Thursday, April 24, 2014
By J. Craig Anderson email@example.com
A left-leaning Facebook member claiming to be from Buxton is part of a group that has been hijacking politically conservative Facebook pages and replacing their content with images of goats and slogans that are often comically misspelled.
A screen shot of the Facebook page for “The Goatz Alliance."
The Facebook “goatings,” as the actions are called, have upset a handful of right-leaning bloggers and have some liberals calling the hijackers heroes.
The Buxton-based Facebook member, registered under the name Patrick Blair, calls his hijacking campaign “The Goatz Alliance.” His own Facebook page expresses disdain for political conservatives and urges them to “come over to the side that lands in line with things like logic and reason.”
The lead picture on the page shows a herd of goats and proudly proclaims, “NOW WITH MOAR (sic) GOAT.”
Many of the slogans are presented in a type of written slang inspired by texting, called “lolspeak,” in which words are spelled out phonetically with intentionally incorrect letters.
Jason Doolin, a conservative from Panama City Beach, Fla., is one of at least a half-dozen users who said his Facebook page was hijacked by Blair. His page, “Citizens’ Post,” has been renamed “Citizen’s Goatz: Now with MOAR GOAT!”
All of the page’s contents have been replaced with pictures of goats and slogans such as “Goat any last words?” and “Goat me baby one more time.”
Doolin said he met Blair several months ago on a right-leaning user’s Facebook page titled “Patriots.” He said Blair mentioned his own Facebook page, called “The Freedom Alliance,” which also expressed conservative-minded views. Doolin said he began visiting and posting on Blair’s phony page.
Meanwhile, Doolin said, Blair was compiling a list of right-leaning Facebook users to trick them into giving him administrator privileges on their pages.
Doolin said Blair told him on Friday about an “administrator swap” program that would allow like-minded Facebook page administrators to share followers and gain more page views.
“He basically used that to con people into sharing their pages with him,” Doolin said.
Within hours of giving Blair administrative access, Doolin said, he was locked out of his own page, and all of its content had been replaced with goats.
The person calling himself Blair did not reply to Facebook messages, and a search did not reveal anyone with that name living in Buxton. That person has claimed credit for several other “goatings” on his Facebook page.
One conservative user’s page, “Constitutional Freedom Warriors,” was renamed “Constitutional Freedom Goatsez: Now with MOAR GOAT!!!”
The page’s timeline reads: “Page Taken By Goatzes: January 10 in Buffoonville.” Below it is a picture of a goat standing on a tree stump.
Doolin said Blair and a group of accomplices appear to have targeted several conservative Facebook members over the past several months, but waited until Friday to simultaneously change all of their pages to goat-themed pages.
“I’ve reported it to Facebook and asked that it be taken down,” Doolin said.
Facebook’s help center includes an online form for reporting accounts that have been taken over by other users. Doolin said he made a report. Still, as of late Wednesday his goated Facebook page remained online.
David Thornton, a conservative blogger, first reported on Blair’s activities in an article for the website Atlanta Conservative Examiner. He wrote that Blair had set up several Facebook pages as bait to meet conservatives and gain their trust.
Thornton said the first Facebook page that Blair “goated” had a doctored image showing President Obama with his head in a hangman’s noose. Text accompanying the image read: “The making of a national holiday.”
Doolin said the appearance of the Obama image, which he did not post, appeared to have been the flashpoint for Blair and his accomplices.
“They just went completely off the chain on everybody, including me,” he said.
J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at: