Obamacare Facebook page full of astroturfed comments
Astroturfing, the process of fabricating artificial grassroots movements, is a propaganda black art that was perfected by David Axelrod, the architect of the political rise of Barack Obama. Though no longer a White House advisor, Axelrod’s art is being actively employed to create false impressions of support for Obamacare on the official Obamacare Facebook page.
Kelly Riddell writes in the Washington Times:
Sixty percent of the site’s 226,838 comments generated from September 2012 to early last month can be attributed to fewer than 100 unique profiles, according to an analysis completed by The Washington Times with assistance from an outside data analytics team. Many of those profiles belong to just one person who created multiple aliases or personas to widen her influence and multiply her voice.
Cindi Huynh, an Obamacare supporter in California, posted on average 59 times a day on the site in 60 days, making her the No. 1 poster in that period. She posted only during work hours — as is the trend of the top 25 posters on the site — and never on weekends.
This sounds a lot like a hired troll. But the prolific Ms. Huynh denies it:
Ms. Huynh told The Times that she has never been paid for her posts but has volunteered for the California Democratic Party and was approached to become an Obamacare patient advocate. She said she was too busy to contribute in that way and felt she could better spread the message online. She has a full-time job but has declined to name her employer.
Wow, that’s a mighty tolerant employer. Unless, of course, that employer is somehow involved in the propaganda operation that is so self-evidently being conducted.
Interestingly enough, the “official” website for the government program is run by Barack Obama’s personal political machine:
The official Obamacare page is controlled by Organizing for Action, the president’s former political action committee and now a nonprofit group. It has more than 771,000 Facebook “likes” and is updated every day with a new link promoting the policy
The game here is to use the astroturf likes in order to raise the prominence on Google searches. These people are expert propagandists, using manipulative and phony data to create false impressions of popular support:
Organizing for Action also handles the president’s Twitter feed. This summer, it was found that nearly half of the president’s 43 million followers at the time appeared to be fake, according to researchers at Barracuda, a computer security company in Campbell, California. Organizing for Action also declined to comment at that time.
They do this because they know they don’t have popular support, and because, as Jonathan Gruber revealed, they think we are stupid.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman