Conservative social action campaign in chaos

The Conservative party's 'Cash Gordon' campaign was backfiring badly this morning. Hundreds of tweets denigrating the Tories appeared on their home page.

The Cash Gordon website is being bombarded by tweets from people appalled at the consulting agency behind the site

UPDATE 2:30

On the back of Political Scrapbook‘s story, the Cash Gordon website has been taken down after being hacked, as explained by Dizzy Thinks:

“Basically, the Tories latest ‘Cash Gordon’ website mentioned in the previous post is offline (at the time of writing). The reason is because the developers who were paid to create it didn’t, it seems, protect against code injection. The Twitter feed was scrolling as people used the hashtag #cashgordon. The problem was that by inserting javascript into the Tweet comment it was possible to browser hijack people and redirect them elsewhere…

“People began to do it spades and it’s been taken offline and word is that it’s being fixed currently.”

Anthony Painter adds:

The first ever successful cyber attack in UK campaigning politics? #cashgordon forced offline. Taste of things to come? http://bit.ly/dugjVp

The Conservative party’s ‘Cash Gordon‘ campaign was backfiring badly this morning as hundreds of tweets denigrating the latest Tory online campaign appeared on their home page. Earlier today, Political Scrapbook exposed how the social action website was put together by the same time which tried to scupper US healthcare reform.

The hashtag #CashGordon, which had been set up to mobilise Conservative opposition to Unite’s funding of the Labour party, is now being used to embarrass the web team behind the latest Tory campaign. Tweets include:

@SamHowroyd: The Tory #cashgordon fuck up has made my day.

@Chris_Manch: Connect with the Tories and tell them what you think, directly on their website. http://cash-gordon.com #cashgordon

@jennie_kermode: Proof, if we needed it, that the Tories haven’t the sense to do anything in moderation. #cashgordon #toryfail

@AndyTannerSmith: is the Cash Gordon site part of an official Tory campaign. If so they should hang their heads in shame #cashgordon #toryfail

Political Scrapbook today exposed how the Tories’ latest campaign was “designed by US anti-healthcare lobbyists”. The story has already been retweeted over 100 times in just 90 minutes. The story outlined that:

Writing on the Blue Blog yesterday, the affable Sam Coates claimed that Conservatives’ campaign site against Labour/Unite links was “built in just a few days”. What he doesn’t tell you is that the system has been purchased off-the-shelf from Republican strategists David All Group and was originally developed to galvanise opposition to Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.

Cash Gordon is based on Operation Waiting Game, which leverages social media against reforms which, it is claimed, “will have the same devastating effects in the United States as it has in Canada and in nations across Europe: longer wait times and lower quality care”.

Echoing a tweet by Sam Coates of the Conservative party’s new media team, blogger Tory Bear has tried to defend the website by suggesting that the link is tenuous:

“PS uses WordPress. Lots of people he disagrees with use WordPress. He going to cry about that?”

But as Political Scrapbook has made plain:

The arguments about platform (“yeah, but the BNP use WordPress”) would stand up if it weren’t for the fact that the both the tech and political sides are done in-house at David All Group. It’s a political communications consultancy and act.ivi.st is their proprietary platform. Every single one of their staff (bar one) is listed as a Republican operative:
http://www.davidallgroup.com/about

42 Responses to “Conservative social action campaign in chaos”

  1. Martin Johnston

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  2. fitaloon

    So let me see the VW bug was designed for Adolf Hitler so everyone who drove or drives a bug is an Adolf Hilter supporter, mass-murderer and jew hater. Got the logic, what a real scoop.

  3. Jenni Jackson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tory social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  4. charlie whelan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  5. Claire French

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon

  6. Lawrence Mills

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  7. Tim Ireland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  8. Prodicus

    RT @charliewhelan: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  9. He's Spartacus

    Thanks for all the publicity, Will.

