This is remarkable, for so very many reasons…

First, some background. A front-page poster here at Plunderbund posted a short entry asking for volunteers for an “undercover operation”. Shortly after that, BSB posted a similar story.

And then, all hell broke loose. It was discussed (at length!) on FreeRepublic (more later). It was picked up by the Ohio Conservative Blogosphere, most notably BizzyBlog. It was picked up by national bloggers Michelle Malkin and Mary Katherine Ham at TownHall. And the claims being made – at least at Free Republic, and picked up at least slightly on several other sites – were astounding:

  • This was an organized attempt by the ODP (and maybe higher) to steal the election
  • The guy who owns the now-defunct hosting company (who hosts BSB) was indicted as the “mastermind” – simply because BSB is hosted there
  • Other candidates who share the hosting company are claimed to be a part of the “conspiracy”
  • Other non-affiliated persons were indicted (and used to “bolster” the first claim) because of former associations with Plunderbund and the ODP.
  • Some are claiming that election law has actually been materially violated.
  • There are claims that this is funded by the Saudis (!!)

Of course, what’s really astounding is the fact that had one of the brilliant net-detectives decided to “infiltrate the infiltration” by emailing one of the contact emails, they would have immediately discovered that absolutely nothing was going on. Here are the aspects that I find especially amazing.

  • Two informationless web postings were deemed “proof” of a vast left-wing conspiracy, without any additional evidence
  • Nobody – well, almost nobody, as BizzyBlog apparently isn’t run by an idiot – stopped to think that it’d be the height of idiocy to advertise any actual effort to subvert the election in a public forum.
  • Nobody stopped to think that if it were real – and “super-secret” – that the original posts would have been redacted upon the response. Instead, BSB egged you on, and then proceeded to underline the (admittedly fuzzy) point.
  • Nobody bothered to even briefly peruse the rest of the sites, as both have long track records of stumping for transparency in elections, as well as frequently being critical of Democrats. Seriously – this would have taken no more than 5 minutes to figure out.

So, now the truth has been sussed out, mostly because the wingnuts have been applying pressure to parties that aren’t even remotely involved: this is not real. Some are calling it a hoax, but the word “hoax” implies some kind of elaborate effort to deceive. In reality, this was simply two relatively satirical, relatively unsophisticated blog posts. Ill-informed? Maybe. Immature? Maybe. But not real. And while I was not involved with this at all, I can absolutely, positively, unequivocally assure you that there is no behind the scenes effort to subvert this election by progressives.

Frankly, I’m astonished at the sheer number of tin-foil hats in the right-wing blogosphere. Seriously. And despite the protestations of several of those drawn in that they have no association with the “hoax”, the belief persists, absent any actual evidence of election fraud, that this is not a “hoax”. Some comments are that those involved should have to prove that the effort doesn’t exist (how the hell do you prove something doesn’t exist?).

We do appreciate the pageviews, tho. Stick around for the conversation.

Update: “Staff” at BSB weighs in. It turns out that some people did send emails. However, it never occurred to them that since they got no reply it must have been fake (I mean, that would be *my* reaction). I never would have expected a reaction this unhinged given the complete lack of any kind of evidence at all. I do think it unfortunate that some unwilling and unrelated persons were wrapped up in the insane right-wing response.

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