Fight the Smears - Good Idea or Not?

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posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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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 news.


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.
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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 believe it.

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?




posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:38 PM
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Anything that denies ignorance has to be a good thing.

I've been reading the politics forums as a neutral outsider to the US election and commenting as such, and I have to say that my overall impression so far after what I've written is that a portion of the US must still live in the dark ages - either that or people have gone stark raving mad - because some of the stuff in there is akin to the kind of thing Goebbels was putting out on behalf of Hitler regarding jewish people prior to the second world war.

Of course, the facts won't stop people trying to smear, but at least they are there.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


hey dudette,
It is a perfect analogy to what happens here on ATS. Responding and reacting to every little internet rumor is like getting baited by lloyd or jamie, except times a million. If the people who start these lies see that they can get a reaction out of the official Obama camp, they will multiply exponentially. It could get really ugly! As you wisely have educated me, you cant win in this domain, and last thing you want to do is legitimize it.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
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.)
Well, Hitler had his ministry of Propaganda, so why not Barack Obama? It's funny though how he's the only candidate that feels a need for paid staffers to disrupt threads that are less than flattering to him. Maybe he doesn't believe in the First Amendment and free speech?


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. .
So, what you're saying is: Only the uneducated and rural segments of the American population believe Obama is a Muslim due to their lack of education.. Interesting hypothesis. I'm sure it will cull him a lot of favor among the blue collar workers.



posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 12:22 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
It is a perfect analogy to what happens here on ATS. Responding and reacting to every little internet rumor is like getting baited by lloyd or jamie,


Just curious since you mentioned me by name. What exactly do you mean by "getting baited?"

Let's put it another way. If there's something about Barry O. that I am critical of, how do you suggest is the appropriate way for me to discuss it here on ATS?






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