An interesting comment showed up a few hours ago on an earlier blog posting of mine about Barack Obama: “Just wanted to say that I am eployed at a large Pharmaceutical company in Clayton NC and I support Barack Obama with all my heart. I would love for all my friends and colleagues to re-elect Obama in 2012!! I LOVE YOU OBAMA.”
The commenter gave the name “Diane Pearce Votes for Obama Again” and linked to my.barackobama.com. I thought it was slightly weird, but not weird enough to merit further investigation.
Then, three hours later, another comment came in on a different blog posting, this time from “Diane Pearce Loves Barack Obama”: “All I know is that I work at a large Pharmaceutical corporation in Clayton NC and I endroce Barack Obama with all my being. I would love for all my friends and colleagues to re-elect Obama in 2012!! I LOVE YOU OBAMA.”
That exceeded my weirdness threshold, so I looked into it a bit further.
The two comments gave two different email addresses, Reitter@gmail.com and Lipovsky@gmail.com, both of which appear to be based on people’s names and neither of which is related to the full name given by the commenter.
One of the comments was posted from an IP address in the United Arab Emirates. The other was posted from Indonesia.
I Googled for pages matching “Diane Pearce” and Obama, and there were 264 matches, many of which were similar comments. I did the same Google search a half hour later, and the count was up to 270.
Someone is clearly astroturfing here. The motives for this, and whether the people doing it are in reality trying to help or hurt Obama, are left as an exercise to the reader.