Commentary by Marcia Hofmann
Vanity Fair suggests that Sarah Palin’s distinctive voice on Facebook and Twitter is actually someone else’s. According to the article, she appears to have given a ghostwriter access to her social networking accounts to speak on her behalf:
When it was first set up, in January 2009, Palin’s Facebook page might as well have been a file cabinet for official press releases (“Palin Pushes Parental Consent Legislation”) written mostly in a stiff, third-person form. The same was true of her Twitter feed, which went live in April. After [writer Rebecca] Mansour’s voice disappeared on [the pro-Palin blog] C4P, however, Palin’s voice on Facebook and Twitter started sounding increasingly provocative and irascible. A company called Aries Petra Consulting was formed in September and registered to Mansour’s home address, but under someone else’s name. (In astrology, Aries is the ram—or “RAM.”) SarahPAC’s first payment to the firm was made in October, about two weeks before Palin began her book tour. By then, Palin’s new virtual voice was growing in intensity. The more shrill it became, the more news Palin made: “QUIT MAKING THINGS UP DNC” … “OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATROCIOUS DECISION: HORRIBLE DECISION, ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE” … “ARE YOU CAPABLE OF DECENCY, RAHM EMANUEL?” The payments to Mansour were not made public until February 1, 2010, when SarahPAC had to disclose its quarterly filings with the Federal Elections Commission. The day before the disclosure, knowing what was coming, C4P made an official announcement acknowledging that … Mansour … had left the site months earlier and gone to work for SarahPAC.
Let’s assume that Palin created her own Facebook account, and then hired Mansour to manage it. So what, right? Lots of high-profile people probably don’t update their own Facebook pages. In fact, President Obama’s Facebook page explicitly says that it’s maintained by Organizing for America.
- accessing someone else’s account
- sharing their passwords to let someone else access their accounts
- transferring their accounts to someone else (without Facebook’s written permission)
- providing false personal information