Thursday, October 28, 2010

Conservatives excel -- at cheating

Not really a surprise. Natural progression for the "right" to make from astroturfing to astrotweeting with fake accounts.
Political groups have been caught red-handed trying to create a false sense of grassroots momentum on Twitter.

The discovery made by Indiana University's Truthy data mining tool is just the latest example of how activists are using social networks to their advantage. [...]

One blatant example the team unearthed came from the Twitter accounts @PeaceKaren_25 and @HopeMarie_25.

Both tweeted the same 20,000 messages that included links to and the Twitter handle belonging to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), helping to increase the popularity of those links on Twitter and in Google searches.[...]

So far, Truthy's examples of Twitter astroturfing all lean right, a fact the researchers attribute that to the popularity of conservative activism in this election cycle.
Again, not a shock. Cons have been gaming the system all the back to the early days of blogging when they figured out how to raise their ranking in the in the TTLB Ecosystem. Seems like light years ago when that was the barometer of internet success.

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Anonymous Ruth said...

Cannot help but recall Hiatt's citing the number of hits on editorials as a meter of 'popularity' - ignoring that many are objections to those editorials. Since then I do not give hits to WaPo. The right does not recognize any difference between quantity and quality, which is obvious in the policies it promotes.

11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hit inflation has become a common trick for all the major websites. Hence you get a teaser, then you have to click to another page to get to the text of the piece you want to read. Or putting photo galleries on separate pages. I think that's to fool advertisers.

But it's true that the wingers don't understand the difference between popularity and hits. Neither does the media as far as I can see. When they tout that Palin has so many fans for instance, they don't seem to grok that fully half of those "fans" are lefties who sign up just to laugh and point.

And of course, the winger blog trick of linking to each other to build their SEO ranking is a long standing one.

8:27:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I don't think they know the difference between popularity and reality. A while back I wrote about corporate influence on the government and someone sent me a link to a website claiming most Americans believe that it's Democrats who are the mouthpieces for nefarious interests.

That said to him it must be true. It says to me that most Americans are ignorant, stupid and gullible.

9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I blame the daily polling. I'm increasingly convinced they're at the root of what ails the media and the public discourse.

7:33:00 PM  

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