Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ron Paul-heads at it again

Fake campaign support forum websites appear to offer fake support to just about every GOP candidate except Ron Paul, Sarah Lai Stirland reports: is one of a small network of sites with prime domain names, like and, that have sprung up this year and share uncanny similarities. They use the same forum software, are hidden behind anonymous domain-registration services and are served by the same hosting company with a common internet IP address. ,,,

Texas lawmaker Ron Paul seems to have escaped the phenomenon. A Ron Paul forum hosted from the same IP address, and with the same layout as the others, is packed with genuine supporters in earnest discussion. The registered owner of that domain did not respond to interview requests from Wired News.

But, the tables recently got turned.
Already known to a handful of political bloggers, Wired News learned about the forums last week, after outraging many Paulites by reporting on a flurry of deceptive spam promoting Ron Paul's candidacy. Apparently in retaliation, a member posed as this reporter and posted a message to the forum boasting that the story was a “fake,” and had supposedly been written in exchange for payment from Giuliani supporters. “Hopefully, it will help accomplish your goals,” the post read, signing off with this reporter’s name.

Long-time forum members played along. The message board thread was later deleted, but not before fooling other Ron Paul supporters, one of whom produced a YouTube video offering the spoofed post as proof that Wired News was on Rudy Giuliani's payroll. The video enjoyed wide circulation online (including on Wired Digital's own Reddit news-aggregation site) and had been viewed more than 16,000 times by Monday afternoon.

So much for that extra moral integrity Paul-heads would bring to the campaign, right?

Besides, we have not had any tin-foil hat goldbuggers posting here for a while...