The Veteran Twitter Warriors of the Conservative Movement

Twitter user @PatriotUSA76 obsessively monitored every tweet that Anthony Weiner sent out, eventually alerting Andrew Breitbart, who made Weiner the focus of his conservative attacks over the past week, to the message that eventually exposed the scandal. The New York Times has a glimpse into the small group of Twitter users "who warned young women about ... Weiner."

Organizing around a Twitter hashtag is nothing new, though, as the Atlantic Wire's Adam Clark Estes points out. He goes on to explain how hashtag-based organizing has been used by conservatives in the past, especially during the early days of the Tea Party movement.

In the days following the last presidential election, a small group of conservatives turned to Twitter in retaliation to Obama's championing of Facebook. After all, the Obama campaign hired Chris Hughes, one of Facebook's founders, to run their social media strategy, and the approach seems to have worked quite well. (Fast Company put Hughes in March 2009 on their cover and called him "The Kid Who Got Obama Elected.") Twitter, however, still had a relatively small user base at that time and according to conservative grassroots organizer and author Michael Leahy, "It seemed like a fertile opportunity."

Leahy took action in November 2008 and never expected his initiative to become so popular so quickly. "I didn't know if there were any conservatives on Twitter," Leahy told The Atlantic Wire. "So I started a list and I called it Top Conservatives on Twitter. Very quickly, I discovered that a lot conservatives were on twitter and were very competitive."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In