Sockpuppets used by Hillary Clinton Campaign

While it has gotten mentioned twice on the NY Times' blog and once on a Washington Post blog, the fact that the Clinton campaign has been using sockpuppets to push her campaign doesn't seem to be worth mentioning in even one single print publication or main media website. A Google search tonight on "Clinton Sockpuppet" or "Clinton 'Sock Puppet'" turned up no other hits other than to the two NY Times' blog posts using Google News. I guess that I thought that there would be at least one mention in the print or television media, but I guess that this is not deemed to be very important.

1) Here is the original post on December 13th:
BlueHampshire.com, a progressive site in the Granite State, has found that several Clinton staff members slipped into sock-puppet mode to beef up the pro-Clinton diary recommendations on its site.

The Caucus learned of this through techpresident.com, which is surprised that anybody still uses sock puppets.

“I’m still amazed that anyone with a basic knowledge of computers would think that they operate anonymously from a campaign office,” Joshua Levy writes. “Haven’t we learned anything from Wikipedia?”

The Caucus too is shocked — shocked! — at the use of sock puppets. We have nothing like that on our site, right readers? We thought sock puppets were “in” for about as long as Paris Hilton’s stay in jail.

In any case, BlueHampshire handled the whole thing with class and their story says a lot about maintaining site integrity in these wild and wooly times.

Blue Hampshire’s Dean Barker writes that the site administrators grew suspicious when they saw that several users had signed up in quick succession. They then discovered that they all used the same IP address, which is registered to the Clinton campaign.

2) Here is the entire reference on December 20th to her campaign's sockpuppet postings:

‘Vote for Me. I’m a Sock Puppet.’
You may have seen that some Hillary Clinton “sock puppets” were recently outed on a New Hampshire blog, to the campaign’s great embarrassment. A sock puppet, for those of who you aren’t immersed in blog culture, is what they call someone who pretends to be commenting as a regular voter but who is in fact posting propaganda. . . .

Nathalie Guyol writes: I hope you can find out (and publish, if you do) how many Iowans would support Hillary Clinton if Bill Clinton did not exist. I suspect a huge preponderance would not have even given her serious consideration.

Good question. I say we get that car that Christopher Lloyd had in “Back to the Future,” go back to the Yale Law School library in the spring of 1971 and ask Bill Clinton for a lighter at exactly the moment that Hillary first walks by. It could work. Barring that, we’ll never know.

The Washington Post mention can be found here. Here is all the blog commentary that I could find here, here, here, and here. At least this is all the blogs that gave me a hit for "Clinton Sockpuppet" after the beginning of December.

Thanks to Joe Olson for sending these links to me.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI & FWIW: The reporting on the Clinton incident on Blue Hampshire was reported in print several times, the most prominent being the dead tree version of the WaPo on the following day (a reprint of the blog post) as well as mentions in NH newspapers the Concord Monitor and the Nashua Telegraph. There are others as well.

Google news search

- Dean Barker, Blue Hampshire

12/29/2007 8:59 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks very much Dean.

I looked through the first ten of the stories linked in the search that you linked to, but I could only find two mentions. One in a letter to the editor that comes close to what I was pointing out. It was the letter in the Concord Monitor stating:

"unidentified Clinton staffers postings on Blue Hampshire"

This is a pretty weak critique. The second reference was what I was looking for. It was in Computer World:

Less than a month before the first presidential primary in New Hampshire, a liberal blog in the Granite State has banned six usernames traced to an IP address belonging to Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign, because those using the names failed to disclose that they are affiliated with the campaign.

Unfortunately, the simple search that I did missed this last story though it wasn't in what I would call the mainstream media, but your search using "Blue Hampshire" was massively over inclusive. Looking through the search results on the next page indicates that the National Journal mentioned it a couple of times. The Fox News piece was on staffers planting questions a events, not on the events that I mentioned. The last four of the 25 entries were dates before the event was discovered.

Going through your search method still reveals extremely little coverage of the event.

12/29/2007 11:05 PM  

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