Obama blows into MySpace

This seems like it was bound to happen with Obama's top-down campaign structure as it grows by leaps and bounds. With much of that energy coming from a bottom up movement that's responsible for that growth, the campaign moves in to take control of the decentralized action.

The case in point is the myspace/barackobama homepage. The Battle to Control Obama's Myspace has been unfolding behind the scenes, and it reads like it ended pretty ugly. Write's Sifry:

How all this happened is a complicated tale that is still unfolding, and none of the parties involved--Anthony, the Obama online team, and the MySpace political operation--emerge from this story unscathed. Speaking on background, Obama campaign staffers are spreading word that Anthony just wanted a "big payday." Anthony in turn has posted a missive on his blog (that was originally sent to me as an email) accusing the Obama team of "bullying...[and] rotten and dishonest" behavior. However one parses those accusations (more below), the Obama campaign's reputation as the most net-savvy of 2008 has taken a big hit.

I can totally understand that the campaign would want to take control of the domain. The easiest solution would have been to hire Joe Anthony, a paralegal living in Los Angeles, to move to the campaign HQ's and start working on it there. The second easiest solution would have been to buy it from the volunteer. When that got onto the table, says Anthony:
I considered the time I had put into it from January 1st of this year, not counting the previous two years. It was about $39,000. Plus I asked that if any fees were to be paid to MySpace by the campaign up to that point in time, those should be shared with me, up to $10,000. There was no counter-offer. They said they didn't have any money.
The Obama campaign should have faxed him the contract immediately. Instead, write's Sifry:
t appears the Obama internet team was shocked by the size of Anthony's proposal and argued to themselves that it was proof that he was just in it for the money, even though campaigns like theirs regularly give tens of thousands of dollars to highpriced media consultants who would give their eye-teeth to deliver 160,000 rabid activists to a campaign. Instead to them, Anthony's bid was all the more reason to get control of the site. Obama's staffers are now spreading the word that Anthony wanted a big payday, including a huge percentage of any ad buys on MySpace. I have a copy of Anthony's email proposal, however, and it contradicts that claim.
Yea, $49K to deliver 160,000 supporters; that's .32 cents each for opted in and engaged activsts. A bargain. [The amount was actually up to $44K] $50,000 is what it takes to advertise on the Liberal Ad Network for two weeks. It's a minor expenditure in the grand scheme of things. But instead:
Whatever the case, at this point it appears the Obama people simply decided that they would get control of the myspace.com/barackobama url by going around Anthony and getting MySpace to lock down his access to it. In their view, Anthony was violating MySpace's terms of service by falsely representing himself as Obama, and thus they didn't have to pay him anything. The worst that would happen, they reasoned, is that they would have to rebuild the candidate's network of friends.
So Obama starts over. The company representative Jeff Berman said that MySpace is going to promising to restore Anthony's network of 160,000 friends as soon as he picks a new url for whatever unofficial Obama fan page he may care to create, which is interesting. Micah raises some great questions that are raised from the incident:
But this latest episode in the evolving interaction between voter-generated media and campaign-controlled content raises several unsettled issues:

*If it weren't for the hundreds of hours put into sites like MySpace by passionate volunteers like Joe Anthony, would the folks at MySpace even have anything like an Impact Channel? The only reason campaigns and advertisers are taking sites like MySpace seriously is because they have millions of users; shouldn't the volunteers who help draw the crowds to these new online town halls get some kind of compensation beyond a little modest recognition from political professionals now and then?

*Is it true that once a voter-generated site gets major traction, the campaign affected has to control it? Can a front-running presidential campaign--even one as devoted to empowering supporters to take their own initiatives and connect to each other through social network tools as the Obama campaign--afford a major site run by a campaign volunteer outside their control? Is such control even possible?

*Why couldn't the Obama people find the money to work out an amicable arrangement with Anthony? What are they spending the $26 million they raised last quarter on?

The most intriguing thing about this whole mess is this is the first time I can think of where the grass-roots activist at the bottom of the pile has a megaphone as big as the folks who tried to boss him around. Right now Joe Anthony is lying on his sofa, trying to gather his thoughts as he wonders what happens to all the sweat and passion he put into the last two and a half years for Barack Obama. As best as I can tell, he really doesn't know what he should do, because he's never been in these shoes, and he's as bewildered as anyone could be about how it all came crashing to the ground. But unlike every activist who's ever been crushed by events beyond his control, he can do something that just might give him a clue as to what comes next. He can ask his 160,000 friends for help.

Update [2007-5-2 10:4:35 by Jerome Armstrong]:Nothing on BarackObama's blog about this yet. I'm sure the campaign would rather it went away, but this sort of thing is pretty much unprecedented, though not unexpected, so we are going to see a lot of debate over the issue and it's ramifications.

Tags: Barack Obama, Robert Gibbs (all tags)



I understand not wanting

a free lancer to have so much control.

but the guy built the site for the last 2 years and was asking for 39K for past work... plus SHARING any fees to myspace  (which by the way is owned by Rupert Murdoch's company).

anyhow seems like their excuse that 39K was a "big" payment is a joke.

didn't Obama just raise 26 million?

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 05:41AM | 0 recs
Obama should have paid

the $39-49k and sent Anthony on a trip to Disneyland.

by ROGNM 2007-05-02 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama should have paid

It appears that the site had around 30,000 friends when the Obama campaign began directing traffic from MySpace's presidential election channel to it.  And the number of friends grew very quickly after that.  So I'm sure in the mind of the campaign most of the friends were gained as a result of Obama's momentum rather than the work of the site owner.

The campaign also did offer to pay a consulting fee, but at $49K for 4 months of part-time work (he said he's not asking money for the 2 years of work before), the guy is asking to be paid like a top political consultant.  I think at that point the campaign must have decided that he is just out to score some cash and decided not to give it to him.  That may turn out to be a bad decision for the campaign, but the site owner does come across as a bit too greedy.

by Peripatetic 2007-05-02 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama should have paid

I agree, here.  I think the two factions, if they sit down, can come to a medium here.

This is happening everywhere, where ppl are making my space, facebooks of their favorite candidate.  We are in "new territory" here, and will definately be something that will be looked at down the road.

by icebergslim 2007-05-02 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama should have paid

The campaign also did offer to pay a consulting fee, but at $49K for 4 months of part-time work (he said he's not asking money for the 2 years of work before), the guy is asking to be paid like a top political consultant.  

Did the guy achieve results like a top political consultant or not? Who cares if he was a "professional," he achieve results and put them in place before anyone else in the race. He gave the Obama campaign an edge by having the infrastructure in place before the other campaigns and a huge seed base of "friends" to grow from. He performed like a top political consultant. Pay him comensurate with his results.

by michael in chicago 2007-05-02 05:20PM | 0 recs
$40K for three months part-time?

pretty good deal.  I guess I should start making fake celebrity myspace pages too.

by John DE 2007-05-02 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: $40K for three months part-time?

It is a free country.  If YOU see a potential future superstar in somebody, what would stop you from setting up a website with their name or a myspace site?  

by georgep 2007-05-02 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: $40K for three months part-time?

That is another issue, good point.

The "NAME".  This is a new territory here, wonder how it will be taken care of.  I think the owner of the myspace page will get compensated, one way or another.  And for future candidates, ppl will have to create these accounts in "compliance" with the campaign, for control issues.  That is what I see happening.

by icebergslim 2007-05-02 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: $40K for three months part-time?

hopefully one thing that might stop you is the law.

by DonBinTN 2007-05-02 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: $40K for three months part-time?

if you can collect 160,000 names in three months, you should totally go for it.

by corn dog 2007-05-02 10:05AM | 0 recs
the bottom line

all the guy has to do is change to





anything else.

His friends and site are his, he just needs to change the name.  Nothing was taken from him that was his.

by John DE 2007-05-02 12:23PM | 0 recs
I didn't donate to soothe a MySpace squatter

As somebody who donated to the Obama campaign I don't think the Obama campaign should be spending money to make a volunteer go away so Markos, Jerome, and techPresident don't say bad things about Barack Obama. MySpace contacts aren't some kind of magical currency - I'd be shocked if as many as 10% were active MySpace accounts.

