Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Spamming Politics...

After poking around at Craigslist this morning, I seem to be observing a rapidly growing trend... political recruiting through spam.

Search for government job opportunities and what you'll find is that the overwhelming majority of results are for recruiting activists, and the subject lines look frighteningly similar to the spam emails which flood our inboxes everyday. Subject lines like "Turn Congress Blue! Work with MoveOn.org to Elect Democrats!" and "Summer Jobs to Save Our Environment - Earn $4,000 to $6,000!", or my personal favorite "The Revolution Now Offers Paid Positions!".

Is this where the convergence of politics and the Internet has led us? How depressing.

The Internet holds such tremendous potential for reshaping democracy in positive ways, such as increasing political participation, making voting more convenient, generating new grassroots ideas, and decentralizing power away from elites, to name just a few. So why is it that spam, of all things, is starting to dominate the online political space?

This is the kind of tactic which could give all online political efforts a bad name, and maybe even lead to demands for government regulation. Stop the madness!


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