Trolls overwhelm Republican online campaign

"Adolf Hitler", "Miso Horney" and "BonerDude SixtyNine" sign petition.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is running a petition campaign against the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare"). Promoted on twitter with the hashtag #IWantRepeal, the NRCC asked supporters to sign up on their website with their first name, last name, address, email and twitter handle.

As an added incentive, they had a livestream set up, so supporters could see their petition being printed off in real time.

In hindsight, it was perhaps asking for trouble. Because soon enough, the internet found the site.

At times, a hand came into shot, pulling false names out of the pile:

But eventually, even the faceless trollfighter was overwhelmed. The printer stopped – maybe on purpose, maybe because it had just run out of paper – and one final fake (sounding) name was left:

The Obama campaign's digital director, Teddy Goff, contributed an epitaph:

Trolls take a rest from sabotaging Republican campaigns to hang out in a forest. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.