This entry was posted on
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at
8:56 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.
I blogged about Grant Shapps a few years ago. Back then, he sought to silence some serious questions about sock puppetry by claiming his YouTube account was hacked, and his final line in the sand was a claim that the alleged hacking incident was being investigated by YouTube/Google. I asked Grant Shapps about that last night. Here is the question he chose not to answer:
You claimed that Google/YouTube launched an investigation into what you alleged to be the hacking of your YouTube account. Nothing ever came of that. Would you care to explain why, and if you ever reported the matter to police?
During that incident I became aware of Grant Shapp’s wider use of alter egos, including ‘Michael Green’ of howtocorp.com (and howtobouncebackfromrecession.com, howtostartaforum.com, howtomarketwithtwitter.com, etc.) but today I’d really like to know more about his relationship with ‘Chuck Champion’ of howtopickupwomennow.com:
Perhaps Grant Shapps will inform us that the connection is ‘merely’ that howtopickupwomennow.com was one of the advertisers on the site savemysurgery.com, but the design, code and marketing and copy styles are identical to his* other ‘get results quickly without really trying’ scams, and his past behaviour (re: sock-puppetry denials) will count against him.
(*Yes, yes, yes. The paperwork shows the business is now in his wife’s name. But the advertising sales copy still live on many sites declares products to be the work of ‘Michael Green’, a “Member of Parliament”.)
Further, even if Grant Shapps can put a convincing amount of distance between himself and ‘Chuck Champion’, he has some serious questions to answer about site reputations he builds as an MP and then goes on to ‘cash in’ so it can be used as a patch on a two-bit ‘content’ farm where keyword-weighted links are sold for money. Shapps cannot pretend not to know what an online reputation is worth; too many of his products rely on teaching people how to falsify one.
I asked Grant Shapps about that last night. Here is the question he chose not to answer:
Where precisely do you declare the earnings from the keyword-weighted promotional links hosted on savemysurgery.com, and would you care to name any other party-political/campaign websites that you were involved in that went on to be exploited commercially in a similar fashion?
If I weren’t so preoccupied with other matters right now, I’d have a slew of other questions for Grant Shapps to read and ignore, but for now I leave you with this trail of scrummy crumbs in the form of yet another question:
Do you deny authorship of any of the following edits to Wikipedia? (note: each page contains a list)
(Psst! Over to you, Grant. Or Michael. Or Sebastian. Or Chuck. Or whatever your name is today. I’d like us all to be very clear on your view on the use of false identities for commercial and political purposes, just on the off-chance that you’re put in a position where you’re the main point of contact for complaints about sock puppetry from Conservative MPs, fundraisers, activists and what have you. Because I have just such a complaint, and it’s a whopper.)
UPDATE (12 Sep) – A considerable amount of time has passed since I put these questions to Grant Shapps, and the lack of any denial (while he was quick to produce a receipt proving he had worn a £4 tie) has cost him dearly. I have been very clear about what is indicitive and what is conclusive, but of course when valid questions are dodged, you will find conclusions being drawn regardless. Hell, I’m one of the people who drew my own conclusions after a few days. However, I should point out that Grant Shapps has now very clearly denied any level of involvement in howtopickupwomennow.com and I’m not only willing to accept this, I am also personally satisfied that there is no significance to the delay in his issuing this denial. I am at present seeking further information about savemysurgery.com, and how/why it was turned into a patch on someone’s content farm carrying an keyword-weighted link to ‘Chuck Champion’ and others, so that question stands, but in my view we are no longer in a place when one can fairly ask Shapps if he is/was ‘Chuck Champion’ of howtopickupwomennow.com and/or carry on as if that question stands unanswered. Cheers all.