Monday, March 4, 2013

Someone Erased Links Between MSNBC Spam and Promotion Company

UPDATE 3/5 Evening: The links are back up!

The Tweeters whose spam seemed to plug MSNBC shows Morning Joe and the Ed Show now have different links than earlier, when they were connected to a social media promotion company. This is the search for phrases which apparently promoted Morning Joe. These are searches connected to the Ed Show.

As you can see, these Tweeters now link to a dead page on a service called Host Gator.

And when you directly try to link, the promotion company in question, you reach a dead page on the same hosting service.

What the hell just happened?

UPDATE: 3/5 Apparently some people are getting through to the site - It seems to attempt to redirect them to a dead page with a different URL - and then after a pause it goes to Followers Delivery. In my case it goes to this URL:

I don't pretend to be enough of a web expert (or any kind of web expert whatsoever). But that's what I'm hearing. I suspect it depends on what kind of system you have.


  1. As of the time of this comment, anyway, the "followers delivery" links (of both the bot tweeters and the direct link) are working (again). And I still think that one hashtag in one tweet repeated by three bots a day or more after the show in question even aired cannot accurately be called "promotion."

    1. I'm clicking on them, and they don't go to Followers Delivery.

    2. And also, yes, Morning Joe seemed more small-scale. But the Ed Show was larger, and involved the same company. At this point, speculation is sort of fruitless. It's enough to keep digging until we get answers.

  2. Just followed the Ed Show search... Their "followers delivery" site links are working (again) as well... And Brett Rossi - (@BreettR4763) (apparently NOT a bot, and quite likely the originator of the Ed Show tweet that the bots all copied) doesn't have a "followers delivery" link in his header...and was the first on the search list to've made the tweet, in real time, on March 1st, and at the time the ED show was actually airing, ... (Like I said, I think the evidence is against MSNBC or any of the shows in question being responsible for or having any connection to these tweets ...other than as victim of scraper bots, and scapegoat by individuals with an interest in discrediting the network and their shows....)

    1. Show me the exact link you're following, because I'm doing it and getting suspended pages or Host Gator.

  3. The link from "Robbie Teasdale" (bot):

    I even copied and pasted it into a fresh browser page, and it still took me to Followers delivery:

  4. When you click on the URL, it links to a Host Gator site that has a generic background and "Flowers Delivery" services... It's not the page that used to be there. I invite everyone to check it, in case I'm making a mistake here. If the sites are up again, I will post.

  5. ha. is run by a SEO hack crew. this was prob taken down due to the shady folks msnbc is dealing with.

    Technical Contact:
    Gl, Michael
    P.P. 226, HR
    Zagreb, - 10002

    and site is still in google cache:

  6. Of course, Anoymous, there is another theory: Is Michelle Malkin's Twitchy Site Fabricating A Story Here? | Crooks and Liars

    Now granted, it has no more actual evidence than Twitchy/Newsbusters does... But on the other hand, it has no less evidence, either... (Personally, I don't go in for either side's conspiracy... I suspect it's about promoting the webcam dating site - - (edshow and morning joe tweets) and a struggling musician (the links to these were in the suspended accounts, and are gone...) and iphone contest - Twitter / rockin_madeline (maddow tweets) Your milage may vary, of course...

    1. Here's my thoughts:

      The fact that it's some tiny site from Croatia makes it more, not less likely, that it's random spam than an actual MSNBC "assignment". I don't think that's definitive, but that's my honest thought.

      But Twitchy and Newsbusters didn't break the angle on Morning Joe and the Ed Show. I did. I know I did. So... maybe they counted on someone like me to find the link, but that seems a stretch.

      The webcamdate links popped up AFTER everyone started reporting on Followers Delivery. Originally, it was just a link to this service to improve your Twitter ranking. Which is what piqued my interest. I was looking for the angle...

      Also, God, this business is incestuous... my stuff appears on Crooks and Liars ALL THE TIME. So, full disclosure.

  7. I see that twitter suspended all the Maddow spam tweets, again, including my iPhone example... I should've taken a screen cap...

    I did find the musician's website ( | b-ry music) and twitter account (b-ry (BryBeats) on Twitter), though... And yes, I screencapped them both, in case his are the next to disappear) I don't know whether he's the client or another victim, but a whole lot of the TeamFollowBack tweets link to his site (I don't mean just mention him... They actually link to him)

    Just found a new one,... (screencapped, too)
    Twitter / missy_danritzke: @CupCaakee92 Hi Check out ... Don't see the Maddow tweet...but then, all of the bots that use the Maddow tweet are getting suspended, aren't they?

  8. Hope you don't mind if I add this, Paul...

    This was tweeted to me by @FreedomworksPanda - Link: - I assume she made it, but I'm not sure of that, either... But I checked a few of the #redeye spam tweets, and they are real, from 3:15 AM and after, on 3/5/13

    Funny, but twitchy and newsbusters don't seem to be posting about this...

    1. Not at all! I'm going to check this. Lemme get your opinion in the comments here... Do you think it's worth having a general discussion on how often the cable networks use PR that borders on spammy? I think it's part - and I believe I mentioned this - of the trend of treating news like any other product. Which I think is ultimately bad.

    2. Hmmm... I'm not sure what PR you're talking about (he says, hoping you don't still believe MSNBC (or FoxNews) had anything whatsoever to do with this spambot nonsense.)

      That said, in some ways news is a product... but I think the key is at least as much what we value about it as what they do to get us to watch it. For instance, speed is good, but not at the expense of accuracy. It does no one any good--and frequently does harm--if a particular network is always the first on the scene and the first to report some new detail if what they report is often wrong.

      Another problem with the advent of 24 hour news is filling all that time... Stories used to have time to develop, and for the initial inaccuracies to get discovered and removed. Now everyone wants to keep saying something, even when there isn't anything else to say. So instead of reporting what has factually happened while on-air, and then going off-air to think about, speculate, and ask questions to get more facts to go back on the air and report, reporters stay on the air and do all that thinking and speculating on the air...again leading to errors and stupidity. (For example, there would've been nothing wrong with Brian Ross (ABC) speculating off-air whether the "James Holmes" listed on a Tea Party website was the same one who shot up the Colorado theatre--and then investigating until he discovered that it was not, and going on to investigate other things, until he had enough info to go on the air and report. But just speculating on the air was a REALLY BAD IDEA...but they had all that time to fill, and no new information, so they just talked.) ((At the very least, reporters ought to learn how to, and get comfortable with saying "I don't know,"...and then shutting up until they actually do know...and I mean for sure.))

      If we value accurate, even if we lose a little speed, we'll get better news because the networks will try harder to give us (sell us) what we the news consumers want. Same goes for substance over flash or sensationalism, people who understand the stories they're reporting, rather than people who just look pretty telling them, etc...

      In that regard, anyway, I want the networks to compete to get me to buy their news product instead of the other guy's... I think it has the potential to make for better long as you don't think the American people are idiots who prefer speedy, inaccurate news with lots of footage of explosions and wailing mothers, told to us by pretty bleached blondes with large breasts and not much intellect... This may be the flaw in my argument...maybe.

      Them's my thoughts, long-winded as usual... (Now I need a nap, having worked all night...)


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