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Obama's MySpace Drama

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the highway-robbery-i-won't-pay-it dept.

Democrats 483

fistfullast33l writes "TechPresident, which is covering the use of technology by Presidential Campaigns for 2008, has a very interesting article on how Obama's MySpace page is currently the subject of an underground battle for control by the campaign itself and the volunteer who created it in 2004. Joseph Anthony worked with the campaign initially and grew the site to include over 160,000 unsolicited friends that the campaign could use to reach out to. It currently is the main Obama page in the Impact Channel on MySpace. However, as Obama's campaign became more centralized and formal, the decision was made to attempt to acquire control of the site from Anthony. They asked him for a price, which he offered up as $49,000 plus part of the $10,000 fee paid to MySpace for the Impact Channel. Obama balked at the price, and decided to start afresh rather than pay the money. The fight broke out into the open when Anthony posted a response on his blog to rumors that the campaign was spreading regarding him wanting to cash out. MyDD has more."

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Onion. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18957981)

This article needs pics. [theonion.com]

Re:Onion. (-1, Flamebait)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958189)

"Hilary threatened by black man" - too true. At least he's electable, which is more than can be said for Hilary.

Flamebait? Come on (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958403)

I'm a staunch Democrat and feminist and I still think she's completely unelectable. She has no convictions and an obsession with power. She gives the impression that she would sway in the tiniest breeze, doing whatever she felt was popular at the moment.

God, remember when she was cool, and had convictions? National health care, remember that? Washington ruined that woman.

Re:Flamebait? Come on (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958499)

My greatest fear for the upcoming election is that she wins the Democratic nomination - and gets clobbered in the general election.

Obama's Space Drama (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957983)

Yeah, I was just reading the article about NASA and space-sex, so I misread the title. Reality is never as cool as my caffeine-deficient brain-damaged hallucinatory interpretation of reality. :(

Re:Obama's Space Drama (2, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958111)

See, I read the same thing. Except I read it as "Obama's Space Dream". I was rather disappointed when I realized there was a "My" in there. I might have considered voting for him if he had a good space plan. Instead I'm thinking of avoiding his Web 2.0-ness. There's too much crap in the world already to be having another President adding to it. :-/

Anyone have a better candidate for President? How about Steve Jobs? :-P

Re:Obama's Space Drama (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958271)

I read it as "Obama's Space Dream".
Hehe, me too. Then "Obama's MySpace Dream," and I thought, "well that's sad," and then I read what was actually there, and I thought, "That's sad. And dumb."

Anyone have a better candidate for President? How about Steve Jobs? :-P

I'm a Democrat from New Mexico. I like Bill Richardson. Obama has very little experience and Hillary is, well, Hillary. Richardson is centrist, fiscally responsible, has legislative and executive branch experience, and Hispanic. He has a better shot and would probably make a better president than either of the current Democratic front runners.

Re:Obama's Space Drama (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958423)

...and Hispanic

Hardly relevant. I don't vote for anyone based on race, or color, or heritage. Only his record counts. Ask him what he'll do about the war, the patriot act, and prohibition, and maybe IP law.

Re:Obama's Space Drama (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958565)

Race may not be relevant to you and I, but it appears to be for most Americans. The Republicans have been trying to appeal to the Hispanic voter for a while now, and doing a much better job at it than they are at swaying African-American voters. So an Hispanic candidate is a natural for the Dems, is all I'm saying.

Re:Obama's Space Drama (2, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958571)

I second Bill Richardson. As a former NM resident, I know how hard he worked/is working for the state, and the country. He has a broad depth of experience (foreign/domestic), can go toe-to-toe with anyone, and is frankly a lot easier to digest than your garden-variety Democrat. He seems to surround himself with good people too, which I think is half the trouble any President has -- the last few have been surrounded by "yes men".

Re:Obama's Space Drama (2, Insightful)

mattatwork (988481) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958137)

Couldn't Obama or his people send in the lawyers and ask the guy to take down the site or remove references on the guys site to being the official page? It seems like more of an issue with MySpace (and their parent company) than with If it's not a private account, they could just look at the guys friend list and try to recruit from his list....

If the guy didn't like having the account taken from him, he shouldn't have posed it as the official site. And if his claims that it wasn't about money aren't true, then where are the specific amounts of money coming from? This happens all the time with celebrities when someone cyber-squats on a domain name and then tries to sell it back to the celeb for big money....

Re:Obama's Space Drama (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958385)

Couldn't Obama or his people send in the lawyers and ask the guy to take down the site or remove references on the guys site to being the official page?
Actually, Anthony's page specifically states that it's NOT the official page.

And if his claims that it wasn't about money aren't true, then where are the specific amounts of money coming from?
The Obama campaign solicited a figure from him.

It's not a cut-and-dried case of squatting -- Anthony had actually worked with the campaign on the profile. The campaign had password access, so that they could maintain some kind of control over the content just-in-case.

It isn't about money, IMO. This guy built a significant amount of grassroots support for Obama, then found out that presidential politics is big business, and there's no room for the little guy. How would you feel if a 2.5 year labor of love was pulled out from underneath you? The campaign told him to make an offer... he did, based upon an approximated value of the time he spent on the profile this year. They scoffed, and went around him.

