"Apparently there is not enough fake news for the US government"
July 7, 2017 12:22 PM   Subscribe

"The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs wants to start a fake Twitter feud." A Stanford law professor received an unusual request. A representative of a United States State Department office invited him to help stage a pretend spat via Twitter.

Despite invoking Ben Franklin, it doesn't seem to be going well.
posted by doctornemo (23 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
And some of those comments are fantastic in pointing out that Ben Franklin was actually a terrible example.
posted by knownassociate at 12:26 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I say we make every son of a bitch who wants to respond to #MostAmericanIP sign a goddamn loyalty oath first.
posted by flabdablet at 12:33 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I mean, the only thing that seems controversial about this is the bizarre choice of calling it a "fake Twitter feud." They weren't actually inviting anyone to take a fake opposing position. If they'd just called it a "Twitter Open House" or "Open Forum" or some such, no one would have even blinked.
posted by solotoro at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

WTF on so many levels
posted by Pocahontas at 12:43 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, this has more in common with the Cute Throwdown than an actual Twitter feud.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2017

Anyone in the public eye who uses the word "fake" in any context these days deserves to be pilloried as an idiot.
posted by Etrigan at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2017 [5 favorites]


posted by radicalawyer at 12:48 PM on July 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Meanwhile, the actual State Department itself (the part that does actual state-oriented work) is being hollowed-out and marginalized.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:06 PM on July 7, 2017 [8 favorites]

Astroturfing at it's finest. Let's talk about IP in the way big business wants us to. Anything else is #fakenews.
posted by msbutah at 1:19 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Anyone in the public eye who uses the word "fake" in any context these days deserves to be pilloried as an idiot.

Not even "Fake President"?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:24 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

No, the Fake President should definitely be pilloried.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:31 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I agree with solotoro that it was strange for the dept to call the project "fake" -- and additionally confused why it's deemed to be a "feud" when they appear to be soliciting agreement and support from everyone over the bland generality that "IP is good," rather than conflict of any kind about it.

Maybe I'm just feeling bad that I was left out of the solicitations. :)
posted by zittrain at 1:32 PM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

My take on the fake feud concept was it was supposed to look like groups spontaneously one-upping each other with what was actually the best IP moment in history. Preplanned, thus fake, and people bean-plating "IP events", thus a feud.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:42 PM on July 7, 2017

Thorzdad beat me to it. "Fake President" is such a great term because it works on at least two levels, and probably more.
posted by rokusan at 1:45 PM on July 7, 2017

The week after the 4th of July, when everyone gets back from vacation but will still feel patriotic and summery, we want to tweet an audacious statement like, "Bet you couldn't see the Independence Day fireworks without bifocals; first American diplomat Ben Franklin invented them #bestIPmoment @StateDept"

hey why the fuck would you need bifocals to see fireworks, aren't those are for close reading

Anyhow, clearly the #BestIPMoment is when Trump leveraged the One China Policy in exchange for some lucrative Chinese trademarks, jumpstarting his use of the Presidency to massively enrich himself.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

Any feud where everyone agrees with each other is clearly a fake feud.
posted by adamrice at 2:21 PM on July 7, 2017

What the hell? Don't they know the proper way to do this is through surrogate think tanks and PR firm? This is so heavy handed it seems ridiculously buffoonish. Like, I'm betting there are associates at in a ton of lobbyist and think tanks going "wtf, mate? are you trying to blow this on purpose?"

Guh. It really is like letting a 5 year old try and drive a crane. They're just yanking on levels because they think they know how it all works.

Though, if you want to go further with it, I'm wondering if the ineptness wasn't just a monkey wrench being thrown in the works by someone who is trying to dismantle the propaganda operations. Sadly, Occam and Hanlon are fighting for the explanation.
posted by daq at 2:35 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I actually had a weird rabbit hole thought about a rogue fake djt handle tweeting shit spicer would have to counter.

"No, the president has not decided single payer is the way to go ."
"No, the president is not opening 20 million new acres of national parks ."
"No, the president is not considering asking Congress to pass a 30 hour workweek and $20 minimum wage.@
posted by tilde at 7:49 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is a tired social media campaign meme, we did the same thing where a collective of ski resorts shit talked each in a jocular manner and then revelled when endemic sites picked up on it. It's not fake as in misinformation fake, it's fake as in contrived.
posted by furtive at 8:47 PM on July 7, 2017

This is weird on like 27 different levels. While I'm not sure I'm using it in the absolute correct context, this ginning up of a fake "feud" seems to be reminiscent of kayfabe (a concept I had no clue about until MeFi clued me in during the 2016 campaign)
posted by mostly vowels at 9:55 PM on July 7, 2017

i am so exhausted

Somewhere in the bowels of Mordor an orc has just read that and grinned.
posted by flabdablet at 10:15 PM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Now I have a picture in my mind of a kind of Sauron's Tower atop the White House, supporting a huge all-farting arsehole.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 AM on July 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

The State Department does not seem to realize that they are tainted and complicit by association. I don't even trust @NASA anymore.
posted by andreap at 11:06 AM on July 8, 2017

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