You know back in my day, your average, hard-working American troll could pull in a little wingnut lagniappe on the side by buckling down and lending their only god-given skill to the skeezy internet tactics of a desperate politician:
Win Points for McCain!Thursday, August 7, 2008Spread John McCain's official talking points around the Web -- and you could win valuable prizes!That, in essence, is the McCain campaign's pitch to supporters to join its new online effort, one that combines the features of "AstroTurf" campaigning with the sort of customer-loyalty programs offered by airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and the occasional daily newspaper.On McCain's Web site, visitors are invited to "Spread the Word" about the presumptive Republican nominee by sending campaign-supplied comments to blogs and Web sites under the visitor's screen name. The site offers sample comments ("John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan . . .") and a list of dozens of suggested destinations, conveniently broken down into "conservative," "liberal," "moderate" and "other" categories. Just cut and paste.Activists and political operatives have used volunteers or paid staff to seed radio call-in shows or letters-to-the-editor pages for years, typically without disclosing the caller or letter writer's connection to a candidate or cause. Like the fake grass for which the practice is named, such AstroTurf messages look as though they come from the grass roots but are ersatz.McCain's campaign has taken the same idea and given it an Internet-era twist. It also has taken the concept one step further.People who sign up for McCain's program receive reward points each time they place a favorable comment on one of the listed Web sites (subject to verification by McCain's webmasters). The points can be traded for prizes, such as books autographed by McCain, preferred seating at campaign events, even a ride with the candidate on his bus, known as the Straight Talk Express, according to campaign spokesman Brian Rogers...
Books and bus rides, people! Doesn't sound like much now, but back in 2008 it was the wingnut Civilian Conservation Corps, keeping literally dozens of American idiots safely indoors and away from sharp objects.
Or so I am told.
But now, despite his promises of Jobs!Jobs!Jobs!, President Stupid is using automation to decimate America's vital internet trolling sector.
From the New York Daily News:
Half of President Trump's Twitter followers are botsWASHINGTON — President Trump may be buying some Twitter love.The tweeter-in-chief has picked up roughly 3 million Twitter followers in recent days, most of which appear to be recently created Twitter bots.Screenwriter John Niven pointed out Tuesday morning that Trump's account saw a big spike in followers over the weekend, most of them newly created accounts without photos or tweets — telltale signs of Twitter bots.Trump's Twitter following is now up to 31 million. According to Twitter Audit Report, a website that analyzes how many of an account's followers are real people, just under half of those aren't real: 15.9 million are authentic, and 15 million aren't, for a 51% reality rate....
Seems like just yesterday I was laughing at one of those Facebook flivvers as it rattled past me on the internet, pop-up ads blocking the view, leaking private data everywhere.
And now "reality rate" is a thing.
Some days I feel a thousand years old.