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ON: My Facebook Fiasco–Obama Supporters Play Dirty

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 · 
February 13, 2008
 · 
3 min read

This week has been an interesting week as a practitioner of Social Media.  Normally I do not talk politics here as I sincerely try to keep on topic – however a recent run in with dishonest Obama Facebook supporters, makes this post incredibly relevant. 

It began while on Facebook in the Hillary Clinton Community (http://www.facebook.com/hillaryclinton) organizing grass roots efforts in key battle ground states, all of the sudden I began receiving messages from Facebook saying that I had been reported for Spam and Attacks.  With in an hour of my posting a positive Hillary video my account was de-activated.  What is worthy of note is that Facebook only sounded the deactivation alarm with 2 emails, sent three minutes apart, five minutes before they de-activated my account.

I think the important thing to note is that we in the Hillary community on Facebook are there to keep people’s facts straight, raise awareness on her stance and more importantly conduct a lively and honest conversation.  At no time do we encourage hate or language that could degrade Mr. Obama personally.  Often I have made arguments to random Hillary supporters to keep positive posts for the integrity of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.   

That is not to say that Hillary supporters do not vocally disagree that his approach is not what we need right now – the vast majority of posts on Hillary’s wall are people educating themselves and using social media to help our candidate. 
After some research I cannot say that is the same mandate of the Obama Facebook supporters.
What I found is that the Obama campaign has allowed online supporters  to encourage sexist, misogynistic, hate filled Discussion Board Topics.  Often the discussions are filled with sexually degrading messages and language that I will not propagate here on this blog. 

In Fact, there is a forum post on there now called "lets get them" (http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6815841748&topic=5224)  describing how to de-activate Clinton supporters Facebook accounts.  Some of the posts describe reporting spam when the Clinton supporters post something to the her wall as well as something much more despicable which describes lurking methods to get you on a one-on-one discussion through your inbox and accuse you of racial attacks.
What is incredibly disappointing about this is that the online Obama supporter’s attacks do not offer the same Audacity of Hope experience or idea that Senator Obama preaches.  It is in fact the exact the same victimization accusations he lobs at the “Clinton Machine”. 

Contacting Facebook was not easy!
Try quickly trying to find a person to sound an alert to – not easy.   I went through the normal channels and many of my Facebook Friends wrote FB on my behalf.  That combined with contacting a mutual friend in their advertising department helped restored my online credentials.  This morning the tech team re-instated my account.
I thank Facebook for their swift action.  I ponder if I had not been a practitioner in the space would I have been able to get my social networking street cred. back so quickly?

A Brand of Hope

Senator Obama must maintain his brand online by not allowing this type of activity on his behalf.  There are many ways to architect a better conversation as well as control, monitor it as well as discourage things that are not inline with his brand. 
To date I do not see that his campaign is doing anything to stop the hate filled rhetoric.  For his brand of Hope to last – his campaign cannot have use Bush league tactics to support his message.


Our Grass Roots Message

   

