Healthcare News & Insights

Facebook application ‘pays’ you to protest health care reform

An anti-health reform organization is using popular Facebook games to trick users into putting their names on e-mails expressing their supposed opposition to current reform proposals.

Here’s how it works: In games like Mafia Wars and Farmville, players use a virtual currency to buy in-game items. The organization, “Get Health Reform Right,” is using a third-party to offer free virtual currency to players who fill out a survey. When completed, the survey automatically e-mails the user’s “disagreement” with current reform efforts.

Such astroturfing — creating fake grassroots support — is increasingly common, but this new take on it can involve people who aren’t on board with the message. Some game companies are already removing the app from their sites. But rest assured, the people behind it will look for other ways to get their point made.

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  1. Andries Sigtenhorst says:

    Why would this not be considered identity theft and be punishable under State and Federal criminal law? The anti-reform organization is assuming the identity of the individual for the purposes of affixing a “signature” to a document. I would be beating down the door of my local District Attorney and U.S. Attorney if this happened to me.