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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