Make the Spambots the Issue: A Quick Demo of How to Hijack Google-Funded Spambots

A “Theodore Kaczynski” from Lincoln Montana signs a Google-funded astroturf petition over and over again. 

Google-funded and affiliated astroturfs have mounted a spambot campaign targeting Senators to vote against the CASE Act.  The CASE Act (voluntary small claims copyright court) passed the house 410-6.  Google and their allies are worried because independent artists and creators might now have a decent shot at enforcing their copyright.   Corporate backed astroturfs first mounted a wild disinformation campaign against the CASE Act.  See this blog here.

When that didn’t work they launched a series of easily automated web forms designed to deluge Senators with emails, tweets, facebook posts, phone calls, and messages on the senator’s websites.  As we saw with the FCC Net Neutrality battle, these forms leave us with tons of fake comments.  According to Pew Research, 94% of the 22 million comments to FCC on Net Neutrality were identical to hundreds, thousands, even millions of other emails.  Spambots are screwing with our democracy.  How can our representatives hear what their constituents really think if they are deluged with spam?

As has always been the case,  best we can do is call our Senators (and don’t use a script.)

However, in the meantime anytime you find one of these forms below?  Maybe replace the canned message with a message that lets the Senator’s office know it’s simply a Spambot from one of these Astroturfs. You don’t have to lie about anything. Use your real name. Tell em it’s spam.  Make the Spambots the issue. Eventually, maybe these astroturf will stop using these forms if every Senator knows they are spam, and we can go back to our old only partially dysfunctional democracy.

Every web form I’ve found are curiously defective in the same way: you can usually refresh the page and sign, email, tweet, call with the same message over and over again.  At top of this blog, I take one of these bullshit petitions and have Ted Kaczynski sign it over and over again leaving the exact same comment each time.  Hope you enjoy.