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There’s an interesting cartoon floating around the Internet that illustrates (in a tongue-in-cheek sorta way) the the concerns of many Americans in regard to presumptive Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama:
One may wonder — in this day and age with so much access to near real-time media– why are there STILL so many misconceptions in regard to Mr. Obama’s background, principles, and even events in his political/personal life?
One word. FUD.
In the interactive marketing world, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), is a powerful tool used to spread messages to the masses. With availability of near-time media and the consumption rate of news via the Internet, both candidates realize both the power and danger of these tactics.
ItÂ has been longÂ rumored that Sen. John McCain has a “Bury Brigade” that searches the Internet looking for negative stories about the presumptive Republican nominee to attempt to hide less than flattering content on user-generated news aggregators such as Digg and Reddit. Sen. Obama, on the other hand, has gone on the defensive and launched a tactical team and Website which focuses only on combating Internet rumors.
Candidates often pledge to run a clean, professional campaign and leave the mudslinging at a minimum. But in the guerrilla, media-driven, word-of-mouth world in which the silliest rumors are easily seeded and spread online, is it even possible?