John on September 28, 2009 at 8:52 am
For the last several months, we’ve been receiving what can only be described as political spam from someone identifying themselves as “jacksmith – working class.” These show up as comments usually on threads related to health reform. A sample:
I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry.
You get the idea. Lots of CAPSCREAMING and exclamations!!!
Because I was tired of getting these I did a little digging. Turns out jacksmith has been a very busy boy. I used a line from one of his diatribes as a search string. Google returned 68,300 results for that one screed.
Other jacksmith originals related to health reform return varying, but always large results. Simplifying the search to just “jacksmith public option” yields a total of 127K hits, all of these appear to be in the last year.
And keep in mind, those are just the blogs/news sites that have posted his rants. I’ve personally been hit with at least 10 of these things and never posted one. So the number being sent out must certainly be in the range of a quarter million, possibly as high as a million. It’s hard to imagine one person could accomplish this without some sort of spam program working on their behalf.
And it isn’t an entirely new phenomenon. Prior to his health reform kick, jacksmith was a big Hillary supporter. Back in 2008, he was sending out spam like this:
It’s time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.
There are nearly 1,000 copies of that one around the web. Another pro-Hillary rant including the line “My fellow bitter, stupid working class people…” returns just over 3K hits. But jack’s “You might be an idiot” rant tops both of those with nearly 10K copies on the web.
Every once in a while though, jacksmith seems to leave a real, human comment like this one. Still, it doesn’t seem possible for one person to send out a quarter million or more comment spams in a few months time.
And there’s the name: jacksmith, obviously designed to be generic. His e-mail address is to an anonymous online g-mail clone called mailinator.com. Maybe it’s the work of one zealot, but it has all the hallmarks of an Astroturf campaign.
All the jacksmith spam I’ve received here came from one IP: 188.8.131.52 Follow the link and you’ll see it resolves to an SBCGlobal account in Plano, TX. Some IP lookup services show it as a location in nearby Fort Worth.
I’m contacting the abuse e-mail and we’ll see where that leads. What I’d really like to know is Who is jacksmith – working class? I’m willing to bet his name isn’t Jack and that he’s not “working class”.
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