Recap: Larry Hogan’s astroturf


I noted last week that the campaign of Larry Hogan had a Google Hangout to discuss their plans to recruit supporters and volunteers to gin up comments online in support of Hogan. Specifically,   astroturf on the Hogan campaign’s Facebook page itself was mentioned (because of the lack of engagement there.) However, I noted that the efforts would likely be elsewhere online as well and I’ve noticed some of the people involved in the  effort ramping up their posting about Hogan since then.

Let’s sum up exactly what I mentioned before and include some questions:

  • The Hogan campaign is attempting to influence the discussion online on their own page (and elsewhere) by astroturfing seemingly organic comments from supporters.
  • There are plenty of organic ways a smart social media manager can increase engagement on a Facebook page without resorting to the Hogan methods detailed.
  • I also discussed the $6,454.85 the Hogan campaign spent in Facebook advertising just in 2 months and whether that advertising spending took place via Change Maryland before the campaign existed.
  • Those 87,000 Likes aren’t volunteers. They aren’t all voters. They aren’t all Hogan supporters.

I’ll be discussing some more of the campaign finance issues I mentioned in that post last week later on.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton