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posted by takyon on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:11AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the just-my-hundred-million-cents dept.

Current Affairs published an in-depth editorial on recent revelations about a $1 million astroturfng campaign by Correct the Record:

Astroturfing makes me angry. It should make you angry. It should make you fucking well see red. It's marketing evolved into something incredibly scary, sophisticated, and evil. It's essentially thought warfare, or psychological warfare, which takes away much of what was supposed to make the internet a new and beautiful frontier of communication. Worse yet, if you actually identify and approach these operatives, they'll gaslight you and deny that they are such an operative. These are people who are paid to psychologically abuse you. Do you get this? It's an ugly and evil thing, and not only does it take away our ability to take information and fact at face value, but it takes away our ability to take opinions, feelings, and personal stances at face value as sincere and legitimate.

takyon: For some additional context, "Hillary-supporting super PAC invests $1 million to hit back at online Clinton critics":

Correct the Record, a super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton's bid to become US president, has promised to invest more than $1 million to respond to users criticizing its candidate on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, and other social media services. The super PAC says its new "Barrier Breakers digital task force" will to respond "quickly and forcefully to negative attacks and false narratives found online," in addition to thanking major supporters and "committed superdelegates" directly.


Original Submission

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NATO Study on The Coordinated Online Harassment of Finnish Government Ministers 21 comments

Back in November 2020, the NATO Stratgic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga, Latvia published an analysis of the coordinated online harassment of Finnish government ministers. The conclusion is that the attacks and astroturfing are largely free from automated activity, aka bots. The report includes statistics, lots of analysis, and several illustrative graphs. The main topics triggering the online abuse were the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, immigration, EU relations, and social policies. Finland is not a NATO member but the lessons learned from studying the coordinated harrassment can be generalized to the alliance.

This report is informed by the findings of three recent Finnish studies, one of which investigated the extent and effects of online hate speech against politicians while the other two studied the use of bots to influence political discourse during the 2019 Finnish parliamentary eleections. The first study released by the research branch of the Finnish govenment in Novemeber 2019, found that a third of municipal decision-makers and nearly half of all membes of Finnish Parliament have been subjected to hate speech online.

[...] As social media platforms continue to grow in political importance, so does their use as a means for engaging with and criticising individual government officials with little or no consequences. An additional aim of our study was to determine the role, if any, bot accounts play in disseminating abusive messages, and whether such bot activity displayed characteristics of coordination. Based on previous Finnish studies analysing the impact of bots during election periods, we hypothesised that we would observe low levels of automation and coordination. Our findings confirmed this theory; our algorithm attributed less than 3% of abusive messages to bot-like accounts. However, the more significant finding was that over half of abusive messages were sent by anonymous accounts. Anonymity erases accountability online. This can have the effect of emboldening users to voice their dissatisfaction with ministers through unfiltered, abusive messages. It is possible for people to operate many anonymous accounts. However, our data do not show clear patterns indicating single users sending abusive messaging from multiple fake accounts. The unfortunate conclusion is that much of the offensive, sexually explicit, expletive-filled abuse targeting government officials is written and published by individuals.

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  • (Score: -1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:28AM (#337211)

    I'll tell you why. Why is that worse than hordes of #GamerGaters flooding tech forums with vicious posts bashing women involved in video game development, waving off reports of death threats as an "obvious false flag", and threatening companies like Intel unless they withdraw advertising from gaming sites they don't approve of?

    Why is that worse than anonymous, unpaid posters posting pro- and anti- Trump, Hillary, Sanders, and Cruz? What difference does it make if they're funded or not. If someone has time on their hands they can log into 20 different newspaper forums every day and troll in favor of their candidate, and against their opponents. Why should these people have 100x the influence of anyone else, just because they have spare time and no qualms about abusing the forums?

    You gotta learn to read posts with a critical eye.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:34AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:34AM (#337214) Homepage Journal

      Gamergate isn't about women - it's about neoliberal political correctness. Gamergaters refuse to be emasculated to make the crazy people happy.

      --
      There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:41AM (#337218)

        > Gamergate isn't about women - it's about neoliberal political correctness.
        > Gamergaters refuse to be emasculated to make the crazy people happy.

        So, you've given up on ethics in game journalism then.

        Also "neoliberal" - that word does not mean what you think it means.

        • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:55AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:55AM (#337232) Homepage Journal

          Your SJW's don't know what ethics are, so yes, I've given up on ethics in the businessworld in general. "Game journalism"? That's what it's called when adults can't find a job, and they spend their lives playing, talking, and writing about games, right?

          --
          There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:07AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:07AM (#337239)

            So now you are just randomly blathering whatever is on your mind.
            How very trumpian of you.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:26AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:26AM (#337254)

            Your SJW's don't know what ethics are,

            Au contraire, Mr. Texarkanan! SJWs invented ethics! What do you think the S and J stand for?

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:31AM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:31AM (#337257) Homepage Journal

              Marketing buzzwords.

              --
              There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:47AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:47AM (#337287)

                That would be M and B.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by ikanreed on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:59AM

        by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:59AM (#337270) Journal

        Oh look, an idiot who doesn't know what neoliberal means.

        Hint: it's not the liberal equivalent of neo-conservativism.

      • (Score: 2) by patella.whack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:50AM

        by patella.whack (3848) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:50AM (#337331)

        sorry dude, I like your comments, but neo-liberalism is not the droid you're looking for.
        Maybe that's a chink in Smaugaway's armour?

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by frojack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:47AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:47AM (#337225) Journal

      Why is that worse than anonymous, unpaid posters posting pro- and anti- Trump, Hillary, Sanders, and Cruz? What difference does it make if they're funded or not. If someone has time on their hands they can log into 20 different newspaper forums every day and troll in favor of their candidate, and against their opponents. Why should these people have 100x the influence of anyone else, just because they have spare time and no qualms about abusing the forums?

      I honestly can't figure out which side of which issue you are on here. Who are the THESE PEOPLE you refer to?

      And posting AC while talking about trolls abusing forums? Priceless!

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:56AM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:56AM (#337294) Journal

      as it has 1.- Exactly fuck all to do with Hillary, the PAC paying for atrsoturf, or anything in TFA, 2.- Done AC so nobody can see a posting history, and 3.- is designed to derail discussion of the topic at hand by starting a flamewar.

      For fucks sake guys this is crapflooding 101 here and you are falling for it, I thought this site was supposed to be smarter than that!

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:35AM (#337323)

        OH, crap! Sorry, Hairyfeet, just saw your handle and let loose troll mod out of habit! My bad. So what were you saying? Do you need some help forming coherent sentences? Soylentils stand at the ready to assist you.

      • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:19AM

        by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:19AM (#337339) Journal

        I thought this site was supposed to be smarter than that!

        Sites aren't smart (yet), users are. In an open community you get all kinds, not only the smart ones. Make yourself at home :-)

        --
        Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:05AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:05AM (#337399) Journal

          It doesn't change the fact that, in no less than a fucking article ABOUT a politician paying for professional trolling and crapflooding, we have as the very. first. post. an example of professional trolling right out the textbook [washingtonsblog.com] and what happens? Instantly derails the discussion and keeps anybody talking about anything BUT the crooked fucking politician!

            I mean for fucks sake guys, what do you think they bought for their million bucks? They bought EXACTLY what you are seeing here. Tell me if this sounds familiar "And trolls will often spew divisive attacks so that people argue against each other, instead of bad actions and policies of the powers-that-be. For example, trolls will:Start a religious war whenever possible using stereotypes like “all Jews are selfish”, “all Christians are crazy” or “all Muslims are terrorists”.

          Now riddle me this Soylent...is this an article about Gamergate? Gaming sites? Ethics in reporting? No? Then why are you falling for such an obvious ploy that could have only been more textbook if they threw in a few racial slurs! I mean c'mon guys, its an anon, so again no way to see the posting history (as I have zero fucking doubt if the admins here could check their IP its probably coming from a list of corporate addresses), it has exactly fuck and all to do with the article (because you don't call your boss names, now do you?) and its designed to derail the thread and start a flamewar that has ZERO to do with the article....mission accomplished.

          This is the kind of shit that irks me, people act like "oh those dumb corps, spent millions but they can't manipulate ME har har har" and then they promptly fall for this shit. They aren't stupid guys, they are using the same kind of manipulation that major governments use in their PsyOps programs [rferl.mobi] but it only works if you let it which is what makes me sad, tech sites are SUPPOSED to have guys a liiiitle more savvy than this. I mean for fucks sake guys, I really shouldn't be the one to have to point this out, the second that fake ass troll post came on it should have been fucking BURIED, and the only responses should have been "that has what to do with this article exactly?" and that should have been the end of it.

          I really hope everybody here pays a little more attention in the future, because if even the most cluless, the politicians, are getting into this? Yeah we are gonna be seeing this kind of pro trolling and crapflooding from everybody from defense corps to dishsoap makers.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 1) by Osamabobama on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:48PM

            by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:48PM (#337641)

            As I read the first post (with my pre-conceived opinion guiding me) I thought it was a reasonable way to call out the author for advocating anger. The article (well, the summary...) had two basic points: this is wrong, and be angry. Without addressing the first point, frojack artfully rejected the second point.

            I tend to agree; if the internet makes you angry, there is a bottomless pool of material to keep you that way. That might even be worse than being uninformed. Let's imagine one group (obviously nefarious) wants to keep voters clueless about what's really going on, so that they might retain power over others. Another group (are they nefarious?) wants people to realize this and get angry, so that they can remove the first group from power and install someone else. The anger furthers the goals of the second group, as it prods people to action. Perhaps not thoughtfully considered action, but action, nonetheless.

            With regard to the PsyOps only working if you let it, the same can be said for anger. Don't let it get to you.

            (All that being said, I haven't been keeping score against frojack. Maybe he does support astroturfing, but that is outside the scope of his First Post in this instance.

            --
            Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
            • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday May 03 2016, @08:05AM

              by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 03 2016, @08:05AM (#340709) Journal

              Uhhh...maybe they buried it but the first post at the top of the page when I wrote the above was an anon trying to start a gamergate flamewar by purposely insulting anyone who has a pro gamergate stance which stats show is the majority on tech sites...again right out of the pro trolling textbook as it derails discussion, had nothing to do with the PTBs that the article was calling attention to, and was posted anon so no looking at the history which I have zero doubt was the only post by that person.

