Friday, June 01, 2007

Ron Paul, Digg, Spam and everything



Originally I started this article because I saw alot of diggers disparaging Ron Paul supporters because they were 'new' as in recently signed up to digg and therefore apparently their diggs and comments were somehow worth less than those of diggers who had been around much longer. This alone was rather disturbing, however when I scratched the surface and started checking out the actual people submitting articles I found much more to it than just that... and therefore this article itself changed.
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You have to be living under an internet rock if you havn't felt the waves and reverberations of Ron Paul by now. Still, there seems to be plenty of people who just skim headlines and end up getting a lot of misinformation or even disinformation on this politician. I just thought I'd set a few things straight, for the record.

First... Ron Paul is indeed winning in every online straw poll. What I see a lot of talk about this one is that these polls are not scientific and Ron Paul is not holding his own in the supposedly scientific polls. Further, there have been many allegations that a small but determined group of tech savy Ron Paul supporters are gaming the system and thereby giving Ron Paul an undue advantage in such polls.

That would be fine if it were one or two polls, but really... for Ron Paul to be winning ALL of the polls? It stretches the imagination to think that his supporters could manipulate each and every poll as well as the metrics and records which places such as google, technorati and alexa not only keep, but base their entire business plan on. Really, if Ron Paul fans could 'game' the system to this extent, then he'll win hands down regardless because this is so far beyond 'fiddling' it's almost a conspiracy theory in it's own right.

More... the supposed 'scientific' polls quoted usually either reference a time period that pre-dates the recent Ron Paul explosion in popularity or don't include him as a choice at all... how scientific can that really be?
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Second... Ron Paul supporters are (again, via a small but tech savy group) gaming digg and other social networking sites.

This itself would be funny if it weren't leading so many people to the wrong conclusions via the 'herd behavior' effect.

I'll be the first to admit that yes, there are a whole bunch of Ron Paul articles streaming through digg on a regular basis. Let's take a moment though to examine those articles and the people who submit and comment on them eh?

'Ron Paul' is the number one search term for blogs. Ron Paul has the most subscribers on Youtube. Ron Paul has the most friends on Myspace, Friendster and Facebook. Ron Paul, as previously mentioned, has won every single straw poll on the internet. What does this all mean? Ron Paul is POPULAR. What always has a place on digg? Things that are popular. As much as a geek fest digg is, there has always been a place for whatever news that is popular and/or breaking. Every starlet's indiscretion, every hollywood legal battle, every scandal. It all filters through. Popularity alone projects a great many articles onto digg.
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Third... Of the many 'Ron Paul' articles coming through digg, a rather large amount of them are anti-Paul hit pieces or straight up spam articles inserted to generate anti-Paul sentiment. This is a tough one to combat, but I would hope that diggers would be a little bit discriminate before declaring everything 'Paul' as spam. If you take a look at who exactly is submitting these articles and what their views are, you'll see that the bulk of 'Ron Paul' related material you see is actually coming from submitters who are against Ron Paul and are merely betting that by upping the number of articles that they can turn popular digg support against him. This alone should raise a big red flag for everyone and cause people to question the motives behind such anti-digg-social behavior. Basically, these folks are betting on diggers being stupid enough to fall for such ploys and are themselves attempting to 'game' the system in order to point the finger at Ron Paul fans as the culprits and lay the blame on them. Personally, as a digger, I find that offensive. Don't think it's true? Here's one digger who's made an account for the exclusive purpose of attacking the Ron Paul grass roots movement: http://digg.com/users/COINTELPROAgent/news/submitted - now that is one source plenty of spam is coming from. The account was made a week ago, all submissions are anti-paul, all diggs are anti-paul and he's befriended every pro-paul digger in order to track and comment bomb all Paul related articles. Is that in the spirit of this community? An account with the only purpose of generating anti-sentiment on... anything?
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Finally, there's people like this guy... Politics20, and there are tons just like him, again I'm just providing one example of many: It seems that digg h as seen fit to delete this account - obviously for reason... the skinny of it though is that he tracks ALL political stories, and through a combination of rss feeds and widgets, blind submits whatever political articles that happen to be 'hot' at the moment. Not just here, but on every social networking site. Funny thing is, ALL of his links lead back his personal advertising heavy blog... http://hammer2006.blogspot.com. I'm all for the entrepreneurial spirit, but this is clear abuse of digg and totally against the TOS... the point here though is that this guy and many others like him are adding to the spam and it all gets blamed on the Ron Paul supporters. That's just plain wrong.
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At the end of the day, I think if you bother to 'check it out', you'll find that between the articles that would just normally be on digg anyway, the anti-paul spam and the monetary keyword pirates, if you stripped that all out, you have a very few articles by actual Ron Paul supporters and they are all rather high quality and for the most part certainly worthy of a digg, NOT a bury. What's really happened here is that people from OTHER candidate's volunteer organizations have seen the Ron Paul effect and the Power of Digg and made a move to turn it around and incite anti-Paul sentiment. They're betting that diggers are too stupid to digg deeper and find out the real story. I'm hoping they're wrong.


