posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:14 PM
Obama's campaign has developed a website called Fight the Smears
in an attempt
to handle some of the ridiculous rumors that are going around in blogs and emails about him, his wife, his religion, his life. It's a pretty good
site, but Salon
seems to think that the strategy might backfire. I have had
the same thoughts.
(As we know, sometimes responding to a rumor, feeds it and gives it power.)
In March, as part of a New York Times Magazine article on the science behind myth busting, I spoke to several rumor experts about Obama's efforts to
fight the Muslim claim. In politics, conventional wisdom holds that the best way to neutralize a whisper campaign is to ignore it. The experts
thought this was a bad plan, and they praised Obama's camp for aggressively pushing back at the Muslim rumor every time it's popped up in the
Aha! See, I told you!
Polls show that belief in the Muslim rumor is confined to a few select demographic groups: Conservative Republicans, rural voters, and people without
college degrees are most likely to think Obama is Muslim. Rumor researchers say that the best way to fight a myth is to take your refutation to the
social groups who believe it; this way, you minimize the possibility of introducing the lie to people who hadn't heard it in the first place.
People don't believe that Obama is a Muslim because Google has given them bad info -- they believe it because they dismiss the good info on Google,
or, more likely, because they trust what they've heard through e-mail and have never bothered to do a Web search.
I would add that people believe a rumor because they either don't want to face the real reason they don't like a candidate OR they simply want to
This is a great article and it makes a lot of sense. I highly recommend reading it. There are links at the article for further research.
What do you think? Have you looked at Fight the Smears? Do you think it's a good idea to use it to email people with the message?