There seems to be this thought in political circles that the election of Barack Obama was due in no small part to the use of social media and Twitter in particular. It was something that the Republican didn’t quite get their collective heads around in time to make any difference. Well it appears that the Connecticut Republicans decided to change that the only problem was that they got it wrong.
News has surfaced that Twitter has shut down 33 fake accounts that had been created by Republicans using the names of state Democrats. The idea was that they would use those accounts to send out messages mocking the liberal tax and spend policies.
According to Twitter those fake posts violated the company’s anti-impersonation policy and removed the accounts but state Republican Chairman Chris Healy says that it wasn’t about impersonation but rather satire.
“That’s unfortunate,” was state Republican Chairman Chris Healy’s response when told of Twitter, Inc.’s decision. “I’m not quite sure what the issue is, other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech.”
Healy’s party may have suffered a setback with the loss of its Twitter campaign, but Republicans are still operating the 33 Web sites they created using the names of those same Democratic lawmakers. As far as anyone knows, this is the first time any state party has used such a tactic to mock its state opponents.
“It’s our idea, actually,” said Healy. He said Republicans want voters to understand how badly they’re being screwed by the Democrats who approved billions in new taxes rather than cut spending.
Healy has no intention of shutting those sites down just because of Democratic protests.
“They didn’t think of it first, so that’s why they’re whining,” Healy said.
Source: Hartford Advocate
Phillip Simon, director of the Graduate Interactive Communications program at Quinnipaic University believes that this kind of social media tools to spread inappropriate messages will happen more and more in politics.