  10. Sunder Katwala

    RT @clairee_french: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon

  11. Paul Sandars

    RT @charliewhelan: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  12. Stephen Milward

    RT @clairee_french: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon

  13. unslugged

    Thx 4 incl my tweet! > RT @leftfootfwd Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  14. Tory Bear

    http://www.torybear.com/2010/03/labour-planted-story-falls-flat.html

    just before you completely misrepresent my arguments.

    so red cheeked still from Saturday?

  15. Matthew McGregor

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  16. Samuel Coates

    The way those on the Left have got so excited about this today says a lot.

    CashGordon uses an award-winning Facebook Connect app -> left-wing Twittersphere is stone silent all weekend -> and then they rejoice when someone draws a spurious link with evil American lobbyists!

    It’s pretty pathetic.

    I never dreamed that people would use the negative #CashGordon hashtag so much – we’ve got posters and google ads headling with that phrase, and now people like you have helped us disseminate even further!

  17. Tim Ireland

    #cashgordon is a classic #toryfail and you can watch them losing the argument here http://is.gd/aSFIF http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  18. MyDavidCameron

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon #toryfail

  19. Mary Thorogood

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  20. 'Nadine Dorries'

    Stop pointing and laughing at us! http://is.gd/aSFIF http://bit.ly/bcoXKb You're falling into our trap! #cashgordon

  21. diana smith

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon #toryfail

  22. Vic Mo

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon #toryfail

  23. EdH

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon #toryfail

  24. Alex

    Except Sam, most of the tweets are anti-tory, accusing you of misunderstanding social media and advocating victory for the Unite union in their dispute with BA.

    Even saw one earlier calling you twats. Great message to send to voters, that you can’t even control your own propaganda websites. Reminiscent (as so much is in politics these days) of the episode of The Thick of It where Peter Mannion’s blog is bombarded with abuse by Ollie. First person to accuse the site owner of being a cat rapist wins a gold star.

  25. Chris Manch

    I'm on the front page of a left wing website! http://bit.ly/bDYuRY #cashgordon #toryfail

  26. diana smith

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon #toryfail

  27. Political Scrapbook

    RT @Conorpope: @leftfootfwd doing well to highlight @psbook's point that using WP is not the same as #cashgordon site: http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  28. Chris Paul

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  29. Jack Hart

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  30. simon872

    RT @jachartuk: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  31. Sunder Katwala

    RT @psbook: RT @Conorpope: @leftfootfwd doing well to highlight @psbook's point that using WP is not the same as #cashgordon site: http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  32. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  33. Paul Burgess

    Oh this is fun – another Tory advertising disaster! http://bit.ly/debwRj A site ripped from the US right + unmoderated tweets = #toryfail

  34. Senorviva

    Now now children…

    As Dizzy Thinks points out “as a result of using Akamai Technologies, in an embarrassment to Gordon Brown, his official Downing Street website is notionally hosted alongside the official Church of Scientology News website… oh yes, and McDonalds Norway… I’m lovin’ it!”

  35. Max p

    RT @charliewhelan: RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  36. jen lewis

    RT@leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb #cashgordon #toryfail

  37. Vanessa Morriss

    Conservative social action campaign in chaos. Left Foot Forward: http://bit.ly/aLzYPd via @addthis >> You wish! Pathetic! #cashgordon

  38. unslugged

    @frizfrizzle Several blog posts about it – I like http://bit.ly/bcoXKb best but only because it quotes my tweet 🙂

  39. ellispritchard

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservative social action campaign in chaos as new campaign page is tweetbombed http://bit.ly/bcoXKb

  40. Walter Levin

    Blog: Conservative social action campaign in chaos | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/aEaauf

  41. Politics Summary: Tuesday, March 23rd | Left Foot Forward

    […] the web campaign was “designed by US anti-healthcare lobbyists”. Yesterday morning, Left Foot Forward highlighted some of the negative messages appearing on the Conservative website and by […]

  42. Marketing Donut

    What about the Conservatives' "Cash Gordon" website? If you remember, this was hijacked: http://bit.ly/debwRj

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