Some days ago I ran a story about mobilize.org.nz being promoted as a non-partisan web site by the NZ Herald. Of course, the web site is an Internet Mana initiative, or more specifically, an Internet Party initiative. It employs a multi-level-marketing peer-pressure social media kind of reward system if you promise to vote. The strong inference is, you are expected to vote for Internet Mana.
Judging by previous attempts by Kim Dotcom to game the system, it wouldn’t surprise me if the network of mobile numbers they are collecting is so that they can encourage people “in their tree” to contact their “downlines” to vote. The more downlines you have, the more likely it is you will get some kind of reward.
Of course, if it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s a duck. We can all see this.
But the Electoral Commission, which received many complaints over this issue, is taking a “nothing to see here until something actually happens”, and “we have just warned them to be good” kind approach.
This is the letter people have received after having raised this web site and the NZ Herald article (later also promoted via Fairfax)
References to Mobilize in New Zealand Herald Article
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the references to Mobilize in the NZ Herald article entitled ‘In early to make your vote count from today’. The article appeared online and in the hard copy edition.
It is unfortunate that the article appears to have included information about Mobilize and the mobilize website along with information about the Electoral Commission’s advance voting services and website.
The Electoral Commission is in no way associated with the Mobilize initiative and has not endorsed it. We have raised this issue with the NZ Herald and we understand that the NZ Herald website has been amended to remove the Mobilize website reference immediately after that of the Commission. Read more »