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Why Do So Many Liberals "Like" Mitt Romney On Facebook? 376

Posted by samzenpus
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "Mother Jones reports that, 'In recent weeks, a host of liberal types have complained that their Facebook accounts have erroneously "liked" Romney's page, and some are floating the theory that the Romney campaign has deployed a virus or used other nefarious means to inflate the candidate's online stature. This conspiratorial notion has spawned a Facebook community forum, and its own page: "Hacked By Mitt Romney" (cute url: facebook.com/MittYouDidntBuildThat)' So what's going on? Is the Romney campaign engaging in some tech wizardry to hijack Americans' Facebook pages? Seems unlikely, but Romney did somehow manage to acquire millions of fake Twitter followers. But it looks like the Romney campaign isn't behind this one — Facebook and its mobile app is."
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Why Do So Many Liberals "Like" Mitt Romney On Facebook?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:50PM (#41621753)

    I'm pretty sure the folks just assumed they were liking a page about an android. Honest mistake, that's all.

    • by chill (34294)

      Are you saying they saw "If you Liked Al Gore, check out Mitt Romney" messages and just clicked?

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        I have found that just giving the option to click something on a computer compels some people to click things indiscriminately. It also works well with pre-checked check boxes on software installs and updates. Perhaps this is not far from the truth.

    • Re:Simple mix up (Score:5, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7&cornell,edu> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:21PM (#41622131) Homepage

      One other thing is, to participate on discussions on a page, you must "like" it.

      So some of those liberals that "like" him may have "liked" him for the purposes of trolling the page.

      • Re:Simple mix up (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:26PM (#41622187) Journal

        ...which makes this comment from one of TFAs twice as funny:
        “I’ve deleted 5 people,” one read. “This is the only place that I have any intolerance. If you like that dude, even just on the Internet, we are enemies. No apologies.”

        (Basically, if you facebook-like Romney, that guy considers you an enemy.)

        • Re:Simple mix up (Score:4, Interesting)

          by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:42PM (#41622361)
          Sad, funny, what's the difference? I've seen a lot of posts like that on FB, though... "I will unfriend anybody who [has a different opinion on politics]." Even when I agree with some point, I often post contradictory just to see if they follow up on it... and if they do, I'm better off for it.
          • Re:Simple mix up (Score:5, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:37PM (#41623181) Homepage Journal

            Sad, funny, what's the difference? I've seen a lot of posts like that on FB, though... "I will unfriend anybody who [has a different opinion on politics]."

            Not just politics. I'd bet that you'd find people who will unfriend anyone who has a different opinion on Bleach Subbed or the latest installment of Mass Effect.

            But to get back to the politics part, I saw this yesterday [balloon-juice.com] and your post reminded me of it. I can understand taking politics really seriously, but I've got enough in-laws from various parts of the former Yugoslavia to know that you can take the tribalism of politics way too far.

            We're all used to hearing one side call the other "insane" or "evil" or "the antichrist" or "inhuman" because our commercial media is full of that kind of stuff. But when you start seeing friends or family in those overheated terms because of their political views, it's a sure sign that you've let yourself be used by someone else's political agenda, pumped into your head by some media big-mouth.

            It's a shame that more people don't realize that the "other side" is mostly just scared.

        • by Sentrion (964745)

          Peace, Love, and F**K You B**CH

      • Re:Simple mix up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:04PM (#41622677) Homepage

        Several people have asked my why I "like" obama's facebook page even though I consider him a mass murder (for drone attacks), and have a litany of other issues with him (most of which apply just as well to Mitt, and I have no intention of voting for him either, I consider them equivalent candidates)

        The answer was always that....tthere is no dislike button and I can't troll the page without hitting like. That is also why I like a page on the assault weapons ban, not because I favor gun control, but because I want to argue with the people who do.

      • Re:Simple mix up (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rwa2 (4391) * on Thursday October 11, 2012 @05:02PM (#41623543) Homepage Journal

        One other thing is, to participate on discussions on a page, you must "like" it.

        So some of those liberals that "like" him may have "liked" him for the purposes of trolling the page.

        This.

        If you've ever been to either Obama's or Romney's page, all the comments are pretty much chock-full of hatin' from the other side.

        I worked for Microsoft Game Studios for a while and our FB page was pretty much the same way. It was kinda nice, because all of the trolls would hang out on FB and forums... where no one would read them except for other haters. Anyone who was actually playing our game would then be pretty much free to play online relatively unmolested by trolls in-game.

        Same thing with youtube... if it wasn't for youtube trolls, we'd probably have many more here :P

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          This is exactly like Huffington Post, when you are one amongst thousands even tens of thousands of posters do you think anyone is going to read it. It's a game, that just show the most recent post, give people the kick of seeing their own post and seconds latter the comment disappears in the backlog, while their page view remains the same with their comment still appearing. Go back a few minutes latter and it is buried in the comment avalanche.