I don't blame the creator of the profile. I don't blame the Obama campaign, either -- centralized control is necessary for presidential campaigns today.

It's politics, sometimes people don't get what they want and feelings get hurt. Same as it ever was, same as it ever will be.

Re:Obama's Space Drama (3, Insightful)

lauchlinj (597515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958681)

I agree with your reply for the most part. The one thing that keeps getting overlooked by the majority of comments I've seen, is that Obama's campaign people asked Anthony to come up with a figure. If that figure was too much, the campaign people could have negotiated, instead of accusing him of blackmail. With all the unknowns here, I'd have to say, that a negotiation would've been better than the way this turned out.

Re:Obama's Space Drama (1)

g2devi (898503) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958833)

> I don't blame the creator of the profile. I don't blame the Obama campaign,
> either -- centralized control is necessary for presidential campaigns today.

Personally I don't see any drama here. Both are needed in politics and other areas (e.g. TV shows, Linux Distribution help, etc). The official site gives official information and the unofficial site gives speculation and material that an official "stuffy" site wouldn't be able to. If the unofficial site was made official, another unofficial site would ultimately spring up.

Re:Obama's Space Drama (1)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958477)

No if you're a political candidate you don't have control of your own image. Since you're a subject for legitimate public debate, you can't simply issue C&D letters to people, just the same way you can't sue people for reporting news about you that you don't like. Now if this guy was misrepresenting himself, and say taking people's donations as the Obama campaign, that's fraud, and a wholly different situation (and the damaged parties are the people making donations). But the Obama campaign doesn't have grounds to compel anyone to get this account, but MySpace seems to have taken their side on this (and there's not much that the guy can do 'bout it, since it's MySpace's data).

What did you expect? (3, Insightful)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958043)

The guy wants to be president. He's a politician. And now some guy is surprised he is up to dirty tricks? Politicians are all scum, no matter which flag they wave. Remeber: Poly = many, tick = small bloodsucking parasite.

Re:What did you expect? (3, Funny)

hsmith (818216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958105)

I am shocked and appalled that a politician is doing whatever they want, acting like they are better than the proletariat, and taking what they desire. This is America damn it! This is like fighting in the war room!

Re:What did you expect? (-1, Troll)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958239)

Even more surprising is that the guy is black, and myspace isn't a television.

Re:What did you expect? (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958165)

Seizing a volunteer's "fan site" seems kind of sleazy, but then having the most popular MySpace page for your candidate being controlled by a random person, and therefore having no control over the content yourself, is also politically unwise. What happens when Obama does something the volunteer doesn't like, and the volunteer decides to use his page to spread vicious rumours about the candidate? If the page has already gained popularity as the de facto Obama MySpace page, that could be very damaging.

On the other hand, the volunteer's decision to try and cash out rather than cooperate with the campaign is a little short-sighted. If he really thought Obama had a shot at winning, he might have been better served to work with the campaign, maintain their official page, and use that leverage to angle for a cushy government job when Obama got elected.

Re:What did you expect? (2, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958261)

the volunteer's decision to try and cash out rather than cooperate with the campaign is a little short-sighted. If he really thought Obama had a shot at winning, he might have been better served to work with the campaign, maintain their official page

Your comment mangles what really is going on here. The guy asked for compensation and to become a paid consultant to the campaign. The campaign countered by saying they wanted a one time payment and full control. He gave them an offer and they balked. He's been cooperating with them all along, but the minute he suggested some kind of compensation, it got ugly. Of course, it's not clear what compensation he asked for initially, but the lump sum was the campaign's idea.

Re:What did you expect? (1, Troll)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958419)

I think it's pretty scummy to create a "campaign site" to support a candidate, and then try to extort money from the campaign that you're ostensibly supporting.

Re:What did you expect? (4, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958555)

Candidates spend billions on campaigning. What the FUCK do you think they spend all that on? Asking for money is the only sane thing to do in this situation.

That's beside the fact that numerous posters already explained that he isn't extorting anything. $49k for a good portion of 2.5 years of work is cheap. Do you think the rest of his upper-level campaigners are working for free? They may not be getting cash now, but you better believe they expect 6-figure salary jobs in the Administration when he's elected. That, or government contracts or some other form of power/money.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958753)

Yeah. They're doing an agreed-upon job for an agreed-upon salary. You can't just do a bunch of work on your own accord and then say, "now pay me or else" without looking like a scumbag.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958293)

What happens when Obama does something the volunteer doesn't like, and the volunteer decides to use his page to spread vicious rumours about the candidate?

You don't know the power of the Dark Side...

Republicrats are all the same. (4, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958491)

On the other hand, the volunteer's decision to try and cash out rather than cooperate with the campaign is a little short-sighted. If he really thought Obama had a shot at winning, he might have been better served to work with the campaign, maintain their official page, and use that leverage to angle for a cushy government job when Obama got elected.

