Fox News has this Internet thing down to a science. A wily science, but a science nonetheless. David Folkenflik, the NPR media reporter, writes in his book Murdoch’s World that Fox News’ public relations staffers used an array of fake accounts to leave pro-Fox News comments on articles that criticized the network.
An excerpt from Folkenflik’s book, via Media Matters:
Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account. Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins. Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations. Even blogs with minor followings were reviewed to ensure no claim went unchecked.
Insane. Also sort of hilarious.
We always thought that FBNY commenters BillOReillyisaGreatManandSaysOnlyFacts22 and WMDs4Life seemed oddly in favor of Fox News. Now we know the truth.