From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Monday, February 18, 2013

#cdnpoli, pornbots and the attack on free speech

For political junkies like myself on Twitter #cdnpoli has been our home for some time. It is where we go to gather, discuss and argue the issues of the day, however that is becoming increasingly impossible of late as the hashtag has been taken over by pornbots.

Many of us have made entreaties to Twitter asking, nay, begging them to find a solution, but to no avail.This has led many to abandon the #cdnpoli hashtag altogether with the latest being the ever incisive Susan Delacourt

So in the end a space where citizens, journalists, academics  and  politicians could discuss the issues of the day among themselves has been stolen from us. Now while some feel this is a result of a direct attack on political speech I'm not so sure. To me it is likely a case of the spammers attaching themselves to a popular tag. However in the end the result is the same, our right to free speech has been curtailed. That this has happened at the hands of a bunch of pornographers, a group whose very existence relies on that very right is both ironic and tragic.


  1. The logic of spamming completely escapes me at times. What logic is there to pissing off your intended audience? Yes, I bet there are people that followed the #cdnpoli tag that enjoy pornography, but those same people wouldn't be using that tag to FIND pornography in the first place.

    Yeah I know, I'm trying to apply logic where none exists, it's a bad habit of mine.

    1. I always assume there is profit in it or they wouldn't bother,but then again it could just be a case of casting a wide net in the hope of catching a few fish

  2. Wouldn't it be more useful to crowdsource and determine where the spams originate from ?
    One would think a single beat cop assigned the case would immediately ask 'who benefits?'
    That's called 'motive' .. and then he or she would go looking for 'means' and 'opportunity'
    ... and finding the weapon and the perp never hurts ...

    My 50 cent bet ( I never gamble more than a buck) would be
    there's a connection via Ottawalberta .. and the reformed Conservative Party
    It will be firewalled off.. completely deniable .. seemingly as untraceable as
    uh.. tainted poutine.. from some unsuspecting Canadian's unprotected wifi.. or Tim Hortons wifi
    Apropos when you stop to think about it

    I've been looking at those tweets on occasion... as they seem so lazy
    Meant more to blur.. or add noyz .. disrupt .. and drive folks away..
    Does this not sound familiar ? Like 'Why vote.. if its already decided?'

    Do you really think The Harper Government and its foster mommy/daddy
    the Conservative Party of Canada are above this kind of mean spirited but effective tactic ?
    If you do believe this.. you'll be OK with being mugged on your way home ..
    because we're already being mugged while we are at home...

    The kind of extremely junior, low lifes pumping the tweet noyz
    will spill lickedey split re who hired them at 10.40 per hour
    and whomever hired them will also spill... uphill
    The crap is probably coming from south of the border..
    as the Conservative trogs think that's some kind of physical or legal border,
    like Niagara Falls or a moat ..

    1. I don't doubt doubt for a second that the Cons would stoop so low however I see these bots on many tags always seeming to appear and disappear along with trending which leads me to believe they're not involved although I wouldn't bet a single discontinued penny that I'm right