Except that they made it clear to him that he would NOT be part of the future of the page. The one time payment was just a trap, and the guy fell for it. No matter how crooked they were in going about it, they can destroy his credibility by saying he was just in it for the cash. Even if he had said no to the payment offer, they would have muscled him out one way or another.

The polite thing to do would have been to split the different and give the guy some chump change for his costs and an invite to a few events as a special contributor. Would a few dinners really dent that $28 million dollar campaign?

Anyways, who cares. Obama is nothing more than a republicrat. He's riding the Bush bashing coat tails like all of the democrats but he hasn't shown anything of substance for how he is going to do things better on his watch. Preaching to the choir that Bush sucks is great and all, but what does he actually bring to the table? 4 more years of political foot play at the tax payers' expense.

Nah, if you want real change... Gore/Edwards in '08, now THAT would be an exciting 4 years.

-Rick

Re:What did you expect? (5, Insightful)

Logger (9214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958539)

Short-sighted is to give a guy who probably has no idea what his effort was worth 24 hours to come up with a price, and then not at least try to negotiate. He shoots in the dark a $50k price. For a year of work that has been that effective as it has, that's a bargain compared to how much ineffective money is spent on political TV ads.

Then instead of providing a counter offer, they simply accuse him of profitering and proceed to hijack the site from him. That is short sited anyway you look at. They are doing this because they thought he's an individual nobody. What could he possibly do to retaliate (read "typical big guy squish little guy think"). And now they are getting bad press because of it (read "short-sighted"). He's already sustained his loss (MySpace page was hijacked) which won't change his life really. They are only now going to begin to discover the loss to there credibility, which could potentially be very damaging. (Well, for the few people that are naive enough to give any credibitlity to any candidate.)

Re:What did you expect? (1)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958669)

If the page has already gained popularity as the de facto Obama MySpace page, that could be very damaging.

You talk as if MySpace = "The Internet". I realize that "the clueless majority" believe Web+Email = "The Internet", but when did the non-MySpace part of the web become irrelevant?

I, for one, still think that the official web site for the campaign should have a URL like www.BarackObama2008.org rather than www.myspace.com/barackobama. I wouldn't expect a MySpace page to be official any more than I'd expect a Wikipedia article to be official.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958207)

The guy wants to be president. He's a politician. And now some guy is surprised he is up to dirty tricks?

What's the dirty trick? He spent his own money to make a myspace site. Candidate tells him great job, I'd like to centralize control of the thing, I'll buy it off you for your trouble. Guy names rather high number. Candidate tells him to forget it, and starts his own myspace page from scratch. Which is his right to do.

So what's the issue here? Guy gets greedy, and/or overestimates his own value, and loses?

Re:What did you expect? (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958467)

So what's the issue here?

You obviously didn't RTFAs. The Obama campaign literally STOLE his myspace account from him. If they had just agreed to part company, there would be no issue.

Re:What did you expect? (2, Insightful)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958513)

RTFA, but I guess thats just asking too much. The dirty trick is that the Obama crowd wrested control of the guy's myspace account without his consent. What if I put up a myspace page stating Obama should *never* become president, and they don't like it. Will that get taken over as well?

Re:What did you expect? (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958587)

What's the dirty trick? He spent his own money to make a myspace site. Candidate tells him great job, I'd like to centralize control of the thing, I'll buy it off you for your trouble. Guy names rather high number. Candidate tells him to forget it, and starts his own myspace page from scratch. Which is his right to do.

So what's the issue here? Guy gets greedy, and/or overestimates his own value, and loses?
The issue is not that the Obama campaign started up its own site (that's fair game) but that they convinced MySpace to disable Anthony's access to the site he created and redirect the URL to the new Obama campaign site. When Anthony balked at this (rightfully so) MySpace offered to give back the content to him, but at a different URL.

Imagine if you had registered obamarocks.com and gained the support of hundreds of thousands of individuals for Obama. The campaign team gets interested, offers to buy you out, you don't agree on the details, so they convince ICANN to take the domain from you and in return they register obamaisgood.com and let you use that instead. What good is a URL that nobody knows about given that you spent years building up traffic to the one you originally created?
 

Re:What did you expect? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958651)

How did this get insightful?

The issue is that the campaign team didn't want to pay for the URL and now MySpace took it away from him forcefully when requested by the campaign team. That's not fair: if they didn't want to buy the site, they should have just started their own, and let Anthony keep his site.

This is an instance of "either you give it to us on our terms, or we'll take it away from you". It's shameful that MySpace takes part in this (but I don't think it surprises anyone).

Mods, PLEASE double check parent (1, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958825)

What's the dirty trick?
Read my sibling comments; the dirty trick is that they took his Myspace URL from him (which presumably includes the majority of the traffic)! The parent comment is neither interesting nor insightful as it completely ignores this, the most important fact of the case.

It is very possible that Obama is not at fault here: I would guess that this is all the unilateral action of an evil campaign aid. However, I must agree with the grandparent: politicians (or at least the dirty little henchman that skulk around them) are complete scum.

Re:What did you expect? (2, Funny)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958455)

Politicians are all scum, no matter which flag they wave. Remeber: Poly = many, tick = small bloodsucking parasite.

