copy/paste comments on Trump's Facebook page?
January 31, 2017 6:42 PM   Subscribe

On Donald Trump's Facebook page,the top comments are repeated several times by different Facebook users. How is that orchestrated?

This is the page:

Are these "paid Facebook commenters?" Where are they receiving the comments from to copy and paste? Who writes the comments? I'm very curious.

Would this be in violation of FB regulations? Can we report it?
posted by bearette to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I don't know why the link didn't work; there it is above.
posted by bearette at 6:43 PM on January 31, 2017

I've seen this happen spontaneously in the right kind of noisy thread. All it takes is one person copy/pasting their own sentiment a few times before others start doing the same thing with either the same comments or their own. The fact that so much can be seen on his page suggests to me that there is a lot of other backlash noise being drowned out. There may also be FB groups organizing this sort of thing with suggested scripts.

It is annoying but assuming they are real accounts, then unless it is one's own page, I don't think it would be against Facebook guidelines. If they aren't real accounts, then maybe that gets into space FB is interested in regulating but I have my doubts about that, too. (Facebook has their moments as a company but at the end of the day, content and accounts = bread and butter.)
posted by juliplease at 7:15 PM on January 31, 2017

what's weird to me, though, is that the copy/paste comments are always the top seems suspicious. Also, they have a similar tone and are free of spelling and grammatical errors.
posted by bearette at 7:20 PM on January 31, 2017

What you and juliplease describe is known as "brigading." The clues are there: identical comments by different people and unexpectedly high ranking for each.

However, if you don't have access to the site's logs, it's difficult to confirm brigading.

If you do have access to the site's logs, you look for things like posters with the same IP address but different user names, or posters with the same browser specs (window size, OS version, browser version, etc. — there are so many different variables that your browser reveals that it's a fairly reliable way to fingerprint a user, even if they use a variety of different login names and IP addresses) posting the same comments under different names, or you even just look back at common incoming referrers, where you may see the actual brigade organizing itself on another site.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:30 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Or because of big-data funded zombie accounts? Relevant Guardian Article
posted by countrymod at 9:28 AM on February 26, 2017

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