Supporters of Sarah Palin are again going to extraordinary lengths to shape opinion on the Internet — and this time, they may have actually broken the law.
Fans of the failed Republican vice presidential candidate reportedly hacked into the Twitter account of Crivella West, the company that created a database of 24,000 emails from Palin’s time as governor of Alaska for MSNBC’s website.
“Weiner’s America Or Palin’s America – That Is The 2012 Choice,” one tweet read.
“Daily Mail’s Wonderful Photo Essay On Palin/Trig As Email Witch-hunt Backfires,” another message said.
“Emails: Gov. Palin a Hard-Working Public Servant,” a third posting alleged.
“It appears that there is a ‘hole’ in one of the applications (we think Facebook) that links to Twitter,” Crivella West CEO Art Crivella told msnbc.com. “We’ve disabled them and mopped up the bile and changed all the passwords.”
“It appears that in this case ‘hacking’ means sending out spam tweets pretending to be us. I think real hackers might be offended,” he added.
Earlier this month, Palin supporters attempted to rewrite Paul Revere’s Wikipedia page to fit the tea party favorite’s mistaken version of events.
PoliticsUSA’s Sarah Jones noted in May that members of the conservative online message board Free Republic tried to tilt several Internet polls in Palin’s favor.
“I have removed and deleted the poll,” U.S Election News’ Jillian Curtain wrote after the survey was vandalized. “It has come to the point where we can not put her name in a poll. This is the third time that her fans have come, in extremely large numbers, from a single referring link, and skewed the results. This practice of poll hijacking, known as ‘freeping’, makes it extremely difficult to get an unbiased opinion from a general audience, and that is what we are after.”
While Palin hasn’t spoken out against the any of the Internet antics of her supporters, she did testify last year against a college student who was accused of hacking into her private email account.
“It’s not right, it’s not legal, it’s not fair and decent… I don’t think an illegal action like this was a college prank,” she told the court.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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