Lunch Break: Sarah Palin's Facebook Page

One thing you may know about Sarah Palin, is how well she has adapted to the new online media (Facebook, Twitter) in order to speak directly to her supporters.  I've read some criticism of her approach in that it enables her to dodge tough questions that traditional media outlets would ask (Think Katie Couric: "...what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?").  But, you have to hand it to her as a political figure who 'gets' the new media.

What I didn't have any idea about was the level of screening that goes into her Facebook page.  Check this (link) out from John Dickerson in Slate:

How much work does it take to keep everything so sanitized? To help me find out, my colleague Jeremy Singer-Vine wrote a program to capture comments to Palin's page before the clean-up crew could arrive. (Here's an explanation of how Jeremy's program works.) All these posts were initially public, if only for a few minutes. We looked at the comments to 10 Palin posts over 12 days, capturing the deletions in the 24 hours after the posts were live. In that period, a rough average of 10 percent of total posts were deleted.

10% doesn't seem like a heck of lot to me.  What really impressed me were the kind of comments that were edited.  Below are couple of interesting one from the article:

Polite disagreement. "Sarah, perception is everything! I learned that in the military. All you have to do is disassociate yourself from those Tea Partiers that are indeed racist and the NAACP gones [sic] away," wrote one in response to Palin's post on the NAACP's charge that the Tea Party tolerated racism. "Even they [the NAACP] admit the Tea Party is not a racist organization. Mrs. Palin, I believe you to be an honorable Woman. You believe in your cause. Sometimes for the good of the cause one has to make a stand even to those that support the cause. Remember John Mccain, circa 2008 in which a woman stood up and called Candidate Obama a Muslim. The Honorable John Mccain rebuked her. This could be your moment."


Too much agreement. "Do us a favor Sarah, trap a few Wolves and ship em to D.C., they do eat Rats don't they? Have a great trip Sarah, God Bless." 

The article identifies a few other types of comments that are edited (racial slurs, mean comments, anything about Obama's birth certificate, etc.).  Despite the latest 'family crisis', I still believe that she's running in 2012 for president and has as good a chance of any of the potential GOP candidates of winning their nomination.  Her ability to work the new media should prove handy in that upcoming battle.

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