Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

  Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama plans to oppress you via Facebook

This nutter at the right-wing National Legal and Policy Center is advancing the latest conspiracy theory about a "secret plan" by that man in the White House to destroy our freedoms: Barack Obama will be tracking what we say about him on Facebook and, you know, taking names and stuff. Very reminiscent of the fake controversy whipped up by right-wingers when the White House asked people to forward information about any crazy rumors they heard being spread by the anti-health-care reform crowd.

The truth, as usual, is rather mundane.

Here's the breathless introduction to a post intended to stoke fear among the clueless:

NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.

Later we're told that this is "an ambitious plan to harvest huge amounts of information from the web":

Given the White House’s recent abuse of its New Media operations, this huge, new secretive program is yet another sign that this Administration is at best indifferent to privacy rights and at worst prepared to violate civil liberties for political purposes.

Obama, our nutter declares, is doing this "out of an over-abundance of power".

The truth is immediately discernible from the document in question, a White House bid-solicitation (PDF), which presumably the author expects few of his readers to bother to, you know, read. Since the solicitation was actually published by White House order, it's hard to discern what makes it a "secret plan".

Anyway, the WH is merely hiring somebody to make permanent records of whatever the Executive Office of the President puts up on public sites like Facebook, and the comments made by the public in response, and transfer those records to the National Archives. All of this is pursuant to the President's obligations under the Presidential Records Act. That's all. No plan to destroy our liberties via Facebook. No over-abundance of power. Just a President following the law.

So how long will it take for the whole right wing in America to become convulsed with paroxysms of terror at this latest menace to civilization from the Democrats?

crossposted at

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