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NOM Astroturfs Online Support

Jim Burroway

August 5th, 2011

Louis Marinelli, who used to be the Social Media Manager for the National Organization for Marriage and the group’s Facebook page owner, reveals NOM’s “astroturf” campaign to make NOM’s so-called grassroots support appear larger than it really is:

Waiting for a bus.

Social media manager for the National Organization for Marriage, Louis J. Marinelli, the then 24-year-old behind the “Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman” page, was asked to put together a “SWAT team” of people to comment in favor of NOM’s content and opinions. “There was a system where we would track what they did and they would accumulate points…. We were working on a program where they would redeem those points for prizes,” said Marinelli.

The group also planned to create media teams in key 2012 election states who would be asked to take online actions as well as attend events or write letters to editors, according to Marinelli. When he resigned on April 7, he said about 15 people were on the online astroturf team.

A measure of NOM’s actual support can be seen in the massive turnout for last year’s bus tour, where pro-LGBT advocates often outnumbered NOM supporters by a wide margin.

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