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CNN: Comment spam News Network?
April 25, 2005 12:00 PM   Subscribe


 
Now CNN is "Ashleeturfing"?
posted by jca at 12:00 PM on April 25, 2005


CNN is gambling that they can use the blogosphere to gain a competitive advantage over their seemingly invincible arch rival Fox News[5].

seemingly INVINCIBLE!!!!!
posted by delmoi at 12:08 PM on April 25, 2005


The FPP link is dead (for me, at least)--what's up?
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:16 PM on April 25, 2005


(I wonder what the reaction would be if Fox News had done this as opposed to CNN.)
posted by jca at 12:17 PM on April 25, 2005


(Well there's a technical difficulty, for posting comments: FOX News can't type, it can only shout)
posted by Peter H at 12:18 PM on April 25, 2005


MrMoonPie: Link still working for me. Browser issue maybe?
posted by jca at 12:23 PM on April 25, 2005


I would be more sympathetic to this guy's cause if not for the fact that he's disabled the back button. I appreciate being forcibly stuck on someone's blog as much as I appreciate getting comment spammed by mass media. Anyone else notice this or is there something wrong with my Firefox?
posted by spicynuts at 12:26 PM on April 25, 2005


This strikes me as pretty sophisticated: using search engine penalization of keyword stuffing to downrank criticism. It's certainly a lot more sophisticated than the "Asleeturfing" incident. I'd admire it, if it weren't so evil....
posted by mr_roboto at 12:30 PM on April 25, 2005


...the fact that he's disabled the back button... Anyone else notice this or is there something wrong with my Firefox?

nothing wrong with your browser. damn, that's annoying. what kind of jerkoff is nick lewis, anyway?
posted by quonsar at 12:32 PM on April 25, 2005



(I wonder what the reaction would be if Fox News had done this as opposed to CNN.)


I assume you were trying to imply that the result would have been more hostile if the "evil" news outlet had taken this strategy. But this question I pose is...

Does it even matter anymore? Are either of these respected news outlets, or are they simply parodies of the a legitimate television news source like PBS or the BBC? In my 20's, CNN and Foxnews have replaced MTV and Nickelodeon as my dinner time entertainment. Any network that devotes 2 hours a day to Jacko deserves no respect.
posted by gagglezoomer at 12:34 PM on April 25, 2005


Viral marketing campaign in the blogosphere is what make this country great.
posted by NewBornHippy at 1:00 PM on April 25, 2005


seemingly INVINCIBLE!!!!!

It has to do with that pact they have with the devil...
posted by clevershark at 1:03 PM on April 25, 2005


Viral marketing doesn't work. Tell everyone you know.
posted by clevershark at 1:05 PM on April 25, 2005


my browser back button was hosed too. Crappy blog software I imagine.

I get a lot of press release junk from entertainment companies now without even asking for it, (the one for Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch was just strange) just in this strange hope I might be dumb enough to help plug their product in exchange for a chance in a raffle for a $20 DVD no one is interested in.

Not the same as the comment spammers, but it's clear that companies are getting aggressive in exploting every possible nook and cranny they can online now.
posted by inthe80s at 1:32 PM on April 25, 2005


or are they simply parodies of the a legitimate television news source like PBS or the BBC?

You're kidding about the beeb, right? They love Jacko as much as the next news network, with the added bonus of stalking the entire extended royal family!
posted by loquax at 1:46 PM on April 25, 2005


Does anyone think CNN is a respectable news source any more? Especially CNN.com? I stopped treating them as such when I had to dig through pages of "President Bush's Ipod Playlist" to find any real news.
posted by muddgirl at 1:48 PM on April 25, 2005


They love Jacko as much as the next news network, with the added bonus of stalking the entire extended royal family!

Yeah, seriously, I like the BBC and all, but try watching the Royals coverage on their news shows. 15 minutes of pure fluff. Usually fairly propagandistic fluff, too.
posted by unreason at 1:52 PM on April 25, 2005




It's clear that Fox is doing this because they knew that someone would figure it out and it'd make CNN look bad.

It's a double-reversal backhanded complement blog comment.
posted by Four Flavors at 2:43 PM on April 25, 2005


"Search is inextricably tied to your reputation,"

Unless you're writing for CNN corporate cousin Time Magazine looking up "Ann Coulter lies"...

just sayin'...
posted by wendell at 2:45 PM on April 25, 2005


This kind of stuff yet some people consider 'MSM' a term fit only for "quacks"..
posted by fleacircus at 2:54 PM on April 25, 2005


Doesn't "MSM" stand for MicroSoft Media?
I could self-link to one my articles for MSNBC.com, but I won't stoop that low... yet.
posted by wendell at 3:01 PM on April 25, 2005


Yeah, seriously, I like the BBC and all, but try watching the Royals coverage on their news shows. 15 minutes of pure fluff. Usually fairly propagandistic fluff, too.

What?? Propoganda?? I thought Fox owned the rights to that.
posted by AspectRatio at 3:32 PM on April 25, 2005


I wonder what the reaction would be if Fox News had done this as opposed to CNN.

