Turns out the readers were right. Once the identities were outed, the perps had to confess early:
Taking a lead from users at the tech forum Fark.com—who traced the IP addresses of the accounts promoting the page—Politicker tracked down two Web developers who are likely behind the October Surprise site, Jeff Hopwood and Anthony Maro.
The pair have a history of large-scale Internet hoaxes: Their names are connected to a huge prank, for instance, from 2007, when a site promised to release advanced copies of Radiohead’s “In Rainbows,” instead unleashing on 20,000 subscribers one of the oldest and most infuriating Internet memes: the RickRoll.
As the Fark.com users followed the breadcrumbs that might lead to October Surprise, pages connecting Hopwood and Maro to the 2007 incident disappeared from the Internet. But before long, their LinkedIn accounts were under scrutiny by Politicker, which found that the duo are working as developers at Discovery Communications, the distributor of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
But in this fraud and hoax there was a truth — Romney supporters are scared to death of an October surprise, another Dan Rather fake document or NY Times ancient document dump shortly before Election Day.
It will be up to conservative social media to fight the first battle with a speed and vigilance of which even the Romney campaign is not capable.
The speed with which the perps were outed demonstrates that fake October surprises will be more difficult to pull off. But that doesn’t mean there will not be an attempt.
It’s why I keep saying, fight through the finish line.DONATE
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