Ahh, it’s campaign season. And, the Obama for America re-election campaign is once again using social media to rally the masses, however this time it’s taken a much different tone.
Obama for America has launched a new campaign, called Attack Watch (Attackwatch.com and @Attackwatch). This website and Twitter feed, sponsored by the re-election campaign, is dedicated to dispelling campaign “lies” touted by Obama’s opposition.
“Obama for America national field director Jeremy Bird said the site offers “new resources to fight back,” including policy issue pages that fact check statements by Obama’s Republican opponents with links to “evidence” to back them up.” – ABC News
The Attack Watch campaign’s slogan “Get the facts. Fight the smears.” is shown at the top of the website where users can “report an attack” on the President, the administration or its policy. The campaign is also encouraging followers to do the same via hashtag #attackwatch on Twitter.
While I have no problem with Obama rallying supporters for his re-election efforts, Attack Watch reeks of 1984’s “Big Brother.” And, dare I say, when the administration launches a website called “Attack Watch” mere days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it may be misconstrued by many and strike fear in some. This does not seem to be the type of dialogue that makes social media successful.
“This is a public relations disaster of the highest order. The acumen with which Obama’s team used the Internet in 2008 has become a joke today; someone should have known that an invitation to report dissent online would become an invitation to increase that dissent.” – Ology website
#AttackWatch is trending on Twitter with over 100 tweets a second, however response is not what the Obama campaign expected:
@meredithdake: “By going on offense w/ #AttackWatch Obama inadvertently gave the public a campaign-approved outlet 2 mock him in 140 characters or less.”
@JasonMKates: @AttackWatch #attackwatch is one of the funniest PR disasters in recent politics. Like telling on my brother and then getting beat for it.
@stephenkruiser: Gosh, color scheme for #AttackWatch doesn’t scream “creepy totalitarian WE’RE WATCHING U regime” at all.
@shiftzz: Hey #AttackWatch.. One of our programmers is using GOTO statements. Please make him stop!!!!!
@JMZygiel: My neighbor has a perry sticker on his car. sent FBI now. he might be a hobbit. #attackwatch
@caldodge: #attackwatch – This woman is damaging Obama’s rep by spending millions of govt dollars on vacations. Please arrest her at 1600 PA Ave, DC
@BradThor: Is #attackwatch just another incarnation of email@example.com? Wow, not only are #Obama & Co. incredibly thin-skinned, they’re paranoid.
@RyanC_Gorham: @AttackWatch I was told that if you were elected we would receive candy and unicorns, received neither #attackwatch
We can only imagine what is being sent to the website.
Here is the Attack Watch parody commercial from YouTube: