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  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , paid protesters, Sammy Musovic   

    Were NY Amazon protesters paid to be there? 

    Were pro-Amazon protesters paid to be there?

    While Amazon’s decision to not put their 2nd headquarters in New York remains a contentious issue in the Big Apple at least one positive outcome came out of the controversy. At least one Queens landlord was expecting to hike rents on his properties once Amazon moved in putting currently skyrocketing housing costs even more out of reach. Long Island City landlord Sammy Musovic reportedly put $1 million into renovating his properties in hopes of an influx of new Amazon employees needing housing in the area. When Amazon pulled out, Musovic organized a protest designed to get people to boycott the online retailer. The problem was with how the protest was allegedly organized.

    Patch.com is reporting that at least two protesters were paid to attend the event after responding to a craigslist ad looking for sign holders. Now two people being paid $30/hr. to be there doesn’t sound that bad but when you take into account only 10 protesters showed up to the Musovic-led protest it may be safe to assume that others were paid as well. In their report, Patch also included a text message between one of the protesters to one of the organizers and a video of protesters receiving cash for their services.

    While there is no law against paying people to carry signs for you, it does certainly damage the credibility of your objection. However, since Musovic took out a million dollar loan to make the renovations there is a distinct possibility that he may raise rents anyway to try to recoup his loss which in turn may the local housing market even more volatile as I’m sure there are people living in his properties already struggling to make their rent. It seems that once New York, both the state and the city, decided to engage in the Amazon HQ lottery it was doomed to have a negative impact on the city no matter what Amazon’s decision would have been.

  • Geebo 8:26 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Crowds on Demand, paid protesters,   

    Is craigslist a breeding ground for political agitation? 

    Is craigslist a breeding ground for political agitation?

    Not too long ago, Facebook made headlines when it was revealed they had accepted ad revenue from Russian interests who were allegedly trying to disrupt the 2016 Presidential Election. Facebook was even called before Congress and provided the government with the information they had about the Russian group. It was nothing less than a public shaming for Facebook, yet there’s a website that has long been used for political chicanery in this country by its own citizens and no official ever bats an eye at it. Of course we’re talking about craigslist.

    Both major political parties in this country have accused the other of using paid protesters or paid supporters at many rallies and events. Many of these ads are posted in the jobs sections which means craigslist is accepting ad revenue for these ads. While there have been hoax ads and ads for paid political activism such as canvassing there is still evidence to show that craigslist is being used by political groups to undermine the truth.

    For example, take this ad that was posted on craigslist in Charlotte, North Carolina, offering $25 for actors and photographers.

    While the company who posted the ad, Crowds on Demand, did not specifically ask for protesters they did mention that they are in the business of hiring people to take place in protests. Even their website has a section for protests and rallies where they pride themselves in organizing a paid crowd to show up for almost any kind of protest. The internet being what it is, I thought Crowds on Demand could be an elaborate prank, but according to NPR they are in fact a real business entity.

    Even the hoax ads that call for protesters can be disruptive as they often make the local news of where they’ve been posted. With politics being at a divisive high in our country right now, this usually leads to both sides of the political spectrum accusing each other of trying to fool the public.

    While all of this is happening, craigslist just continues to accept the revenue for these ads, be they hoax or not, without doing so much as a basic check to see if these employment offers are legitimate, and they’re never investigated for fostering such inflammatory material for money. Again, craigslist will try to tell you they’re a socially conscious company when in reality they’re anything but.

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