Run away! Run away!
My piece last week titled “Is Democrat Steve Pestka buying Facebook “Likes” for his MI-03 campaign page?” ended up making a pretty big splash. It got picked up by Mario Aguilar at Gizmodo and then John Aravosis at AMERICAblog.
Both pieces took Pestka to task for what seems to clearly be a purchase of Facebook likes in order to make it look like the candidate is wildly popular on the internet. Except in his case, Steve Pestka is oddly very popular with 13-17 year old kids from Israel and the Philippines.
Subsequent to the story, the Pestka Facebook page started shedding “likes”.
Here’s where they were when I posted last week – 7,514 likes:
This morning they are down to 6,837:
Trevor Thomas, by the way, has the sort of Facebook following you would expect from a young candidate from the west side of Michigan. The most popular city for his followers is Grand Rapids and the most popular age group is 25-34 year olds, not 13-17 year olds like Steve Pestka:
I’m sure the Pestka campaign is trying to change that demographic and is shedding likes to do so. That doesn’t look good and, after John Aravosis’ piece, it looks especially bad. While I find the whole thing rather lame on Pestka’s part, Aravosis went much further in terms of suggesting that Pestka is using child labor, etc.
For me, Facebook likes are interesting but, in the scope of things, rather unimportant. However, the fact that the Pestka campaign thought they could just buy themselves some popularity reveals a lot about them. It’s a rather arrogant thing to do and suggests they don’t feel they have earn their popularity. But they do. In order to win and then beat Justin Amash, they DO need to earn their popularity. They need to get out there and hustle and do all the things that Trevor Thomas is doing.
Buying likes from 13-17 year old kids from other countries is decidedly NOT the way to do it.