John McCain Embarrassed On MySpace

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[ Social Media]

Somebody on the Arizona Senator and Presidential candidate’s campaign staff has some explaining to do about a change to McCain’s profile on MySpace.

It’s been a long-standing practice where people borrow HTML from other sites to work into theirs. As websites have grown in sophistication, the ability to use templates to quickly create blogs or profiles on popular destinations like MySpace has become part of the Internet.

The people at John McCain’s campaign evidently thought it would be just swell to appropriate (using the Washington term here) a nicely designed MySpace template created by Newsvine CEO and co-founder Mike Davidson for the Senator’s social networking outpost.

Davidson explained a few things the McCain campaign did in an impolite fashion when integrating the Senator and the template on MySpace:

You see, John McCain’s people commandeered my world-renowned MySpace design template and did a few things wrong:

  1. They did not credit me for the template, even though the template explicitly requested credit.
  2. They used my own unmodified imagery, specifically for the "Contacting John McCain" table.
  3. As if #2 wasn’t bad enough, the McCain crew is actually pulling their image directly from my server on each page load. So every time someone visits the McCain MySpace page, my bandwidth is being used to deliver part of the page! Bad McCain!

In true geek fashion, and with a sense of humor about it, Davidson made an emphatic point about bandwidth theft:

So, the only thing necessary to effectively commandeer McCain’s page with my own messaging was to simply replace my own sample image on my server with a newly created sample on my server. No server but my own was touched and no laws were broken. The immaculate hack.

That hack delivered a message to McCain’s profile visitors that indicated a political shift in the Candidate’s views on gay marriage:

Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage…particularly marriage between two passionate females.

Imagine the Senator’s surprise at learning about his change in thinking. Someone working for McCain on the Internet side of the campaign probably ought to get a résumé printed out while he or she still has access to computer equipment at McCain HQ.

John McCain Embarrassed On MySpace
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