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Current Editorials: Republicans Engaged in Heavy-Artillery Shill Spam Campaign
Posted by spatula on Aug. 12, 2005
I don't know who is organizing it, but I can see its effects: the Republicans have launched an all-out war on the mother of a young man who died in Iraq...
Every day I get a report in my email that shows me how many hits and visitors the site got, a projection of traffic for the month, number of requests per second, and, most importantly, the URLs of the referring sites. This way I can tell where the traffic is coming from. Often this leads me to other amusing sites where our articles or the site are discussed-- sometimes in a flattering way, and sometimes not.
Please forgive me if this article gets too technical. I unfortunately cannot present this evidence without going into a bit of technobabble.
When a particular subject is newsworthy, I expect to see it in the search criteria in URLs from Google, Yahoo and MSN search. Typically I'll see a handful of these. But never in the history of this site have I seen the like of the searches being done for Cindy Sheehan. Yesterday alone, more than 200 people came here after they searched for Cindy Sheehan on MSN and over 100 from Google. This is unusual in itself, because it's far more common to see more hits from Google than from MSN. Only 3 searches came from Yahoo. At the time of this writing, at least another 60 have come from MSN and 18 from Google. Trust me when I say that this quantity of search engine hits for one particular newsworthy subject is unprecedented. I've been watching this report every day for the last 5 years. Nobody knows its patterns better than me.
Another thing that I noticed is that for every trolling/republican-talking-point post on the Cindy Sheehan Won't Back Down article (except for "skippy" who turned up 3 days before the flood of talking-points parrots), when I check the web server logs, the first entry for the poster's IP address comes from MSN's search, and in every case the search key is "cindy sheehan" in all-lowercase. I checked, and verified that if you capitalize her name, it shows up with the same capitalization in the referrer URL.
My hypothesis, which I can't prove, is that there is an organized shill campaign coming from the Republican smear machine seeking to do everything they can to besmirch Cindy Sheehan. I think they are out there on the Internets looking for sites like this one where they can post the Republican talking points. It's blog shill-spamming. Maybe we could call it "shamming" for short.
Notice how similar each of these posts seems to the others:
Each of these posters arrived here through the same MSN search, each launched directly into a smear of Sheehan, and each apparently didn't notice that several of the shammers before them had already said many of the same things from the list of talking points.
Based on my intuition and my familiarity with the typical usage patterns on this site, I believe there is an organized "smear Cindy Sheehan on blog sites" campaign underway. I could be wrong and this could all be an enormous coincidence, but I don't think that's the case.
This is how they support the troops and their families. By going to great lengths to attack a woman who has lost her son to an unjustified war. (And if anyone still thinks the war was justified, I have some swampland in Florida and a nice bridge in the northeast to sell you!) I guess they only support the troops and their families as long as they toe the Republican party line. Step out of line and question the President and his motives and they'll stop at nothing.