Today on twitter I kept seeing the same message coming up, over and over again. What the heck is going on?
The link goes to the Center for Food Safety, an organization that really isn't that is much more of an anti-technology club than a food safety concern. They speak out against any application of biotechnology, such as the release of the disease-suppressing GE mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.
Somehow when CFS launches a twitter campaign they plaster the Tweet Stream with the exact same message over and over again. My feeling is that they do this to create the impression of a mass consensus, a movement to essentially bully retailers and restaurants.
In this case it is the AquaAdvantage Salmon, a fish grown in inland tanks in Indiana. First invented in 1989, the salmon has had a rocky road to market, despite the magic of growing to market size in half the time and on a fraction of the food and other resources.
It has been shown to be equivalent to regular salmon and safe as can be. It is not a threat to natural populations because the fish are genetically sterile and a long flop to any place where they could cause ecological problems.
While technophiles argue that this innovation takes pressure off of natural populations and can provide fresh fish at a better price point, those opposed to biotechnology in any form push back.
The Tweet above is just one of hundreds. Literally, hundreds. All exactly the same, cookie-cutter tweets. The information is false, as they imply risk to public health, oceans, and wild salmon populations. It is total disinformation.
They spam popular restaurant chains and hotels, folding them in to tweet after tweet. What gives?
I've heard of tweet-storms before, campaigns to start hashtags trending around a given topic. When spawned organically this is probably a good way to get an issue noticed.
But the identical nature of these tweets is highly suspect. They are not retweets, they appear to be original work of real people. But are they?
I thought they were bots, and remain to be convinced otherwise. Are there services out there that create hundreds of bogus accounts that appear real, simply for these applications?
I reached out to some of the tweeters, asking if there is a message they received or some script they copied. I received one reply that said, "Go to the (CFS) website".
I went to the website and there was simply a petition to sign. No twitter script.
Meanwhile they accumulate by the hundreds.
(To be continued)