Joe Anthony wants more money for creating a MySpace page as a volunteer than Tim Tagaris was paid as staff for Sherrod Brown and Ned Lamont combined, more than Matt Stoller was paid to work for Jon Corzine. It's borderline extortion. Anthony himself said he only wanted to be paid for work since January 1, 2007. Is it even in the realm of the possible that maintaing a MySpace page is worth that amount?

As for the 160,000 "committed activists" who are friends on MySpace that's a giant joke. It takes far more time to register for a Daily Kos account to post and only about 1 in 10 of the User IDs are in active use if I recall an old post studying the number of active users. That's on a highly political, highly engaged website. MySpace is much more passive. So it's more like 16,000 active profiles at best and they are not all 'committed activists' - many are people who took 10 seconds to adds Obama as friend and never looked at the page again. I appreciate Joe Anthony's enthusiasm but let's not make this guy out to be a martyr. He spend a few hours a week on a civic project and wants $39,000 for his volunteer efforts. As an Obama contributer I'd rather weather the storm from this riduculous story then payoff a diva MySpace website operator who thinks he's worth more per hour than the best professional internet staffers in the business.

You can't simultaneously say $39,000 isn't a lot of money and then preach small-donor activism. Small donors and all donors should have an expectation that campaigns spend funds frugally. Giving $39,000 to purchase your own name from a MySpace webpage operator is hardly being frugal.

$39,000 is one paid staffer a few months early in a Feb. 5 primary state. That's what wins elections, not capitulating to an unofficial fan club president who has a list of 15 year-old would be supporters.

by joejoejoe 2007-05-02 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: I understand not wanting

The $26 million dollars is sexy for context but it has little to do with the value of Joe Anthony's work creating a MySpace page. Anthony was asking for 9% of Gov. Mike Huckabee's TOTAL fundraising for creating a single MySpace page. How's that for context?

by joejoejoe 2007-05-02 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Jerome, this is a bit dishonest:

Yea, $49K to deliver 160,000 supporters; that's .32 cents each for opted in and engaged activsts.

Having a friend on MySpace is not the same thing by having 'opted-in and engaged activists'. Same goes with the 300,000+ Obama group on Facebook.

I do think Obama screwed this up a little bit, but honestly - $39,000 retroactively is a bit ridiculous, IMO.

by PsiFighter37 2007-05-02 05:41AM | 0 recs

if  you had a hobby that you worked on for 2 years and built up  would 19,500 per year seem like a lot?

I'd imagine some consultants on the campaign make that each week.

the money doesn't make any sense - it's nothing.

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: really

I have been on his page before all this... Having worked and been a hiring manager in the IT industry, he did not do $40K worth of Web Administration..  The situation was handled poorly, and they should have negotiated, but Anthony is greatly overestimating the value of his work.  I would say the PR fuckup though is much costlier than losing the friends network who are most likely signed up on either Obama's site or Facebook or other engagements.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:01AM | 0 recs
I'd agree it's a PR


probably could have been handled better whether or not the value was there, the PR could have been more friendly

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: really

This is about $40k worth of web administration?  No, that's not what this is about at all.  Not in the least.  In fact, the idea is ridiculous on its face.

Clearly, this is much more than just web administration.

by pseudo999 2007-05-02 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: really

Let me put it this way:

Suppose you're a web administrator, and you happened to create... Facebook.  The parallel isn't quite right, but just work with me here.

Do you get paid only for web administration services?

by pseudo999 2007-05-02 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: really

The big increase in his workload (which caused him to ask for payment) was just web administration. And this increase in workload was due to the popularity of the candidate, not to any genius on Joe Anthony's part concerning site design or content.  He started it on a volunteer basis, and had he not, the campaign would have done it this year, and would have had 160,000 friends all on its own now, rather than having to start from scratch.

by CeeCee34 2007-05-02 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: really

The big increase in his workload (which caused him to ask for payment) was just web administration. And this increase in workload was due to the popularity of the candidate, not to any genius on Joe Anthony's part concerning site design or content.

He asked for payment because they wanted to take it over and push him aside -- not merely because his workload increased.  And his workload increase  is also a testament to the quality of the work he was doing.  Anthony's site isn't the only Obama dedicated site on the web.  Yet it had 160,000+ "friends".  But I'm sure that had nothing to do with the guy who has been generating content on the site for 3 years now, riiight.  

The guy started this as a labor of love, and was quite responsive and worked with the campaign for free.  He did the tough part for them.  Establishing the site and growing and maintaining, and they couldn't even be bothered to compensate him when they wanted to take it over.  Pretty pathetic on Obama's part.

Furthermore, taking into account the value of the site along with the work put in for the year is quite valid.  It' silly to ignore the value of the site as it is now.   The value of the site as well as the cost of the labor to maintain it should both be in play.

He started it on a volunteer basis, and had he not, the campaign would have done it this year, and would have had 160,000 friends all on its own now, rather than having to start from scratch.

But he did, and they wanted it.  What does it matter what might have happened if Obama would have done XYZ.  

If it's so simple to do what Anthony did, go ahead and start a page for a candidate that you support, grow the community to that size and then give it away.  Let's see how successful you will be.  It should be cake right?  Since the only thing that matters is the popularity of the candidate??

by avagias 2007-05-02 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: really

He didn't create Facebook... that like comparing a BB Gun to a Bazooka.  He had a myspace page.  People search myspace for Barack Obama and become his friend.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

They are not supporters that are engaged enough to have opted in? That's a ridiculous claim.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

No, it's not. Being a friend on MySpace and being in a group on Facebook is merely an expression of interest for most people. It does not mean they are engaged in activism at all. Yes, some of them may have opted in to the campaign, but it's highly unlikely.

by PsiFighter37 2007-05-02 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

You are right PsiFighter37 about Myspace friends. And offcourse Jerome knew this little nugget as well.He is just using this to swing at Obama. He never lose a chance to do that. Does he?

by kekuta 2007-05-02 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I don't know myspace all that well, but i know if you have a friend, you can contact them, right?

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

That is different from being an engaged person.

And the only way MySpace could be an effective contact tool is if you can send a message to every single one of your friends, which is a feature I do not believe the website has.

by PsiFighter37 2007-05-02 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Bulletin boards.


by Tim Tagaris 2007-05-02 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Not a feature MySpace has...yet.  But I bet you that MySpace would be willing to allow the campaigns to have the feature if they pay for it...It can't be that hard to modify their code to do it.

They created the Impact Channel, which means they smell money here.  It doesn't take much to guess they'll add the feature later on.

by Conquest 2007-05-02 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Yes, it is a feature ... bulletin boards.

by Tim Tagaris 2007-05-02 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I thought you could, I'll check on it. I know that MySpace had in the works, last fall, the ability to text message all your friends from a phone. That's what I was thinking about, as far as the value.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

MySpace is predominantly a teenage site.  It has open borders which kids seem to shy away from when they get to high school and beyond. Users like the limits and control provided by the groups that Facebook offers.

As an example, after the murders at VA Tech, students used facebook to network not myspace. I suspect that whole lot of those 160,000 are under 18.

by aiko 2007-05-02 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

There are thousands of people trolling for friends on myspace. It doesn't translate into support perse. So your doom and gloom and hand wringing about how callous Obama is to poor little Joe misses a fundamental point.

To add insult to injury, you claim to have very little knowledge of how myspace works. Isn't that where you should have started Jerome?

by kekuta 2007-05-02 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Look I think Jerome's post goes a bit far in over estimating the power and impact of this group... but the Obama campaign did screw this up and should have negotiated and not kept rescheduling calls (provided Anthony is telling the truth)... that is unprofessional and those staffers should be dismissed immediately.  Above all though, there is no need to insult Jerome.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Ah, don't worry about it, these are Obama supporters, and it's typical to lash out at the messenger, no biggie.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

And thank you forinsulting someone who stuck up for you.  I appreciate that Jerome.  I'm an Obama supporter too... There are irrational idiots supporting all 3 candidates here, not just Obama.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

lol, i'll stop why i'm ahead.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

ALl I am saying is its not cool to lump everyone together in a broad insulting generalization... what if I said, All Left Wing Bloggers are wackjobs with no sense of reality or All political consultants are really just whores, selling themselves to the highest bidder?  Pretty insulting statements... true of a few maybe, but definately not all...  See my point?

