It would seem that when a presidential candidate posts a slick new ad on YouTube, he or she wants people to see just how popular that ad is. At the very least, they almost certainly don't want it to be obvious that people hate it.
So it is somewhat befuddling that viewers of a new ad called "Strong" that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry posted on YouTube on Tuesday are still being allowed to rate it: As of this writing, 120,376 people had said they disliked the ad, while just 2,888 had said they liked it. For those keeping score at home, that's a ratio of 41.68 to 1. Against the ad.
Without going into too much detail about the contents of the spot--suffice it to say that it tackles polarizing issues like gays in the military and prayer in schools--it's fair to say that the ad has made the rounds of those inclined to dislike it, and they're voting in droves. The progressive blog DailyKos has been making fun of the fact that the Perry social media team neglected to turn off the voting feature, and has no doubt driven a lot of people to YouTube to vote.
Still, DailyKos has a point. It's extremely easy to turn off voting on YouTube, and you would think that someone running for the presidential nomination of a major American political party would have hired a social media team savvy enough to recognize that continuing to allow voting on an ad like this one might not look good for their boss. And it's particularly odd since his people did turn off comments for the ad.
It could be argued that the Perry people want to be transparent--after all, to have turned off voting once the tide had turned against the candidate might not have looked good. In that case, then, removing the ad from YouTube altogether might have been a better choice. Yet, the ad is still there, and voting is still enabled.
One reason might be that the video is currently holding center court on the Rick Perry for president Web site. It would be pretty obvious then if the ad was removed from YouTube.
This is not a pretty sight for a major candidate--but there is a way to save face. It's too late to stop people from talking about the voting patterns for the ad, but it's not too late to turn that voting off. There's a pretty good chance people will stop laughing about it in a few days.
This story will be updated if the Perry campaign responds to a request for comment from CNET.