The first big trend in online campaigning is emerging for the 2016 presidential race, and it’s domain trolling, or buying up the domain names of your political foes.
Go to TedCruz.com and you’ll get redirected to a web page praising Obama. Go to CarlyFiorina.org and you’ll see 30,000 sad-face emoticons representing all the people she laid off as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. And go to HillaryClinton.net and you’ll just get redirected to Fiorina’s actual campaign website.
Fiorina’s Deputy Campaign Manager Sarah Isgur Flores was quick to point out how the Clinton-related domain now redirects to Fiorina’s, though Flores says that the campaign has “no idea” who decided to administer such a sick burn on Clinton. Such serendipitous timing!
The Fiorina campaign has been directly involved with other domain-buying hijinks. It bought domain names related to Meet the Press moderator host Chuck Todd and late night host Seth Meyers and redirected them to the candidate’s website.
Ah, election season in the internet age! An eye for an eye and a domain name troll for a domain name troll, I suppose. If the qualification for presidency solely rested on taking a mildly embarrassing moment in the press cycle and calcifying it into a puerile campaign tactic, then Fiorina would have this in the bag.