WikiMeg: Give us your Dirt (I mean opposition research) on Meg Whitman

The hard work of digging up dirt on a political opponent – more politely known as opposition research – has traditionally been done in the dark recesses of a campaign operation.

But analysts say a labor-union-funded independent campaign aimed at billionaire Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman breaks new ground in how it conducts “oppo research.”

Wikimeg.com invites the rest of the world to shake the bushes for information about Whitman and enables their new research assistants to post the results on the Internet, Wikipedia-style. But this self-described “experiment in community research and information gathering” comes with potential risks in how that information is vetted.

Today’s launch of Wiki meg is the latest illustration of how social media are reshaping political campaigns, analysts say. Someone from Level the Playing Field 2010, the independent group led by Democratic strategists and funded by labor unions and targeting Whitman, will monitor the site.

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