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I take umbrage at your accussation that I am insulting Jerome. That to put it nicely is untrue. I am just putting my point across and if you are that sensitive to criticism logged at Jerome...tough luck

by kekuta 2007-05-02 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I saw your first couple of lines as insulting... If that wasn't your intent then my apologies...

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I have no reason to insult Jerome. If I come across as such...my apologies MR. ARMSTRONG

by kekuta 2007-05-02 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I didn't take it as an insult.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

What's the fundamental point?  I think having those friends of 160,000 is worth paying for, especially in comparison to having this story out there.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

The fundamental point is: you are building up a storm over a simple matter. If Joe was right, why would myspace take his domain from him. He was domain squatting and wanted to make a shit load of money out of it. That is unfair as well.

by kekuta 2007-05-02 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

The above comment hit the nail on the head.  Why are you trying to fan the flames on this non-issue?  Anthony is guilty of domain-squatting and extortion.    The threat of bad PR only has teeth if sites (like this) portray Anthony's complaints as legitimate -- which, legally and ethically, they are not.

by grimm 2007-05-02 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Cybersquatter?  The guy was working hand-in-hand with the Obama campaign for literally months.  The campaign implicitly endorsed his cybersquatting.  At the least, there's an estoppel case there.  On top of which, he had prominent disclaimers that he was not the actual person.  Obama's campaign could easily have created a new, official profile, w/ an '08 tag after his name.

by pseudo999 2007-05-02 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Domain squatting?

If I want I can (assuming it were available) buy the domain for Halliburton.com. IF Halliburton wants that site, they have to pay me for the rights, regardless of whether they had the name first. This is similar to "Doing Business As" situations. A man I once knew bought the rights to an insurance company's name/trademark in my state. Now, this company was located in a neighboring state but was expected to expand. When they DID expand, they had to buy rights to their own name from the guy who bought the rights.

So, basically, this is a "first come, first serve" sort of deal. As with patents, if you get to the patent office and obtain the rights to something FIRST, then you get the benefit of it if those rights suddenly become desirable for someone else.  If Obama doesn't think the site is worth $39,000, he could have counteroffered with what he thought it WAS worth. Otherwise, the site should have been Anthony's. IANAL, but I would say that he might very well have some legal claim against Myspace for doing Obama's bidding and taking away his page. Certainly an option he should look into.

by AmericanJedi 2007-05-02 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Actually You are wrong about that... Its not the same as a DBA... to compare it to such shows you don't know what you are talking about.  A DBA is set up for a corportation or entity to operate under a different name, but that name is linked back to the original

Comparing it to a business however is not even an apples to apples comparison.  Its a cybersquatting case; there is no FIRST COME FIRST SERVE when it involves a famous persons name, since the value of the site is derived from the name.  THe precident on this is crystal clear.  In fact, now a days, the reason many people still buy up names is so that they can try and talk the person into letting them run the site or paying them, etc.  They still have to give up the site for little to no compensation.  

Whether Obama could legally sue for control is questionable, since it belongs to MySpace... but MySpace has every right to take away the name if they see fit.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Cybersquatting by definition pertains to domain names. A domain name is registered through a registrar that has the authority from ICANN to register domain names. An example of domain name is: BarackObama.com (which Mr. Obama's campaign owns). MySpace.com is also a domain name. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) controls all domain names. They do not however control MySpace.com user names. I don't believe there is any law relating to which user names may be assigned to a particular user on a private website. Also, for it to be considered Cybersquatting, there must be evidence, not just speculation, that the domain name was acquired in bad faith to extort money from a trademark owner. This would be pretty difficult because Mr. Anderson was running a site promoting and benefiting Mr. Obama. And further, cybersquatting applies to trademarked names. Is Mr. Obama's name trademarked? By the legal definition, there is no cybersquatting case. The law applies to domain names, not user names.

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

But are the 160K unique?  THAT'S the big issue here.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

If every single one of the 160k users were not unique, and each had two or three accounts, everyone one of them, that'd still be 50k users and it'd still be worth it.  That's highly unlikely.

by pseudo999 2007-05-02 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I doubt there were 50K unique addresses that the Obama campaign didn't have.  I'd put money on it... the value was in setting up his name on MySpace, not in the friends list.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

160,000 names from an opted-in list of POTENTIAL donors/volunteers, with an already built-in communications system that costs nothing else to use beyond a one-time fee, and the ability for those numbers to grow and extend out virally...

$39,000 is hardly an overpayment.  It's not a matter of what the kid who built this did - if that were the case, every campaign should give money to Al Gore for creating the internet (I kid), the people who started YouTube, the people at Google, the people who created MySpace and Facebook, and probably all of the 'net access companies.  This is a matter of the value of what the kid was sitting on.  It was worth $50,000 to get for sure - especially with a campaign that's at $26M after Q1.

by Peter from WI 2007-05-02 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I doubt it had a $50K value... But we won't know unless we find out the number of unique users between the Myspace group and other Obama controlled sites such as his website.  Any of those friends that are signed up on Obama's site already have no value to the campaign.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

people who spend so much time on the net always over-estimate it's value to those who do not.  my own opinion is that both sides were wrong.  joe probably overvalued his time (or worth) for creating a fansite.  the campaign should have responded to his offer with a request for an accounting of the requested payment.  nobody gets $40k without a breakdown of what it was for...

by bored now 2007-05-03 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

And there is no chance that those people are already on his website?  

I think that's the issue here... you don't know MySpace well and seem to have the notion that MySpace is more than it is in the advocacy realm...  It builds exposure, sure, but not necessarily a donor list... there might be some on there not signed up to his site or other sites liek Facebook, but I would bet the vast majority are on his site as well as myspace.  So the question becomes how many of the friends are truly unique and how many have several memberships to various social networking sites including Obama's own social networking site?  

My sister and a good friend were members of that group... plus have a profile on BarackObama.com;  but they are in no way politically active, except voting.  So a good part of your friends on MySpace will be these people... enthusiastic supporters, but not going door to door for you.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I don't know about Myspace, but on Facebook, you can set up to send out "notes" to your friends, so that they'll be notified on their facebook page.  So basically you have an electronic contact channel here that has no communication cost.

If you send out 1 mass mailer, that's going to cost at least 15-20 cents per contact for postage alone. So just in terms of postage costs alone, this list of 160,000 is worth at least what this guy is asking for.

This is a group of people that are going to be ok with weekly messages, and if you have a good voter contact crew, this will save you sending costly snail mail to this group.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-02 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

There are two aspects to this.  

"committed supporters"? by being Myspace friends?

That's a definite "no".  You are wrong there.

And yet - this guy did good work for them.  They pay huge sums of money to consultants, and expect that this guy gets...nothing?  

I don't know if 50K is too much.   But again, give the guy a job, right?  Use people's energy and talents to your advantage.

We are assuming of course, that this guys is telling the truth.  

by jc 2007-05-02 08:58AM | 0 recs
by liaozhi123 2007-10-15 10:51PM | 0 recs
I agree with the comment upthread

should have given the guy a 39K check and thanked him for building up the site.

look at this comment on Joe's blog

This is such a negative impact on Baracks campaign and I'm very up set with his people!! This is my message to them!!!! "What you are doing to Joe is really screwed up!! Barack is a community ORGANIZER not a community DESTROYER!!! This is going to impact his campaign very negatively. We are a very strong community and have been for a long time and for you to take that away is down right unjust and a disgrace to Barack and all he stands for!! All Joe was doing was promoting this campaign and this is how you reward him!! I hope you reconsider your actions and let us have a unofficial fan site for Barack...Joe never ever pretended to be Barack. He has been very honest!! When I first found the site he told me exactly who he was..Infact his site is how I learned to donate to Barack's Campaign and start a profile on www.barackobama.com. Joes site is very valuable and should be rewarded not destroyed!!! Please let us keep our community...and please apologize to Joe for your mistake!!! "..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office " /><o:p></o:p>

Posted by Kat on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 at 4:29 PM

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with the comment upthread

I agree.  I just used the "contact" form on the Obama website urging them to come up wiht a reasonable accomodation with Joe Anthony.  (And mentioned that I was a donor to the campaign while I was at it.)

by Go Vegetarian 2007-05-02 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with the comment upthread

Are you a donor to his campaign?

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with the comment upthread

Yeah.  $2300 a couple of months ago.

by Go Vegetarian 2007-05-02 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with the comment upthread

Just wanted to make sure.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with the comment upthread

Ditto here.  I wrote my fundraising contacts for that campaign and made my opinion clear with my pocketbook.  They forwarded my email to the campaign manager.

I'm waiting to hear a response.

by jamiek 2007-05-02 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Sure, being a friend on MySpace doesn't mean you're dedicated, but that's 160,000 contacts that they can reach out to.  That's 160,000 people that they can contact without too much effort.  How much would it cost them to get 160,000 contacts to willingly sign up with the campaign?  How many of those 160,000 contacts will be turned off by their moves here once this breaks in larger media?  Won't they feel used by Obama because he basically doesn't see their weak support as important?

I think this is going to be a large problem for the Obama campaign.

by Conquest 2007-05-02 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

They should have offered 15k and a personal meeting with Obama, and be done with this.  If this guy decides to sue this will get a lot more expensive to the Obama campaign in legal fees, even if the guy has no case.   Not to speak of the bad publicity this would create.

by georgep 2007-05-02 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I don't think he'd be stupid enough to sue... precident is pretty clear on this sort of thing...  But I agree with the rest of the sentiment... the campaign workers fucked up and should have negotiated.  Whoever declined to negotiate should eb terminated... immediately

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

What's the precedent?

by Peter from WI 2007-05-02 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Every Cybersquatting case out there is legal precedent.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

This, in my opinion, would not be protected by the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. See my explanation here:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2007/5/2/93 621/10103/174#174

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I think they missed an opportunity as well. This guy Joe was obviously devoted to Obama and obviously helped bring at least some people (and money) to the campaign.

And dissing him, regardless of the pay issue, really sends the wrong message to the thousands and thousands of grassroots supporters that sent in $20 checks.

Its a campaign mistake that will hopefully be remedied.

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

No chance he'll sue. One personal phone call from Obama, with the charm and the apology and an offer to make things right--and this is over. This guy invested hours and hours and hours into Obama's campaign; on some level, I bet he's still deeply committed.

by BingoL 2007-05-02 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

True, but it's amazing how getting f'ed over will change a person's mind.

by Peter from WI 2007-05-02 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

That nails it - negotiate it, unless the guy really is an utter tool, simply out for the cash.  Which seems doubtful, given the time he put into it.

by jc 2007-05-02 09:02AM | 0 recs

Tens of thousands of people's goodwill - if not more - swept away.

This is going to cost them more than $50K.

by MasonMcD 2007-05-02 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow.

Maybe... I was on that page and while I think its a big gaffe, it hasn't swept mine away. Plus he already had my info from his website... It will cost him some but saying it costs all the people is a bit much.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:04AM | 0 recs
heads should roll on Obama's team for this

I'm sure Obama was not directly involved in the dealings with this guy, but whoever was responsible for handling the situation should be fired ASAP. They were stupid to start driving people to the site if they were uncomfortable having a volunteer in control.

I have no idea what Joe Anthony's time and effort over more than two years is worth in dollars. Maybe his effort "only" built the community up to $30,000 people (before Obama's campaign started directing people to the site).

To me $50,000 doesn't sound like a lot of money to pay him. He helped build a thriving community.

And obviously, this bad publicity is going to be much more costly for Obama. He's not going to lose the yitbos96bbs of the world, but he will probably lose quite a few soft supporters in the netroots.

Fortunately for him, this is the kind of inside baseball story that is unlikely ever to gain wide currency among caucus-goers or primary voters in the early states.

by desmoinesdem 2007-05-02 10:59AM | 0 recs
This is what worries me about Obama

I think he lacks a feel for politics.  When it comes to elections politics is important.

by dpANDREWS 2007-05-02 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Sure, the Obama campaign obviously blew this one--but give 'em a day or two, and they'll fix matters. Offer him the money, blame the staff, arrange a photo-op.

This is roughly analogous to the Edwards campaign's failure to do due dilligence regarding the hired bloggers. A mis-step, but not a particularly meaningful one.

My bet: within eight hours, this'll be resolved and Anthony will issue an extremely pleasant press release.

by BingoL 2007-05-02 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

This is roughly analogous to the Edwards campaign's failure to do due dilligence regarding the hired bloggers. A mis-step, but not a particularly meaningful one.

Ehh. In Edward's case, he pissed off Bill Donohue, and got some bad press in conservative circles.

Obama's pissing off his own people.

by MasonMcD 2007-05-02 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

What's (roughly) analagous is lower-level staffers making potentially-damaging decisions, for lack of due dilligence.

I'll bet you ten virtual bucks that Obama's own people won't stay pissed through tomorrow.

by BingoL 2007-05-02 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

You win. I don't a rats hoot.


by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-05-02 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I don't "GIVE"...a rat's hoot.


by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-05-02 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Is he though... There are some negative messages... but not even 1000 people's worth of them.  I don't think most supporters would care.  We'll see if the MSM picks this up... if not, then this dies fast... Techpresident is cool, but not exactly the New York Times or Chicago Tribune.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

The comments on Techpresident were not very friendly to Anthony...

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Not analgous.

Edwards stands up for two campaign bloggers who piss off Bill Donohue.

Obama fails to grasp what this 'new' politics he keeps talking about really looks like.

by Peter from WI 2007-05-02 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace


Edwards staffers idiotically hire bloggers with easily exploited archives. When the problem blows up, the campaign does the right thing.

Obama staffers idiotically refuse to pay myspace guy. When the problem blows us, the campaign ...

Wait for it.

This is flash in the pan. It's a very interesting flash in the pan, because it highlights a new dynamic that campaigns face, but it illustrates a new truth about campaigns, not about Obama.

I'm a pretty strong Edwards leaner at the moment, but I try to call bullshit if it's focused on Edwards or Obama.

Of course, in both cases (the link is to my problem with Matt's tying O'Hanlon so closely to Edwards), I think there's more going on that meets the eye initially. It's in the interest of those of us to the left of the major candidates to try to draw them leftward. So we want to ping Edwards for a right-wing foreign policy, just to shove that window over, and we want to ping Obama for being unresponse to net-supporters, just to change the focus of his campaign.

Sometimes I suspect that I'm being presented with strategic information, and am responding with complaints about typos. But I do try to see the big picture, every now and again.

by BingoL 2007-05-02 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace


The feeling that you're being presented with strategic information or analysis for unseen reasons is a very annoying one.  Partly because the case for this behavior being sometimes necessary is a pretty good one.  And yet of course it still sucks.

It's just the insider/outsider dynamic creating itself all over again, inevitably.

by texas dem 2007-05-02 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

There's stupid, and then there's epic stupid.

Guess which one this is?

What's the cost, monetized, to Obama's brand now as a roots empowering new age pol?

by Pachacutec 2007-05-02 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Just regular stupid, because this is to easily reparable. Now, if it's not fixed by Friday morning, we're in epic territory ...

by BingoL 2007-05-02 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

If I were Anthony, (assuming I don't have any anti-Catholic rants in my background), I'd solicit the Edwards campaign for a position and take my 160,000 "friends" with me.

by randron 2007-05-02 06:01AM | 0 recs
I was thinking how amusing it would

be if his redirected "friends" that myspace will provide him became a pro-edwards or pro-hillary site..

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

But the friends aren't anthony... I know some of the people on the list... some have Edwards as their #2 and some don't like him at all... That's the big mistake here... to think he controls 160K people.... he doesn't.  I would bet many of the people were already signed up on his regular website anyway.  Anthony might be able to convince a small group, but the bulk... not a chance.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I think $50K was an absurd request.  I'd pay him half that at most.

I think the mistake the campaign made was not responding with a counteroffer quickly.  They could have easily said, "Here is what we normally pay for a list of soft supporters (that's all MySpace friends are - check how many are friends of multiple campaigns), that's what we'll give you."

by Sean Robertson 2007-05-02 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Where does it say he asked for $50,000?

by jallen 2007-05-02 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

It says $39,000 and then split fees up to $10,000.  People are confusing the numbers.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

That's what I thought.  Oh well, this should be an interesting discussion to listen to for a few minutes, until something more important comes along.

by jallen 2007-05-02 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

People combine the $39K for the site and members he "nurtured," and up to $10K for any ad revenue!

I say, let the MySpace/Murdoch-owned company pay Mr. Anthony. They have profited from the publicity as well as the Obama campaign.

by Books Alive 2007-05-02 06:15AM | 0 recs
How much would Bob Schrum get?

The only reason it's an "absurd" request is that he is not an established campaign person.

But what do you expect from a campaign that hires (and pays FAR more to) people like Robert Gibbs: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/2 /22/134458/142

There is a huge difference between a campaign that actually values its grassroots supporters and empowers them (e.g, the Dean campaign) and one that just wants to use them for its own purposes, like Obama's. In case anyone was in doubt on this point, the hiring of Gibbs was an unmistakable F.U. to Dean's supporters -- and Obama is far to savvy not to know this.

by Jim in Chicago 2007-05-02 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I can't believe they would be this stupid. Well, I can, actually, because I've seen what the inside of a campaign looks like, but I wonder what the Internet Director was saying at staff meetings.

by clarkent 2007-05-02 06:11AM | 0 recs
A little reluctant to speak on this

with details still emerging, but if true, this stinks bad.

As someone who spends ALL of the tiny amount of free time I have support-blogging and bringing attention to key races gratis (except for the software $$$ support Blue Hampshire gets from BlogPAc: thanks, MyDD!), and who never knows from one month to next if the mortgage will get paid: if a candidate's campaign essentially stole what I had created out of nothing other than goodwill and built up over a two-year period, I'd be on a freaking rampage.  I think the only way I could recover from it psychologically would be to work non-stop for the opposition.

I think mistakes were made by allowing the campaign access to the site without an agreed-upon pecuniary arrangement at that time.

But that in no way excuses the wrong of stealing the page on a technicality.

by Dean Barker 2007-05-02 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: A little reluctant to speak on this

Legal Precident would strongly disagree with you Dean.  It sucks, but that's also part of hazards of doing this as well.  It can always be handled better of course.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:25AM | 0 recs

I should qualify: by "wrong" and "steal" I mean in an ethical sphere, not a legal one.

I'm certain Team Obama made sure that they could do this legally prior to the action.

by Dean Barker 2007-05-02 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: A little reluctant to speak on this

This reminds of me of a good example of failing to work to build a movement.

Guy puts in tons of time and effort, and Obama can't put down some cash, even though he's sitting on roughly $30 million.  

It's just progressive orgs and institutions not paying sustainable salaries and burning people out on jobs in progressive politics.

by Peter from WI 2007-05-02 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

It's extortion, plain and simple.  Apparently Joe saw big fundraising numbers and decided to go for a big number.  Volunteers who want to get paid for their work after the fact give a bad name to all the hard working volunteers out there.  What if I went to the Obama HQ and made volunteer ID calls but then at the end of the day kept the results unless I got paid?  I'd be laughed off the blogs.  If you want to be a paid staffer or consultant, be one, but don't do work under the illusion that you're a volunteer and ask to get paid for your work or else.

by JBaker 2007-05-02 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

i'm sorry, but managing a myspace account is NOT hard work.  I'm sure he spent five minutes a day on it, if that.  For him to demand upwards of $40,000 from the obama campaign, blackmailing them with fear of bad PR?  Fuck this guy.

How would you feel if someone made a Jerome Armstrong myspace page, and then wouldn't turn it over to you unless you paid him?  That's not "due diligence," that's extortion.

by grimm 2007-05-02 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Too late, be my friend!


My Blog URL

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I think it's funny watching Obama supporters who have in the past touted his huge contact list on social networking sites completely about face. Now the position is, "It's no big deal, because these people probably wouldn't do much other than maybe vote for the guy."

by clarkent 2007-05-02 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I don't think any of us said they were allactivists... and I know I have siad that they were not all unique members...  All we said is that it was impressive, bigger than a lot of other candidates and showed levels of support on those mediums.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

What is a volunteer?

If he expected $50,000 for the MySpace account, then he not been volunteering, but acting as an entrepreneur, and he has been mis-representing himself to his MySpace friends.

Campaign consultants make lots of money for performing a similar function, but they get a contract first, and everyone is clear on the interests involved.

Give this guy a big payday, and it will destroy grass-roots political sites on MySpace.  They will bloom crops to market for every polician, with the same end-game.

by wetzel 2007-05-02 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Aren't they already?

by Peter from WI 2007-05-02 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I disagree strongly.  This guy built the site.  He had it taken away without compensation.  There is a lot wrong with that.  Obama could have had the foresight to start his own Myspace page "back in the day".  He did not.  Now they just rip it away from the guy?   It would be like someone smartly registering a domain in 2003, say, Obamaforpresident.com, and then the Obama camp decides it wants it, but without compensation.   It does not work that way.  

by georgep 2007-05-02 06:44AM | 0 recs

And the site has more friends due to his actions.  If he hadn't started it when he did, it wouldn't have so many friends.  Who knows, the Obama campaign might not have ever even thought of using myspace.

Whether or not the myspace guy is money grubbing, this whole thing smacks of the big bully beating up the little guy.  With all the money they have, the campaign should have given him something.

If one of us set something up the campaign wanted, why wouldn't they do the same to us?

by you like it 2007-05-02 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

ActuallyYou are quite wrong George. Obama could take control of that site in your example, since the site is capitalizing on his name.  He'd have to go to court, but based on how these cases have been coming out, he would win very easily, could take control of the site and the person owning it gets nothing.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I checked into it, and the case results are mixed.  This is not at all the slam dunk you appear to believe it is.  

Of course, it won't come to that.   If it did, the court cost would far exceed the 39k at issue here.  This will be solved sometime soon, I assume.

by georgep 2007-05-02 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Well, he wasn't acting as an entrepeneur - he was acting as a volunteer. But now the Obama campaign wants to take it over. Shouldn't he expect some compensation, or should they be able to just seize his site?

by clarkent 2007-05-02 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Well lets be clear... ITS NOT HIS SITE!  It is MySpace's site.  Per the TOS, they have the right to do what they did.  Had they refused, Obama might be able to win in court, but might not have.  This wasn't an independent domain.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: If He was Acting as a Volunteer...

he would not have expected to have gotten paid.  clearly, he was acting with becoming more than a volunteer.  had he had the spirit of a volunteer, he would have given up the site graciously, saying "thanks for noticing!  what else can i do to help elect barack?"

by bored now 2007-05-03 03:59AM | 0 recs

What a foolish decision on Obama's part.  Paying this man for his work is not only the right thing to do, it's also the smart thing to do.

MySpaceGate is just the latest in a series of rookie mistakes by Obama including snubbing the Congressional Black Caucus as well as his weak debate performance.    

Obama is a talented guy.  However, if these blunders are any indication, his decision making process doesn't seem to rise to the level that is required of a President.

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-02 06:36AM | 0 recs

Whatever, Andy Martin.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-05-02 06:42AM | 0 recs
andy martin? oh, now i understand

i know understand chicagodude: this guy fiercely attacks obama and was the source of the madrassa story:

Mediamatters says this about "chicagodude", andy martin:

Martin was author Catherine Moy's purported source for claiming that Obama "flat-out lied" about his upbringing, and that the school Obama attended as a child in Indonesia was "not a madrassa, but that they did teach the Quran, and they did teach that Jews are pigs. So that it -- you know, those kind of things that the Quran teaches, all of those things in the Quran that offend so many, he was taught." The claim that Obama attended a madrassa as a child -- originating in InsightMag.com -- has been thoroughly debunked. Before Obama's February 10 announcement that he would run for president, Martin wrote: "During Obama Week leading up to February 10th, we will release our CIA-style psychological profile on him; that analysis will cast more light on Barack's supple psyche and his ability to seamlessly deny objective reality

by pmb 2007-05-02 07:05AM | 0 recs
This title

is, imo, unfair. So is this one from kos:

Obama's MySpace f'up.

Here's how I would put it, we ARE in new territory here. Isn't that your point? How does a campaign handle a "volunteer/activist" who has created a wildly successful social networking site that also is also pretty much squatting on a url that should belong to someone named Barack Obama?

Lot's of gray area to go around here. Good and bad. It seems to me that you are not even beginning to take account of the precedent that would have been set if they'd made a big pay out.

Do you really want people (not Joe, but less scrupulous folks) gobbling up web turf and building networks in anticipation of a pay day from a prospective campaign?

