Annoying Electoral Strategies
I’ve noticed an increasing amount of spam being generated by the American elections and it is beginning to annoy me. Back whenever Bill Richardson was running as a candidate on an open Democratic field, a certain Democratic Party hack decided to drop by our dear own website with this comment:
I am a proud New Mexican supporting Bill Richardson for President, because I know my governor…when he says he is going to get something done, he gets it done. Governor Richardson has taken our poor state into the technological age and created over 80,000 jobs, has raised the minimum wage, increased teachers salaries, and given us a new commuter rail to alleviate our most congested corridors. As impressive as Richardson’s education policy is, and it is really a fantastic leap forward, his energy policy is just as revolutionary, and Bill Richardson can do it, because he has already done it in New Mexico.
I will raise my children in this beautiful state, confident that they will be able to do the same and have a better life for their future children. With Bill Richardson as president we might all be able to say the same.
From the obvious and nauseating naivety which it demonstrates in its attempt to sound like a talking campaign poster, this comment was made by someone professionally involved with the campaign. Lo and behold, a quick web search of the name of the author and up came this site.
Cara Valente-Compton, the author of the comment, was an employed PR hack of the Richardson campaign and had been at various other sites attempting to incite support for Richardson with her banality.
Now I notice that this type of thing is going on even on YouTube comment sections. Take a look at the following comment in support of Ron Paul. It occurs on a trailer for V for Vendetta, which altogether ironic since that film is attacking the establishment which Ron Paul supports.
There is something wrong with every gorventment![sic] It isn’t like this movie is touching on new ideas… it’s sad it takes a film to wake people up…. a film loosely based on an awesome comic from the 80s! if you want things to change pay attention to who you put in office the only candidate running for office i am behind is ron paul!
I noticed one of these at You Tube on the latest Star Trek trailer too (really looking forward to that by the way). There are similar comments spattered over You Tube, Veoh and Google Video, among others. In the second and third instances I’ve mentioned, the people posting spam-like messages are probably not hacks paid by the campaign. That makes it a little more bearable. Still, having a thousand drones randomly spew out the same guff makes a mockery of freedom of speech.
I’m also paying attention to the developing conspiracy theories that surround the amount of time spent covering Ron Paul’s campaign by the media. Clearly PR firms are earning their money these days because I’ve never seen anything like the results generated if you search something like “Ron Paul’s campaign ignored by media.” The results have this close to the top. Worrying.
Also, I’m getting my hotmail account (which I rarely use for precisely this reason) deluged with Obama spam – from his campaign, messages from him, messages from his wife. Seriously the amount of mass-generated rubbish that political campaigns seem to be putting out as a matter of course during the Presidential elections is disturbing. It’s also irritating.
The internet was once mooted as a way for grassroots campaigns to break through the box of the mainstream media. It doesn’t require much effort to create your own blog and get news out there after all. Even still, the reality is becoming somewhat different. Many people don’t spend long enough on the internet to actually develop knowledge of sites which come up with interesting analysis beyond the mainstream frontiers.
New forms of marketing, like paying people to spam internet nexuses like the Daily Kos (which is where Cara Valente-Compton evidently spent a lot of her time), are beginning to have an adverse effect upon what little freedom of thought the net does actually confer. This worries me, and no answer immediately presents itself. By 2012 and the next Presidential election, the strategies may be even more complex.