I completely agree. Politicians are horrible. Why can't we go back to the good old days before annoying campaigns and bothersome voting. I just want to be told what to do by clergy and nobility, and have the strength to be able to do it. Why bother thinking?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958585)

It doesn't have to be as black and white like that, and stating your argument in that way is a fallacy. We can look for ways to keep them honest (like, freedom to criticise, exactly what is going here) and ways to ensure that they keep doing the right thing. You are pulling assumptions out of thin air that are in no way related to my statement.

If you vote for me...... (5, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958045)

If you vote for me in 08, I'll do everything in my power to keep politicians off Myspace *crowd cheers*

Re:If you vote for me...... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958461)

Vote for me, and I'll set you free [sing365.com]

Scum? (1, Redundant)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958091)

Give me a break ... some guy wants to charge him 49 K plus to get his name back ... i wouldn't pay that either!

Not Scum (5, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958173)

Are you kidding me? He's not charging $49k to give the name back - he started the site as a supporter of Obama 2 freakin years ago, not knowing that Obama would run for president. Now, the campaign wants to take control of his profile page and they asked him to come up with a rough sum rather than hire him as a campaign contributer.

This is a lot like Valve and the mods that came out of Half Life. Valve in that case hired the Counterstrike and DoD teams and gave them jobs. Obama decided they didn't want to do that and instead asked the guy to come up with a sum of money. As MyDD points out, it's roughly 32 cents per friend. That's not too shabby considering how much money they throw away on consultants. And it's only a one time payment. For a campaign that just raised $26 million, to balk at $50,000 is pretty crazy in my opinion.

Re:Not Scum (1, Troll)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958375)

He's not charging $49k to give the name back - he started the site as a supporter of Obama 2 freakin years ago, not knowing that Obama would run for president.

I seriously doubt that he didn't realize Obama might run some day [tnr.com] . From the moment this guy showed up on the political radar in Washington, D.C., people have been saying he's got the makings of a President. If not, no one would have ever heard of him. And now this guy, for better or worse, is trying to get his piece of the pie. Frankly, Obama should just pay the money and get it over with, before this becomes some kind of distraction or worse, heavily over-hyped media incident that hurts the campaign (remember Howard Dean's war whoop?!?).

Re:Scum? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958329)

Give me a break ... some guy wants to charge him 49 K plus to get his name back ... i wouldn't pay that either!

That's peanuts to pay in return for taking control of a project that has already done what tens of millions of dollars couldn't do in terms of gathering publicity. The volunteer who created the site was perfectly happy to run it as a "non-official" site with no connection to the campaign. If you read his blog, you'll see that he was not happy with part of the direction that the campaign wanted to move in with respect to the site, and he was willing to either let them pay him a small token for all the work he's put into it over the last three years, or create their own site and let him maintain his as the "official" site. You need to look at the situation very clearly. While it's understandable that Obama's campaign would not want a "fan" site out there that they didn't have control over, it's also clear that the volunteer who created this site was the true owner. It was his money and effort invested in it. Regardless of what they wanted, the campaign had absolutely no right whatsoever to take over the site. What they did was convince Myspace to lock the volunteer out of the profile, and then create a redirect to a new profile that they had control over. This is horrible in too many ways to imagine. I hear everybody complain about the tactics of the current administration that is in office. If you think what's happening now is bad, just imagine what happens if Obama gets into office!! If he's pulling stuff like this BEFORE he's elected, imagine how it will be once he's "safely" in office. I think the net proceeds of this act are clear:
  • Give Myspace the hardest time possible for complying with this. Never trust them again.
  • Clinton is the candidate of choice for the democrats.

Definitely Not Scum (2, Informative)

mauriatm (531406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958343)

You're not a presidential hopeful with millions in campaign money in your pocket.

Read the techPresident link:
http://www.techpresident.com/node/301 [techpresident.com]

This is Joe Anthony.

This is not blackmail and I'm not a "squatter".

They wanted the profile and asked me to propose a fee, and indicated that Myspace was ok with this. I have no experience making such proposals and had no idea what to ask for.

I proposed a fee, and now they're accusing me of looking for a "big payday".

This is not blackmail. This is not me cashing in on the profile.

I do not believe that one person on that profile, who has personally witnessed the close personal attention I've dedicated to this community since 2004 would disagree with this.


There is some sincerity. Everyone sees $49,000 and just jumps to conclusions. He's being asked for a number to give up 2.5 years worth of work. And he told the truth. Apparently the Obama team didn't even bother with negotiating at all. They ignored him and took the high handed approach. Very disrespectful.

50K doesn't seem that much I guess... (4, Insightful)

GMO (209499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958095)

And if, as he claims, they suggested a one-time fee, and then rejected his offer as an attempt to moneygrab, that is sneaky.

But why would you need money for this, anyway? Compenstation for work already done?

Anyway, considering the millions raised for campaigning, 50,000 is not so much.

Re:50K doesn't seem that much I guess... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958335)

It's an old trick used by companies to get rid of cybersquatters - ask the squatter how much they want for the domain, and then when they name a price, claim they're "acting in bad faith".

160,000 friends? (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958617)

In the myspace linked above I'm seeing 17,071 friends. Thats quite a few less than 160,000.....

Play Nice Kids (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958117)

I would certainly hope the Obama camp understands that anything affecting anyone's main presence on the internet will end up all over the internet.

crazy (2, Interesting)

cpearson (809811) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958125)

It is hard to believe any Myspace account could be worth that much.

Re:crazy (1)

Jester998 (156179) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958577)

It's hard to believe anything on MySpace (including MySpace itself) is worth that much.

Re:crazy (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958701)

I don't know. That's only 30 cents a friend. I don't think the economic value of my myspace friends would be quite that high, but I'm only trying to sell a few tunes... he's trying to become President of the United States of America.

404 Not Found (2, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958147)

Well, Anthony's comment has already been removed, along with the "page missing page".

This is what happens (3, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958155)

This is what happens when an idealist gets mixed up with politics.

They say politics is like sausage. You can't simultaneously appreciate the taste of sausage and know how it's made.

Re:This is what happens (2, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958751)

They say politics is like sausage. You can't simultaneously appreciate the taste of sausage and know how it's made.


Unless you are a realist. (?!)

Welcome to the real world, step right in!

$19 Million on Hand ... (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958163)

So, Obama has $19 million on hand from fund raising and donations [opensecrets.org] and he can't drop a year's salary to this guy for the work he's done maintaining a MySpace site? And if the guy invested $10k of his own money on good faith that it would help the campaign ... I'm shocked that he's not asking for more. I mean, isn't that chump change to Obama? And doesn't Obama have to dispose of that money before the election otherwise it's gotta go to charity (I'm not a politician, I forget the rules of soft money).

I'm getting the feeling that I'm not hearing the whole story here. Nobody's doing anything wrong though, this is clear cut capitalism. The man has the only supply for the product ... Obama's campaign managers didn't like it so decided to make their own. Interesting drama but not really news.

Re:$19 Million on Hand ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958415)

Nobody's doing anything wrong though, this is clear cut capitalism. The man has the only supply for the product ... Obama's campaign managers didn't like it so decided to make their own. Interesting drama but not really news.
From the article

Finally, Chris from the campaign emailed me, indicating that Myspace needed my consent to give them access to the profile. I replied that Mypace did not have my consent to grant access to the profile to anyone. An hour or so later, I was blocked from the profile and the content was altered to redirect traffic to the new, "Official" profile. Myspace has in fact granted access to the profile without my permission.
Sounds to me like they stole his profile, I'd call that wrong. Not that they went ahead and just started a new one and let his be the "Unoffical" one they used their power to snake it away from him.

Re:$19 Million on Hand ... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958465)

Agreed. The MySpace page is peripheral to the campaign, and while it's not in his best interest to ignore it (lest negative information be published about him), the fact is, if he makes too big a stink about this, it could become a media/Internet circus. He can run his own web site and in the meantime just keep the guy happy; what's 50K USD at this point?

You ever get the feeling that the Presidential campaign starts wayyyyyyy too early?

Re:$19 Million on Hand ... (3, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958709)

So, Obama has $19 million on hand from fund raising and donations and he can't drop a year's salary to this guy for the work he's done maintaining a MySpace site? And if the guy invested $10k of his own money on good faith that it would help the campaign ... I'm shocked that he's not asking for more. I mean, isn't that chump change to Obama? And doesn't Obama have to dispose of that money before the election otherwise it's gotta go to charity (I'm not a politician, I forget the rules of soft money).

It is about principles. I have done alot of grunt work for a political party in Sweden, maybe it is different for the Democrats in the US, but in general, you don't get paid. You do it on your own free will because you want your party to succeed. A select few functionaries get paid, usually the minimum salary for their competence level possible and are still expected to do lots of volunteer work. I would be surprised if any of all the telemarketers that do the real work in Obama's fundraising campaign are paid anything above the minimum wage.

Only when you get higher up in the party hiearchy can you expect to earn a decent living doing political work. But even then you are severly underpaid compared to what you can earn in other sectors. Even Bush and his appointed staff could probably earn a much higher salary working for a private company than working for the US.

From that point of view, it really does not make sense that this person should be able to cash in on his volunteer work while thousands of other volunteer worker gets nothing. Sure, give him back his 10 grand he invested, but he really can not and should not expect to be able to earn money doing volunteer work.

Who Reads Politician's Web Site to Get the Facts? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958179)

Which moron reads the web site dedicated for a politician to get the facts about the politician? You just know that the web site is 100% spin.

If you want the facts about the politician, then look at this voting record. His past voting record will indicate how he will future in the future.

By the way, the best candidate for president is Ron Owens, talk-show host on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.

Re:Who Reads Politician's Web Site to Get the Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958533)

This is America, damnit! Dont confuse me with the fucking facts about "voting reocrds" and "political stances". I, like almost all normal Americans, only care about what a presidential candidate can promise me, by-gones be damned!

Re:Who Reads Politician's Web Site to Get the Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958561)

You misspelled "Paul", and he's a doctor(gynecologist to be precise).

