An attempt by US conservatives to set up a social networking site has collapsed under a sea of trolls and spam.
Ohio Republican Janet Porter pre-launched ReaganBook – “Facebook for Patriots”. The move was a reaction against employees from the better known social media site took part in a LGBT rights demonstration in San Francisco.
To be fair it was more a reaction to those “evil homosexuals” thing rather than an attempt at a real site. But several “left-leaning sites” (for European readers that is the same as centre right) gave the site more attention than it was read for.
Soon the real social network’s members were drowned out by a flood of phony accounts including Vladimir Putin, Sarah Palin, and Manuel Noriega and more sock puppets than a Muppet Theme Park.
Even Conservative blogger Amy Jo Clark thought the idea was half baked. She said that they should not have used Reagan as a brand.
Many users posted profane criticisms of former President Ronald Reagan, while others posted pornographic images.
Porter, who is president of the anti-abortion group Faith2Action, pledged to cull out all the duff posts.
She is claiming that what users saw was actually the pre-launch which gave the site the chance to tighten our security for the real launch.
Porter said that the fact that so many leftists have invested so much time in the site, “it provides confirmation that we’re on the right track,” she said.
We would have thought that actually all she has done is given “leftists” an avenue to give conservatives a good kicking.
Attempts to weed out the trolls and socks proved a little different. In the end it looks like Porter gave up. The site was taken offline by Wednesday afternoon. All this happened about 24 hours after the site launched.
Without a shred of understanding the PR implications, Porter asked users to be patient while we make the necessary changes to keep the site free from obscenity, pornography, and “those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family”.
She promised that when the site opened it would have additional protections in place. “As Reagan taught us, trust, but verify,” the site said.