Democratic activists are readying a deadly “Google bomb” to sully the online reputation of Republican Congressional candidates.
The Internet-based “Manhattan project” is led by none other than Daily Kos campaign director Chris Bowers, who has reportedly ordered thousands of participants to dig up dirt on Republican rivals.
According to Politico, Democratic activists plan to raise the profile of “little-noted” or controversial news stories with the intent of harming candidates with undecided voters.
“Users would click on the links and blog about the stories with the goal of boosting their rankings on search engines, so that undecided voters will discover them more easily,” explained Politico’s Sarah Lai Stirland.
“[Bowers] sees the campaign as a 21st century version of pamphleteering: Daily Kos readers are simply providing informational materials that are already out there in the same way that volunteers would hand out information to voters on the street.”
Unsurprisingly, Bowers claims that he’s already received hundreds of e-mails with suggestions and maintains an online spreadsheet with key words like “Social Security,” “hypocrisy” and “Palin.”
“We’re just educating people about how to get the message out without doing something more transgressive, for the lack of a better term,” Bowers told Politico.
“This is a more general education project on SEO, with the 2010 elections as a teaching moment.”
As expected, Republican pundits have reacted angrily to the Daily Kos inspired “Google Bomb” plan, with One blogger on RedState.com describing the campaign as little more than brute character assassination.
And Mindy Finn, a co-founder of the consulting firm EngageDC, is telling concerned callers to either ignore Bowers or try and get even if they can.
“I think the tactic stinks of desperation,” Finn said.
“However, I think that all’s fair in love, war, and political campaigns. And as long as there is an equal and fair playing field, there are no boundaries.”