The same as it is here. Where's the evidence? quonsar's right. What kind of jerkoff is Nick Lewis?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:33 PM on April 25, 2005


I will dream of this.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:39 PM on April 25, 2005


Does anyone think CNN is a respectable news source any more?

Up here in Canada, some of us thought CNN was mostly a right-wing mouthpiece that gave a bit of airtime to american liberals to show how cute they are. It was very strange to hear CNN criticized as part of the 'liberal conspiracy' until we actually started getting a Fox feed. It's still hard to believe Fox is not satire.
posted by KS at 3:53 PM on April 25, 2005


Jesus, this reads like a wingnut wonk. It requires so many double-backs and "That's what they want you to think!" admissions, along with an inflated view of both himself and blogging in general. Shut the fuck up, Jeff. We know that you want to break something, anything, but c'mon.
Probably MSN anyway.
posted by klangklangston at 4:11 PM on April 25, 2005


did anyone else notice that quonsar got second comment?

In total, 10 of these spams have been varified so far;

spele chekk d00d
Submitted by quonsar (not verified) on Mon, 2005-04-25 13:28.


word.
posted by shmegegge at 4:50 PM on April 25, 2005


I'm with klangklangston. This entry reads like a bizarre paranoid fantasy.

"CNN is trying to keep the people from learning the truth about how worthless the MSM is! They'll stop at nothing to keep me off the 13th Google results page!"

Tying it in with some bizarre reverse-psychology negative-buzz campaign just ices the cake.
posted by breath at 5:40 PM on April 25, 2005


I only read CNN.com for the pictures.

Me too (Warning: Gay content--our President and his Saudi boyfriend--a prince of a guy)
posted by amberglow at 5:49 PM on April 25, 2005


Good God Damn, the next time I have to read some half-assed political blogger wannabe pundit jackass write "looks like Metafilter just picked up on it" about his awful blog, I'll fucking shoot someone.

Did you see that, Nick? We think you're crap.
posted by koeselitz at 7:05 PM on April 25, 2005


shut up nick lewis.
posted by greasy_skillet at 7:35 PM on April 25, 2005




Hey, you see that guy over there - yeah that one - you see what he's doing, hey you see that???

You wha' - oh, hey yeah - he's picking his nose. Hey just look at that - a guy who's picking his nose.

Oh, that's really gross. Lord, you see the way he digs in there - hey watch he's gonna - oh no!

Hey see behind him - there's Joe. What's he doing there - oh he's waving a tissue.

Oh good ol' Joe - he's really cool.

Hey, the guy's seen us, he's seen us, he's seen we seen him!

This is fun.

This is MEFI
posted by TimothyMason at 12:26 AM on April 26, 2005


my browser back button was hosed too. Crappy blog software I imagine.

it's not the software. the site is using Drupal (you can tell because Nick never changed the favicon).

my back button worked just fine.
posted by pruner at 1:39 AM on April 26, 2005


Ouch ouch ouch.

That guy has spun garden-variety net-kookery into a conspiracy theory like a bad spy novel.

Yes, it seems there's a kook spamming blogs. But he's putting all the keywords in there because he thinks it *helps* the spam, not as some sort of double-reverse rank-lowering ploy.

The tip-off is the plus signs before the keywords. A professional search-optimizer wouldn't do that. The kook does that because he types in keywords that way in searching.
posted by Seth Finkelstein at 1:51 AM on April 26, 2005


I totally disagree with everyone here who thinks Nick Lewis is full of shit. And so what if he is in this case? Is it that unfathomable that Bayesian filtering and the phenomenon of "astroturf" activism can't be directed into new and cryptic directions? Of course not.

AI exists and it will only get better at mimicking bonafide human expression as it begins to learn the ways in which partisan language, consisting of keywords and stereotypes are used. This is just a fact of ever improving and consolidating data libraries that we're going to have to get used to. The libraries are beginning to write themselves.

As long as we persist in using a medium of communication denuded of human touch, sight, pheromones etc. this will always be a risk.

The quacks and kooks here are those who think it impossible that a technology they readily employ when they want to works only for them and then discount the possibility of it existing when they're not paying attention.
posted by crasspastor at 2:57 AM on April 26, 2005


echoechoechoechoechoechoecho
posted by mkultra at 7:25 AM on April 26, 2005


AI exists and it will only get better at mimicking

so, AI was pioneered by parrots?
posted by quonsar at 11:32 AM on April 27, 2005


Yeah, Lenat and Minsky followers.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:37 AM on April 27, 2005



Wired News: CNN on the Spam Attack?

A CNN spokeswoman denied the network is behind the posts.
"CNN has not created such a campaign," she said.
Lewis, an independent web designer, said he also called CNN for comment, but so far hasn't received a reply.

posted by dabitch at 5:40 AM on May 2, 2005


Just to rehash things, of course CNN can say "CNN has not created such a campaign." They're not the ones physically doing it.

I'd take a closer look at Court TV (through their connection to the "ashleeturfing" of their anchor Nancy Grace, who is also on CNN) as the ones behind the campaign. Court TV is well known for it's ashleeturfing (forum spamming) campaigns.
posted by jca at 3:01 PM on May 2, 2005


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