Friday, January 4, 2008
Columnist Paul Berton from the London Free Press recently commented on the "pit spamming" phenomenon. After the paper published a story that recounted the tale of a 22-month-old girl attacked by a pit bull, the writer of the story, Jennifer O'Brien, raised the issue on her blog. Doing so created a deluge of comments -- over 10,000 words. Pit bull defenders, it is presumed, left most of these comments.
"Letters are pouring in. Many have been printed in the paper, and dozens are posted at lfpress.com. Most say it's not the fault of the dog (let alone the breed), but the parents. O'Brien, meanwhile, raised the issue on her blog at lfpress.com -- and has been deluged by comments from dog owners, dog experts, dog critics, pit bull defenders, pit bull attackers, cocker spaniel owners, and anyone (maybe everyone) else with an opinion. It's difficult to know for sure, but most seemed to be pit bull defenders."A Tactic Designed to Intimidate
At DogsBite.org, we are familiar with the game. It goes something like this: Stories about pit bull attacks (such as Jennifer O'Brien's) are immediately posted to pit bull forum websites alerting defenders to leave a comment. Often times, people cut and paste pre-written comments, also posted at the forum sites.
A Tactic Designed to Hide the Truth
Last month pit bull defenders skewed an online poll created by Loudoun County's animal shelter. The poll concerned whether or not the shelter should lift a ban on pit bull adoptions. Supporters of lifting the ban often cited the online survey, in which two-thirds of respondents favored change.
A shelter employee, however, discovered that pit bull advocates who lived outside the county participated in the survey. Postings were found on www.pitbullforum.com that encouraged users to vote in favor of lifting the ban. The poster provided a list of 20 Loudoun zip codes and instructed respondents to delete the cookies stored on their computer so they could take the survey multiple times.
05/08/08: Loudoun County "No Adopt Out" Pit Bull Policy Being Challenged
12/11/07: Online Pit Bull Forum Blamed for Skewing Survey Results
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| 1/11/2008 10:42 AM |
This phenomenon has actually been studied:
Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds: A Case Study of Pit Bull Owners
Journal Society and Animals
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN 1063-1119 (Print) 1568-5306 (Online)
Issue Volume 8, Number 1 / March, 2000
Subject Collection Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
SpringerLink Date Friday, November 12, 2004
Hillary Twining, Arnold Arluke and Gary Patronek
Abstract Ethnographic interviews were conducted with 28 pit bull "owners" to explore the sociological experience of having a dog with a negative image. Results indicate that the vast majority of respondents felt that these dogs were stigmatized because of their breed. Respondents made this conclusion because friends, family, and strangers were apprehensive in the presence of their dogs and because they made accusations about the breed's viciousness and lack of predictability. In the face of this stigma, respondents resorted to using a variety of interactional strategies to lessen the impact of this perception or prevent it from occurring. These strategies included passing their dogs as breeds other than pit bulls, denying that their behavior is biologically determined, debunking adverse media coverage, using humor, emphasizing counter-stereotypical behavior, avoiding stereotypical equipment or accessories, taking preventive measures, or becoming breed ambassadors.
| 1/11/2008 3:30 PM |
dogsbite.org: I was wrong, you were right.
I have been extremely vocal to the owner of this blog about locking people out of the comment section because of the guerrilla tactics they use. My thinking was Pitbullforum.com doesn't allow us to comment, why should we allow them the opportunity. But now this little gem comes along and I would definitely say that enduring their rants for the last few days paid off.
THANK YOU ANONYMOUS!
| 1/12/2008 4:21 PM |
I strongly disagree with giving these people a voice on this website. They have forums and with their networking and cross posting, they dominate the on line newspapers with their comments. I vote to screen them out completely and delete all of their existing comments.