Re:Who Reads Politician's Web Site to Get the Fact (0, Flamebait)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958603)

Except with Obama, there isn't much of a voting record to look at.

He was a STATE senator for Illinois when he was made an instant celebrity by being allowed to make the keynote at the '04 convention. He's basically a stuffed shirt with barely any political experience, and no executive experience whatsoever. It makes him very attractive in the early running because he doesn't have a lot of bad past decisions to run away from the way any experienced politician would, but in the long haul the Shrill Harpie from Little Rock... er... I mean New York... is going to mop the floor with him.

After all, she's a second-term US Senator who also has 8 years experience of telling the President what to do.

I don't know what's scarier, the fact that the Democrat race is shaping up to be these two and the Breck Girl, or that the Republican race is down to the Crazy-Go-Nuts Former POW, the Drag Queen Mayor, and the Book-of-Mormon Thumper.

Out of the six, I'm narrowly leaning towards the Drag Queen Mayor... but praying for SOMEBODY better to come along than these six freaks. I don't care which party. Just find me a candidate I can actually be HAPPY about supporting. Is that so much to ask?

Re:Who Reads Politician's Web Site to Get the Fact (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958629)

You could say the same about campaign ads on television, and radio, and newspapers, and the candidate's own speeches, etc.. In all things, and especially where politics are concerned, the "official" sources aren't the balanced sources.

Hell, if this one kid I went to kindergarten with ever finds my website, he might notice that my official bio fails to mention the time I bit him really hard on the arm, and got suspended for it. And I'm not even a politician!

(In my defense, the little bastard took my crayon.)

And? (1)

ShawnPrend (1096383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958181)

I don't see why it is so shocking that someone doesn't want to spend $50,000 to get their name back on myspace. Sure he gets a lot of money throughout the campaign, but that doesn't mean that he can go and piss it away on his myspace account. I must be missing something as to why this is a bad thing, it's someone trying to make some money off someone elses misfortune.

Re:And? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958389)

The news here (for me) is that people are paying MySpace money of a page.

Nice (0, Flamebait)

pickyouupatnine (901260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958185)

I can see this one spinning well on the popular news channels.

Let's hope Democrats continue to screwup! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958187)

Here's to hoping that the Democrats have learned nothing from the 2004 election failure with Kerry. I can think of nothing better then the 2 top candidates attacking each other and then one of them paying back a strong supporter with underhanded tactics like Obama and MySpace.

So far I haven't seen one Democrat hopefully worth the cost of the bullet for some patriot to remove them if they somehow managed to get elected.

The true Obana makes a showing (5, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958203)

Let this be a lesson. These people are no better than the ones they want to replace. I know I'm talking to the hand, But it has to be said. You have a choice. Make it a good one. If you all want change, then you have to bring it about. The standard bearers of the status quo won't do it for you.

Mod Parent Up (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958713)

The most insightful thing I've read in a long time.

I can see both sides. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958209)

From his prospective he was doing nothing but helping, and if others were just going to swoop in and take his work with a handshake and a wave, there is a little matter of compensation. I know I like to be paid and recognized for my serious efforts. But at the same time, it's not his name, it's not his reputation, and it's not his ass at the end of the day in a political process that's extremely unforgiving involving at times an unsophisticated audiance. The happy medium that avoids all this, is if he makes his politically oriented activist myspace page using his name, not trading on Obama's. Sure, he's invested time and money in that profile. A lot. But what made it work, the time and money invested in Obama's name? We'll never know the splits in the yield in two camps investments, because he didn't make the page about him, his thoughts, his efforts. So it ends up being unfair to everyone to some degree.

Lessons learned... (1)

AP2k (991160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958215)

MySpace needs to be taught a lesson like Mayday Digg.

What a slimeball! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958217)

Raises 26 Million [motherjones.com] , jerks a guy around who's been helping him for free, and then just takes what he wants. Do you want that for a "democrat" leader (you know, looking out for the little guy?). If the guy's not even bright enough to lie convincingly, how the hell does he think he's going to get elected?

How is this different? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958231)

Company discovers there is an individual that created some kind of web presence. Company does not like the content or direction of said web presence. Company tries to work with individual, gets nowhere.

Today the usual outcome is a lawsuit which usually ends up going nowhere. Someone eventually gives up and throws in the towel, usually after both sides have spent plenty of money on advertising, lawyers, PR and whatnot.

How this is resolved offline is very simple because we've had a thousand years of history where Store A puts up a sign saying McDoonalds next to Store B that already had a sign saying McDonalds. There are plenty of cases to look at where this has happened and one side can claim ownership and the other side is clearly the loser.

While politicians could be considered a little different than commercial trademarks, it really isn't that much different and would be decided along similar lines in physical space. Just try to register a corporation called McDoonalds for the business of selling hamburgers in any state. Not going to happen.

Why all of this stuff has to be subjected to lengthy litigation when it happens online escapes me completely. How it is so completely messed up online is absurd. Could I register McDoonalds.com? Absolutely, if it wasn't taken. How much did it cost McDonalds to register every single misspelling of McDonalds just to prevent this from happening? Why was it necessary for them to do this when offline it couldn't have been an issue, and couldn't have been since probably 1700 AD? Maybe since 1700 BC.

