Golden State PR Man Admits to Astroturfing on Warriors Fan Sites
The Warriors held a call with season ticket holders Thursday. Fan reaction was not great -- there's a lot of disillusionment around the Bay. The team's PR man, Raymond Ridder, admitted to Kawakami that he posted an anonymous comment in order to steer the discussion toward a more positive tone. This, um, didn't happen.
WW.net moderators traced the comment's IP back to Warriors headquarters. Kawakami made the call, and Ridder fessed up. It turns out Ridder also made some anonymous comments on WW.net last summer under the name "flunkster dude." In an odd bit of coincidence, one of these comments rips current FanHouse featured writer Matt Steinmetz (then writing for the San Francisco Examiner).
It's just another sign of how out of touch Warriors management has been. Instead of addressing fan concerns, the head of PR pretends to be an innocuous fan who sees the light on a message board ... and immediately gets caught. He actually accomplished the opposite of what he set out to do.
Astroturfing is a more notorious problem in political blogs, where operatives or writers make their case in comment threads under the shroud of anonymity. It's not looked upon highly.