Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Astroturf movements and blog comments

A comment left by someone on the 12th for my post about the recent Blackwater legal maneuver seemed a bit odd to me. After searching a bit I found the identical comment posted on three different blogs that were commenting on this story. While I can understand the desire to post a comment on a subject that you feel strongly about, the overall tone and attempt to redirect attention away from Blackwater and into “ambulance chaser” hatred didn’t sit right with me. While I only did a quick search for similar comments on blogs, finding 3 identical comments in only a minute from a loose search query makes me wonder if the anonymous poster of the comment (using the name “scar’d” in the other postings) has a dog in this fight, so to speak.

Astroturf movements get started in similar ways as this and viral advertising gets spread in a similar manner as well. Individuals with an agenda to spread an idea with ulterior motives do tend to seek out open comment sites such as message boards and blog comments. While I can’t say with certainty that the poster is an agent tasked with seeding this idea their action fits the mold. Is this comment poster hitting other blogs and message boards with this same message in an attempt to sway attention away from the direction of the Blackwater suit and stir anti-lawyer sentiment as the means of distracting us from the subject?

For your own thoughts here are links to the comment posted here at my blog as well as the other three blogs.

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