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Obama Fights the Smears One Google at a Time

The Obama campaign is using Google to squash damaging and untrue rumors. By bidding on search terms like "Barack Obama birth certificate," or "Barack Obama as Muslim" Obama makes sure that he gets a word in. At the top of search results for these terms, up pops sponsored links to Obama's "Fight the Smears" website created to debunk the rumors specifically.

McCain strategists have been using Google as an offensive front for some time, bidding on words like "Viet Nam," "US Naval Academy," "POW," and "World War Two." The hope is that people who search those terms will see a McCain for President Ad, visit the website, and ultimately donate to McCain.

Currently, twice as many unique visitors go to Barack's website, compared to McCain's — do you think the race to the White House goes through the Google?

Join The Conversation
Vespa Vespa 8 years
Well, of course Obama gets more visitors to his website, he does better with younger voters who are more internet savvy. I'm surprised McCain is buying up search terms that are already associated with him, like "POW." You'd think he'd go with ones like, "responsible," "character," or something. Not that I think those AREN"T already associated with him, just that I think everyone gets the military service thing, you'd think he'd want his name to pop op when people search for "solutions" or "bipartisan."
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Even if 1% of people get the truth it will be worth it. I'm so disgusted right now at all the lies and smears. It saddens me even more that the origin of several of them came from the primary campaign. They did McCain's work for him.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
*As an example, I subscribe to comments and get them in my Gmail, and every time I'm reading comments on an Obama blog, Gmail gives me targeted ads for various Obama-smearing websites.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I'm not talking about the conservative regulars either, janneth. Every once in a while (particularly when a Citizen post gets linked by an outside website), some crazies will pop up out of nowhere and start shouting those lies. I'm just saying that some people who believe those lies do get their information from the Internet, and even if this doesn't get through to them, at least the debunking will be prominently placed when they go to search for substantiation of their lies. As some of them do attempt to do when they're challenged. Considering the amount of Obama smear sites on the Internet, I think a lot of people who believe and spread those rumors do use the Google, so this might be at least a little bit helpful.
janneth janneth 8 years
But Jude, I am not talking about our conservative colleagues here as being the ones who believe the lies about the religion or birth certificate. I think most of us here, on both sides, are basing our beliefs on ideology and politics, not rumors.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
My mother who I always considered intelligent and who uses the intelligence enough to be employed in a job that makes enough that she would be negatively effected by Obama's tax plan said to me.. well Obama is not even a natural born citizen.. his birth certificate is a fake. My grandfather said he was a Muslim and wanted to teach my 4 year old graphic sex ed and my grandmother added he was all for babies dying in a corner. :OY: All lies and spin. Should I respond that I heard that McCain conspired with the enemy while a POW to gain medical treatment, knowingly left live POW's behind in Asia as per accounts of POW/MIA loved ones who actively campaign against John, and he cheated on his crippled wife and threw her over for Cindy so that he could pursue politics with her money and connections? No, cause only one of those statements is provable and true. It is crazy the amount of misinformation that travels around the internet in a game of Conversation and comes out of peoples mouths as fact.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
George W. Bush was born in New Haven, CT...can you get more white American than that...and look how that turned out??? I wouldn't care if Barack Obama was born on the moon!! It has to be better than 'the Nutmeg'! Geez... (before you go there, I happen to love CT...)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"The people who believe these lies about his religion and birth certificate, etc, are not google users" Plenty of the ones who've shown up on here are, and this will make it a little harder for them to come up with links supporting those allegations when the rest of us challenge them to provide some sort of proof of the smears they perpetuate.
janneth janneth 8 years
I must really be on my own little planet, because I cannot see the value of using the internet to fight the smears. The people who believe these lies about his religion and birth certificate, etc, are not google users (like McCain himself). Liberals should stop patting themselves on the back about being so "cool" as to using the internet. What they need to do is stop their candidates from providing the GOP with so many lovely soundbites (Biden: Hillary a better pick than me, for example.) And get Hillary off the fence, and out in front of women.
em1282 em1282 8 years
Wow. Pretty amazing stuff...too bad some people will continue to believe what they want to believe, but this will hopefully help in some capacity. (Side note--I met a few of Obama's speechwriters at this luncheon they had today through a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-coworker...his main speechwriter is pretty awesome. And, he made me feel like a total slacker, since he's only a year older than me...)
geebers geebers 8 years
I love how savvy they are and it really is great that they update so frequently. I am on the Obama list (signed off his website) and I get updates constantly. It is amazing.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
The only flaw I see in the strategy is that there will always be people who, for whatever reason, will never stop believing the false rumors, no matter how widely they're debunked. No one would be able to reach those people, though. That would be like trying to sell peanut butter to someone who's allergic. Their Internet campaigning strategies really are genius.
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 8 years
As a marketer, I'm in awe of the guys running Obama's campaign. They are friggin' brilliant. I've been reading their techniques and strategies they've been employing and its fascinating to read. I forsee their techniques being studied for years, especially in the growing online marketing field for the way they use Google, Facebook, Text, etc to capture the youth vote as well as disseminating the right messages about him.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I just think it's fascinating what a role the Internet is playing in this election with tactics like ads that are designed mostly to be picked up and played on the Internet rather than disseminated through traditional ad buys. And I think it's important for the Obama campaign to continue doing this, considering the amount of hateful and spurious rumors that have been spread about him and are still believed and spread in some circles.
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