Trolling America

I’ve been doing some research on the Internet Research Agency (IRA), or Russian troll farm. There’s no doubt at all that Russian trolling of social media, websites, articles and commentary has reached a fever pitch. I’m still trying to discern the overall goal of this activity – but it might just be too obvious, meaning that “division” is what it is all about. Divide Americans (and other countries) and make them disbelieve everything, angry at everyone and distrustful of everyone.

Could it be that simple? Maybe. But there’s more to it then that. Win a few elections here and there, set people up to take the fall and sow discord apparently pays pretty good. Keeping your target country fighting among itself has other advantages too – such as distraction, disinterest in real world affairs, and supporting people who shouldn’t even be in office.

There’s far more trolling going on then the Internet Research Agency, which is but one of the players (who hired as many as 1,000 employees to troll the web). Mueller’s indictments list just 13 of the people involved in the IRA, but you can find out more with a simple Google search. They’ve moved their headquarters, but haven’t gone away, and they’re not alone. There are many more trolling outfits trying to sow massive levels of discord within the United States – and millions and millions of Americans are falling for it all.

They believe what they’re being told in other words – without checking the source stories or actual facts. Nowadays, you cannot even visit a website or participate in any of the commentary without running into a troll – which is most likely a Russian troll, but not always. Many Americans have been “recruited” to voluntarily troll websites and articles themselves, asking for nothing in return except to express their vindictive vitriol.

The whole “Q” phenomenon is a massive troll farm operation, with the Q stories designed to cultivate support for Trump and his alleged “strategy” to uncover the Deep State and the supposed pedophile ring operating at the highest levels of government. It is of course, all bullshit. Q is anonymous, and therefore totally non-credible, but so are the stories Q continues to weave. But that hasn’t stopped ignorant people from embracing the Q phenomenon as seen in Trump rallies, holding “We Are Q” signs like the dumb storks that they are.

Politically and socially, America is a mess right now, largely in part because of massive levels of disinformation and distraction that has overtaken virtually every media channel. This has happened because too many Americans have abandoned critical thought and demanded proof and evidence of the outrageous claims being made. Entire new memes are being manufactured to convince people of grand conspiracies and vast machinations. This is a refined extension of what I’ve long pointed out as the connedspiracy crowd – fear sells, and sells well.

Here are a few articles that cover some of these points: What Russian Trolls Are Tweeting About

Inside the Internet Research Agency: A Mole Among Trolls

What We Know About How Russia’s Internet Research Agency Meddled in the 2016 Election

Stop Calling Them ‘Russian Troll Farms’

And they’re even trolling about other topics like vaccines: Russian Trolls ‘Spreading Discord’ Over Vaccine Safety Online

We researched Russian trolls and figured out exactly how they neutralise certain news

Nearly every author, blogger and commentator (this includes you) has been taken in by these trolls. Their opinions have been modified by what these trolling operations have published on social media platforms. Including myself. This poses serious problems for a representative democracy (which is supposed to be accountable the people in theory).

The false and phony support for Donald Trump is but one example (albiet a major example) of how effective trolling really is. There is nowhere near as much real American support for Trump as is believed, as shown in this Quinnipiac University National Poll. Not only are these people working in a vaccuum echo-chamber, they’re being directly influenced by these trolling operations. This helps explain the rabid non-sensical support we’ve seen from the die-hard Trumpers.

I have long wondered about this myself – how could they abandon all their moral principles, their Bible’s, their alleged moral superiority for a serial adulterer? It’s been evident from the beginning of Trump’s candidacy that that man could do no wrong in their eyes – and he even said so. They’ve been virtually programmed to do so through numerous social media channels.

However, I’m not letting them off the hook. We’re all responsible for what we believe and come to accept and support. And now that we absolutely know enough about what is going on, we should all be held to an even higher standard before – and stop the stupid rhetoric. But we probably won’t, because too many Americans are just lazy about their belief systems. They’re too vested in what they think they “are” versus what they are willing to learn. So trolling is still going to have a massive effect upon American belief systems. And who votes for who. And ultimately, what kind of country we will have.

I did say it was a mess. It absolutely is. Attempts to clean this up are not going too well. Even the President (who isn’t very smart) is trying to get in on the actions, because as one of the Chief Disinformation Trolling Twitter user – he’s pissed off that social media is trying to clean this up. It’s not censorship – the man has absolutely no idea what that word even means, but truth has never mattered to this man.

When asked by Reuters about Trump’s allegations of censorship, Twitter pointed to the three hours of sworn testimony that its head of public policy strategy, Nick Pickles, recently gave to a House of Representatives committee. He said claims that Twitter is banning conservative voices are unfounded and false and that it works to define and act upon “bad conduct, not a specific type of speech.”

Trump’s own hate speech on social media platforms is deserving of being banned – but I don’t suppose we can hope for that just yet. Bad conduct and rules violations are not censorship. All of these people engaging in this sort of thing are free to spew their stupidity and hate elsewhere. That’s what the First Amendment is all about. But it doesn’t give you an unlimited license to do it wherever you want. Trumps incessant trolling of Twitter is just as bad as any of the other trolling activities we’ve seen – and this too, needs to stop.

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