So, it seems pretty uncharitable and media unsavvy  to me to cover this story with a headline that the mainstream media will pick up uncritically.

ie. what I don't see you or Markos factoring in is that the media, since this is a blog story, are going to very likely use how you and Markos and other bloggers write about this story as their frame for covering it.  

They won't see the nuance that we in the netroots see.  They'll just blast Obama.

by kid oakland 2007-05-02 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: This title

This is a coordinated hit job by Jerome and his good friend at the big orange. They see themselves as king makers and since Obama is not kissing their ring...the hit jobs will continue. This is not the first and it won't be the last.

by kekuta 2007-05-02 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: This title

Well, there are two overlapping issues.

The more important (and interesting) one, as you say, is the question re. social networking sites and volunteer activists.

The second is that the Obama campaign pretty undeniable screwed up.

I think this title is okay, but I agree that Markos's is not.

by BingoL 2007-05-02 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: This title

Both Markos and Jerome has been hitting Obama below the belt for a while. Their choosen candidate (Warner...jerome worked for him and Markos has a man crush on him) dropped out and Obama rised up without their anointment. They can't help themselves. They are acting like those DC consultants that claimed to abhor.

by kekuta 2007-05-02 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: This title

I don't think Jerome has been that bad, but I have lost a lot of respect for Markos over the last year... not just on this but on a lot of issues.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

incidentally, the Obamablog now has a post up about the issue. in full, it reads:

Check out Barack's new and improved MySpace page at www.myspace.com/BarackObama for exclusive videos and photos. It's a great way to network with other Barack supporters in your community and across the country.

the comments run the gamut of views.

by azizhp 2007-05-02 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Joe Anthony is just another in a long line of cybersquatters, as far as I can tell.  If he had tried this stunt with Coca-Cola he would likely be in court owing money, not hoping for a payoff.  He is not Barack Obama and has no moral right to start a page at MySpace at the URL named after Obama.

From the coverage at techPresident, I think the snippet you've provided here is entirely one-sided.  It really isn't appropriate for MyDD (or Kos or any other blogger) to tell the Obama campaign who they should pay or how much they should pay.  The bit about "160,000 rabid activists" is a bit hard to swallow.  Joining a friends list at MySpace doesn't make one a "rabid activist" and I bet most of the people who gave their names to the friends list are far more interested in Obama than in Joe Anthony.  

Yes, Obama could have handled this differently, but I don't think it'll hurt him at all in the big picture.  There's even less of an issue here than there was with Edwards and his blogger issue.

by RickD 2007-05-02 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I would point out that Mr. Anderson's use of BarackObama as his MySpace.com username meets none of the legal definitions of Cybersquatting as set forth by the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Further explanation here:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2007/5/2/93 621/10103/174#174

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Obama is no longer my friend and I won't be adding the new profile to my list. Poor form Obama campaign.

Obama isn't Coke, he's a public figure.

by anodyneryan 2007-05-02 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Jennifer Lopez is also a "public figure".  She won a lawsuit against somebody who had cybersquatted on a domain name very similar to one she controlled.

The fact that Jennifer Lopez and Barack Obama are public figures does not mean that they have waived control of the usage of their name.  It means that people can talk about them in a public forum; it doesn't mean that people can use the name of the public figure to make money for themselves.

From Wikipedia:

"According to the U.S. federal law known as the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, cybersquatting is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price."

Please explain to me how Joe Anthony is anything more than a money-seeking cybersquatter.  

This is far from being a moral issue as far as I'm concerned.  It doesn't matter if $50k is a small amount of money to the Obama campaign.  Paying off Anthony for cyber-squatting would only encourage a flood of people to squat on other campaign-related domain names and/or pages at sites like MySpace.

by RickD 2007-05-02 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

A couple of things seem wrong with your points.

1.  Anthony didn't have a "domain name".  myspace.com is the "domain name"  he chose a user name/ account name, so based on the letter of the law I don't see how he violated since what you have quoted states : "Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act"

2.  He wasn't "squatting".  He built a networking site dedicated to the candidate.  And when the candidate said "Why don't you let us take over your  account on my space" he said "sure, but you should compensate me for what I have done if you want to take control away from me.  This seems like a pretty fair position, IMHO.  Nothing seems to indicate that Anthony's goal was to profit from the site or to "seek money".  That is merely the bad assumption you are making.  The fact that he put two years of time and effort into maintaining and growing the page inherently proves that he wasn't cyber-squatting.  He was actively maintaining a site.
From the techpresident article:
For several weeks, they collaborated on a daily basis, with the Obama campaign offering advice to Anthony on how to improve the site, sharing content with him, helping him place a fundraising widget on the site, etc. He in turn gave the campaign password access to the profile in case they wanted to tweak it quickly, but they made little use of it and relied mainly on Anthony to maintain the site.

Does that sound like a "cyber squatter" ?  If so maybe you need to rethink your definition of cyber-squatter.  Those people don't usually work with the companies they are trying to "Extort" nor do they usually add things to the site that the companies request.

And Obama wouldn't have been paying off for cyber-squatting, he would have been paying this guy for the time and effort he had already dedicated -- a workload that was growing.

Obama could have easily just said "No thanks" and created his own myspace page and marketed it accordingly.  But he didn't.  He decided to go the bully route and get Myspace to shut his account down.    It doesn't seem to me that the Anthony ever mis-represented himself as the candidate and made it pretty clear that it was a site dedicated to the candidate.  The page even said right up front that it was an Unofficial Profile Page.

The whole idea that Obama has a right to the user name is ridiculous.  If I decided to create an email account barackobama@yahoo.com, should the candidate be able to take that from me too if he decides he wants it too?

Granted, this probably won't hurt Obama that much, but to me, this throws a ton of cold water on his whole theme of changing politics as usual.

by avagias 2007-05-02 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

But since MYSPACE owns it, Anthony doesn't have any legal rights to it at all.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

That's just not true.  TOS agreements are a contract between both parties.  Just because News Corp owns the site doesn't mean that the users have no legal rights.  Sure they are limited, but not non-existant.  The user has rights to the account and content as long as s/he doesn't violate the terms of service.

That's like saying google can do whatever they want with your youtube content because they own the site.  It's false.  There is an agreed to contract between the two parties whenever a user signs up for a service and BOTH side must honor the contract.  I don't know all the specifics but to say Anthony doesn't have any legal rights at all is patently false.

by avagias 2007-05-02 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

If your argument is correct, Barack Obama has no rights to it either. MySpace owns it.

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace
"bad-faith intent to profit..."
Where's the bad-faith?  Where's the intention to profit?  The site was created with the intention of aiding Obama's campaign.  The fact that Obama's campaign decided to take over the site without giving anything to the guy, even just a 5 minute phone call from the Big O himself, with no cash.  I'm not convinced you could pin this guy down as a cybersquatter.
by nilocjin 2007-05-02 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace
I think it might hurt Obama with people like me.  I will certainly voting Dem but haven't picked my candidate.  Part of my hesitation with all of them is the question of image vs. reality.  I want a candidate that understands the power of organizing people behind the cause without having to use traditional big money, media, and corporations.  This is one part of Obama's image that I like.
Now it appears that at least part of his campaign does not understand the value of the little guy out there who has been working at the grassroots level for a long time.  At least negotiate with him even if you don't think he has any real power.  Don't shoot yourseldfin the foot by running over people.  It doesn't work that way with viral marketing. There will be a price to pay.
In other words, it's not just aboout this one incident.  This one incident doesn't square with the image he has been promoting.  That worries me.
by emerald 2007-05-02 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I absolutely agree. Since my favorite (Wes Clark) is not in the race, I'm one of those who is looking for another candidate to support. Of course I'll be supporting the eventual nominee but I hope to be an enthusiastic supporter of someone long before then. To me, the Obama "brand" has been associated with "new",  "fresh" "not a typical politician", etc. But there's another side to such a "brand" and that's basically "inexperienced." This situation and how it was handled so far seems to reinforce the latter and contradict the former. Now I don't think this will affect many Obama supporters but don't think for a minute such issues won't affect undecided folks like me.

by Ian S 2007-05-02 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I agree. Obama activists will not even flinch. But as an undecided voter, this whole thing leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Campaigns are filled with hollow rhetoric. There are very few insightful moments. But actions like these give great insight into the true nature of the candidate and the campaign. At the very least, the actions of the campaign are regrettable. On the other end, I could see an argument for theft of property by the Obama campaign. I have considered Obama a strong candidate and someone worthy of consideration for my vote. This situation, however, gives me great pause. It shows a general lack of respect for individual rights. This has really struck a nerve with me and has definitely cast shadows on my portrait of him.