              As for frojack? From what I can gather he is one of the "corporation yay!" flag waving types with a possible bit of Randian cheerleading thrown in, which is fine and dandy if that makes him happy. At least we know he is an actual person with actual views as we can plainly see from his posting history, which is why I always believed that anon posting shouldn't be allowed without some sort of reputation system built in. The anon post and TFA shows exactly why this is required, because using basic PsyOps you can completely derail discussion and deflect any and all criticism of a target by simply starting a flamewar on an unrelated subject.

              --
              ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
              • (Score: 1) by Osamabobama on Thursday May 05 2016, @11:43PM

                by Osamabobama (5842) on Thursday May 05 2016, @11:43PM (#342300)

                I went back and skimmed the comments with my threshold set to -1, and now many of the comments have more context; I see what you meant. I wouldn't say I missed out on any valuable points the first time, though.
                I will try to remember the threshold setting next time...

                --
                Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
                • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Sunday May 08 2016, @08:49PM

                  by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday May 08 2016, @08:49PM (#343285) Journal

                  The sad part was until I pointed out it was a classic corporate troll right out of the PsyOps playbook? It had already reached a +3 rating and had pretty much killed all discussion of the subject at hand which was a crooked politician.

                  This is what makes that kind of shit really dangerous, and why i truly believe a reputation system for ACs is required, because people just don't seem to understand how easy it is to signaljam any and all discussion with just a bit of psychology. You post as AC, so nobody can see your history of doing this shit, you pick one of the many topics that don't have jack shit to do with TFA that often cause flamewars, and you post something insulting designed to start a fight....it really is THAT easy and because so many people think "Hur hur hur, stupid governments/politicians/corps spending millions on PsyOps online, they will NEVER affect me hur hur hur" it can be as blatant as the one I cited and they NEVER pick up on it until someone actually points out "You are being played".

                  Now that social media is taking the place of the press this is something we REALLY need to be mindful of, remember these groups aren't spending millions of dollars just to put out a couple tweets, their goal is to completely derail any discussion that isn't propaganda beneficial to their "brand". This is big business now, as I linked to you have fricking governments employing thousands to do nothing but troll forums and social media and signaljam and push agitprop, which is why this is so insidious as just like every protest now you have to wonder "is that other person an agent for the ones we are rallying against here to wreck shit?". Lucky for us at this point they do tend to follow playbooks, in the future? Its gonna be ever harder to separate real person from wrecker.

                  --
                  ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:46PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:46PM (#337517) Homepage Journal

          If a site's users are smart, the site is, too.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:48PM

      by HiThere (866) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:48PM (#337583) Journal

      While you have valid points, they don't suffice.

      Bigots are one thing, and, yes, an evil thing. But they aren't as bad as orchestrated subtle manipulation. The difference is that you can fairly reliably recognize a bigot. A careful astroturfer you can't.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:30AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:30AM (#337212) Homepage Journal

    Those whose minds are easily washed probably need them washed. Seriously, if you've got a weak mind, you don't deserve much respect. You're one of the sheeple. Sheeple are there to be fleeced. They don't serve any higher purpose in life. Just let it ride, man. I don't get upset when the daughter in law fleeces her sheep.

    --
    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:43AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:43AM (#337221)

      > if you've got a weak mind, you don't deserve much respect.

      Irony alert.
      Gynormous irony alert.

      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:52AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:52AM (#337230) Homepage Journal

        That's it, Punkinhead, attack the messanger. How cute, how predictable!

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:11AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:11AM (#337243)

          You can't be a messenger if you don't have a message.
          Only someone with a weak mind would confuse that rant for a "message."
          It's just a mess of poorly conceived anger.
          Oh, I get it you meant attack the messanger.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:41AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:41AM (#337264)

            ah, the witty woman with the trigger on the flamebait and troll mods :DDD

            see, even idiots survive evolution, mainly because others fight for them or because nobody sees them as a threat.
            at the end of the day, though, not all, or even many, of the fighters are happy with the dead comrades and idiot survivors.

            the only happy fighters are the ones with idiot, but really good looking, wives...

            to put an argument into your idiot woman mouth, with fighters i mean marines with guns, since men with guns are the créme of civilization.

            btw, idiot woman, did i mention muscle? thats is the shit... without muscle u are nothing.

            i hope i have provided some things for u to mod.

            /zug

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:34AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:34AM (#337283)

              did you forget your password or something zugnub?
              or did your muscles just get so big that your fingers can't type it anymore?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:38PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:38PM (#337571)

              the only happy fighters are the ones with idiot, but really good looking, wives...

              I just bet you charm the socks off the ladies, you manly man, you! Haven't you got a Nazi rally you need to be getting to by now, zug?

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:36AM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:36AM (#337258) Journal

          That's it, Punk-in-head, attack the massan̶ger

          FTFY.
          And please stop massaging the message (aka astroturfing); also stop being dismissive to those having punk in their head: its not illegal and if you want respect, treat others the same.

          (grin)

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:47AM

            by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:47AM (#337288) Journal
            --
            "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:01AM

              by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:01AM (#337296) Journal

              Nope... but rather [youtube.com]

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
              • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:15AM

                by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:15AM (#337302) Journal
                --
                "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:30AM

                  by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:30AM (#337306) Journal
                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:30PM

                    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:30PM (#337509) Homepage Journal

                    I liked the internet a lot better before youtube brought all you aliterates to it. And no, that's not a misspelling despite the idiotic spell checker, in both Webster's and the OED. I doubt you'll find it in the Urban Dictionary.

                    Just so you guys know, if you want me to hit a youtube link, let me know how funny it is unless it's something really cool that absolutely requires video that can't be done in print.

                    --
                    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
                    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @11:42PM

                      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @11:42PM (#337670) Journal

                      I liked the internet a lot better before youtube brought all you aliterates to it.

                      Well, I liked it better before the alphabet agencies started to look into all the traffic and digging into it.
                      Take the above as an example of (an innocent) conversation which will resist automatic "pattern detection" and yet would be able to transmit a meaning.
                      (incidentally, this is one technique that was used in life under communist regimes - of course, not based on youtube).

                      Just so you guys know, if you want me to hit a youtube link, let me know how funny it is unless it's something really cool that absolutely requires video that can't be done in print.

                      See? It works.
                      Not foolproof, but it will work even if Eve knows the technique (by increasing at least one order of magnitude the effort to detect/decipher a conversation automatically)

                      ---

                      It's somehow a shame that one which aspire to be a writer didn't recognize in it the same technique used in creating literature (when was ever "telling straight what you mean" considered literature? This is what manifests and slogans are for), even if this case relied on means other than printed words.

                      As a penance (for being dismissive and expecting "funny"), I'd suggest you to write a story about a sophisticated society in which failure to use this technique in every aspect of one's everyday life is punishable with degrading one into a lower caste; the somehow meritocratic elite maintains itself by the ability of its members to "speak" multiple languages of various society groups. Shared ethos and lore, thus supposedly able to resonate - if not empathize - with their needs; the more ethoses one can share, the more groups can trust that one to be their voice.
                      * "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" - is the language commoners speak - shared experience of the global society, but unrefined for specific areas of life
                      * "The Moon Moth" will show you the elite will use not only verbal symbols, but also visual clues and music. Add other means as necessary.
                      * Shunning someone by not seeing him even when present - one is dead when even his parents don't see him anymore - I can't remember the book/author (nor even the plot) in which this was used (some help will be gratefully appreciated)

                      --
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday April 27 2016, @03:31PM

                        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday April 27 2016, @03:31PM (#337982) Homepage Journal

                        I'm not dismissive of art or humor or anything that's best presented as a video; both True Grit movies were good, the book sucked. But it took a lot less time to read the book than to watch either movie, and that's the trouble with 90% of youtube links I've hit - someone reading to me when I can read it myself twenty times as fast with better comprehension.

                        Someone made a video of They're Made Out of Meat. Lousy movie, two guys sitting in a diner parroting the aliens' words. Pathetic.

                        If, otoh, 90% of the links were moving illustrations rather than talking heads I wouldn't have a problem. But I have no use for a video of someone talking.

                        --
                        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
                        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:10PM

                          by c0lo (156) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:10PM (#338000) Journal

                          I'm not dismissive of art or humor or anything that's best presented as a video

                          Just to male sure... you did get that part of my explanation were I said the dialogue had nothing to do with the quality of the videoclips, right?
                          (should I decode the dialogue for you?)

                          --
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:26PM

              by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:26PM (#337506) Homepage Journal

              Just so you know, I'll never be at a TED talk, let alone watch one on youtube. Videos are for illustration, the written word is the best method of communication. I only mention it because I've seen several links to youtube here today, and I don't WANT to listen to a talking head, I'm listening to music and READING on a photo and video-free site. Do you have a link to that content that doesn't involve using my ears?

              --
              Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
              • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:23PM

                by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:23PM (#337565)

                Videos can have they're place, they can be really informative. Written arguments can be hard to follow because you lack the non-verbal cues that go into an argument. That's not to say they're bad, but it's just not always the best way to get a point across, especially if someone, that's hell bent on misrepresenting you, shows up and starts taking everything you say out of context, conflating issues and/or derailing a topic.

                --
                "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
                • (Score: 3, Touché) by MostCynical on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:01PM

                  by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:01PM (#337626) Journal

                  And some times a video is just a video, or, as here, people being silly.

                  --
                  "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
                • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday April 27 2016, @03:40PM

                  by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday April 27 2016, @03:40PM (#337988) Homepage Journal

                  Videos can have they're place

                  I see by that sentence that you're not a reader.

                  they can be really informative

                  Yes, if it's something like this [hubblesite.org] but nearly always it's a talking head.

                  Written arguments can be hard to follow because you lack the non-verbal cues that go into an argument.

                  The written word is FAR more understandable than the spoken word, as poets have pointed out for centuries. "Lets all get up and dance to a song. That was a hippie four. Your mother was born, though she was born a long, long time ago".

