— ERMAHGERD SEQUERSTER (@DefendWallSt) February 24, 2013
Oh, this is a good one.
The Obama group Organizing for Action is fighting back against accusations that it generated fake tweets supporting the president’s call for gun control legislation.
After OFA urged supporters to tweet members of Congress with the hashtag #WeDemandAVote, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) and some conservative bloggers complained that some of the resulting tweets appeared to be fake and accused OFA of generating them.
But OFA says they were simply from people new to Twitter or not very active on the site.
“With tens of thousands of supporters engaging via social media during our day of action last week we are thrilled with the number of whom took to new mediums to get involved,” OFA spokeswoman Katie Hogan told POLITICO. “Just because a supporter does not spend all their time on Twitter does not mean they are not a real person with real concerns about the direction many members of Congress are trying to take this country.”
Stockman’s office said Monday that it had received 16 tweets with identical wording and concluded that 10 of them were “fake, computer-generated spambots” because they used the default egg avatar, had hardly tweeted or followed anyone and “engaged in no human interaction” on Twitter. His office also noted that some of the accounts were created within 48 hours of the tweets and “They follow mostly MSNBC anchors or media outlets, not actual people.”
OFA gave supporters suggested language for their tweets, which could explain the identical wording, and if a supporter had signed up for Twitter for the first time just to participate, they would have been assigned the egg avatar automatically, and they would not immediately have any followers or interactions. The same could be true for sporadic users.
First, let us note that the above article was written as part of “Politico 44” – the “living diary of the Obama presidency”. Ms. Slack, the author, seems not to have had any hesitancy with simply publishing the response of OFA without question. Of course, why should one doubt the word of OFA? They are a new “non-partisan” “grassroots” organization who doesn’t support any candidates, despite the fact that their agenda, according to their first tweet, is to pass the agenda of Barack Obama.
Welcome to Organizing for Action: Follow @ofa for the latest news and updates on our efforts to help President Obama keep us moving forward.
— OFA (@OFA) February 21, 2013
Their url is barackobama.com, they are run by Jim Messina, and include MSNBC commentator former Obama advisor Robert Gibbs, as well as a coterie of other Obama campaign folks and advisors.
But it’s non-partisan because they say it is.
Given OFA’s obvious honesty, we were eager to talk with the real people behind the egg avatars.
So over the last couple of days, several people queried those “people” with the egg avatars, using different approaches- calling them out as spambots, being solicitous, asking for their opinion on gun control, asking random things.
Here’s a sample:
How many do you think responded?
Yes, you guessed it.
Those vital people so enthused to join the process didn’t say “get out of my face”, “f—–u”, or respond to support for gun control.
Interestingly, all of those people-every single one that I saw, whom OFA claims were “new to twitter”, somehow they knew enough to put a “.” before the @representativesname, when they were tweeting at a representative.
I’ve been on twitter awhile and I didn’t know what that meant. It means that more than just the people you are sending to will see your tweet, everyone in your timeline will see it.
Yet all of these new people-all of them without exception-put it in.
OFA claims they know these are real people. Therefore, OFA is accepting the responsibility for this fraud and doubling down on the lie.
Interestingly, there are a few real people tweeting in #WeDemandAVote who say “we are not a hoax”, indicating that OFA has let the real people know of the accusation. And yet, still the multitude of egg avatars of whom we speak, stay silent except to pump out the canned message.
That’s what you get when you pay for the cheap spam bot package, apparently. OFA needs to upgrade to more real life spammers.
#WeDemandAVote” started as an alleged effort to “inform” Congressional representatives. It has turned out to be very instructive on the lengths to which this administration will go to control the media and the message, even to attempting to defraud the Congress.
We now are hearing that that desire to control apparently even extends to threatening reporters like Bob Woodward, according to him.
At what point does the media sit up and say, enough? This is beyond political, this administration needs to be held to account.
Final teaser…Do you think that this is the first time that they have employed such fraudulent tactics?