In the summer of 2012, the DC Beltway corporation No Labels tried to create the appearance of a grassroots movement sweeping across the country in support of tax cuts for corporations and social security cuts for people. Its tool: ConnectUs, a social network platform on which people could earn points by talking about the necessity of cuts to programs that help people, or by signing up other people to learn about the same. As I noted in the fall of 2012, despite the deployment of interns to create the appearance of activity very few Americans were participating in the No Labels ConnectUs effort.
Nearly a year after its launch, No Labels’ Connectus grassroots page continues to wither. 4 of the 5 most active accounts in the last day haven’t actually posted anything; they appear to be spam accounts with odd, apparently computer-generated names like “tlc064.” The other one of the 5 most active accounts is a spam account, too. It has successfully managed to post a piece of promotional text for a “split second promotional payday loan” linking to the website of a loan shark.
During its ambitious setup period, NoLabels created separate groups for each of the 50 states of the union. After receiving many e-mail messages soliciting my participation in the group for the state of Maine where I live, I joined up last year and have from time to time looked in to see if anything had been going on with the group. There hasn’t been a single substantive post there for more than three months. Since February, the only posts to the Maine group have been automated spam for:
- car transportation services
- air conditioning and heating equipment
- a fraudulent website hosting provider
- a fake free image source
- an advisory paper on elder care fraud, for sale
- a payday advance payment scam
- another payday advance payment scam
Fakery attracts fakery.