Re:How is this different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958623)

How much did it cost McDonalds to register every single misspelling of McDonalds just to prevent this from happening? Why was it necessary for them to do this when offline it couldn't have been an issue, and couldn't have been since probably 1700 AD? Maybe since 1700 BC.
_______________________________

I think you misspelled McDowell's, and that's a Golden Arch...

Re:How is this different? (0, Flamebait)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958725)

You are a fucking idiot. Actually, this is slashdot. You've probably never fucked anything but your hand.

This is different because the official campaign has been working with him from day one. This isn't so new site that became popular overnight. As usual, a politician stole from a citizen who he is supposed to represent. In *that* sense, there is no news.

This whole story is just another proof that only a dead and dismembered politician is a good one.

Trouble at the polls.. (4, Funny)

madsheep (984404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958235)

Yep.. big trouble a brewing at the polls because of this. If Obama can't reach out to those tens of thousands of 14-17 year olds and the tens of thousands of 18 to 20-somethings that aren't registered to vote on his MySpace.. what will he do? This may turn to political ruin for him. :(

Re:Trouble at the polls.. (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958449)

There may be a perception that MySpace is a teenage playground, but the majority of users are over 30, and that has been the case for more than a year now. Try to keep up.

Re:Trouble at the polls.. (1)

madsheep (984404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958777)

OK I'll try to keep up. Thanks for pointing this ou. CORRECTION TO ORIGINAL POST: and the 30-something plus that aren't registered to vote. Thanks.

Go figure... (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958243)

A dumbass politician paying tons of money to promote himself to a pool of young and naive voters. Be still my beating heart.

Why Exactly Do We Care About This? (3, Funny)

Petersko (564140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958245)

Seriously, what's the point? There isn't enough evil in here to make it interesting.

Re:Why Exactly Do We Care About This? (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958459)

Yeah, to make it Truly Evil Obama would wait until he is elected, then arrest the guy under the Patriot Act.

Hold on a sec - I have a phone call - Karl Rove is on the phone asking me for advice ....

Scumbags (-1, Troll)

d-compiled (1096491) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958255)

Most politicians lie through their teeth to get into office; saying one thing and doing another. However, that doesn't justify extorting money from political candidates. When this greedy POS doesn't get his $50,000, I bet he'll change tactics to smearing Obama instead.

Re:Scumbags (5, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958563)

You did not read the article at all did you?

This is some guys personal web site, that favored Obama. He set it up YEARS before Obama was announced he was in the presidential race.

Did he ask for money? NO.

This was his baby, his project to help Obama.

Then some low level staffer says "HEY, I like your idea, only I want to run it."

He responds: "No thank you, this mine. Go make your own".

Low level greedy staffer responds "I am one laze SOB. I don't want to do the work, I just want the credit. How much to buy your work?"

Honest, hard working guy responds "Well, if the Obama campaing really wants my personal Pro Obama web site, I could sell it to you. It cost me $10 grand in outright cash, and more than 3 years worth of work. If you really don't want me to run my web site anymore, and want to run it yourself, I'll give it to you for a measily 50 grand."

Read the article first, instead of getting all huffy about who did what.

Remember Obama (2, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958341)

Obama voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act. That is unforgivable, and he deserves nothing but contempt for it. To consider him as worthy is a mistake. If you want freedom, then vote for somebody who wants to protect it, unconditionally.

The amusing irony in all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958369)

... is that B. Hussien Obama is clamoring for a place in a media holding of News Corp. You know, the company that owns Fox News that the democrats are boycotting.

Why should he buy it ? (1)

Aliriza (1094599) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958421)

It is Mr Obama's decision to buy the Myspace Page , if Joseph Antony is a volunteer he should only take the expences.Or he had to make an aggrement with the campaign directors before if he wanted more money. Mr Obama has the right to create his own page just as everybody else.

Re:Why should he buy it ? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958793)

If Obama didn't want to buy it, that would have been a non-story. However, he also stole the profile, and thus indirectly, the site from its owner. Like every other politician, Obama deserves torture and death.

Don't you love Politicains (1, Insightful)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958425)

So lets break this down, a guy makes a myspace profile for some american political party. He spends a fair bit of his own money on the project. The campaign team make it known their interested in it but are such complete jerks about the transfer (last minute cancelling phone conferences,etc...) that when someone mentions the idea of a fee he jumps at it. When the refused any idea of financial re-embusement for his work they stole the account. One wonders if there is a data protection act in America since expearence in the UK would lead me to think this would be a violation (you can't access an account unless you are the account holder.)

He's not a money grabber, I can understand his point of view if I worked hard on something finally got some recognition and then got treated in a similar way as he did I'd want a 'symbol' for my efforts.

Re:Don't you love Politicains (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958581)

a guy makes a myspace profile for some american political party

Incorrect.

He spends a fair bit of his own money on the project.

Correct.

