Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Harper Government's Job Creation Initiative

 HT: Mark Crispin Miller
and the good folks at reddit.

The top ad ad first appeared on Craigslist and disappeared suddenly;  only to reappear on the Telecommute Job list for various Canadian cities.
It has since been removed as well.

But "Questions Remain." according to Were these legitimate offers, or simply pranks?

The ad stated the purpose of hiring the writers was to "help balance the left-wing bias of the major media outlets."

The ad, complete with spelling errors, instructed interested applicants to submit a 100-word post, based on the headline "Ignatieff Promises No Coallitions (sic) after Election."
The posting appeared on the website in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax.
Craigslist staff removed the advertisement during the day — but another one appeared soon after. Essentially the same ad, this time it sought writers to post left-wing comments. Applicants were asked to write a 100-word post, this one based on the headline "Harper Promises Everything."

Comments on Twitter quickly accused the Conservative party of being behind the right-wing ad, but others discounted the entire thing as an online joke.

"And I thought the Con trolls hated me on principle, but turns out it's just a well-paid job," wrote Justin Trudeau, federal Liberal candidate for Papineau.
Prank it may be, but if so, it's entirely credible, as earlier, well documented astroturfing and gaming efforts have demonstrated. Given Harper's idiological ties, it's not surprising that his government or some helpful "non profit" organization might consider this to be a "contribution" to "the cause."

And that's where the Neocons have a problem, because the tactic of poisoning and gaming social media toward an agenda is not at all new. So if it's a prank, it's one that could be even more effective than Andrew Brietbart's efforts in gaming media. People who are not immediately inclined to believe anything that's spewed from the current list of Right-Wing talking points are becoming more and more suspicious that the people spewing them are people like this.
As some of you may have noticed, OD is getting a lot of hits off “reddit” this evening, one of the most popular social news websites. Earlier this afternoon, a hysterical leftist called “Angela Motorman” posted a link to my post on White Nationalism and Social Media. Presumably, it was Motorman who came here threatening to report OD to the SPLC and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department for speech she doesn’t like on the internet.
The thread has since made it to the first page of the “reddit” politics section. Lots of Jews and White liberals are flooding in here and taking a look around. If this breakthrough is big enough to get us noticed by the SPLC, I would be thrilled beyond words, as I have been trying so hard (unsuccessfully) to get their attention for months now.
Now of course I'm not stating that people who could be persuaded to support the Harper Government are racist skinheads. Goodness no. I'm just pointing out that if you go looking for such people, they are out there and are definitely down with suppressing left-of-fucktard-racist speech. They are probably cheaply available and are likely the first to respond to such a call. Since, well, they already do.

CBC Manitoba was singled out by the Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO), but similar comments are on media blogs across Manitoba.
Topics ranged from the Six Nations blockade in Caledonia, Ont., Quebec First Nations angered by development plans, Manitoba First Nations protesting for a share of pipeline profits, the stalled Peguis land deal and a fatal fire on a B.C. reserve.
SCO leaders say the blog comments denigrate aboriginal culture beliefs, slam aboriginal people with racist insults, and trot out outdated stereotypes and misinformation.

Hell, they might even be willing to do it from one of those Free Enterprise Prisons Mister Harper likes, speaking of jobs creation. Oh, and it's a social housing programme too! I'm reliably informed that various racist groups are alive and well in Canadian prisons, so if I were to be as mean spirited as the average paid astroturfing troll, I could say that he was pandering to a special interest group.

The problem for Mr. Harper and this little story is that the Neoconservatives have created a new playbook, one where it's ok to lie, to cheat, to misinform and to "shape the dialogue." Having done so with some success for many years, and as saturated by US passive and interactive media as Canadians are, we have become familiar with the tactic. And when properly motivated, and given an actual sense of humor and an ear for dialogue, it's not all that hard to take the Right Wing for a spin.

Hell, it happens often enough by accident...

So whether we are seeing an inept attempt by real conservatives to continue an established tactic, or an artful prank doesn't actually matter.

I refer you to Poe's Law and some examples of why such confusions might not be in the long term interests of Conservatives.

UPDATE: Yours Truly was just ironically bitten by Poe's Law...

How to To Succeed At Trolling Without Even Trying...'s so easy you can do it without thinking. Oh. Wait.
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