this is a simplistic mind-set:
1) Big company finds bloggers saying bad things about said company
2) Big company pays money to other bloggers to say good things about the company
It must be wonderful to be a fan of Apple's products.... first, you have to spend a fortune for propriatary hardware (which now, fortunately, has changed somewhat), then you have to bend over as Apple Inc bows to the might of the RIAA and removes features from your iTunes and iPod, and now apple is suing its own fans because they talked about a product early.