          So it is all basically a web site draw card for suckers, fool

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Is not this whole thing already essentially explained by the fact that we keep putting "like" in quotes? Are people selectively forgetting that clicking "like" on Facebook is not equivalent to actually liking the thing you clicked "like" on? Just like putting a web page in your "Favorites" list in IE doesn't mean it is your favorite web page?

        Imagine it in the context of Junior High note passing:

        - Do you like me? Y/N

        - I "like" you

        - :(

    • There is something at work in Facebook. I have several times seen Facebook "Recommended for you" that I should "Like" Mitt's page. This is completely weird because I have never posted anything political one way or another on my Facebook page. I am not really an Obama supporter, but I cannot stand Mitt and would never "Like" him or his page. So, why would Facebook "Recommend" him for me? My tinfoil-hat theory is not something as nefarious as "hacking", but more likely someone paid someone at Facebook to

      • Re:Simple mix up (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:30PM (#41624653) Journal

        Gary Johnson has NEVER appeared as a "like" option in FB, even though I am a Libertarian. Those are Sponsored ads and my guess is that Gary Johnson is much better suited to the G+ crowd. The interesting thing is Mitt is also on G+ as is Obama, but I see more +Gary Johnson posts in the WHAT'S HOT section. Or is it just that I tune out Mitt Obama and Barack Romney crap?

      • by pkinetics (549289)

        With the amount of linked FB crap on the net, it doesn't take much to build your relationship data. Say you are on a website that has a discussion board. Say the article is about Romney. Say someone says something that disagrees with Romney and you click the Like button or Thumb Up, or make a comment. Well if the forum is linked with FB, it can send the recommendation to their data server. Which is then used to aggregate into your profile.

        All the more reason to block the xss stuff.

  • Issues (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oh Gawwd Peak Oil (1000227) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:50PM (#41621757)
    The thing is, Romney has been on every side of every issue. So there's something to like about him for everyone!
    • Re:Issues (Score:5, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:13PM (#41622029)

      That's the great thing about Romney as a presidential candidate: there are so many choices. I like moderate Mitt! I like severely conservative Mitt, with Spock's beard accessory! Collect them all!

      If pro-choice Mitt met pro-life Mitt, would there be an antimatter explosion?

      • If pro-choice Mitt met pro-life Mitt, would there be an antimitter explosion?

        FTFY

      • Re:Issues (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:13PM (#41622801) Journal

        Like any politician is any better? Gitmo was supposed to closed in January 2010. No tax increases, after the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare was a tax. Drone strikes increase 3-fold under Obama. The "most transparent government" said that Benghazi was a protest about a Youtube video, then admitted it was a terrorist attack and are now engaged in Newspeak, claiming they never said it was a protest about a Youtube video.

        WMDs in Iraq, Watergate, Iran-Contra, arming the Taliban in the 1980s, the list goes on and on.

        • by Raenex (947668)

          Like any politician is any better?

          Yes, almost any politician is. Mitt takes flip-flopping to a whole new level. I seriously have no idea what the man stands for besides getting elected, being rich, and being a Mormon.

    • by rlwhite (219604)

      He's an issue whore, aka a politician.

    • Re:Issues (Score:5, Funny)

      by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:16PM (#41622867) Homepage

      A liberal, a conservative and a moderate walk into a bar.

      The bartender says "Afternoon, Mitt! What can I get for you?"

  • by Kenja (541830) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:53PM (#41621787)
    except when he's not.
  • by domulys (1431537) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:58PM (#41621849)
    Some people "like" Romney only to get updates from his social media feed. Think of it as automated 'opposition research'. What Romney days one day, my neighbor repeats the next, so it gives me a leg up.
  • OK, so I do use Facebook. And yes, I am massively tired of the political ads. But, do I care who has "liked" either candidate? Or, more importantly, will that impact who I vote for; likely not.

    Or are we now in an age where the popularity of a candidate on Facebook now is part of how we determine the candidate's potential for office?

    I hope not, but am afraid it may be so.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Or are we now in an age where the popularity of a candidate on Facebook now is part of how we determine the candidate's potential for office?

      If people are buying fake Twitter followers, and talking about how many Facebook likes you have ... then someone seems to believe that's a valid metric.

      I bet it even bumped his Klout score. Which, again, someone believes means something.

  • Obligatory Sun Tzu (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cmiller173 (641510) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:05PM (#41621933)

    It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle. - Sun Tzu

    I'd be willing to be the Obama campaign has an account somewhere that has liked Mitt as well.

  • It seems like if you can not win, then simply cheat.
  • by ThorGod (456163) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:07PM (#41621961) Journal

    Perhaps they just wanted to see what his current platform was by viewing their wall.

