Making a first swing at starting a presidential campaign on Reddit would be like Jimmy Carter starting his campaign in 1976 on CB radio. I was clued into this by a Reddit-watcher who noticed that a number of weird accounts were involved, such as:
Who showed up here:
(Is /u/AKVM a Lessig campaign worker?)
My source pointed out /u/1tudore, who had not used their account for over two years until a few months before the IAmA session was announced. Was he/she/it there for normal reasons, or were they a shill?
The number of reactivated and new accounts was shocking, such as /u/welshej talking to Lessig:
And when you look at the questioner:
If you look at the account, /u/welshej let it sit dormant for a year, posted something a year ago, and was posting one comment a month for the last seven months.
There were some people trying to reveal the truth, like /u/FuriousDark:
And people tried to laugh that off:
There were the jokers as well:
So was it all a fraud? Or were there enough fake accounts to "jumpstart" a conversation, just as Ohanian and Huffman used sockpuppets to start interest for Reddit on Reddit? It is pretty fitting that Jimmy Wales is the chairman of Lessig's campaign, because he used similar tactics to bulk up Wikipedia in 2001; taking articles from the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911), the 1899 Encyclopaedica Biblica, the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, and other public-domain reference books, rewriting them, and posting them helped build the site into the intellectual bedlam it is today.
Be seeing you.