                  Or Robert Service's "Dangerous Dan McGrew" which comes out as "dangerous damned McGrew" when read out loud. But if you don't know the difference between there, they're and their then yes, the written word might seem unwieldy.

                  --
                  Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:17PM

                    by Vanderhoth (61) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:17PM (#338005)

                    I see by that sentence that you're not a reader.

                    You know I follow you right, for quite a long time actually, and read your Mars, Ho series when you were posting it in your journal.

                    Some times people just make spelling mistakes. I often am just doing too many things at one time and screw things up without thinking about it. But your response actually makes my point. Sometimes, during a conversation, how people are posturing toward each other can convey a lot of a conversation that would be over looked or misinterpreted when written.

                    None of that is to say that written words aren't also important or that you can't make a point without body language.

                    --
                    "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
                    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday April 28 2016, @06:11PM

                      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday April 28 2016, @06:11PM (#338576) Homepage Journal

                      Body language is good at conveying emotion, but that's all. Body language won't explain microbiology or cosmology, only words and maths will do that.

                      --
                      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
                      • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday May 02 2016, @10:22AM

                        by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday May 02 2016, @10:22AM (#340175)

                        Body language won't explain microbiology or cosmology, only words and maths will do

                        Pictures help, graphs, cell diagrams, charts.

                        And sometimes having someone point to what they're talking about as they run through demonstrations and examples.

                        --
                        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:02AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:02AM (#337236)

      we need a new mod system on this fucking site...
      i have done my part in trying to keep the wise afloat :D

      /zug

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:08AM (#337241)

      Remember those words when you are relying on a mechanic, lawyer, doctor, plumber, or anyone who knows a lot more than you know about a subject. Are they going to fleece you because they can? Should they fleece you because they can? That's how you treat the "sheeple".

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:21AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:21AM (#337249) Homepage Journal

        Perhaps you're not aware of it, but that is how things are done in today's world. Those jokes about a woman driving into a mechanic's garage? They are jokes because people think it's FUNNY. Yeah, I've been ripped of by a lawyer. Doctors? Well, I've got a pretty good one, whose rates are lower than the insurance companies pay. You don't find many of those - they're all out to get that last nickle, whether it be out of your pocket, or the insurance company's pocket.

        And, for the most part, all the sheep ever do is bleat about it.

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:43AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:43AM (#337265)

          You just told us how you've been fleeced.
          And yet you think you are better than the sheep.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:55AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:55AM (#337291)

            You just told us how you've been fleeced.
            And yet you think you are better than the sheep.

            Yes, because you see... his position is that the only purpose in life is to be fleeced.
            That doesn't exclude entities that can be fleeced but also have other purposes in life; e.g. to be milked; or... I don't know... egged?

            • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:42AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:42AM (#337326)

              You just told us how you've been fleeced.
                      And yet you think you are better than the sheep.

              Yes, because you see... his position is that the only purpose in life is to be fleeced.
              That doesn't exclude entities that can be fleeced but also have other purposes in life; e.g. to be milked; or... I don't know... egged?

              I personally gyped Runaway out of fifty bucks. Obviously, I cannot reveal my name or the incident, which would amount to the same thing. But just let me say, the man is a mark, a sucker, a con man's dream! When I offered him twice his investment in return, he did not even pause to think I might be lying. Easy money! Yes, I am the man that sold a Chelsea Manning suit to Runaway1956. May he wear it with pride.

        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:34PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:34PM (#337511) Homepage Journal
          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday April 27 2016, @02:51AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 27 2016, @02:51AM (#337726) Homepage Journal

            Ohhhh, I don't know. Odd thing about psychology and related "sciences". The shrinks claim that 20, 25, maybe even 30% of people have issues. But, what is "normal", anyway?

            I posit that the shrinks and the researchers are less normal than all the people who are diagnosed with this or that, or some other imaginary affliction. Don't have time to read the PDF now, but it will be here when I get home in the morning. Consider thought, that sociopathy may actually BE "normal".

            --
            There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:09AM

        by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:09AM (#337273)

        Those people don't generally get to run amok with the fleecing because of something the Internet needs. Reputation. As soon as we all just assume 90% of you anonymous cowards are hiding because you have an agenda this problem is mostly solved.

        That is why I always post under a real name, both here and on the other place right up to the ghostban, on Discus, etc. Agree or disagree with me, you know I'm a real person. If I can speak so many ideas that most people think are unthinkable and would rather be whipped than admit they even pondered once, there really isn't too much that is unspeakable. It is mostly FEAR that keeps people in line. Everybody should try to at least think about an "unthinkable" idea once a day, maybe a few of ya bastards would work up the courage to let a few of em linger a bit in your noggins. It would be a start. Do it a while and you might graduate to reading forbidden books. Someday you might even admit to a few crimethoughts in public. That is what we need to maintain freedom of thought, enough of us rebels that they can't get us all.

        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:49AM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:49AM (#337330) Journal

          That is why I always post under a real name,

          Um, I don't think that "jmorris" is a real name. Could you provide a meatspace address at which we might direct cruise missles? Or perhaps a land-line telephone number, which would serve the same purpose. Perhaps you would care to share your social security number or national identity number with your fellow Soylentils, perhaps your bank acct # and PIN? No? Ha!! Jmorris, you are not real! You cannot be real! You are a parody of your own positions, an impossibility that if it did exist would naturally choose to end its own life immediately. Thank goodness I got here before Azuma, she is gonna tear you a new one, but since you don't exist, you will probably enjoy it.

          --
          #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
          • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:57AM

            by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:57AM (#337334)

            I'll leave doxxing me as an exercise for the student. I'll just say that if you really can't manage it you truly suck at the Internet and probably shouldn't be here.

            • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:00AM

              by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:00AM (#337356) Journal

              Unless, as many here, we are afraid of what we might actually find if we set our minds to doxx you. Brain in a vat at NRA headquarters? Possible. AI developed by the Cato Institute: very likely. Kock Bros. sockpuppet? I am not one to cast aspersions on anyone, but who are you really, jmorris? Some of us (not me!) want to know what makes you tick, and what allows you to sleep at night.
              Do you have a "safeword"?

              --
              #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:06AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @06:06AM (#337814)

                We'll find that he's a southerner who abuses his position as a network admin by using company hardware as his personal email server, or at least is pretending to do so by taking up a common URL that one could mistake for his religion oriented employer. For some reason CueCat may have had a significant effect on his life. He employs deceptive practices by displaying his email as one address but having the mailto address link to a more sketchy looking address.

                One of his personal websites was easy to find, or at least a website pretending to be from him.

          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:42PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:42PM (#337513) Homepage Journal

            LOL, son, I'm mcgrew. That's the internet spelling of McGrew. My real name. My first email address was mcgrew@famvid.com, my first web space was famvid.com/mcgrew (they offered hosting with web access), I was mcgrew at slashdot, at kuro5hin before it turned to crap, here, my personal web site is mcgrew.info (my picture's currently there), and mcgrew is the name printed on the books I write. [mcgrewbooks.com]

            I have no doubt that J is Mr. (or Ms) Morris' real first initial. I have no idea why you don't. I know from your S/N user name you like astronomy and are likely educated.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 1) by fritsd on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:27PM

            by fritsd (4586) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:27PM (#337548) Journal

            Um, I don't think that "aristarchus" is a real name, either. Didn't the real Αρίσταρχος ο Σάμιος [wikipedia.org] die some 2200 years ago?

            I think your argument just cratered [wikipedia.org].

            (That's the world upside-down: I found myself agreeing with "jmorris" and disagreeing with "aristarchus" :-) )

            "fritsd"

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:29AM

          by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:29AM (#337344) Journal

          That is why I always post under a real name,

          I prefer pseudonyms. I can build a reputation here of speaking my mind without providing an easy link back to e.g. potential future employers to investigate my mindset. Most people have practical considerations for their reputation, and using their real name gives an incentive to work on that reputation rather than openly discussing the issue at hand.

          Nevertheless, people can check my history here on soylentnews and figure out if I have an obvious bias or not.

          --
          Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:34AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:34AM (#337406)

            It cracks me up when people complain about having their posting history evaluated. They whine about how it isn't fair that an AC is judging them based on their own words.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @11:52AM

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @11:52AM (#337423) Journal

            I generally take that approach, too. When a person has a history attached to a username, it accretes a reputation that helps him restrain his id. And that, I think, makes his contributions to a discussion carry a little more weight, because they're honest and perhaps bring a little less vitriol.

            jmorris, Runaway, and guys from that ideological neighborhood on SN I disagree with most days, but I appreciate that there's no duplicity in what they write. It's an honest disagreement. That's a rare quality in public discourse anymore.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:32PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:32PM (#337467)

          Everybody should try to at least think about an "unthinkable" idea once a day

          An interesting aspect of alt-right political philosophy that is not discussed enough is most of the alt-right people and some of the trad-right people are very comfortable on an intellectual level with physics style thought experiments. Regardless if anyone likes it or not, it observationally leads to lots of alt-right recruitment, lots of personal histories begin with something that summarizes to "as a thought experiment, what would happen if the cathedral narrative about XYZ were untrue?" where XYZ is some topic right wing people care about and the thought experiment matches observed reality better than the authoritarian establishment narrative. Then they start reading red-pill dogma or Moldbug and next thing you know they're fully switched on, for better or worse. I read Moldbug, that red-pill stuff is degenerate, but whatever, everyone's got their own path.

          I have noticed that folks not susceptible to alt-right recruitment, in totally different settings, for whatever reason, act like their hamster exploded if you try a non-political thought experiment on them "So imagine you're in an elevator how can you tell the difference between an acceleration from a cable and acceleration from gravity?" "Or imagine for the sake of argument that semiconductors are full of holes where holes are real things just like baseballs, how do they flow and collide?" and they just flip out demanding its not real therefore wrong to think about as a mental model. They flip out in full on rhetoric mode. "you're just making up words it doesn't mean anything unless they're words I like" and so on.

