A few weeks ago, Bamos, a regular blogger at Daily Kos, posted an entry detailing a “social experiment” he’d conducted on Twitter. During the height of the ARRA legislation debate, when feelings were running strongest, he opened a Twitter account with the user name InTheStimulus.
His intention was to post a series of false “facts” about the stimulus bill and watch the reaction of the conservatives who were following him. His early tweets were fairly plausible but as time went on, they became increasingly outrageous. Judging from his post, his apparent motivation was to illustrate the stupidity of conservatives and he and the people who commented on the post were duly scornful and self-congratulatory. The story came to the attention of some Conservative tweeters and eventually to me, as I was one of the tweeps caught in the sting operation, as I detailed here.
Bamos’ blog post appeared to be the end of InTheStimulus; a search of Twitter returned an error. Bamos, however, was unwilling to drop his game. Rather than deleting the InTheStimulus account, he had simply deleted all the updates and changed his user name to TheAngryRighty. TheAngryRighty differed from InTheStimulus as there seemed to be no real attempt to deceive anyone. The updates were silly and TheAngryRighty was obviously a caricature created by someone with a fairly low opinion of conservatives’ capacity for rational thought.
Eventually TheAngryRighty stopped posting updates. That could and should have been the end of the story, but Bamos resurfaced. While his motive remained the same – to scam conservatives – his tactic was far less benign.
This time, rather than selecting an anonymous persona, Bamos chose to impersonate GOP Representative Don Young of Alaska. At first, the updates were designed merely to portray Representative Young as a tech-ignorant buffoon but eventually an update was posted that started to generate some buzz.
Just received a memo from the White House: either I sign a loyalty oath to Obama, or "my life will be difficult". Insane. (I won't!)
Reactions ranged from outrage over the request to dismay at the refusal to sign. In any event, it seemed like a prudent time to call foul. Quite aside from the fact that identity fraud is a crime, there’s no reason to think that Representative Young is anything other than a decent human being who’s chosen a life of public service. He deserves better.
As for Bamos, well, I guess he just doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone. Rather than learn something from his original experiment, he and his readers chose to cling to their prejudices, confident in their own superiority.
Enough, I say.
Cross posted at It's Only Words