FURTHER UPDATE: Someone just erased the links.
Since I'm a Communist who voted for Obama and hates America, I usually don't read Free Republic. But I stumbled onto a post about how Rachel Maddow was supposedly "busted" for using multiple fake Twitter accounts to boost the Twitter profile of her show. Here's the story:
As can be seen by screenshots collected by a tweeter named @LeftyBollocks, Maddow has massive amount of accounts posting the exact same claim that "Confession: I yell at my TV while watching Rachel #Maddow talk about filibuster reform in the same way most people do during football."I made a search of the same phrase on Twitter and sure enough, multiple unsourced retweets popped up.
People on FR are gloating about this, it received a mention on Drudge, and other conservative commentators have been talking it up. But it's important to note that there's no evidence these spammers are directly connected to Maddow. Over at Help The 99ers, the blogger has found examples of these kinds of retweets that don't involve MSNBC shows - and makes the argument that Maddow is the victim:
Twitter spammers seem to have developed a new strategy for their fake accounts: grab a real tweet from a real person, and repeat it.As I read the pages of these Tweeters, I noticed they used this: #Teamfollowback. There is an account on Twitter that advertises this hashtag and declares: "We will help you get followers that follow back!"
So... that's the evidence, so far. It certainly hasn't been proven that Maddow's show hired these people. They might just be trying to build traffic for themselves. It's easy to see how they might think they'd get a reply from Maddow or some other prominent person, and this would increase their own prominence.
Also, the blog Help The 99ers has examples of Twitter spam involving the Ed Show... and these accounts are different. In these cases there's a connection to an actual company that offers web promotion services.
Here are phrases promoting the show that seem to involve spammers:
Hahahahahaha, what threatening e-mails. #edshow #p2 #p21
Oh boy, Michael .E.Dyson is here-time to get my dictionary! #edshow
#edshow I sure hope the deal gets done! I'm ready to move on to my New Year's Resolutions! Sick of the Cliff!
When you click on the accounts of these people - I've done this repeatedly - you find the same profile: low tweets and almost no followers. Plus... these accounts link to the same website, a service named http://followersdelivery.com/ that sells packages to increase your followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
I have not found the same connection to Maddow's "fans." And the important point is that none of these people are actually following the Ed Show - they are commenting on it. I contacted the service as an interested blogger who might want to get someone to talk about my blog/possible Youtube show, and I received an email saying they did not offer a "comment service." There are services out there that actually advertise re-tweets, and the service linked to Ed Show "fans" has nothing like this on their website. But discretion is part of the package here. Followers Delivery promises that it's "100% Safe, No Risk, Anonymous."
I'm no fan of Drudge or the Freepers, but it may be time for these shows to comment on the matter. Something is happening.
(Full disclosure: As a progressive blogger I've repeatedly emailed Maddow's show with links to my posts, and probably once or twice I think I've emailed the Ed Show. They've never responded, and I suspect I didn't exactly help my chances with this post. Also, if you're a conservative who's reading this, you should know that I'm in favor of choice, gun control, gay rights, and I think Republicans are generally lunatics. But the story is what it is. Come at me, haters.)