Wall Street Journal analysis based on research from Mercury Analytics shows 40% of respondents didn’t write the posts that were attributed to them
Mercury Analytics collaborated with James V. Grimaldi and Paul Overberg of The Wall Street Journal and conducted in-depth research studies of online published submissions related to proposed changes to existing government policies and rules (FCC Net Neutrality, Fiduciary Rule, Payday Loans), submitted to various federal government websites, in order to determine if the submissions were actually submitted by the identified individuals.
In a high percentage of cases, varying depending on the issue, individuals who may or may not agree with the comment attributed to them indicated that they had not submitted the comment, and were very upset that their identities had been used without their consent.
The research resulted in a series of front-page stories.
Wall Street Journal: http://masurveys.com/wsj_mercury_research
MSNBC Rachel Maddow: http://masurveys.com/wsj_msnbc