August 25, 2005
Comment spam - Future dirty campaign trick?

PerryVsWorld recently got a bunch of Kinky Friedman-flavored comment spam. I'm sure it's just a fluke, but the thought has occurred to me that this sort of thing could be a tempting dirty trick for some upcoming Karl Rove wannabe. Spam a bunch of blogs with an opponent's campaign URL so that the blog owners ban the URL and bitch about it to their audiences, thus not only generating a lot of badwill for your enemy among some opinion leaders, but maybe even getting some regular press coverage out of it just for the sheer novelty factor. It shouldn't be too hard to cover your tracks - I'm pretty sure the originating IP address for comments can be spoofed. And so what if you eventually get caught? Who reads Correction notices in the papers anyway?

The more I think about this, the more I think it'll happen sooner or later. Then we'll know that blogs really have arrived as a campaign tool.

(Just so we're 100% clear, I'm not claiming in any way, shape, or form that what happened to the PvsW blog was anything like this. I just got to thinking as I read his post and this is what I came up with. It's no fun if you can't speculate, right? This is pure unadulterated speculation about something that may happen in the future, not something that has already happened here and now. So please, don't say that I'm making any accusations. I'm not.)

UPDATE: BOR has a different Kinky problem.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 25, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Not such a hard trick to pull off. Anyone who registers as a supporter of anything is asked to provide up to six friends, so the group can spread the word (spam for support). The organizations are leaving themselves open to the kind of abuse you suggest. It may be a decent way to collect random names, but in the end it probably hurts fundraising and support pledges.

Posted by: stc on August 25, 2005 4:51 PM

Who knows, maybe a Joe Trippi wannabe will give it a go. :)

Posted by: kevin whited on August 25, 2005 5:06 PM