Facebook trounces Hillary, Obama

Updated on Nov 01, 2007 05:50 PM IST

A group started by Alabama's Raj Vachhani, in support of a comic star's mock candidacy for the 2008 polls, garners over one million members within a week's time.

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IANS | ByParveen Chopra, New York

A group started on Facebook, a popular social networking site, by a 16-year-old Indian American in support of TV comic Stephen Colbert's mock candidacy for the 2008 US presidential polls has garnered over one million members, making him a toast of the media.

Montgomery, Alabama-based Raj Vachhani's group, called "1,000,000 Strong For Stephen T Colbert", was started on October 17 and reached its goal within a week.

Comparatively, the Facebook group "One Million Strong for Barak" supporting Democratic candidate Barak Obama was started nine months ago and is still struggling at less than 400,000 members. A group opposed to Hillary Clinton's candidacy, "One Million Strong Against Hillary", has taken eight months to get 500,000 members.

Vachhani and his Facebook group, the fastest growing forum on any social networking site, has featured prominently in the mainstream American media, including The New York Times and MSNBC.

"I keep getting calls for interviews," Vachhani, a high school student, told IANS in a chat on Facebook.

Explaining the exponential growth of his group, Vachhani said, "Facebook's general demographic is very similar to that of Colbert's viewers."

Colbert is a political humorist famous for his satirical TV show, "The Colbert Report", which airs on Comedy Central. To raise laughs, he said he planned to run for president both as a Democrat and Republican so he could lose twice.

Vachhani, a second generation Indian American, said: "I love Colbert's show. If I were eligible, I would vote for him." He also felt Colbert's candidacy joke is sending a political message.

The teenager, who joined Facebook only eight months ago and is enjoying his overnight fame, believes that "the internet is an amazing place to share information and keep in touch with others. It will only grow stronger and more useful as it progresses."

Vachhani, who was born in the US of Indian immigrant parents, studies at one of the Magnet schools that are meant for brilliant students in the US.

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