Green astro-turfing backfires

I blogged at Stuff around two weeks ago how the Greens were in danger of being seen as an astro-turfing party. Of course the usual suspects denounced me and ignored the unethical behaviour of the Greens in this regard.

It has now come back to bite them, with their astro-turfing on Reddit being slammed by a moderator. Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the Internet.

A Reddit reader has posted screen shots of the Greens “alerts” mechanism, where you can see which posts they are being alerted to and encouraged to interfere with. They are here, here and here.

The moderator posted:

This is not cool. In fact, it’s utterly disingenuous and really sucks.

I (and the other mods) are happy for (any and all) political parties to have a presence on reddit – particularly as we lead up to an election. We’re very happy that people want to chat about politics and things they care about. We’re very very happy that we’ve had politicians do AMA’s on the site. This is great, and part of what makes /r/nz great.

HOWEVER, these drive-by posts pimping the Green Party are one very small step above spamming. These will be removed and the people doing it will be banned when we find them. I’ve already banned 3 accounts that I’ve spotted doing this. Note that we will not be banning anyone who expresses a political opinion – as long as you’re an active member of the reddit community. If you’re here to gain “stars” on the Green Party website, then you’re not welcome.

Everyone else, if you spot any astro-turfing asshats, then report the comment or send one of the mods a message. Please don’t report people who just disagree with you, or are fans of a political party you disagree with, but those who are just here to promote a viewpoint (e.g. they signed up today to post one comment that says “political party A is great!”).

Some of the comments are interesting also, coming from their own supporters. LordDavethe7th:

If it’s any consolation, I’ve been on Reddit for years (not always on this account, mind you) and I very much wish to see become much more sustainable and increase research and development spending drastically.

Not a member of the greens, but I traditionally support Labour or the Green Party.

This astro-turfing shit has got to stop though, it’s really uncool. Good to see the mods cracking down on it.

Gareth Hughes tries to make it an issue about me. If they had listened to me they may have avoided this. Another comment by xOtt:

I’m not a greens supporter myself but I always thought that at least they held themselves to the highest standards. This is surprising and not in a nice way.

ChipChase comments:

There’s a difference between asking people to stand-up for what they believe in and trying to green-wash any online political debate.

Fwiw I’m voting Green.

And super-fuck:

I was planning on voting Green this year so this is really disappointing. What the fuck guys?

An avoidable own goal.

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