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Fox News Reportedly Used Fake Commenter Accounts To Rebut Critical Blog Posts

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik writes in his forthcoming book Murdoch's World that Fox News' public relations staffers used an elaborate series of dummy accounts to fill the comments sections of critical blog posts with pro-Fox arguments.

In a chapter focusing on how Fox utilized its notoriously ruthless public relations department in the mid-to-late 00's, Folkenflik reports that Fox's PR staffers would "post pro-Fox rants" in the comments sections of "negative and even neutral" blog posts written about the network. According to Folkenflik, the staffers used various tactics to cover their tracks, including setting up wireless broadband connections that "could not be traced back" to the network.

A former staffer told Folkenflik that they had personally used "one hundred" fake accounts to plant Fox-friendly commentary:

[quote]On the blogs, the fight was particularly fierce. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked. [Murdoch's World, pg. 67]

by Anonymousreply 1110/20/2013


by Anonymousreply 110/20/2013

Golly, you mean all the well reasoned posts to the comments sections could be faked?

by Anonymousreply 210/20/2013

Shocking, I know.

by Anonymousreply 310/20/2013

I am like totally disillusioned.

by Anonymousreply 410/20/2013

Well if Fox News is dishonest I just don't believe in anything anymore!

by Anonymousreply 510/20/2013

It is reprehensible to spread false and malicious lies about Fox! It is the only fair and balanced coverage in the age of the Muslim-Socialist Tyrant!!!!

by Anonymousreply 710/20/2013

And Yelp reviews are drowning in comments by Social Media Presence Management companies. And online news outlets are drowning in PAC sponsored management companies. And my favorite design blogs are drowning in spam links.

Comment sections will probably die and be relegated to links from whatever social media platform readers wish to use.

by Anonymousreply 810/20/2013

Yeah businesses trying to manipulate comments on different blogs and boards is not just funny internet paranoia, it is a real phenomenon that people should be aware of.

by Anonymousreply 910/20/2013

The Onion actually did a good piece on comment sections last week.

by Anonymousreply 1010/20/2013

[quote]Book written by NPR reporter? Yeah, I'm sure he's not biased.

Thanks, False Equivalence Troll(TM)!

by Anonymousreply 1110/20/2013
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