Book: Fox Used Fake Online Accounts for Self-Defense

PR team posted comments on blogs, claims 'Murdoch's World'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2013 11:21 AM CDT
Book: Fox Used Fake Online Accounts for Self-Defense
Roger Ailes, current president of Fox News, in 2006.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

When bloggers went negative on Fox News, the channel had a self-defense weapon at the ready: fake accounts used for posting "pro-Fox rants," a new book claims. Murdoch's World, by David Folkenflik, holds that during the latter half of the '00s, "PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them," according to a passage picked up by Media Matters. The book cites "four former Fox News employees" as its source for the information.

One said he or she had used some "one hundred" fake accounts, and the sources said a variety of tactics were used in the hope of obscuring the comments' origins: Staffers used "old laptops," and in one reported case, an employee used an AOL dial-up connection, believing it would be tougher to trace. Others relied on cell phone thumb drives to get wireless Internet. (More Fox News stories.)

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