Crowdsourcing is a distributed problem-solving and production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—typically form into online communities, and the crowd submits solutions. The crowd also sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones. These best solutions are then owned by the entity that broadcast the problem in the first place—the crowdsourcer—and the winning individuals in the crowd are sometimes rewarded.
Clownsourcing is a method of processing information in order to promote foolishness and manipulate people into bad choices. Unlike the traditional method, in which propaganda is produced by hacks utilizing a certain measure of cleverness and guile, clownsourced information is fashioned to maximise message efficiency out of the very stupidity it is meant to produce.
In clownsourcing a message, the right’s email briefings and action alerts will geyser out allegations and counter-allegations, as they do, and the blogs will roar and fulminate, and the radio and TV talkers will pick it up, such that a mass of online wingnuts will be attracted by the base flattery offered by the message, as per the right’s spite- and self-pity-based messaging system, and will repeat it back and forth in an ecstasy of self-drama, competing to fill in context and details and to create the most emotionally stimulating presentation.
Other diagnostic signs of clownsourcing are an embedded sense that the right or one of its surrogate identities (‘parents,’ ‘the military,’ ‘Americans,’ etc.) is under some kind of unfair assault, but that a blow for victory has been struck; allegations that someone or something ‘equals bad’ (e.g. that Barack Obama ‘is a communist’) absent any evidence of wrongdoing; and reports of controversies ‘erupting’ that involve any of the right’s usual idées fixes where the conflict is purely symbolic — i.e., where the disputed point ‘makes it seem’ or ’sends a message’ — and the solution is obscure or ever-receding (e.g., ‘making a stand against foreign extremism,’ ‘healing the rifts of the turbulent ’60s’).
See also here.