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McCain's Unfiltered Blog

BY Ari Melber | Monday, March 3 2008

Barack Obama may be the hottest politician online, but when it comes to unfiltered Internet commentary, nobody beats John McCain.

While McCain's Internet audience lags far behind both Obama and Clinton, his official websites allow more dissent and tough feedback than the Democratic candidates, according to an unscientific comment experiment conducted by The Nation. We posted about 50 comments on the candidates' websites and YouTube accounts, ranging from bland encouragement to policy criticism to sharp complaints. Only the McCain Campaign posted every comment.

McCain's website had no problem with this feedback, for example:

Doesn't understand how to save workers from losing their livelihoods to globalization—I don't care what he says!Hillary and The Band. Despite drawing about 400,000 views on YouTube, the video displays only 79 comments -- all effusive. But over 2,200 people panned the video with low "star ratings," a metric that YouTube does not allow users to manipulate. The lopsided feedback suggests that the campaign rejected hundreds of negative comments.

Meanwhile, McCain's comment threads were most likely to turn critical. The negative comments may not only reflect the campaign's unfiltered format, but also the Senator's touchy relationship with party activists, who often dominate discussion on campaign sites. Either way, McCain deserves credit for letting the "straight talk" flow in both directions.

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With research by Susannah Vila.
Photo Credit: John McCain discusses technology in an April 2007 address. Napalmnews Flickr.

Originally posted at The Nation..