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Monday, January 21, 2013

Don't worry about anonymous attacks

It's become fashionable for campaigns and politicos to worry about anonymous comments. They wonder who writes them, where the gossip comes from, and what to do about it.

It can become an obsession to find out who is saying what about you.

Some sources of this frustration are politicians frustrated by inaccurate wikipedia pages, or candidates who see foolish things written about them on blogs, or small websites that publish guilt-by-association accusations.

Worrying about these stories is a distraction and a losing cause. People will always gossip, and they'll always talk behind your back. At least with anonymous commenting, you can know what they were saying otherwise.

And since there's no way to take down the comments or false facts, you need to fight them with your own. As I've said elsewhere, you should always respond to repeated statements and comments like this, but be careful that you don't obsess over these kind of anonymous comments and attacks.

Most of your electorate will never read it, and few will hear it. It's hard to keep perspective that most people are simply unaware of even the gossip around their Congressman, much less any downballot race. If it's county or city politics, virtually none of the electorate even knows who the elected officials are by name.

Anonymous attacks are largely worth ignoring. Don't dignify them by wasting your time on them, and don't let your candidate or organization waste too much time worrying about it.

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