          A meme I've been trying to push (mostly unsuccessfully) is if the predominant recruitment style for alt-right today is the physics-style thought experiment, that means they're preferentially going to recruit only the cognitive elite. Bubba ain't gonna read his Misner and Thorne, or whatever the cool kids read today, and think about elevators vs gravitational fields, or the political equivalent. That means there won't be many of them, although that minority (the cognitive elite) is the only people who've ever done anything anyway so maybe its not a big problem. If the only people who think, agree with you, I guess you're golden? So the death of my pet meme is that it doesn't matter.

          I don't see proof by induction or thought experiment in left-wing dogma. If its there, at a significant level anyway, I'd like to think about it. The deep mental philosophical model behind left wing thought is much less clear to me than the right wing model, probably because of my own sympathies and biases. (Insert obvious snarky comment about why I can't see the deep mental philosophical model of lefties here, so obvious there's no point even stating it)

          Its fun to watch. By watching politics I can almost feel the visceral appeal of sportsball, the gut level prediction, the excitement during the wait, the brutal confirmation or denial by reality, in a tight repetitive cycle. Pass the popcorn...

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by frojack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:31AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:31AM (#337213) Journal

    Astroturfing makes me angry. It should make you angry. It should make you fucking well see red.

    Triggered much?

    Whoever that clown is who wrote that better grow a skin if they intend to live on this planet. Someone remind them they got spanked 30 seconds after they were born.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:45AM (#337224)

      Ah frojack - hating on liberals is more important than opposing astroturfing.
      Tomorrow you'll be telling us how great spam is because it makes liberals whine.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:55AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:55AM (#337233) Journal

        TFS isn't about liberals or conservatives. It fits both equally.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:13AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:13AM (#337244)

          Because "triggered much" is an insult intended for conservatives.
          Are you so deep in your bubble that you don't even realize when you parrot your tribe's memes?

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:34AM

            by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:34AM (#337347) Journal

            Oops. Looks like "triggered" triggered something here :-)

            I'm usually not counted to the conservatives (nor would I count there myself) and don't think I sympathize with most of frojacks posts. But while choice of words can indicate a bias, the way a message is expressed does not necessarily invalidate the message itself.

            --
            Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
            • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:20AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:20AM (#337400)

              Who said anything about his targeting of the message at liberals invalidating the message?

              The message was idiotic to begin with - that astroturfing is A-OK.

              The fact that he unintentionally revealed his reasoning for that idiocy as being basic partisanship just made it crystal clear that there was no meaningful logic supporting his conclusions. For that he deserves twofold criticism - criticism for an idiotic premise and criticism for being so blinded by his own partisanship that he could not recognize the idiocy.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:17AM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:17AM (#337245) Journal

      So corporations making accounts so they can crapflood channels of communication with propaganda doesn't piss you off? Anybody here that is a refugee from /. should have plenty of experience with this, after all how badly was the postings filled with "Metro is the future, embrace the future luddite!" when Win 8 megabombed? Or how about Sony shills trying to spin the network hack? Apple and HP during bumpgate?

      This isn't about "responding to critics", they could do that through official channels, its about crapflodding and making sure anybody who tries to bring up legitimate issues is buried by a mountain of trolls. Considering the Internet is the LAST place where we can actually have discussions without being just pounded by propaganda (hell you can't even have a rally anymore without wondering if half the people around you aren't undercover cops sent there to wreck it for their masters) it should piss you off!

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:08AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:08AM (#337272) Journal

        Obvious crapflooding is obvious. Fawning praise is easily recognized as such. No it doesn't bother me much. It doesn't fool anyone anymore.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:36AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:36AM (#337284) Journal

          But you are missing the point of it, which is to drown the signal in so much noise that no communication is possible.

          How far down are you willing to dig to find actual discussion when there are 300 "Hillary is teh bomb, you are a misogynist if you don't embrace teh vagina!" posts? A dozen? Two? They have found that crapflooding works and it works very well because people will give up and move on if you fill a thread with enough shit. Again go look at some of the articles that were crapflooded on /., there were articles that pushed 200 posts were a good 80% of them were nothing but crapflooding with either shilling or "You don't like this? You must be a nigger" levels of trolling. Just post after post after post after post so if you were lucky you'd get one real post out of three pages of nothing but shitposts.

          These corps and their pets like Hillary do not spend a million bucks on things that do not work, for that amount of money how many Chinese or Indian workers do you think they can hire to just bury a thread in hundreds of shitposts? They know most simply won't waste their time trying to dig through a mountain of shit just to get a few bits of info so they move on...and they win.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:23AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:23AM (#337340) Journal

            Oh woe is us, they are drowning out our voices.

            We have to find a way to silence them.

            Because even though WE understand their tactics, OTHER people are not as smart a US and they won't understand they've been astorturfed, Because they aren't as smart as US. WE are soooo much smarter than OTHERS....

            You really are a bit of an elitist aren't you Hairy....

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 2, Troll) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:43AM

              by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:43AM (#337397) Journal

              Nice strawman, shame about this match...WHOOSH!

              Nice babble but I notice you completely chickenshitted out on the question so I will highlight it for you...how many shitposts will you go through to get the info? 10? 20? How many do you think will ever hear anything but corporate propaganda if everything that isn't "Gee isn't corp A great Biff? It sure is Bob, they are the bestest!" is buried under 500 "You are just a little nigger faggot, you know that?" posts?

              It has nothing to do with elitism, or are you so damned head up your ass clueless you think they just spent 1 million fucking bucks on nothing? That money is being used to bury all non pro Hillary discussion under a wall of shit, simple as that. and more importantly there are things that can be done to stop this, such as 1.- Limits to the amount of anon posts per IP address, 2.- anons being rated no different than regular users through some sort of reputation system, I'm sure there are seveeral other things that can be done if we were to put our mind to it.

              But if you just want to sit back and hand the Internet to corporate and political interests? Just say so, I'm sure big business and big government loves the lazy and apathetic.

              --
              ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:25PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:25PM (#337593)

              The above average caliber people who come to this website from many different walks of life can spot obvious astroturfing and shilling and say "obvious astroturfer is obvious." At the very least, the critical thinkers here will follow a discussion, point for counterpoint, maybe some of us back in the peanut gallery will request citations every now and then, and sooner or later it at least becomes obvious which viewpoint being presented has the better debater. That viewpoint may not be the end-all-be-all of viewpoints, but we understand that. Perhaps somebody will come along and argue the other viewpoint more eloquently. If the viewpoint is rubbish, no person who's here for reasonable debate will bother salvaging it and there it will rot having been summarily tossed out of the arena of ideas. Hopefully you gather what I'm getting at.

              The problem is that the hearts and minds to be won or lost on the real issues are the masses of sheep/cows who are Facebookers, Twits, change.org frequenters, all the people posting to your local newspaper's Disqus comments section, etc.

              At least, that is a problem as long as a democratic republic is the best kind of government we know to work.

              This AC doesn't have a better form of government to propose. In sci-fi, we often see an advanced expert system or post-singularity AI take the reigns of a technocratic government where everyone prospers. Yet, that seem to me to boil down to supposing we have a government made of incorruptible angels. I don't see how this is workable in the real world.

              I've seen radical proposals such as allowing all people to choose which government they want to pay taxes to. Say I choose to join a minarchist libertarian government whose only form of social safety net is universal basic income and universal healthcare. (Seems we get a lot of immigrants each year from the anarchist "fuck you I've got mine" Randian bootstrapper paradise government lol.) I get to smoke weed after work. Yay. Say my neighbor is a member of a theocratic authoritarian government such as the one Cruz seems to want. Its people pay it taxes for a convoluted social safety net and dysfunctional criminal justice system, but hey, they're happy paying for-profit prisons to imprison infidels. (Another source of immigrants each year for my minarchist utopia lol.)

              One day my neighbor gets pissed because I smoked a particularly pungent blunt after a stressful day and reports this to his police. Smoking weed is strictly forbidden under his government. How does that confrontation go down? Don't try to think of all the stupid details like wafting odors or somesuch. It could be anything. Maybe my neighbor notices that I often get kebaps at a local Muslim take-out place and tries to get his government to arrest me for doing business with Muslims or something. I don't see how it can work. (Yeah, he'd probably try first to get the kebap stand shut down but say that resulted in an armed standoff between my government and his already and an uneasy treaty to agree to disagree on the matter of whether Muslims can own and operate businesses.)

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:39PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:39PM (#337601)

              Just give up already. How many times do you have to be bitch slapped before the point sinks in?

              Oh, I get it. You're one of those "No matter how wrong I am proven to be I will continue to stand my ground!" Because anything else would be admitting weakness. You are terrified of humiliation and humbling yourself by admitting wrong doing. Because that's for pussy liberal hippies. Your abusive, alcoholic, low life father must have done a real number of you.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:43AM

            by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:43AM (#337348) Journal

            More noise should trigger the development of better filters. Maybe we finally get a forum with an implementation of a web of trust. Like, you rank some pseudonym as trusted by a certain percentage, and those it ranks trustworthy as well are automatically ranked trustworthy for you as well (to a certain lesser degree). If you manually overwrite, your trust for the initial pseudonym can be reduced automatically as well, and if you trust a pseudonym but disagree on their trust-ranking towards a third party, this could trigger a nice discussion as well (if the ranking is public).

            It takes some discipline to not rate people by sympathy but only by credibility, but might work.

            --
            Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:16PM

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:16PM (#337432) Journal

            These corps and their pets like Hillary do not spend a million bucks on things that do not work, for that amount of money how many Chinese or Indian workers do you think they can hire to just bury a thread in hundreds of shitposts? They know most simply won't waste their time trying to dig through a mountain of shit just to get a few bits of info so they move on...and they win.

            I know for a fact that the Clintons are not that bright, and have nowhere near the amount of online sophistication you're attributing to them. They spend all kinds of money on things that don't work, and they do not have good judgement when it comes to anything tech-related. In fact, they're quite fearful and make poor choices. (A member of the general public might be able to discern that from the business surrounding Hillary's email server).

            But take your cited example of Hillary flooding sites with a social media campaign. It's ham-fisted, and everyone knows it. No one is fooled by the manufactured semblance of public approval. So it's really a million of her donors' dollars, wasted. They might elicit a genuine "Right on!" from the 1500 people on the Upper West Side of Manhattan who consistently give money to the Clintons, but no one else is really taken in, not even sycophants out there who are gunning for internships.

