Rick Santorum Hit by 'Klout Bomb'

Mashable

Rick Santorum, one of the four remaining Republican candidates for president, is the latest victim of a "Klout Bomb."

Klout is designed to measure a social media user's influence about different topics. Users with a lot of Klout can give more Klout ("+K") to other users often in whatever topics they wish.

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Klout users who disagree with Santorum's views on social policy appear to be taking out their frustrations on Santorum's page. The former Pennsylvania Senator is now considered influential in "Diaper," "Homophobia," "Homosexuality" and "Racism."

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The "Klout Bomb" is Santorum's latest struggle with Internet users. In 2003, writer Dan Savage launched SpreadingSantorum.com, a satirical website meant to redefine "santorum" in response to the then-Senator's stance on gay rights. Since it opened, the site has ranked high on web searches for the candidate's name. It has become known as Santorum's "Google problem."

But Santorum isn't the only candidate who's been the target of a Klout Bomb. Each of the presidential candidates is influential in embarrassing topics. Ron Paul is influential in "Drag Queen" and "Cloth Diapers," Newt Gingrich in "cheating," "divorce" and "lobbying," Mitt Romney in "homophobia," and Barack Obama in "cheating" and "fascism."

Mashable reached out to Klout for comment on the "Klout bomb" phenomenon, but the company said it prefers not to comment on individual users' accounts.

Meanwhile, former Republican candidate Rick Perry is drawing heat on Facebook after he said he wanted to cut federal funds for women's health clinics because some are operated by Planned Parenthood.

Women across the country have been posting sarcastic comments and questions about women's health on Perry's wall for the past few days:

"I would like your opinion since I can’t make medical decisions myself being a woman and all," read one post. "Does Texas want to be #1 in the rate of women dying from cancer? This is a great step to achieving that goal. Good luck, Rick!" read another.

Is the "Klout bomb" a silly campaign by Internet trolls -- or an effective way for people to register their disagreement with Santorum? Sound off in the comments below.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, Gage Skidmore

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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