The petition's real. The names, not so much.
BY Nancy Scola | Monday, December 14 2009
All is not well with the 90,000 signatures that the Israel Project is touting on a pro-Iran sanction web petition, finds the Washington Independent Spencer Ackerman. Despite the organization's claims that every signatory passed through security measures, Ackerman finds that unless there are a whole lot of guys named Vince Vince running around and the union added Alcoholics Anonymous as a state, something's fishy with this particular online petition:
[C]licking through that link to take a closer look at those signatories raises substantial questions about their authenticity. For instance, signatories 84,854 through 85,071 are all named “Vince Vince” -- although the Israel Project claims that all those different Vince Vinces are from different states. Well, sort of. Some of them are from states listed by recognizable acronyms like MN or AZ or PA. Others, however, are from the great states of GU and AA and XX.
Nor does the curious reader even have to examine the list that far down. Signatory number five is listed as Comfylovely ...... -- and no, those aren’t ellipses I’ve placed in for dramatic effect; that’s Comfylovely’s listed last name -- from the proud city of Davao in the historic state of XX.
That’s not even the most disturbing part of the signatories. The Israel Project lists the following as enthusiastic supporters of sanctioning Iran: Viagra Kaufen Viagra Kaufen, London, N.Y. (signatory #84,570); Porn Sex Video from London, N.Y. (signatory #62,751-62,756); Stupidwhiteman V, who declined to list an address (signatory #83,780); and Xbox 360 accessories — that’s a first and last name — from New York, N.Y. (signatory #90,046).
The organization told Ackerman that it was taking steps to clean up the data. (Via Ben Smith.)