The Underdog Tactics of Internet Politics (WTF?)

Check this site out that I got forwarded recently through a couple of political contacts.

Republicans For Ignatieff

So my first response to this site is absolute shock. Confused profanities were slurred as I delved deeper into the site. Who put this up? What’s their angle? Are there really Bush supporters in the US who want want to throw their hats (and souls) in with Iggy’s camp.

iggysplash

I started back to the homepage and had a closer look the second time around. Things sure seem fishy. As Canadians, we are probably all used to seeing Liberal and NDP ads that put Harper next to Bush all buddy buddy like. Here we see the polar opposite: the leader of a relatively anti-American, Iraq war hating party juxtaposed against the second most hated politician in the world (Ahmadinejad probably tops him). Either the site’s owner is a few fries short of a happy meal or they have a different agenda.

Next funny thing. This is a site the purports to support Iggy on his quest through the political playoffs and to the Stanley Cup of Canadian politics, being PM. If you wanted to do that you would probably use a picture of him that looks pretty good (photoshop helps too). Instead they put up a picture of what appears to be a 50 year old man just realizing that his dependency on Viagra is complete. Not very flattering, not very flattering at all.

iggy

Everything about this site reeks of suspicion, even the catch phrase, “Ignatieff is not a ‘useful idiot’,” looks like “Ignatieff is a useful idiot at first glance”. On the second page there is a special link to Iggy’s now famous line about how much he loves America, a line that has been playing like a broken 16″ around the Conservative campaign hubs.

So who really is behind this site? A bit of digging around with IPs and url ownership doesn’t turn up anything except that the site’s owner has blocked their information and that the server is in Florida somewhere. This is just a feature that a client can purchase from their host to hide their personal information.

I found another blogger who was a couple steps ahead of me. David Akin’s blog has an e-mail from ‘The Colonel’, the apparent owner and mod of the site. Its quite amusing and worth a read, as is Akin’s analysis of it.

So is ‘The Colonel’ being honest, or is the site really being put on by the Conservative party? Maybe its just a conservative fanatic acting on their own? The thing about the internets is that we will never know. Its so easy to put up and take down sites that the truth will likely never come out. The same stuff is happening all over the world as anonymous users post things only to be attacked by more anonymous users.

Look at what happened yesterday to Facebook and Twitter. They both got shut down due to an attack on a specific user. A user who happened to be a strong pro-western Georgian. He claims that the attacks originated from within Russia as an attempt to shut him up. Any truth to this claim? Its tough to tell. Source.

So as society moves more and more into the digital plane and politicians begin actually become computer literate. The attacks will probably get more subtle and more aggressive. Its going to be up to us to separate the bull from the crap.

Now if ‘The Colonel’ doesn’t mind, I’m going to go grab some KFC!

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terryman

Geoff is a 5th year student who studying a double major in Integrated Science (Evolutionary ecology, virology) and Political Science. He was the 'Wish' speaker at the 2008 Terry Talks and is passionate about university education, especially when it comes to interdisciplinary experiences. After graduation Geoff wants to find a job that allows him to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and share stories. If your savvy enough you can follow Geoff on Twitter - user: gcosteloe.

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