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Unmasking Astroturfers

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:30 pm    Post subject: Unmasking Astroturfers Reply with quote

Call me paranoid, but there are certain topics that, when I post an opinion on the Internet, it invites what almost seems like an instant canned response.

Again, the paranoid in me envisions these boiler rooms of AstroTurfers data mining for keywords and ready to offer a canned response. Case in point, I often post pro Hydrogen and pro fuel cell items in many comments and blogs. I swear that within 5 minutes of posting, some person will then write that "hydrogen is not a fuel. It is a storage medium".

I just recently thought, am I reading things? Or do I keep hearing this phrase over and over again. What does Google think?

63,900 for "hydrogen is a storage medium"

317,000 for "hydrogen is not a fuel"

I'm not sure who pays these guys, but they really should change their talking points (memes).
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I'm not sure which it is.

But I think I could devise a procedure for determining this.

If there is plentiful hydrogen around that can be cheaply
harvested and prepared for use in a vehicle -- in other words,
if the energy cost of extracting and processing it is less than
the energy that it provides in the vehicle -- then it is clearly
a fuel in all senses of the word.

If not, then it would seem fair to think of it as the other meme
you mention: for your benefit, I won't make it 63,901.
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