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Sarah Palin: Internet Sensation

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Technology, Politics, Sarah Palin, Election 2008, Vice President, Twitter, Wikipedia, NPR News,

Sarah Palin HeadshotThe internet is buzzing with news about John McCain’s VP pick, Sarah Palin. Bloggers are struggling to figure out who the Alaskan governor really is. Twitter user Eamon 1916 claims that, “Sarah Palin taught MacGuyver [sic] everything he knows.”  Twitter user Dabolos writes, “Sarah Palin isn't qualified for VP, but she did stay in a Holiday Inn last night.

The posts aren’t true, but they’re part of a “Little Known Facts” meme jetting around Twitter. Other favorites from CNetNews include: “Sarah Palin wants more cowbell” and “Sarah Palin knows who was on the grassy knoll.” Michael Turk, another Twitter user, is credited with starting the trend. 

Fake Sarah Palin news can also be found on the blog Welcome to the PalinDrome, where the authors poke fun at “liberels [sic]” and have asked readers to contribute money for a new snowmobile. The site seems to be taking cues from the fake Harriet Meiers blog that appeared when Meiers was nominated as a potential Supreme Court justice.

The real battle ground in the fight for Palin information was her Wikipedia page, even before her nomination was announced. NPR News reports that a pseudonymous user known as “Young Trigg” began editing Palin’s Wikipedia page hours before the nomination was made public. The user, whose name may be a reference to Palin’s youngest child Trig, made some 30 edits, all of which cast Palin in a positive light. Young Trigg chose to deemphasize Palin’s experience in a beauty pageant and focused the entry on her governing prowess and tenacity as a high school basketball player.

Image by Thomas Roche, licensed under Creative Commons.