            I would go further and say that generally speaking, corporate social media campaigns fail, and will always fail, because they ring so false. Even when a company is being forthright that the words are coming from them, I have never yet seen it done well. A good portion of my career was in advertising, and I can tell you that as much as all those companies wanted to be hip and cool on social media, the managers, the MBA's, and, most importantly, the lawyers, who run those companies are congenitally incapable of being hip and cool. The managers and MBAs are utterly tone deaf when it comes to dealing with non-sociopath humans (READ: us), and the lawyers want to pre-process every post to pablum, with a turn-around time of 10 business days (which is so, so very effective in an immediate medium like social media, eh?).

            It will always be that way, unless and until the politicians and corporations re-write their own DNA from the ground up.

            In short, we shouldn't be so afraid of them on social media, but instead point and laugh at how utterly incompetent they are.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:09PM

              by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:09PM (#337491) Homepage Journal

              I know for a fact that the Clintons are not that bright, and have nowhere near the amount of online sophistication you're attributing to them.

              Whether or not that's true, they can easily hire competent people, and during his presidency Bill showed that he was good at that kind of thing. He was, after all, one of the best presidents in my 64 years.

              I would go further and say that generally speaking, corporate social media campaigns fail

              Then why are people so eager to overpay for a shirt because it has a swoosh or an alligator on it? The fact that you don't notice this is proof that they are, indeed, VERY competent at it.

              --
              Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:14PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:14PM (#337527) Journal

                Then why are people so eager to overpay for a shirt because it has a swoosh or an alligator on it? The fact that you don't notice this is proof that they are, indeed, VERY competent at it.

                By definition, you would only see the successful campaigns. They can be covert, but they can't be invisible.

              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday April 27 2016, @02:58AM

                by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @02:58AM (#337732) Journal

                they can easily hire competent people, and during his presidency Bill showed that he was good at that kind of thing. He was, after all, one of the best presidents in my 64 years.

                Yes, but the trouble is they don't. They hire cronies. And you could have the smartest people in the world, but they wouldn't be able to accomplish crap if they answered to an ADHD bunny on crack. "One of the best presidents" is unclear, but if you're like most people who have a favorable impression of Bill Clinton it's because he lucked into a speculative bubble that hadn't burst before he was done with office. It had nothing to do with him, and if anything his de-regulation set the stage for the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the out-of-control Wall Street we're suffering from today.

                Then why are people so eager to overpay for a shirt because it has a swoosh or an alligator on it? The fact that you don't notice this is proof that they are, indeed, VERY competent at it.

                What you're talking about is advertising/branding, when what we were talking about was social media campaigns. Two different animals. Advertising and branding work, but corporations are terrible at social media because their organizational DNA is antithetical to the medium. In all my years working on Madison Avenue, I saw really one organization use social media well: Charity: Water. But they're a non-profit that digs wells in places around the world where people don't have access to clean drinking water, not a giant soulless corporation trying to sell you a shirt with an alligator on it.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
                • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday April 27 2016, @03:23PM

                  by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday April 27 2016, @03:23PM (#337976) Homepage Journal

                  Yes, but the trouble is they don't. They hire cronies.

                  They hire both, unless they're named Bush. Then they only hire cronies.

                  if you're like most people who have a favorable impression of Bill Clinton it's because he lucked into a speculative bubble that hadn't burst before he was done with office.

                  That bubble didn't bring crime down or end generational welfare like bills he signed did.

                  What you're talking about is advertising/branding, when what we were talking about was social media campaigns.

                  That's what astroturfing is about.

                  --
                  Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday April 28 2016, @11:08AM

                    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday April 28 2016, @11:08AM (#338355) Journal

                    Your perception of the competence of Clinton's hires is based on the reality distortion field projected by image makers and the media. It's not a knock on you, it's all most people in the world have to go on. In this context I base my assessment of them on direct knowledge and knowing those people personally. It was never intentional, but my strange career has taken me behind that curtain of fame and power. Bill and Hillary Clinton have no leadership or management skills, no moral compass, and incredibly flawed judgement. Many people "know" those things. I do know them. They are grifters of the highest order, and not one blessed thing about you, me, or any human on earth matters to them more than their own power and bank account.

                    The bubble did bring crime down, because for a short time people had jobs. Bill Clinton did not end welfare, he just decided corporate welfare was much more profitable for him than the other kind. In that, his policies and outlook are indistinguishable from every other Republican or Democratic president of the last 35 years.

                    Astroturfing is not advertising/branding. It's meant to be reputation management, and is more akin to PR. That is, in fact, why PR firms went on a hiring spree for social media "experts" starting about 6 years ago. But they suck at it, because, as I've asserted, corporations are simply not able to use the medium; lawyer-approved talking points do not for a successful social media presence make.

                    --
                    Washington DC delenda est.
                    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday April 28 2016, @06:08PM

                      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday April 28 2016, @06:08PM (#338574) Homepage Journal

                      AllI know from my own knowledge is that I worked for the Illinois Department of Public Aid since 1987, and things where I worked changed drastically for the better shortly after Clinton took office, the bad neighborhood I lived in got its own neighborhood cop (one of the things Clinton had promised) and Federal money for the poor and especially for getting them jobs started coming in. When he signed PWORA Thompson (I think he was still Governor then, iirc) moved everything around and started the Department of Human Services and moved mu bureau in.

                      For all I know, the Clintons may be cockroaches in person, but all I have to go on, like yourself, is what I experienced.

                      --
                      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:55PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:55PM (#337484) Homepage Journal

            My problem with /. wasn't crapflooding with astroturf but crapflooding with stupid unfunny jokes that scrolled on and on and on with nobody actually talking about the topic itself. I still go there, but usually only to friends' journals.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:41PM

            by HiThere (866) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:41PM (#337602) Journal

            Well, there's an answer, but it's another arms-race kind of evolutionary cycle. Just like spam filters "sort-of" work against spam, there could be analogous things added to other channels of communication. But each thing you add will be worked around as it becomes popular, so you'll need to work around their work arounds, and then...

            With web pages I use a combination of ad blocker and not installing flash. But note the continual approaches to making ad blockers useless. And my wife won't give up flash, because some sites she dotes on demand it. So avoiding intrusion is countered by its requirement that certain features be avoided. At one time I just had javascript turned off, but too many sites now require it...so I enabled it and use an ad blocker...but that creates a weakness in my system that can be a wedge for entry.

            Eventually we'll be required to have an powerful AI dedicated to nothing but screening attempts at communication...the way people used to use a secretary, only more integrated into the internet. But if it's not locally hosted, someone will take advantage of it. (And even if it is, there's likely to be some EULA or law that requires vulnerabilities built in.)

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by patella.whack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:56AM

          by patella.whack (3848) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:56AM (#337332)

          Oh man, you vastly overestimate the sophistication of the Proles.
          If a person like you simply dismisses the onslaught as ineffective, then we're missing out on a smart ally.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:51PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:51PM (#337478) Homepage Journal

          Obvious crapflooding is obvious, but skilled astroturfing isn't always.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jmorris on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:20AM

        by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:20AM (#337277)

        Yes the spammy aspect pisses me off. But after fighting the spam wars for two decades now I understand that it was our (our being we UNIXheads who designed this crap) fault for assuming things about human nature that are self evidently not true. In my forebearers (I don't date to the beforetime of ARPANET) defense, the original design was for a network populated by reasonable adults with fairly reliable audit trails between posting accounts and real people with real jobs they didn't want to lose by abusing the network.

        We have to take seriously the task of redesigning the Internet assuming everyone is hostile until proven otherwise. That includes assuming anonymous (or disposable account) forum posters are paid shills. As someone with controversial views (understatement, right?) I can sympathize with those who are afraid to post with a real name. But we can probably think up a persistent yet anonymized way to post with history and reputation. A VPN and a Gmail account get you most of the way there now unless you are resisting a 1st world nation state actor.

        I hate Mrs. Clinton with the fury of an exploding Sun (and her asshole rapist husband too) but I can't bring myself to single her out for additional hate or abuse over this issue because it is a certainty that if the other candidates aren't doing likewise yet it we can assume they all will be up to speed by the general and all future cycles. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars massaging their coverage in print and TV, a million or two for social media and net fora is chump change.

        Don't hate the player, hate the game. Change the rules if you don't like the way the players are taking advantage of the current rules.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:52AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:52AM (#337290) Journal

          Oh I agree 110% we need to change the Internet, I was one of the first to argue that browsers in their current form are fucking retarded and about the worst possible way you could design a system for displaying information. I mean just accepting code from bumfuckistan on some server, code that can change at any second, and by default just treating that as safe and running it? It makes the shit we had to deal with in the 90s like BonziBuddy and Comet Cursors look like the pinnacle of security!

          But until we have something better up and running we really need to protect what we have because if we don't? If the PTBs have their way the net will become a combination of Pravda, the STASI, and the Home Shopping Channel. And frankly it won't take much to fight back against this, if someone started showing up to Hillary rallies asking "Do you know PACs are paying trolls to slander in your name and stop discussion of the issues?" and posters online just keep hammering this home on every pro Hillary article and vid? Then we CAN force the issue.

          But we have zero hope of changing anything if we just sit back and passively let them have it, after all that is the entire point of professional astroturfing and crapflooding, to signaljam the channels with so much noise that everybody gives up. And sadly if we don't fight back against this it has real world consequences, just look at how many people still believe that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. If we don't fight back then they get to control popular opinion, bury dissent with noise, and basically steer the entire country any way they please.

          What we have now isn't great, came from a bunch of pants on head dumbshit design choices, but its honestly all we have anymore that isn't 100% controlled by corporate interests and for that reason alone its worth fighting for.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 5, Informative) by jmorris on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:28AM

            by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:28AM (#337305)

            If the PTBs have their way the net will become a combination of Pravda, the STASI, and the Home Shopping Channel.

