[Guest post by DRJ]
UPDATE: Oops. Old News. Sorry about that.
“Recently, we admins noticed this comment thread on a recommended diary, and the oddities it posed made us look a little deeper than we normally would.
As the comment thread revealed, users pinballwizard, elf, shley24, MTAY all registered in succession to recommend the diary. A further look by us revealed that:
* they had registered within minutes of each other, including another user a bit later, janbaby, who was not among the recommenders,
* the same IP address was used by all of them, and is registered to the Clinton campaign,
* two other recommenders, blues and kmeisje, also registered from the same IP address.
To be clear, and to reiterate what’s stated in our Getting Started page: paid campaign staff are welcome in this community, but are asked to disclose their affiliation to a campaign, either through their signature line, a disclosure statement on a diary, or even in the choosing of a username. The fact that all the users mentioned above came from a Clinton campaign IP, but did not register with campaign email addresses, and avoided making comments or diaries, instead only recommending pro-Clinton diaries, strikes us as gaming the system and a form of “recommend astroturf.” As a result, we have banned those accounts, and will do so again for undisclosed paid staffers of any campaign if need be.”
The internet seems anonymous and it’s tempting to use that anonymity to influence a discussion. However, even on the internet, reputation is unimportant until you lose it.