In conclusion, from my own personal experience... support for Ron Paul is indeed REAL. It is widespread. He resonates with the internet crowd and yes, he's not perfect. The polls are correct and not gamed. The massive influx of Ron Paul related articles, or if you prefer 'spam', are NOT due to Ron Paul supporters, in fact afaik they are the one and only group that does any self policing in that regard at all. If you are overwhelmed with Ron Paul material, for the most part it is coming from OTHER candidate's volunteers or those who have a monetary interest in spamming in general, NOT from the pro Ron Paul crowd. So give them a break eh? Is there any other digg clique that at all works to reduce spam? I don't think so.

Ron Paul, he's got my vote.

13 comments:

Prudy said...

Thank you.

Christy said...

Awesome article. I'd actually considered that at least some of the more insane sounding supposed supporters were probably secretly supporting another candidate. I don't think its necessarily widespread but it certainly makes a lot more sense than the whole "tin foil hat" theory.

Thank you!

Doc_Paul_Fan said...

Great article. I'm happy someone else noticed this "COINTELPROAgent" nutjob.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul R[evoL]ution!

COINTELPROAgent said...

Sounds like whining to me! If you Paul worshippers can't take a few anti-paul stories then how are you going to win a presidential election?

Instead of crying and namecalling, try answering the questions these stories raise. And stop spamming the exact same stories over and over and over!

Have a nice day! :D

Anonymous said...

What if the powers that be are actually the ones generating the spam and not the Ron Paul supporters. I.E. mafiannie decides Paul is a threat and directs members of his campaign to flood the net with bogus Ron Paul spam? Looks like a Paul supporters rigged the polls, eh?

Devious minds live in government.

Anonymous said...

Read How Ron Paul Became President

A fictional case study about how a future terrorist attack against the US and the Bush administration response elects Ron Paul as President.

Learn what could happen when the United States is hit by another terrorist attack by Islamic extremists that creates an extreme response by Washington in The Final Presidential Executive Order at http://www.swissconfederationinstitute.org/swisspreserve14.htm

This is from a new free online book, “The Swiss Preserve Solution” & the excess reaction results in the election of Ron Paul as President, not in 2008 but in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Easy to remove COINTELPRO/Agent from your Digg friends if it's in there - go to your profile, click the Friends tab, find the icon and click the X beneath.

Ron said...

You neglect to mention the Ron Paul supporters that ONLY digg Ron Paul articles. That's just as bad as the anti-Paul profiles. They both create digg spam by pushing Ron Paul stories to the frontpage via 15+ automatic votes. This gets them out of upcoming stories every time.

The problem with the Ron Paul supporters on digg is not that they have an agenda, it's that they are not transparent. Full disclosure in their profiles, i.e., listing the Paul blog you write for in your user profile as "jefffrazee" should do (his blog is studentsforpaul.org), would give them credibility as supporters and not just "gamers."

Bloggers are asked for full disclosure of their agenda. The same should be asked of diggers with agendas.

adam said...

given the large amount of ron paul blog spam comments i've recieved in the last week, i have to believe that
a) his supporters are using bots to game the system
b) he has no ethics to speak of

Mieke said...

Thanks for doing the research, and painting a more clear picture.

Richard Brodie said...

Spamming means sending unsolicited emails. There's no such thing as "spamming" an online poll which S O L I C I T S people to vote. Nothing is preventing OTHER candidates' supporters from urging their people to go vote for their candidates. So one very important thing these poll results show is that supporters of other candidates do not have anywhere near the enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication that Dr. Paul's supporters have.

Rae Garrett said...

Do not believe what you hear about Ron Paul. The followers are growing and very real. We all attended a "Ronald Reagan Republican Club" function where they had a straw pole. I was there. I'm part of a meet-up group in Pierce County Washington, one of 33+ thousand groups. We met up there and voted and won their straw pole by a majority vote. Not Internet emailers, but real, live people. Educated people. Sophisticated people. When it came time to speak about our candidate from the list, not one person spoke until they got to Ron Paul and then a well-spoken person from our group got up and spoke intelligently. We were very proud. People against him are doing nothing but showing his straight voting record and it appears extreme, but his ideals are very, very simple. He believes that the constitution of our country is based on solid ideals that we have gone away from, sometimes almost entirely. If you understand economics, as he does, since he studied economics and serves on the board of banking committees, that what is happening in this country is destroying the middle class and everyone below that income level, then you will understand why he votes the way he does. The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer and you are becoming poorer. And every one of you who is probably reading this is not above that income level. Inflation is eating away at us. Ron Paul is a super intelligent person. He is not a fool and he's not a radical. What we have now is radical. Much of what goes on in this country is unconstitutional. Please, please, liberals and conservatives, open your eyes. Let him lead us back to truth and freedom. He is on your side, every one of you. He is for the people, the right of all people. Get behind him. If you think he only has 3% of the vote right now and a max of 10%, than get behind him. Join up. Let's not be forced into choosing someone who has been chosen for us. Let's put an honest man who genuinely loves this country and the people of this country into power. All we have to do is join together and there will be nothing that can stop it.