City Council Going Wild

Continued from City Councils vs E-cig 

Now about the royal mess I mentioned, underlined by yours truly: 

The Chicago Department of Public Health was subject to some serious astroturfing earlier this year, a new study found – Twitter users bandied about the state’s more stringent e-cigarette policy, but many were likely from false accounts to help strengthen the opposition’s voice.


Let just set aside the question how many makes many   (If 14% out of 609 really had false accounts, whatever is meant by it, 86% of people had real ones. Compared to 14%, 86% is quite many.)  Let's focus on a new study instead.

A new study on what? 

Oh, well,  politicians whining about being told off on Twitter  have made an awe-inspiring progress since last year.

It all started before EU Parliament's health consiglieres had a session with an aim to destroy e-cigarette. Some of them were stupid on twitter about e-cigs and vapers replied.  Complaining about  abuse from twitter ensued.  

Twitter abused, poor, poor things.

But now a seven mile step further was made in US – a city council has a university study to back up their whinings about being overtweeted! So, tax-payers' money was spent on A STUDY on people who replied, some of them angrily, to the damaging stupidity of this caliber (tweet).  

                                    Yes, dangerous like caffeine. 

How about studying intelligence levels in city councils? (Not that it would be of much use, anyway).

Consider this – they are actually spending money and man-hours on this - a STUDY on Tweeter users responding negatively to a series of idiotic tweets like the one above!  Only to come up with a term introduced by their brothers-in-arms from EU Parliament. That's where the buzzword  astroturf  was heard first in the context of bashing e-cig proponents.  And now again, same old, same old, parroted by internet columnists. Expect to hear it repeated ad nauseam in the next few months.

That’s what astroturfing‘s all about – developing an internet persona that appears to be from a grassroots organization, when it’s really backed by a corporation.

If I had come accross the above tweet, I would've probably either  tweeted back or ridiculed it in an article. The fact that many people did the same doesn't say anything about them, except that they are oposed to CCC's opinion on e-cigarettes.

However, much like in the case of some EU Parliament Members, Chi conciglieres, backed up by University of Washington from St.Louis MO, are interpreting their opponents' behavior in a way that looks like nothing but a mere projection (as psychology defines it). 

They are trying to read deception, forming secret associations, accepting money to tell lies and similar deeds  into tweets from vapers all over Twitter. So, I'll just rewrite myself from last year. Chi conciglieres, meet vapers.

Vapers make a very diverse group of individuals ranging from 20s to 70s years of age, from labourers to PhDs, from enthusiast hobbyists to internet marketers, from APV collectors to cigalike users, from right wingers to left wingers and from anything to anything else.

Such group couldn’t possibly be united on any other cause but necessary protection of e-cig when it is endangered as it is now.

If nothing else, this should tell you that the freedom to vape and protection of e-cig industry (from the likes of you) are the causes worth pursuing – such an extremely diverse group is all for it. Much more diverse than those who dance to the tune Vote This Way!

If we are astroturf, what the heck are you then

Few Twitter users were from the Chicago area; Twitter users from Chicago were significantly more likely than expected to tweet in support of the policy.

Now, there's some Chicago sample to work with! You say you have few users from Chicago  (out of 609) and they were significantly more likely than expected to tweet in support of the policyHow significant can that significance be? For all we know, these few in support of ChiPublicHealth official's tweet may be his next of kin. 

You also put much emphasis on the fact that most vapers who tweeted aren't from Chicago.  But they know something you pretend doesn't matter – today in Chicago, tomorrow in your own city council. It spreads like wildfire. Even faster, it crosses the oceans. Besides, why not be solidary with Chicago vapers? 

Let's consult the precious study for another investigative gem:

four of the five central retweet network members were affiliated with e-cigarette businesses or advocacy groups, which may have credibility among supporters of e-cigarette use.

What do you do when you find something that improved your life, reduced your health risks and generally made you feel better about yourself, and when you know it can help many others? You spread the word. And if you are a bit more enthusiastic about it, you make it your job, your mission or both.  

 What do you do when what you stand for is viciously attacked  by an enemy much stronger than you? Well, you try to defend yourself, either alone or together with others attacked in the same way by the same enemy.

Whether  from within a vaping community or without any, whether typical social butterflies or lone wolves - that is what we are doing, dear consiglieres, and that is  why we are doing it.

                               Am I one heck of a mean SOB or what?

Written by Ljubica, @Switchtoecig, ex teacher, translator, passionate reader, ex smoker and now vaper, e-cig reviewer and vaping advocate.

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