Thursday, May 10, 2007

Barack Takes a Page from Janet Jackson's Control

Finland for Thought contains an interesting story.

2 1/2 years ago a Barack supporter setup a MySpace page for fans of the politician, generating 160,000 “friends”. Barack then struck a deal with MySpace and pulled the site from right under this supporter’s feet.

I found more information:

MySpace drew political attention when it gave control of an unofficial Barack Obama page to the candidate’s campaign and then, after high-profile media attention, restored the unofficial profile at another location on the site.

MySpace “felt under the circumstances that Sen. Obama had the right to the URL,” company spokesman Jeff Berman told the website TechPresident.

Berman did not return repeated calls and e-mails from The Politico seeking an explanation of the MySpace policy.

Each site has its own terms of service, but they are almost uniformly sweeping and vague.

By the way, you shouldn't disappoint someone with 160,000 MySpace friends:

Joe Anthony, at the center of a raging debate over the role of netroots volunteers in Barack Obama's presidential bid, said Sunday his once ardent support for him is shaken as a result of the Obama campaign taking over the Obama MySpace page Anthony created.

"I am not as staunch a supporter like I was in the beginning," he told me.

Anthony is the 29-year-old Los Angeles paralegal who in November 2004 launched an Obama page on MySpace, the social networking site, attracting 160,000 "friends." Last Wednesday, the Obama campaign, wanting total control of the page, shut him down, replacing his content with official information from the campaign and leaving in the wake a dispute over whether Anthony was fairly treated....

[T]he episode touched a raw nerve in a campaign that is emphasizing new media and encouraging supporters to organize on their own....

Obama himself called Anthony on Wednesday night --"out of the blue," he said. Anthony said Obama, in the few minutes they talked, told him there were "lessons to be learned by everybody" over the MySpace standoff, but Obama told him "he stands by his staff."

Anthony took the Obama call as well meaning but a move to "guilt me into backing down."

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said, "We're up to about 45,000 friends on our MySpace page and we look forward to building our successful relationship with members of that community."

The relationship with Anthony is still raw. Posted Anthony, "Regardless of the campaign's intentions, the campaign quashed not only my right to have this profile, but the very hope that inspired me to build it.''

And yet another possible example of "new ideas" becomes "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Wonder if anyone has organized a MySpacers Against Obama movement yet.

[12:25 pm - Joe's new MySpace page is here.]

[12:27 pm - Also see]


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