    Also, it's routine for people to "challenge" the choices of others when those choices are apparently strong and rigid. Maybe some liberals "like" conservative topics/people as a way to show their friends that they've considered those topics/people.

  • What if one 'liked' both candidates and read their updates in order to make a better-informed decision come November? Nah - wouldn't happen. Cuz [sic] then all of your friends would see that you 'liked' the other guy, and would give you shit for making such a public preference. I would.

    Bless your heart. You must be one of these [hulu.com].

  • Maw: Who you gonna vote fer?
    Paw: I dunno, who you gonna vote fer?
    Maw: I think I'ma gonna vote fer Romney.
    Paw: Why you gonna do that?
    Maw: Well, people on Facebook like him.
    Paw: what about all those policies that you disagree with?
    Maw: Who cares about that? People on Facebook like him. That's what really matters.

  • Why "Like"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:12PM (#41622017)

    Why do I have friends on Facebook that "like" pepsi, amex, costco, walmart, etc...

    Why do they post religious jesus quotes in cheesy photos of angles or little girls praying, or images with stupid insperational quotes, or stupid photos of things to "like": Like if you don't want to kill kittens, etc...

    Tempted many times to simply post on my wall: "Seriously WTF is wrong with you people!"

  • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:14PM (#41622043)

    I have noticed a ton of my friends that "like" things I know they know nothing about.

    For example, a friend of mine that is a stay at home mom that can't use her iPhone "likes" Barracuda networks. When I asked her about this, she was clueless.

    I've also seen many other friends liking things that do not fit them at all. I mean, they shouldn't be even seeing ads for these things, so I don't buy TFA's assumption that these are fat-finger issues.

  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:15PM (#41622051)
    Zuckerberg is always dicking around with it looking for an angle. Maybe he wanted to give Romney a boost, just to see if he can.
  • If you use the number of "likes" (or any other information from Facebook) to make decisions of any kind...you might be a moron.

  • And I constantly hear about Obama because one of my friends "liked" him. Don't see much difference from the lame ads on youtube and pandora :P

  • by Kaenneth (82978) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:26PM (#41622183) Homepage Journal

    They add a Loathe button.

  • They don't understand it, so it must be witchcraft. Here's a solution. To get rid of the evil demons that inhabit your iPhone, simply bury it at a crossroads at midnight during a full moon. Problem solved.
  • hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Charliemopps (1157495)
    Lets see... most liberals have Iphones/Ipads
    Most Apple users consider themselves "Internet experts" and are really clueless ...
    Apple Maps ...
    They click to like the local farmers market/Headshop/Union headquarters...
    Apple maps has that listed as "Mit Romney!"
    Viola... mystery solved.
  • Like == Follow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustinKSU (517405) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:40PM (#41622331)
    I "Like" all my representatives regardless of party and whether or not I agree with them. In essence what I want to do is "follow" them so I can keep tabs on what my representative's PR machine is pumping out.
  • Cartoon [caglecartoons.com]

  • This is just a precursor to the election, when many liberals will also unknowingly vote for Romney- some of them several times.

  • The article mentions people that remove their friends if they like a particular candidate. That's actually pretty lame. If you remove me from your friends list for clicking some button on a social networking site, then you are an idiot douchebag asshole. After reading the summary and the article, I logged on to Facebook and immediately liked both Obama and Romney. Why did I do this?

    Because Fuck You. That's why.

  • Most likely they're confused about Sponsored posts appearing in their News Feed. Most of the time when I see posts from things I don't agree with they've been posts that were bought and paid for to appear in my feed. As I live in Florida and I've marked myself as an independent, I get both Romney and Obama posts in my feed even though I haven't "liked" either one. The worst are the local election ones that aren't as professional and look like some random spam bot or virus posting political crap.
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @03:59PM (#41622615)

    Because American "liberals" are closer to the conservatives in most other countries. There is no left-wing in the US anymore, only 50 shades of right.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:31PM (#41623075)

    "Like" in Facebook is used to indicate interest, as in "I'd like to see more stuff like this." So when someone says something like:

    “I’ve deleted 5 people, this is the only place that I have any intolerance. If you like that dude, even just on the Internet, we are enemies. No apologies.”

    It's basically a misunderstanding of what Facebook means when someone says they like something. This is a problem, because it's not easily resolved. You could add a "show me more stories like this" button, but that's not an action word so it's more confusing and doesn't evoke the same emotional response. You could add a "dislike" button, but then you have the question of how you interpret the dislike. Do you show them more things like that assuming they like to dislike it, or do you show them fewer assuming that they dislike disliking it.

    Does anyone else have any ideas about how you can resolve this and still retain an intuitive, uncluttered interface that people would want to use?

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