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ON: My Facebook Fiasco–Obama Supporters Play Dirty via @jpenabickley
Comments
you can contact me at jojobickley [at] mac.com
karen young
Do you have a current contact email address?
I would like to speak to you in more detail as
I have a legal case pending with facebook.
Thanks,
Karen
Jon, Great Post! I thought you were spot on in many of your accounts. As practitioners in the social media space we should spearhead community effort to effectively push for a conversation that is filled with facts. It is OK to disagree with your fellow DNC members, but as I stated in the post it is not OK to spew racist or sexist attacks – we as community members should absolutely report those people who abuse the system.
In an age where the digital democracy is flourishing lets all make sure that we have a constructive conversation about the future of our country.
Per your post I have begun investigation on the RNC attacks. My contacts on the inside are looking in to this.
Thanks for sharing!
jon
Thanks for posting this, Joanna. I’ve been tracking examples of Facebook censoring political speech and added a description of this one. http://www.talesfromthe.net/jon/?p=82#comment-616
In terms of brand stewardship with online zealots — or griefers pretending to be zealots — wow, hard problem for any candidate. There were several people claiming to be Clinton supporters showing up and spewing racist and sexist hate speech in the Obama discussion group; and anybody who’s spent time online this campaign season has probably run into plenty of “paultards” (the small minority of Ron Paul supporters who believe it’s their duty to infest every possible online venue with the true word). I think the vast majority of supporters for all the candidates are being very responsible here (in the Obama thread you pointed to, pretty much everybody responded by saying “let’s not sink to that level”) but it’s a shame when a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of the bunch.
Discussion forums which have some kind of community moderating — Slashdot is a great example — can help deal with this problem. Hopefully Facebook and MySpace and other social network sites will move more in that direction.
Derek, What I suspect is that Obama lack of “brand” stewardship = he is a man of talk and not action.
This post is merely representative that he talks a great game but does not back it up with action to make that message real. Kind of like the what we have now… remember America bought into the “compassionate conservative” the last time around. same thing.
Talk is Talk. When I lived in Chicago I voted for him because he stated he would serve a full term. His action has shown something different. That is why I think his Brand is false.
Action is Eloquence!
you can contact me at jojobickley [at] mac.com
you can contact me at jojobickley [at] mac.com
Joanna – thanks for posting this story. I agree that Obama supporters should not engage in any tactics like this. A few bad apples can certainly spoil the bunch. Amazing that Facebook would deactivate you so quickly too. Glad you’re back on Facebook and doing good for the community.
May the best man, or woman, win the presidency.
karen young
Do you have a current contact email address?
I would like to speak to you in more detail as
I have a legal case pending with facebook.
Thanks,
Karen
Jon, Great Post! I thought you were spot on in many of your accounts. As practitioners in the social media space we should spearhead community effort to effectively push for a conversation that is filled with facts. It is OK to disagree with your fellow DNC members, but as I stated in the post it is not OK to spew racist or sexist attacks – we as community members should absolutely report those people who abuse the system.
In an age where the digital democracy is flourishing lets all make sure that we have a constructive conversation about the future of our country.
Per your post I have begun investigation on the RNC attacks. My contacts on the inside are looking in to this.
Thanks for sharing!
jon
Thanks for posting this, Joanna. I’ve been tracking examples of Facebook censoring political speech and added a description of this one. http://www.talesfromthe.net/jon/?p=82#comment-616
In terms of brand stewardship with online zealots — or griefers pretending to be zealots — wow, hard problem for any candidate. There were several people claiming to be Clinton supporters showing up and spewing racist and sexist hate speech in the Obama discussion group; and anybody who’s spent time online this campaign season has probably run into plenty of “paultards” (the small minority of Ron Paul supporters who believe it’s their duty to infest every possible online venue with the true word). I think the vast majority of supporters for all the candidates are being very responsible here (in the Obama thread you pointed to, pretty much everybody responded by saying “let’s not sink to that level”) but it’s a shame when a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of the bunch.
Discussion forums which have some kind of community moderating — Slashdot is a great example — can help deal with this problem. Hopefully Facebook and MySpace and other social network sites will move more in that direction.
Derek, What I suspect is that Obama lack of “brand” stewardship = he is a man of talk and not action.
This post is merely representative that he talks a great game but does not back it up with action to make that message real. Kind of like the what we have now… remember America bought into the “compassionate conservative” the last time around. same thing.
Talk is Talk. When I lived in Chicago I voted for him because he stated he would serve a full term. His action has shown something different. That is why I think his Brand is false.
Action is Eloquence!
Joanna – thanks for posting this story. I agree that Obama supporters should not engage in any tactics like this. A few bad apples can certainly spoil the bunch. Amazing that Facebook would deactivate you so quickly too. Glad you’re back on Facebook and doing good for the community.
May the best man, or woman, win the presidency.

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