Will the Iowa caucus be hacked?

Winning the Iowa caucus is considered a vital first step for anyone wishing to win an American presidential election. So perhaps it’s no surprise that Iowa Republicans are taking seriously a video threat (allegedly made by the group Anonymous) promising to hack the Iowa caucus results.

When The New American magazine reported the story, reader/commenter John Mazz deemed the “Anonymous” video a fake: “There are several hallmarks of ‘official’ anon communiqués that this video does not have, this was not released through the Anonymous IRC, and further still all past activity shows that for the most part, Anonymous supports Ron Paul. This is just another tactic to discredit a Paul victory in Iowa.”

(Perennial underdog Ron Paul stands a good chance of winning the caucus, according to the latest polls.)

Members of the Twitterverse also seem unimpressed by the story, but they’re all unimpressed in different ways. Some share Mazz’s belief that the entire threat is fake: “U.S. msm [mainstream media] & GOP try to pass bogus story that Anonymous plan to hack Iowa caucus where Ron Paul is set to win”.

Another suggested the story is a false flag planted by the GOP itself: “GOP plans to hack their own election results”.

Others believe Anonymous truly did make the threat, but is either aiming for the wrong target –  “Anonymous threatens 2 hack Iowa #GOP Iowa caucus vote but never goes after Obama’s contributions from Wall St” – or adding another layer of ridiculousness to an already ridiculous race: “As if the Iowa caucus couldn’t get any sillier, Anonymous threatens to hack it. I thought Iowans wrestled in a barn for their candidates.”

Other Twitterers viewed the story primarily as a platform for launching jokes. One man, punning off Iowa’s “Hawkeye State” nickname, chortled: “Anonymous + Iowa caucus threat = The HACK-eye state!”

Whether or not the threat is real, Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign chairman Drew Ivers believes it won’t hurt his boss’s chance at victory. The New American quoted Ivers as saying “If a hacker gets in and messes it all up, we can reconstruct the results. It would take a little while. It might take a day or two, but we can do it.”

Photo by  Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Jennifer Abel

Jennifer Abel

Jennifer Abel was an early contributor to the Daily Dot's web culture coverage. Her work has appeared in Mashable, Salon, Playboy, the Guardian, and elsewhere.