            Have you looked at the Internet in the last year? Look as a normie sees it, make a fresh VM, browse with the shields down and start at Yahoo!, Bing or some other lame ass start page for normals.

            if someone started showing up to Hillary rallies asking

            She has admitted to multiple felonies[1] in the email caper, the Clinton Foundation is transparently a money laundering shop and there are dead bodies pretty much anywhere you look in the history of the Clintons and Bill has abused at least as many women as Bill Cosby. Her supporters know all of these facts and are not voting for her in spite of those crimes. They are voting for her -because- of them; they demonstrate the ruthless lust for power and the willingness to do absolutely anything in service to the Party that they seek in a leader. Do you seriously believe learning that she has paid trolls operating on the Internet would be the final offense they couldn't abide?

            [1] Since one of her troll shills will probably dispute the fact, I will go ahead and back it up now. Operating a mail server outside government control is a violation of the records retention laws (no FOIA possible, no historical record, etc.) Receiving classified material on that system and not reporting it as a security breach is itself a crime. Sending classified material over her system is obviously a crime and she turned over the email archives proving that herself. Ordering staff to remove classified markings so they could be sent to her mailbox is a crime, as was actually obeying that order a crime for the minions. She sent material not marked classified later deemed to have been classified, and as knowing the rules and correctly marking classified material is a duty of her office, she is criminally liable for the failure. Retaining the records after leaving office, both classified and even a lot of the normal traffic, is a crime. She destroyed records, which is of course another crime. She will of course not be indicted for any of it because our government is utterly corrupt.

            • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:23AM

              by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:23AM (#337401) Journal

              Dude I'm from Bill's home state, we know ALL about the bodies...but how many of the general public know? Again this is PsyOps 101, keep nasty questions out of the mainstream as much as possible and use words like "nutter" and "conspiracy theory" to cover up the few that slip out...but the nice thing about the Internet is you can get a groundswell going with frankly very little effort. As much as I hate the org I have to give that 15 year old girl with BLM credit, by simply bringing up her "brought to heel" comments on camera she forced the issue into the limelight and its frankly STILL going, just a couple weeks back Bill was on camera trying to defend her remarks because others picked it up and REFUSE to let it die!

              Maybe its because I'm a child of the 70s, when we saw a US president toppled by people refusing to accept his corruption and illegal acts, but I've seen enough these past few years to know that we don't HAVE to buy the bullshit, we don't HAVE to accept the lies they are pushing as truth, but it requires actually fighting back and refusing to let them control the conversations!

              --
              ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:54AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 27 2016, @04:54AM (#337782) Homepage

                The current problem is that frequently the "groundswell" itself was astroturfed. A great many "activists" do it for a living. At this point there's no good way to distinguish. My solution is to regard "groundswells" with the same suspicion as any other "movement" until I'm completely sure who and what motivations are behind it.

            • (Score: 5, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:16PM

              by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:16PM (#337457) Journal

              She has admitted to multiple felonies[1] in the email caper, the Clinton Foundation is transparently a money laundering shop

              It's more accurate to characterize the Clinton Foundation as an influence laundering shop. Rich "Friends of Bill" give the operation a chunk of money, say $40 million. Bill creates an "Initiative" to use that money to "help" people somewhere, in some way. Maybe $10K of that $40 million goes to buy some kids in Haiti some backpacks. The rest goes to salaries for the friends and family of other Friends of Bill who need to pad out their resumes in some way, operating expenses for the rest of the "Foundation," and fees paid to consulting companies run by Friends of Bill.

              The donor gets access to Bill Clinton's rolodex of Friends of Bill and PR value of co-founding a philanthropic venture with Bill Clinton. That latter part is particularly attractive if you're a heinous mofo from the 3rd world. That access, in turn, results in favorable legislation/trade deals, government contracts, etc.

              No money actually goes directly through the Foundation to Bill or Hillary Clinton's pockets. They make their money from honoraria for speeches. Those $250K speeches Hillary gave to Goldman Sachs? That is the form that kickbacks take, but that's a direct transaction between the company and the Clintons.

              By the way, the whole scheme is not of the Clinton's making. Their pal, Vernon Jordan came up with it.

              She sent material not marked classified later deemed to have been classified, and as knowing the rules and correctly marking classified material is a duty of her office, she is criminally liable for the failure. Retaining the records after leaving office, both classified and even a lot of the normal traffic, is a crime. She destroyed records, which is of course another crime. She will of course not be indicted for any of it because our government is utterly corrupt.

              Yes, she committed multiple felonies. She must go to jail. The email server episode demonstrates how inept she is when it comes to technology and law. Her decision to set it up in the first place was entirely political. She wanted to control the narrative of what was said about her stint as Secretary of State when it came time to run for President again. A private email server has a much different discovery process than a government server. I would not be surprised if she had incriminating messages on that server wherein she was peddling influence, or at least setting up the in-person meeting when she said the really good stuff.

              The million dollar question is, will the FBI prosecute her? It is rather a litmus test for the Rule of Law in the United States at this point. Do they let a brazen felon into the Whitehouse? If they do, then We the People will have final confirmation of what we have long suspected, and increasingly know.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:58AM

            by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:58AM (#337309) Journal

            If the PTBs have their way the net will become a combination of Pravda, the STASI, and the Home Shopping Channel.

            People keep ignoring a simple fact [youtube.com].

            (grin)

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:55AM

              by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:55AM (#337352)

              You forgot copyright violations.... often, but not always, involving porn. But that is history, now the Internet is for Netflix.

              • (Score: 2, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:03AM

                by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:03AM (#337358) Journal

                You forgot copyright violations....

                Copyright violations?
                "What's taters, precious?"
                I can only see fair use... as in: if it's on the internet, it's fair game; the information wants to be free anyway.

                (grin)

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:09AM

                  by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:09AM (#337359)

                  Yea well... don't even. Folks knew what they were doing. I herded a Usenet server and the canonical newsgroup descriptions for most of the alt.binary.* groups began with "Copyright violations involving...."

                  Good times.

            • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:39PM

              by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:39PM (#337573)

              I think you need to give credit to where this really comes from. The WoW cover of it is fun, but Avenue Q is hilarious, this is another one they did that I stumbled on a while back before I knew where the WoW song came from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovF1zsDoeM [youtube.com]

              --
              "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:35AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:35AM (#337793)

          Some of us just don't like having to maintain accounts with every website and/or someone being able to track down everything we've ever said on the net.

          Don't go claiming you verify every poster of every post you read. You don't know a throwaway account just by looking at the user name and shills can post meaningful posts to build up their reputations before shilling for their company. I could create an account, post this exact same message as not an AC, and some people will view it with much more weight than they view it now. Some of us know that's bullshit and don't bother creating accounts. I'm not interested in playing social games. I don't need friends to follow me. Each of my posts stand on their own. Accounts can be sold or hacked at any time too. You never know who is posting something even with user names.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @11:58AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @11:58AM (#337426) Journal

        I recall that corporate shills/trolls were generally eviscerated on Slashdot. By the time astroturfing became a tactic, the community had already matured and had developed antibodies for it. I suppose I'd credit karma with that. When you have long-time users posting under consistent handles, they establish that they're real. Karma accruing to that username restrains, for the most part, acid replies.

        Slashdot really only started to fall apart because the site's owners chose to sabotage it.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:56PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:56PM (#337452)

          What about low noise level spam? The weekly slashvertisement about e-ink? Personally I found that incredibly annoying.

          The dangerous or effective astroturfing isn't the "stand up to the man in a single heroic Ayn Rand style 75 page long prepared speech" but more like TV detergent commercials who are perfectly happy to tell you 15000 times to buy Tide as long as the 15001-th time you hear it, you finally buy Tide. Its a major hit to standard of living that we all have to sit thru that crap 15000 times because one idiot buckled on the 15001-th time.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:59PM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:59PM (#337486) Journal

          I recall that corporate shills/trolls were generally eviscerated on Slashdot. By the time astroturfing became a tactic, the community had already matured and had developed antibodies for it. I suppose I'd credit karma with that.

          Really? You managed to forget Cold fjord?

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:04PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:04PM (#337575) Journal
            And I guess you missed the million times Coldfjord got eviscerated. Besides one poster who disagrees with everyone is not the problem. It's when there's several hundred who disagree.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Tuesday April 26 2016, @08:23PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @08:23PM (#337615) Journal
            Actually, now that I think of it, Coldfjord might be false flag. After all, he's defending the indefensible, month after month. He's not likable. And as a result, he's built up a great hate-on in the Slashdot community for NSA and other US intelligence.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:39PM (#337442)

        For better or worse, I take a small number of impressions I get from the candidates, form an opinion, and vote that way.
        Liar, crook, crazy, has potential summarize my opinion of Hilary, Cruz, Trump, and Sanders.
        I try and avoid social media. It's already a crapflood of a communication channel. Thing is, when you crapflood a communication channel you're killing the channel, too, and your ability to send real information which will be received through it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:50PM (#337476)

          crazy like a fox

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:30AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:30AM (#337256) Journal

      Someone remind them they got spanked 30 seconds after they were born. Someone remind them they got spanked 30 seconds after they were born.

      Thirty Seconds, huh? Well that might explain the brain damage, in many cases.

      --
      #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:29AM (#337280)

      Oh somebody needs to grow up

      A... tumour?

    • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:01AM

      by jdavidb (5690) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:01AM (#337297) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, that whole sentence reads very interesting to a person who has come to believe that an angry outburst represents temporary insanity.

      --
      ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:43PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:43PM (#337474) Homepage Journal

      He works for the media, the ultimate astroturfer. Why have absolutely none of the Presidential candidates been asked if their DEA will bust pot distributors in states where it's legal like Bush did? Why did I not know that legal medical marijuana dispensaries were raided a decade ago despite reading newspapers and watching TV news? I found out yesterday in an email that dispensary owners are rotting in federal prison.

      Someone on CBS yesterday said America didn't care about that issue. Really?? I have close friends who depend on medical marijuana. All of us have friends and family who use pot who are running afoul of federal law.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:38AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:38AM (#337216)

    This is the same story [soylentnews.org] from a couple of days ago.

    The only new information is reference to one reddit user complaining they got spammed via private messages. Which isn't even what this superpac is claiming to do - they want to publicly rebut unflattering posts about clinton. Is it really easier to blame a superpac than to believe that clinton does not have a ton of fans who are also internet assholes?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:58AM

      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:58AM (#337295)

      It was new to me.

