What Does Signing Up Mean?

PhotobucketAs you may or may not know, I do some work for candidates in the online space.  One of the questions that campaigns frequently ask is whether they can use names of people that have signed up on their Facebook pages or website as supporters. My customary answer is something like, “well, a lot of people just like to see the messages coming out of the campaign and haven’t yet committed.”  

I say this because I know it to be true: I do it myself on occasion.  In fact, even if you want to disagree with a page’s posting, you have to “like” it. Otherwise you can’t post a comment. There are reasons for that, pro and con, but them’s the rules. Best to know them before you step on the field.

However, apparently the eCandidate’s team didn’t really brush up on that…and got burned by it. From the always resourceful CalBuzz team:

Calbuzz pal Barbara O’Connor, one of our favorite, well-informed eggheads on the subject of state politics and government, checked in to say that reports about her supporting Meg Whitman are not only wrong but also result from a manipulative practice by Team eMeg.

Meg Whitman’s Facebook ad misused my name. They said I was a supporter because I looked at her website and Facebook page as an observer. So much for trying to see what they are posting. If you see my name on any of their materials please complain and ask it to be pulled. I am not supporting her.

Duly noted. To get off the list, she defriended eMeg. (Gasp!)

For her part, Barbara O’Connor is doing what she has to do to keep tabs on the campaigns.  This is what you have to do these days.  And for Whitman to think there is an endorsement in there tells us a lot about her campaign.  Sure, it’s everywhere on TV, but it’s all about smoke and mirrors.  A mile wide and an inch deep.