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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Comment spasm

Naked Capitalism helps our understanding of how well-funded propagandists can commandeer the national conversation via comment trolling.
And blogs have eroded the control of the officialdom over discourse, and also provide independent analysis. Matt Stoller, in his days as a Congressional staffer, said blogs helped undermine the monopoly of lobbyists and government officials on information about the financial services industry.

One of the ways the powers that be push back against independent voices is via attacks in the comment section, either to undermine the credibility of the argument made of of the author. Readers have no doubt seen in happen here in post on unions and on libertarians (particularly when the Koch name is mentioned). There are too many comments early in the thread by first time commenters who are unnaturally persistent for this to be organic.
I saw a lot of this during Weinergate. Much of the hostile commentary was no doubt legit. Still, my suspicions were raised by the "concern trolls" who claimed to be distressed long-time readers wanting only the best for me -- despite their demonstrated unfamiliarity with my work. They often presumed me to be a supporter of Barack Obama or a fanatical acolyte of Hillary Clinton or a die-hard fan of Anthony Weiner. They presumed that I had financial ambitions for this blog. A real long-time reader would have known that none of those notions were true.

When that shit happens, you know that a machine is in operation.

Here's the part that Yves doesn't mention: This machinery is not a new phenomenon. The trolls created the Barack Obama movement in 2008.
So the whole Obama thing was created by trolls. This explains everything.

NB the fact that Obots and O-holes misread you--saying you're a Hillary supporter and whatnot--doesn't necessarily mean they're paid agents. The Obama people tend to misread even the simplest statements, and your writing is often subtle and complex.

It may well be the Obama folks are simply the stupider progressives. They thought Obama was brilliant, so they must be dumb.

I've been hanging around Huffington Post, which is infinitely nicer now than when it was run by progressives. Now that election season seems to have arrived, I keep waiting for the place to go bad, like it was in 2008. I hope the corporate folks are more resistant to the Obamacrats' tactics than the hapless progs were.
You misread me, Perry.

The people who pretended to be long-time readers even though they weren't showed up during Weinergate. They were obviously Republicans.

And I guess I was a Hillary supporter. But my support was reluctant.
I wonder if this is one of those Bangalore things. Perhaps I should try and set up a Trolling business. I would imagine one calls it an online PR agency. I would probably need some fake credentials, and access to a workforce of cheap online people fairly fluent in english, but none of those strikes me as a problem.

Then I can take cash for astro turf. And think of all the interesting clients I would have? I wonder who would use such services extensively.

Maybe I should ask Mr. Axelrod?

It's a disjointed lot, and I can agree with almost every one of the protesters' signs that mentions a specific problem with Wall Street, corporate greed, austerity, union rights, etc. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that campaign finance reform is the one solution that will permit all those other problems to be solved. If I had to choose a message to encourage the protesters and others to unite behind, it would be to demand that the $$ be taken entirely out of political campaigns.
It started in 2000 with the Bushbots.

Carolyn Kay
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