Orchestrated “grassroots” smear campaigns are business, not personal

If you ever wondered how some of these stories about candidates seem to spread "spontaneously", this detailed analysis on the Jawa Report will give you more information than you ever imagined.

The basic formula is that a professional PR firm plants imaginatively creative and false videos on YouTube and gets a cadre of sockpuppets to spread the word.

Once the smear is exposed, the original videos are taken down from YouTube and all traces of upload are removed. This leaves copies of the video circulating as a "Grassroots Phenomenon". This is Astroturfing at its finest.

The Jawa Report story points out that the voiceover on one particular "grassroots" attack video is performed by the same person who does the voiceovers for one of the candidates. The PR firm behind the grassroots campaign is tightly connected to the same candidate and the uploads and sockpuppet comments were done during normal working hours. This would strongly indicate that this smear campaign was business, not personal.

Actions such as this will lead back to the candidate involved and will generate extreme negative publicity.

Neither party should allow this to happen on their behalf as it will rebound on them.

UPDATE: Within hours of the posting of the Jawa Report, all of the videos were removed from YouTube and the accounts of those who had uploaded the videos had been closed. Exposure was all it took to make this orchestrated "grassroots" smear campaign vanish. If it had been an actual campaign by real people, they would have been basking in the attention and the heavy traffic they had generated.


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