“The episode pits a feeling of ownership that on-line grass-roots activists may have for content they create in support of a candidate against a political campaign’s desire to keep strict control over the image it projects to voters.”
In our technologically advanced era where anyone may create a political site or initiate an on-line dialogue, tensions are running high as the ’08 candidates try and establish their public image. Case in point: MySpacer and former hard-core Obama supporter Joe Anthony. Details from this Chicago Tribune article are below:
*Anthony maintained an Obama MySpace page since 2004
*After Obama’s entrance to the presidential race was announced, the Obama campaign and Anthony (who already possessed a dedicated on-line fan base) worked together to develop a page that best reflected Obama’s policy and views
*Once the page grew in popularity and required more extensive maintenance, the issue of payment (on the part of Anthony) arose and tensions rose between Anthony and the Obama campaign
*Ultimately, Obama won ownership of the page, but lost the support of Anthony
I have no doubt that more instances such as this are going to crop up again, not only in the Obama campaign, but in the journey of each ’08 candidate.