The campaign team make it known their interested in it

Correct.

but are such complete jerks about the transfer (last minute cancelling phone conferences,etc...) that when someone mentions the idea of a fee he jumps at it.

Correct.

When the refused any idea of financial re-embusement for his work they stole the account.

Incorrect.

Re:Don't you love Politicains (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958785)

Sorry, having read all the links, he made a Myspace profile for this presidential candidate because he was moved by the guys speech. It was labelled as unofficial and if you read the campaigns side of the story you'll see they admit to working with him. He made the profile to promote the party, who later used it.

The campaign group suggested a one time payment for the profile, he made a suggestion which he felt fair and detailed it in a profile when they rejected it completely and informed myspace they wanted the domain and took it, it effectivily takes the account because 90% of myspace people are going to have the page bookmarked not the account, he still has his profile.

Happy? Personnally I like actually adding to the discussion myself you should try it

modd 3own (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958427)

out how to make the today. It's ab0ut server crashes DoN't be a sling

Campaign duped the guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958453)

It's a clever trick folks use to grab domains all the time. Ask the person for a price, then point the finger at him saying he's an extortionist. Poor kid, welcome to politics.

Character (3, Insightful)

outlander78 (527836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958481)

This shows Obama's character pretty clearly. He apparently has a sense of entitlement and lacks gratitude for those who supported him early on. Keep it in mind if you find yourself looking at a ballot with his name on it.

Re:Character (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958557)

YA RLY cuz like the others are just so much better.

Newsflash, Meridith, it's all just a big crapshoot, so why not vote for the person most likely to entertain you.

Any serious policy happens in the house anyways. Amongst the 1000s of senators who run the country.

Tom

Re:Character (1)

Keys1337 (1002612) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958817)

Ahh, I never learned about the 1000s of senators before.

Obama's Blunder (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958495)

Obama's fantasy is to force his moral code on the rest of us. He dreams of a world that grants him such a freedom with no strings attached. Welcome to the world of nonrepresentationalism! In that nightmare world it has long since been forgotten that I wouldn't judge Obama's allies too harshly. They're indeed just cannon fodder for Obama's plot to retain an institution which, twist and turn as you like, is and remains a disgrace to humanity. Obama says that we're supposed to shut up and smile when he says rummy things. But then he turns around and says that a totalitarian dictatorship is the best form of government we could possibly have. You know, you can't have it both ways, Obama. Sen. Barack Obama stands out as the king of Planet Superficial. Do give that some thought.

Re:Obama's Blunder (4, Funny)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958667)

Your comment read like total gibberish, so I decided to translate it to german and back using babelfish, in hopes that this would make it more readable. I've shared below the results of this experiment, I believe that it has drastically improved the readability of the comment: Fantasy Obamas is to force its moral code on the remainder of us. He dreams about a world, which grants him such a liberty without the appropriate character strings. Welcomely to the world of nonrepresentationalism! In this nightmare world it had been for a long time forgotten that I would judge not allied Obamas too roughly. They are indeed fair cannon fodder, so that Plot Obamas keeps an institute, those, torsion and revolution, as you like, are and remain a dishonor to the humanity. Obama says that we are to close and smile above, if he says rummy things. But then it turns and says that a totalitarian dictatorship is the best form of the government, which we could perhaps have. They know, you cannot not them have both ways, Obama. Sensor. Barack Obama stands out as the king of the planet superficially. Give to that something thought.

Duuuh, Obama's a Democrat (0, Troll)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958501)

Everyone knows Democrats like Obama are for wealth redistribution. This guy's just getting an early taste.

Schwa? (1)

McGurk (661578) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958543)

Drama? On MySpace? How long until Obama starts camwhoring?

Foolish (4, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958609)

Way back in the day, I built a web site around the Ultima series of computer games. Much of it was scanned copies of Origin Systems' artwork though it also contained walkthroughs, hints and similar fan-supplied stuff from various authors. I'm a big fan of the games, so I built the web site in that vein. It became the central source of information about the Ultima games on the web.

After a while, Origin came along and asked how much I'd be willing to sell it to them for. My answer? Tell me what you think is fair. After all, its their game not mine. They picked a number, I agreed and that was that.

I could have picked a number that was representative of the manpower I put in to making the site. I could have gotten in to a big fight where they accuse me of copyright infringement and I accuse them of bullying, etc. etc.

I could have, but I didn't. I didn't build the site to make money and at the end of the day it was their game, not mine. So I smiled and said, "thank you," sent them a zip file of the content and put a redirect on my web site that pointed to the site's new home.

Joseph Anthony is nobody. Its Obama's myspace profile; Anthony is just a fan. He should have turned it over along with a list of expenses and said, "pay me what you think is fair."

lol (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958615)

I wonder if Joe Anthony is still a big supporter of Obama after all this crap. If I were a bitter individual(I'm not) I'd pull the profile down or possibly deface the site. As it's been stated 50k is a fraction of 26million. His request doesn't seem unreasonable. Especially for 2.5yrs of work.

Obama will pull an Alberto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958747)

He'll claim he didn't know what his staff was doing and give the site back.
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