Attackers focus on Web
Jun 20,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - Political dirty tricksters in the United States are finding the Internet is fertile ground for launching attacks against opponents.

A growing number of political operatives are manipulating e-mail, videos and search engines to deceive voters, reported.

In the 1980s, a favorite dirty trick was something called "blackfaxing" -- sending stacks of black construction paper to opponents' fax machines so as to tie up phone lines and empty ink cartridges.

Today, campaigns can instruct allies to click on Google ads of a rival, running up the rival's advertising costs because the search engine has a per-click method of charging.

Another trick involves YouTube's system of relying on viewer feedback to determine whether to remove an offensive video. Partisans can pepper YouTube with complaints and get a video removed from the site, said.

They can also flood YouTube with similarly titled videos to misdirect viewers.

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