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I guess this the bottom line is a question of intellectual property, who should own the site. the right thing to do is to throw Anthony a bone as a token of his hard work over 2years. Anthony did not ask for any compensation until the Campaign decided to take over the site. The logical thing would be to hire Anthony to run all internet related Campaign activities. This is a no brainer. I think this will be worked out very soon, its just a shame that Obama has people working for him that could not resolve this situation. I am quite sure Obama did not know about this or it would have been handled differently.

by Duane Archie 2007-05-02 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Whoa, all internet-related campaign activities?  The guy just set up and maintained a MySpace page!  I think he should be compensated, but that's too much.

by jallen 2007-05-02 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Price for this type of stuff is relative.   If this makes it out into the mainstream press because the guy is so peeved that he goes in front of cameras (and some of the press would eat this up) it could be worth hundreds of thousands of Dollars to a campaign to not let that happen.

My guess is that the guy was a big fan, a huge supporter of Obama.  When he got squeezed out and felt he was not being treated fairly he lashed out.  He claims that they set up appoitments for conference calls for 2 weeks straight to iron this out, and every single time it was 'postponed,' which, if true, looks like shabby treatment to me, an attempt to stall.  So, now he is no longer a supporter, let alone a volunteer.  The "property" rights then are strictly about monetary considerations, what the site itself, the name and "keeping the peace" are worth to each side.  

If the guy is not dependent on the cash he could easily look at the 39k as a matter of principal, fair compensation for being treated badly (in his mind.)    He probably would have gone away for 15k, given his "fan" status perhaps even for a few thousand.   He was ignored, felt he was not treated right, so what are you going to do?  At that point he might even justify asking for $100,000 to make a point.        

The interesting thing is that for some reason the campaigns are bent to "create" issues that should not even be there, but worse, create issues that reinforce already existing preconceived negative notions.   Last week Armstrong had a diary about Obama ignoring the netroots completely, trying to pretend the netroots don't even exist.   His supporters came into that diary and to rebut Armstrong's point used Obama's strong myspace presence and the signups on that site as a positive example of how the netroots ARE indeed working for Obama.   The very site that is now the object of this controversy.  

by georgep 2007-05-02 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Pure and simple who owned it.. MySpace.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 11:56AM | 0 recs
should i also be paid?

i spend more than 12hrs a week on my school's "studentsforbarackobama" group.

so many people volunteer for campaigns.

should they all be paid?

in my opinion the matter wasn't handled well since obama's team should have come up with their fair price.

still, anthony, i'm dissappointed that you'd take $40,000 or any thing less than a visit with obama or some non-cash compensation for your amazing work.

what about the thousands of people who are fundraising for candidates?

by pmb 2007-05-02 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: should i also be paid?

You should not be compensated for your group's page... unless the Obama campaign wants to take control of your webpage. In which case, as the owners of the page, you have every right to ask for compensation in the exchange of property. It happens every day. The Obama campaign wanted Mr. Anderson's MySpace profile. It belonged to Mr. Anderson. They should have paid him or let him keep it. Stealing the site was wrong.

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I cannot take seriously someone who can't spell or punctuate correctly.

"Writes" is being used as a verb here, but a random apostrophe is inserted, so that it becomes a possessive noun, "Write's."

This is pretty basic stuff.

Grammar police: it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

by readymade 2007-05-02 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace
Apparently Jerome needs a visit from
Bob the Angry Flower
by RickD 2007-05-02 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

"Writes" is being used as a verb here, but a random apostrophe is inserted, so that it becomes a possessive noun, "Write's."

Please rewrite in the active voice.

by BingoL 2007-05-02 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Grammar police: it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

There are polite ways to do it.  Sometimes the grammar is incorrect but the argument is valid.  

by emerald 2007-05-02 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: New Media and Volunteers

Very well said, and spot on.

Write a diary about this, explicitly intended to draw out the substance of the issue instead of merely wrangling about this single example?

by BingoL 2007-05-02 07:23AM | 0 recs

As a libertarian-minded person, I gotta say, this really bothers me.

by LnGrrrR 2007-05-02 07:37AM | 0 recs
Now let's see what the campaign does

Not to going to defend Obama, very poor management on their part. Still, this isn't a big issue--yet. The most important and revealing thing now is to see what the campaign does in response.

by Korha 2007-05-02 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Now let's see what the campaign does

They created a new myspace page...is that good enough?

by kekuta 2007-05-02 09:27AM | 0 recs
Jerome, would you do us a favor

And simply say up front you don't like Obama?  Truth in advertising you know.

That's absolutely fine that you don't like him, it's clear from your history.  But put it front and center.

by jc 2007-05-02 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, would you do us a favor

Jerome and his business partner Markos couldn't bring themselves to say that simple fact. They don't like Obama, but are hedging...you know...just in case he ultimately gets the nomination.

by kekuta 2007-05-02 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, would you do us a favor

I'd be fine with Obama as the nominee, I don't have a favorite.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-02 12:10PM | 0 recs
Hey guys! There's a thread on Iraq

right above that actually matters!  Come on in, the water's fine!  Or does defending Obama/tearing him down matter more than the defining strategic issue of our time matter more than a goddamn myspace page bearing little relation to the substance of Obama's policies?

by IrishCatholicDemocrat 2007-05-02 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Hey guys! There's a thread on Iraq

Wow...slight syntax error.  But you get my point.  And I will get coffee.

by IrishCatholicDemocrat 2007-05-02 09:11AM | 0 recs
I dont understand why Obama needs to pay him

Why not just keep it independent.

by jasmine 2007-05-02 09:16AM | 0 recs
Further Reading on Obama MySpace Controversy

Politics 2.0 has three posts today on this rapidly evolving story.

One on TechPresident's coverage:
http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/t echpresident-battle-to-control-obamas.ht ml

One on National Journal The Hotline blog's coverage:
http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/o bamas-myspace-mayhem-national-journal.ht ml

And one on Joe's email (published on his MySpace page and linked in National Journal story) to TechPresident:
http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/j oe-anthonys-published-on-myspace-email.h tml

Alex Hammer
Politics 2.0

by PoliticsTwoPointZero 2007-05-02 09:21AM | 0 recs
He's NOT a cybersquatter

All those who are tossing this term around, you need to understand something.  Cybersquatting is buying a domain name for the purpose of profiting off of something/one's name.  Here's two different examples:

Say I buy the name www.widgets.com:

- If I bought the name for the purpose of confusing people into thinking I have something to do with widgets or to extort money from the manufacturer of widgets for the domain name, that's cybersquatting.
- If I bought the name to put up a website proclaiming how much I love or hate widgets, that's NOT cybersquatting, as long as I don't try to represent that I actually have something to do with the company that makes them.  However, if the widget company wants to pay me for the rights to that domain, they can make me an offer, but I have absolutely no obligation to sell.

This guy OBVIOUSLY falls into the second category (actually neither, the whole fact that it's not a domain makes it actually up to MySpace, it doesn't fall under cybersquatting rules).  He doesn't have a case, as it's completely up to MySpace on how they handle this (which I think they handled poorly, but it's their right), but it's certainly not a case of cybersquatting.

by ThinkerT 2007-05-02 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: He's NOT a cybersquatter

I disagree, because Myspace is partly about identity, and if you're going to say you're Barack Obama, you should certainly be Batack Obama, or you should hand the profle over.

by b1oody8romance7 2007-05-02 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: He's NOT a cybersquatter

I have not read anything that says that Mr. Anderson said that he was Barack Obama. That could land someone in legal trouble. But is there any evidence that Mr. Anderson said he was Barack Obama or that the site was "official"? There are many MySpace profiles relating to Barack Obama. The ones are viewed were not run by Mr. Obama or the Obama Campaign. It isn't unethical or illegal to lead a discussion about a public election.

by CerebralHorticulture 2007-05-02 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: He's NOT a cybersquatter

COmpletely different case when dealing with a company vs a person.

by yitbos96bb 2007-05-02 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Mistakes will be made -- and corrected, hopefully without any lasting damage being done to the campaign.

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://OsiSpeaks.org

by KYJurisDoctor 2007-05-02 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I think it's pretty funny how so many people act like $39k/$50k is not a big deal expense for a campaign.  It may not be a big % of the war chest, but it's big outlay, particularly for something that is of questionable value.

by LPMandrake 2007-05-02 10:20AM | 0 recs
OBAMA, just pay this guy...

this is not worth the headache or drama.  But, what I want to know is what is the issue that the Obama team need to take steps to put the "clamp down" on this site?  I did not read the over 100 statements, but a quick view of what the real issue is here is appreciated.

by icebergslim 2007-05-02 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: OBAMA, just pay this guy...

Would be interesting if Team Obama used the site to gather support and to use as a "grass roots" tool to organize supporters. Especially after hearing folks hear saying that MySpace and Facebook aren't really of much use in a "grass roots" campaign in order to justify taking over the MySpace page in question.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-12 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: OBAMA, just pay this guy...

sorry typo

"...after hearing folks hear saying that MySpace..."

should read

"after hearing folks here saying that MySpace..."

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-12 10:49AM | 0 recs
Hold the fuck up!!!

160,000 "engaged activists"

HAHAHAHAHA! That is too funny!!!!!! Not even 10,000 of those can be considered "rabid activists." I'm just shocked at the blogosphere-wide misunderstanding of how myspace works. You would think that you internet savvy bloggers would know what you were talking about, but apparently you have no idea that 99.9% of myspace users:

1) add someone they don't know only as a SHOW of support, not a pledge of devotion. These people aren't dedicated supporters, and a majority of them probably only know that "he's a cool guy," or something along those lines.

2) add someone they don't know to inflate the number of friends they have. I would say about 20% of Obama's friends are these types.

The point of social networking sites is to SOCIALIZE, not organize. These people are not "rabid supporters." That claim is absolutely ridiculous.

With that in mind, it is OBSCENE to be asking Obama's campaign for that kind of money for the profile, or any kind of money, period. A Myspace or Facebook profile is NOT a domain name. If someone was going around posing as you, I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it. Well, that's what this guy is doing. If he is going to say he's Barack Obama, he better be Barack Obama. Now, it would be completely different if he was saying "XYZ for Barack Obama," but he's not. And that's why I COMPLETELY agree with the result of this skirmish.

Now, Obama could have handled this a fuck of a lot better, but whatever. It will have faded in a week or so.

by b1oody8romance7 2007-05-02 11:18AM | 0 recs
The whole thing was badly handled on both sides.

But after initially pointing people towards the site, Obama should NOT have just taken it away. There should have been at least an attempt at negotiating.

Plus I think it was very wrong of MySpace to just hand the site over.  I wonder if I complain to them, they'll give ME somebody else's site?

by jamesbayers 2007-05-02 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The whole thing was badly handled on both side

If I took myspace.com/jamesbayers and posted pictures of you and generally acted like I was you, then yes, MySpace should definitely give you that URL when you demand it.

by Luigi Montanez 2007-05-02 12:24PM | 0 recs
Interesting take...

But my understanding was that it was very obviously labeled as a "fan" site, not as a site put up my Obama.  If that information is false, then you make a good point.

Of course, if that information is correct, then your remark is not relevant...

by jamesbayers 2007-05-08 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

He should have paid the man. It's only right. he did a very good job. It's not like he was scraping by for money.

by rikyrah 2007-05-02 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Hold the fuck up!!!

Yes, Facebook and MySpace can be used to organize in the sense that they can be used to broadcast messages to large amounts of people, but they will always be weaker from an activism standpoint than real "activism networks" (like My.BarackObama, PartyBuilder, and my personal favorite, DFA-Link).

Sure, MySpace can be used to hear the latest message concerning Obama, but that's only one small part of a given user's MySpace experience. They have friend requests and gossip to keep on top of, people to stalk, people to try to hook up with, etc.

In short, $40K isn't worth 130K MySpace friends. If the Obama campaign did the right thing and claimed myspace.com/barackobama before Obama announced, they would have many more friends, they would have been able to do a better job getting those people into My.BarackObama, and they wouldn't have spent $40K in resources to do it.

by Luigi Montanez 2007-05-02 12:20PM | 0 recs
Totally agree here

Plus, if you really go through the so called 130-160K of "friends", most of these people are probably now deactivated.  But this will not be talked about by Saturday.  Lesson learned, not just for Obama, but all these candidates.

by icebergslim 2007-05-02 12:23PM | 0 recs
Oh, give me a friggin break...

The author has no more right to myspace.com/barackobama than a cybersquatter would have to www.barackobama.com.  He created the first "fan profile"...good for him.

I could create a nice Barack Obama profile on Myspace in about 15 minutes, and with a high-visibility URL it would similarly gather a large following.

Did he do any original reporting?  Or did he just post press releases and photos from the campaign and others?  That's about another 10 minutes each day.  Did he do anything other than let the profile sit there and gather critical mass as me-too tweeners joined each others' groups over the ensuing months?

Come on, folks.  Obama didn't "steal" anything.  He asked MySpace to give him the profile that was named "Barack Obama."  He had a right to ask and they were fully within their rights to acquiesce.

Come on, folks.  Where's the controversy here?  It's episodes like this that prove the blogosphere can sometimes be full of whiners who lack basic common sense and think the cyber world revolves around them.  I expect Obama to cater to the netroots, but it doesn't mean I have a right to the entirety of his online persona.  I'm glad the Obama campaign did the sensible thing and doesn't worship at the blogosphere's feet on this issue.

by GeckoBlue 2007-05-02 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

Gee, with all that money they saved by screwing around with the Myspace guy, the Obama campaign probably won't need my donations anymore.  Doesn't matter.  It was just a measly $25.  But it's still sad, because I'm sure I've got more than $25 in junk mail from them since my donation.  I'll miss that junk mail.

by Dumbo 2007-05-02 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I'm Switzerland in this thing. I can see both sides of it. I think the campaign realized that Joe was not able to manage the flow of traffic and was apparently getting some of the information wrong according to tech president. I think they had to do something because they are responsible for content and they did try to negotiate with him before finally going to MySpace and taking over. At the same time, I think the campaign should have handled it better and there may still be a chance to contact Joe and see if something can be done.

I have volunteered for a campaign before and you do start to feel like you're a part of the campaign staff, although it's called volunteering for a reason, but I would feel badly if I got cut loose.

by commoncents 2007-05-02 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

I am a voter who had not decided who to support just yet and I am an open minded republican and I was leaning towards Obama. This has definitely given me second thoughts. I would say you guys might want to think about the damage this situation is doing to your support from voters like me. I think we are a large group judging by the people that I work with. This is about much more than the 160,000 myspace friends wether they are unique or not and could actually be very harmful to the Obama campaign. The only way I can see myself voting for Obama now is if I find out this was completely done with out his knowledge and sice I would never vote for Edwards or Hillary this could very well have handed a vote back to the republican party.

by ewmorri 2007-05-02 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

This guy took it upon himself to take Control of Barack Obama's MySpace page. He presented the page as Barack Obama's MySpace page. When Obama found out he offered the guy a job. Anthony refused. Then he made a deal with Anthony that he could continue to administer Barack Obama's MySpace page as long as he (Obama) also had the password. This arrangement went well for some time, but as is the case with these things it stopped going well.

At that point Anthony changes the password to Barack Obama's MySpace page and attempts to extort 40 grand from the Obama campaign.

Now Obamas the bad guy for not giving in to an extortionist?

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Re: Obama blows into MySpace
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Re: Obama blows into MySpace

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Re: Obama blows into MySpace

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by wiliam6 2008-04-20 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama blows into MySpace

You know the sad part of all this is that Sen. Obama's campaign, at least out here in the real world, has been about promoting "grass roots" activists. This incident kinda make it look like just spin. To come to a grassroots activist and take away their site?  Could sure look mean spirited. I'm with the poster who wondered why they didn't hire the fella. Put his skills on the computer to work. Not take it over. Look I've been on some diaries where folks saying they were Sen. Obama supporters have bullied the commenters of Sen. Clinton. This was in the last two weeks. I can't imagine that Sen. Obama thinks this is okay. What do you think?

Tell truth. Sen. Clinton should ask him if he'd like to work for her.

I'm going to be watching this situation with interest.

Ya'll have a good day.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-12 10:35AM | 0 recs


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