Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

YouTube Likes Become New Front in Republican Primary's Ad War

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, December 9 2011

MoveOn.org has been urging its supporters to click "dislike" on the Rick Perry "Strong" ad, a video released earlier this week in which the Texas governor and presidential candidate emphasizes his Christian faith and opposition to gay rights. The organization hopes to drive one million negative clicks by tonight; at the start of the campaign, the video already had more dislikes than likes.

When she first saw the video, MoveOn Media Chief Angie Aker said that given what she called his "egregious" comments, "I was reluctant to help him raise his profile." But then MoveOn creative director Laura Dawn brought it up again and convinced her of the idea to do a "dislike" campaign.

"That has a different purpose than this guy is saying something we really don't agree with. Getting to people to pile on and dislike it felt more purposeful," she said. She said it was the first time that MoveOn's media project, which is 11 months old, sent its supporters to another site with such a specific call to action. Aker said that MoveOn had sent 10,000 users to the Youtube link. She called the popularity of the ad a testimony to how the public feels about gay rights, and said she didn't think the Perry campaign expected the reaction.

The video, which as been viewed over three million times, and was originally intended for Iowa Caucus voters, is an illustration of how the state-by-state campaign and primary season has been eclipsed by the web, since videos intended for one audience are instantly available around the country and around the world. The original Perry ad is not only the most popular video in the Des Moines-Ames, IA region, but is also the most popular video around the country, the New York City area and the United Kingdom, according to YouTube trends. A parody ad is the third most popular YouTube video in the U.S. YouTube statistics show that links to the video have been coming from Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, the Huffington Post, Tumblr, Buzzfeed as well as the search query "rick perry strong." The statistics on the video also show users watching from Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

The video has 11,0121 likes to 449,884 dislikes.

The ad was also mocked mocked on The Colbert Report, the Houston Chronicle reported — and the Perry campaign seems to have learned its lesson as a result. His new ad criticizing Barack Obama's health care reform plans was posted on Youtube without the like/dislike function.

On Facebook, though, his campaign he posted, "Can we get 7,000 LIKES to repeal Obamacare?!" (The post, which was shared 22 hours ago, only has 5,281 likes).

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

More