From Cash Gordon to Crash Gordon – Hack Brings Down Tory Site

On Saturday the Tory Party launched a web assault on Gordon Brown with a site called Cash Gordon.  The site highlighted Brown’s links to the Unite union and invited users to play to earn ‘action points’ by tweeting about the campaign.   When the lobby for cash story broke Cash Gordon started to gain significant interest.

However things started to go wrong on Monday morning when users realised that the site was posting unmoderated tweets with the #cashgordon hashtag.  You can imagine what started to happen with the tweets.   Things then got much worse for the young turks running the Tory web campaign.  Users discovered a security flaw which allowed the site to be hacked multiple times during the early afternoon of Monday.  Twitter users were circulating the  JavaScript code online and the URL was directed at a multitude of locations including the Labour home page and several somewhat more salacious sites. 

At the time of writing Cash Gordon is no more and the URL is directed at the news pages of the main Conservative site.

Facebook Ramps Up Interest in Election with Democracy UK

Facebook has pitched into the election space with Democracy UK,  a campaign page that will carry information from the political parties in the run-up to the vote.  The sister of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s director of market development, Randi Zuckerberg (above) is overseeing the launch.  The political parties are also starting to target Facebook with ad campaigns.

Facebook was a pivotal space in the run up to the last US presidential election but so far it hasn’t gained the same traction in the UK – partly because our elections are less focussed on individuals and more on parties.  The US primaries also mean that the process is ‘live’ for several months.  When the UK election is called there will be less than four weeks for the campaign to run.  Whilst many regard social media as instant the truth is that it takes months for the bandwagon to roll on sites like twitter and Facebook.     

Democracy UK is and attempt to garner interest amongst the UK’s 24 million Facebook users but its a tough challenge – the page has less than 100 fans at lunchtime on launch day and it is heavy in information and light on applications.