      When I posted this on another forum, I was linked to this reddit thread:
      Bernie Groups are GONE from Facebook!!!! URGENT! [reddit.com]

      • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:00AM

        by butthurt (6141) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:00AM (#337335) Journal

        At a developer conference, the CEO of Facebook spoke of "fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others'." Employees of the company voted to ask him “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?”

        http://gizmodo.com/facebook-employees-asked-mark-zuckerberg-if-they-should-1771012990 [gizmodo.com]

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:28AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @10:28AM (#337403)

          And, as the link shows, all the groups were restored within hours.

          So you are left with two choices:
          (1) Enough internet assholes flagged the groups and facebook's automated systems took them offline as a precaution and then queued them up for a human to investigate. Unlikely because that has never happened before on the internet.

          (2) Facebook is so absurdly partisan that they deliberately took down a bunch of high profile groups and then restored them a few hours later after the realized they couldn't get away with it. Totally likely because, despite zuckerberg saying they would not play partisan games they totally do not understand the streisand effect and their fascism got the better of them.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:50AM (#337227)

    Seems the shills are very much alive and well on this site.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by toygeek on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:54AM

    by toygeek (28) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:54AM (#337231) Homepage

    that make me want to remove SN from my bookmarks bar. See my UID? I am FOR SN. I like it here. Except when sensationalist garbage like this gets posted. Give me information, not opinions. I can form those myself.

    --
    There is no Sig. Okay, maybe a short one. http://miscdotgeek.com
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:13AM (#337275)

      Seconded. This isn't even adolescent - it's a kindergarten, ankle-biter stuff.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:26PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:26PM (#337464) Journal

      I believe you. The "I'm gonna pick up my ball and go home" talk is a buzz-kill, though. Stuff that people don't like gets past the safeguards sometimes. The editors are only human, and do far more work than most of us to keep the place going. (you, too, developers, many props to you guys) They take a lot of flak for this kind of thing, and get far too little appreciation for the good job they do 99% of the time.

      The best thing to do to make the site better is not to complain, but to pitch in. That could mean submitting good articles, or joining the ranks of the editors. More editors means more attention can be paid to submitted stories.

      Maybe you don't have time to do those things, but positive energy and kind words don't take any time at all and are worth their weight in platinum.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:43AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:43AM (#337797)

      Your UID doesn't really mean anything. Maybe you bought that account. Maybe you hacked into it. Maybe you sign up for every website you see as soon as you see it. Maybe you're really fickle and jump sites as soon as any tiny annoyance occurs.

      The fact that you're posting on here saying look how great and awesome I am makes you less so. Please do leave. I don't want to read a bunch of posts from people who are full of themselves. If you don't like the article, don't post. The site should naturally post articles similar to those that get more posts. By posting that you dislike this article, there's now two extra posts counting for more articles like it.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:56AM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:56AM (#337234)

    I came to the comments hoping there might be some interesting discussion about the article, but instead there are the usual idiots pretending there are "Liberals" and "Conservatives" in the US political system.
    You idiots need to understand that the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is which corporate masters fund them.
    Sometimes they even have the same masters.
    Continuing the stupid "Liberal" or "Conservative" argument is just playing their game. The actual policies are intended to benefit the masters, not you.
    Stop acting like you even matter.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:17AM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:17AM (#337247)

      democrats: corp funding from group X
      republicans: corp funding from group Y, plus more jesus

      at the 10k foot level, that's kind of how things are. both parties are owned. but one thinks its a lot closer to god than the other.

      and the last part kind of brings a whole lot of problems with it.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:23AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:23AM (#337250)

        The point I was trying to make is that you don't matter on any level to the people who run your government.

      • (Score: 2) by patella.whack on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:06AM

        by patella.whack (3848) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:06AM (#337336)

        I agree with your simplification. And it reinforces the problem (which I hope is coming to the forefront) that we're constantly forced to choose between a duopoly that have few distinctions in terms of policy. Lesser of two evils is an "accepted choice," but what happens when both evils steer father every year toward big-E Evil?

        IMO read Chomsky, Nader, and look at Bernie for some illumination and inspiration.

        As a personal aside, I'd like to hear from anyone who can enlighten me on why Millenials support Bernie so overwhelmingly when my pet theory is that they should all be drones of modern advertising techniques.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:51PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:51PM (#337477) Journal

          As a personal aside, I'd like to hear from anyone who can enlighten me on why Millenials support Bernie so overwhelmingly when my pet theory is that they should all be drones of modern advertising techniques.

          I'm not a Millenial, but Gen-X, but I'll take a stab at it.

          Emotionally, young voters are moved by hope, aspiration. They like leaders who paint bright pictures of a boundless future because that is what they yearn for themselves. They're in college or newly-entered into the workforce, they are gunning for that internship or job or chance to prove themselves. Hillary is that hateful old hag who screeches at them that they're childish and that the shit sandwich they were forced to eat yesterday was much better than the shit-without-the-bread meal she's gonna give them tomorrow.

          As rational actors, Millenials are talking to their slightly older friends who graduate a couple years ago who can't find work, and are struggling with student loan payments coming due. Other friends and relatives who opted to join the military are coming home with horror stories (this is particularly salient in the West where I grew up, or in rural places), and the romanticism of military adventure that prevailed in the 80's has beyond lost its luster. The effects of climate change are everywhere, and they see nothing significant being done about it on a policy level and they're wondering if their kids will have a world to grow up in. So, naturally, the candidates that speak to them on those bread-and-butter issues are going to win their votes.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by patella.whack on Thursday April 28 2016, @05:20AM

            by patella.whack (3848) on Thursday April 28 2016, @05:20AM (#338289)

            Personally, I think you're spot on in many ways. You cite what are the most important movements in our current politics. Hey: boomers are old. Millenials have a different outlook. Who could have predicted that they dislike some of the faults of capitalism? Where did they learn it from? It certainly wasn't from our educational system. It comes from some innate thought re: equitability.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Dogeball on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:14PM

          by Dogeball (814) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:14PM (#337497)

          My pet theory? Psychological manipulation works most effectively on the training set. The current generation.

          The next gen builds an immunity to existing manipulation techniques, at the cost of becoming more susceptible to something new - currently blind acceptance of plausible-sounding counter-narratives.

          Sanders is popular with millennials because he is calling out established-but-self-evidently-wrong orthodoxy; Trump is similarly popular because he is similarly calling out orthodoxy. What many millennials fail to distinguish is that Sanders has a history of standing up for other people and fighting the establishment helps him to continue doing so, whereas Trump has a history of screwing people over for personal gain, and fighting the establishment helps him do continue to do so.

          TL;DR: Older generation - everyone is saying it (astroturfing), so it must be true; younger generation - it contradicts 'the establishment', so it must be true.

          • (Score: 2) by patella.whack on Thursday April 28 2016, @06:19AM

            by patella.whack (3848) on Thursday April 28 2016, @06:19AM (#338301)

            Awww, shit man, you are perceptive up to a point, but you should channel your awareness into something more accurate.
            Take your analysis and sophisticate it.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:17PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:17PM (#337500) Homepage Journal

        republicans: corp funding from group Y, plus more jesus

        The Republicans are against everything Jesus was for. They talk a good Jesus because if you're not rich and a little less than normal intelligent that's the only way a Republican can get your vote.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:19PM (#337562)

          republicans: corp funding from group Y, plus more jesus

          The Republicans are against everything Jesus was for. They talk a good Jesus because if you're not rich and a little less than normal intelligent that's the only way a Republican can get your vote.

          Most of the rest of your rantings are batshit insane, but on this one you are spot on. I guess it's really true that even a blind pig can occasionally find an acorn.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:39PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:39PM (#337471) Journal

      I agree with what you're saying. I assert it every day, myself. But I would like to venture a gentle request: please don't disparage other Soylentils as idiots. They're not idiots. They are demonstrably the opposite of idiots. They have different perspectives, and yes some of them have blindspots. Who doesn't? But cutting them down as idiots is not pointing out something around the corner that they can't see from where they are, but is rather gouging their eyes out so they can't see anymore at all.

      Note I'm not singing kumbaya. Dispute theses and errors. Use florid language. Only, let's not substitute division for discussion.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:58AM

    by bitstream (6144) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @01:58AM (#337235) Journal

    You can usually spot systematic trolls by clever profiling.

    10 SAY "Clinton is the best"
    20 GOTO 10

    IF pattern from user-X is repeated N>5 then Killfile without mercy.

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:41AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:41AM (#337263) Journal

      You pray that trolls are susceptible to profiling! A good troll is the troll that know one knowes is a Troll, so the seem legit, they win minds and influence people by shaping public opinion with things like "SJW" and "libtard". And thus the troll preys on the unwitting. They are unwitted. Because they have no wit. And no sense of humar. And are probably whit. So you see, your simple plan, typical of a programmer when faced with a real world problem like politics, is not nearly sufficient. No wonder so many computer programmers are libertarians of some sort. But two razors: First, Ockham's: the simplest explanation is often simplistic (Ockham's Razor states that the simpler of two explanations is more likely to be correct, that leaves out all the ones based on Rand.) Second: Hanlon's Razor, courtesy of Heinlein: Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. Reverse this for trolls. The ones you can't detect, the ones you think you can trust, the ones that seem legit, they are the ones you should worry about, and they are that way by design. AND THEY ARE RIGHT HERE on SoylentNews. Be afraid, be very afraid, trust no one, and send me all your money for safekeeping. We must help each other in these perilous times.

      --
      #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
      • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:47AM

        by bitstream (6144) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:47AM (#337266) Journal

        There are ways of manual interaction methods to weed them out to.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:44AM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:44AM (#337286) Journal

          To weed out exactly who?
          Trolls? The unwittings? The humarless? The computer programmers? The libertarians? Ockham and/or Heinlein?... or only their razors?

