Please note: I anticipate many of these links will go dead soon as the individuals responsible scurry to hide their mistakes. I have kept PDF copies of all the webpages I have cited and would be happy to share upon request.
There’s some funny business on Twitter these days when it comes to Massachusetts Politics. Over the past few months, as the Gubernatorial campaigns have been heating up, the #MAGov twitter stream has become very active. The Patrick (@VoteDeval), Cahill (@timforgovernor), and Baker (@baker4gov) campaigns are all well-represented on Twitter between their official accounts and the accounts set up by their staff members. There’s plenty of heckling between the campaigns, and plenty of outside supporters joining in on the conversation on Twitter, but over the past few months the dynamics of the #MAGov stream have begun to change. Charlie Baker’s campaign has opted to go negative – we can already tell that between the RGA ads and the recent Fox news web ad that it’s going to be a long campaign of negativity and half-truths coming from the other side. I started noticing it on Twitter in March when Baker’s then-campaign manager Lenny Alcivar started attacking Tim Cahill’s daughters on Twitter and just being generally nasty. More recently I, as well as a few others, have taken notice of the “Baker Bots” – Baker Bots are Twitter accounts created using either no name or a fictitious name and promote a pro-Charlie Baker point of view on Twitter. I assumed at first that they were simply rabid Baker supporters who wanted to get their point across under a cloak of anonymity. Fair enough. It still seemed a little odd, though – they only seemed to Tweet during business hours. All of them. Weird.