Digital advertising is everything in the 2020 presidential race, but Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s digital team seems to be floundering. How do we know that?
Because a fake “Joe Biden for President 2020” website shows up much higher in Google search results than the candidate’s actual campaign site. Ouch.
CNBC reported on that embarrassing fact a short while ago, and little has improved as of Friday. Search results for the query “Joe Biden website,” “Biden 2020 website, and “Biden 2020” bring the parody site near the top of the search page while the real site sits far below.
Whoever is behind the joebiden.info parody site put some quality work into it, too.
The top of the front page looks very professional, but it’s not until you read the wording about the candidate being “ready to take a hands-on approach to America’s problems” and scroll down to the numerous images and videos of Biden creepily touching women and children do you realize it’s actually an attack site on the former vice president.
The anonymous creator of the parody site appears to be someone who doesn’t like that Biden’s long voting record hasn’t always fit today’s progressive standards — for instance, he wasn’t always in favor of gay marriage or against the death penalty.
But the creator of the site also built other negative parody sites for candidates Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren, according to CNBC.
CNBC reached out to the anonymous creator, who described themselves as an American citizen who is “closest to a libertarian.” Hilariously, they said many people are fooled into thinking the parody site is real because they don’t look closely enough.
"I get thousands of Biden supporters coming to the site every day who fail to realize that it is a parody — asking for volunteer information, donation information, suggestions on how to handle the [Anita Hill] situation, or criticizing his use of 'All men are created equal' — no joke," they said.
They added: "I created the site before [Biden] launched his campaign, and the site garnered a fair amount of traffic from Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit — especially on April Fool's day. I think these factors combined with good [search engine optimization] practices resulted in it ranking very well on Google and Bing."
They also said they hadn’t spent any money advertising on Google, which is in stark contrast to the $360,000 Biden’s campaign has spent on Google — with obviously abysmal results.
Parody accounts have been getting extra attention lately after the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez parody Twitter account got permanently banned by the social media giant, Fox News reported.
The creator of the AOC parody account, Michael Morrison, was accused by Twitter of being “misleading” and engaging in “abusive, or disruptive behavior including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter,” even though the fake account was labeled as a parody. Morrison’s personal Twitter account was also suspended.
In other news, fact-check website Snopes fact-checked Christian satire site The Babylon Bee yet again after they joked about liberal Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) asking “If Israel is so innocent, then why do they insist on being Jews?” Snopes also recently fact-checked The Babylon Bee for joking that Ocasio-Cortez repeatedly guessed “free” on “The Price is Right” TV show.
Apparently, it’s a dangerous time for satire right now.