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 1, Redundant) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:24AM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:24AM (#337320) Journal

            Cut me to the quick, has this! Like a razor's edge upon the untrammelled plains of pure reason! Could it be, that someone has a financial interest in poesy? Shakespeare, why dost thou foist the Apple upon us so? Can not thee see that the windows are blemished with a pox well past mending? OK, I will try to limit my posts to just one issue, in small words, so the weeds can understand.

            --
            #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:59AM

              by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:59AM (#337355) Journal

              Could it be, that someone has a financial interest in poesy?

              Oh, I wish I could... (but that's another story).

              OK, I will try to limit my posts to just one issue, in small words, so the weeds can understand.

              Depends on what you want to achieve and to what extent.
              If you want to get across through every thick skull (weedy or not, maybe including mine), why don't cha [youtube.com] forget your style and goto basics
              (an axe may be less wasteful and pretty much to same end will come*)

              But this you do and soylentnews will lose its single lean-looked prophet to whisper fearful change (then offer to safe keep the money in return).

              ---
              * "About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe."
              Edsger W. Dijkstra

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:50AM

                by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:50AM (#337367) Journal

                Kudos, c0lo, a razor sharp axe do you wield thyself! The only defense against astroturfing is education! Once you know the truth, the truth will set you free, and it does that by making you realize that all those preachers of Prosperity, systemd, and Trump are full of something. Astroturf is plastic! Lighter fluid it, and it will burn of its own accord! Fake grassroots has no ties to the earth, to the people. to the penguins.

                --
                #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:33AM

                  by c0lo (156) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @09:33AM (#337396) Journal

                  Kudos, c0lo, a razor sharp axe do you wield thyself!

                  Why! Thanks magister... truth be told, I wasn't born into the English language (as such, your words come sweeter to my years, but...)
                  Because of this, I needn't waste my time with weird spelling, and thus the rote has rotten less my mind.
                  And therefore I'm able now to ask...

                  The only defense against astroturfing is education! Once you know the truth, the truth will set you free, and it does that by making you realize that all those preachers of Prosperity, systemd, and Trump are full of something.

                  The truth of whom, magister, the truth of whom?

                  (ok. Fooling around set aside, let me pretend I'm profound now)
                  ---

                  You can’t educate one who doesn't want to be educated. The first step for one to want this is to admit one has questions; if no other questions can come into one's mind, to doubt one's own truths. A constant act of creative destruction towards their own answers.

                  Now, I ask you: how many questions do you see coming from us, the SNers?
                  Correct me if I'm wrong, I mainly see a bunch of guys who have plenty of answers (different answers to the same question, of course).
                  And the dialogues here resemble a skirmish in which those answers are used like clubs; then everybody is tired and put their hard and unchiped-in-battle answers on their shoulders and go home. Until next time. No questions asked (that's bad), no strings attached either (and this is a good thing™)

                  (is this S/N specific?) Will this ever change? If not, there's no chance of education...

                  So, what gives? I don't know, I'm happy from time to time I get to read one of your hermetical rants: (letting aside they sound delicious) their hermetism have the quality of raising questions, even if your sole intention was to encode your answers into them.
                  What questions? Well, discovering the nuances of your answers in the references, fun, sarcasm, choice of words (and puns, don't forget the puns, especially the gang-chained puns you conjure for your purposes) and everything that you put together and make their form so puzzling delicious.

                  My opinion? I might be wrong but I think if you become more didacticist than you are now, you'll just become just a guy with yet another set of answers.

                  (meditation mantra: questions give birth, answers kill)

                  My apologies for inflicting my answer onto you.
                  In truth (my truth), the story goes like this: in his childhood, the man's mind is opened to a wide horizon; as he ages, this horizon becomes narrower until, sooner or later, it collapses to a single point. That point is called his point of view.
                  Well, the above is my point of view (as recursive and metabullshitphysical as it may be).

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 1, Redundant) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:56AM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:56AM (#337333) Journal

          bitstream! Keep your hands off me, you damn filthy ape! [Said in my very best Charleston Heston voice)

          --
          #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:33AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @03:33AM (#337281)

        And thus the troll preys on the unwitting.

        Prey be gentle, because that's not what he said.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @06:25AM (#337341)

        > shaping public opinion with things like "SJW" and "libtard"

        These kinds of words are clear markings. Clever troll should avoid them, but I'm not sure they are paid enough for that.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:13PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:13PM (#337494) Journal

        I think "SJW" and "libtard" are codewords meant to signal like-minded people. In conversation you'd drop those terms and see if your interlocutors echoed them before you'd feel safe to tell a Jewish joke, or say something else non-PC. It's a common practice among people who express categorical hatred, but don't want to get called out for it.

        I think it's a pointless practice, because it doesn't fool anyone, not the people they're afraid will call them out for it, and not them, themselves. But the psychological cover they think it gives them must be enough security blanket to proceed with their categorical hatred. And the codewords sure are popular, because they're always coming out with new ones. "Low-information voter" is a new one that sprang up after Mitt Romney's presidential bid failed, and is a codeword for "stupid and/or young and/or black."

        Covering behaviors with liberals are different. They don't rely on name-calling so much as what I'd call credentials. For example, in about year 7 of the 8 years of the Bush & Cheney reign, liberals were tired of conservatives arrogating God and religion to themselves so they started talking up their own religion and faith traditions. They got tired of being hit for being weak and soft on defense, so they started joining the NRA and playing up the voices of liberals in the military. They were taking a shellacking with the issue framing that Frank Luntz and his ilk were so good at, so they tried to counter it with their own (issue framing being, essentially, boiling down complex issues into simple slogans with an emotional trigger, designed to defeat policy proposals. SEE: "Death tax"); that was a miserable failure but eventually the liberals found a potent counter-weapon in withering sarcasm.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @05:30PM (#337568)

          "Low-information voter" is a new one that sprang up after Mitt Romney's presidential bid failed, and is a codeword for "stupid and/or young and/or black."

          That's odd. I typically think of knee-jerk Republican voters as being "low information". Just my $0.02.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Gravis on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:03AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:03AM (#337237)

    gaslight
    To manipulate events and situations in order to make a person believe that they are crazy.

    From the 1944 movie with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:45PM (#337516)

      People who were Gaslighted also were Zersetzunged. [wikipedia.org]
      (Zersetzung = Real Documented Psychological Warfare)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27 2016, @05:46AM (#337800)

      OMG, stop trolling you shill! Everyone knows gaslights are gas-powered lights often used as street lamps before electric lights.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:21AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:21AM (#337248)

    Hit the mark.

  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:23AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:23AM (#337251)

    advertising is propaganda because they only show to good side of what you are promoting and leave out the nasty bits that people would really care about. full on psychological warfare is the natural evolutionary progression of propaganda because they are tearing down the opposition with half-truths and when they can get away with it, outright lies.

    so now that we have identified it, the question is what can be done about it. i think the answer lies in automation to rapidly identify and expose accounts created for the express purpose of psyops. labelling every post they make seconds after it's made will start to make waves and may lead to the host network terminating accounts for possible ToS violations.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday April 26 2016, @08:14PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 26 2016, @08:14PM (#337613) Journal

      so now that we have identified it, the question is what can be done about it. i think the answer lies in automation to rapidly identify and expose accounts created for the express purpose of psyops. labelling every post they make seconds after it's made will start to make waves and may lead to the host network terminating accounts for possible ToS violations.

      I think instead a delayed response combined with retroactive labeling of postings would be more strategic. If you act promptly, then propaganda efforts would have fast feedback on how to defeat your measures. But if it happens much later, then they might not know what triggered the response. It also gives you more time to collect data so that you can have a stronger justification for the response.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @04:12AM (#337301)
    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday April 28 2016, @01:30AM

      by Bot (3902) on Thursday April 28 2016, @01:30AM (#338236) Journal

      Thank you, my trolling ability will sure improve with these tips.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26 2016, @07:26AM (#337364)

    Everyone here should read: The Gentleperson's Guide to Forum Spies [cryptome.org]

    The battle against shills has been going on for a long time, and there are some on this site too.

  • (Score: 2) by gidds on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:49PM

    by gidds (589) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @12:49PM (#337448)

    I can't help but agree with what seems (if you can see past the froth) the article's main point.  Yes, misrepresentation is bad; and this sort of deliberate large-scale deceit to sway public opinion is bad, wrong, and should be criminal and punished severely.

    However…

    Isn't there also just a tiny amount of responsibility on us as readers?  If we're going to accept absolutely everything we read, without the slightest consideration, questioning, or use of critical faculties, then we're going to be misled in all sorts of ways by all sorts of people, and some of that will be fully legal and maybe not even immoral.

    For example, people naturally prefer to read news articles and other web pages whose opinions they agree with, rather that those they disagree with.  In many cases, there's no need to set up echo-chambers and groupthink sites, as we're automatically biased to seek them out ourselves!  (Perhaps you here less than most; but it's still a natural tendency.)

    Reality is a very complex place, and our understanding of it is always going to be incomplete.  We like to assume that the bits we do see will be representative, and that we can just extrapolate — but that's rarely the case, and it's easy to fool ourselves.

    I think it would do us all good to try to be more aware of that, to realise that we don't know the full story and may be misleading ourselves, especially when it's from what other people say.

    If we all did that — if we all engaged our critical reasoning a little more often, and didn't blindly accept all we see — then astroturfing would have less effect on us.  And the author wouldn't need to get so rabidly worked up.

    --
    [sig redacted]
  • (Score: 2) by Username on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:22PM

    by Username (4557) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:22PM (#337503)

    Because she understand we need to make the internet a safe space, free from criticism [youtube.com], so women will no longer be silenced online.

  • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:24PM

    by fritsd (4586) on Tuesday April 26 2016, @02:24PM (#337504) Journal

    This is off-topic, but I hope it's ok because it's not at the beginning of the discussion :-)

    Today the BBC News site reported on the various conspiracy theories surrounding the attack on MH-17:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35706048 [bbc.com]

    To me it's clearly a case of: "continue making shit up and flinging it at the wall, as long as enough sticks for long enough we've succeeded in our doubt and disinformation campaign".

    I remember that I even looked up some Russian wiki page about one of the fighter jets, and found out that it had been altered to be more in line with the conspiracy theory. Something about the flight altitude (I can hardly read Russian but I understood the numbers).