We’ve all come across them at some point. Late at night by lamplight as you sift through the ever-expanding and ever darkening depths of social media, you decide to make a comment or maybe even a public post on your Facebook page. As you’re in the kitchen making your bedtime cup of tea or maybe a hot Cocoa you are startled by the ‘ping’ of a notification. As you settle back into your seat with your drink you check the notifications, a comment from someone unknown to you has been made.
The comment give’s no opposing argument, but is full of poison and malice; the words you read before you are irrational, but yet you feel the ever increasing need to respond to this irrational and hateful entity. You take a sip of your tea, then, fingers to keyboard, you begin to respond to this comment with what you believe to be a smart and witty response. You quickly go over your response for errors, then with a feeling of satisfaction and a little nervousness you click ‘Done’.
Seconds later a response from the same unknown profile alerts you via the automated social media notifications, with great anticipation you read the new response. The response is much the same as their initial comment, no argument, no content as such at all, just a hateful attempt to discredit your initial post, however, this time, they appear to of tagged someone, another name you don’t recognise.
Before long you have three or four unknown individuals throwing abuse at you and forming a mocking dialogue between themselves about you, and your post.
So who are these Social Media creatures that lurk behind the corner of every meaningful post, what are their motives, and most importantly – How do we deal with them?
Motives of an Internet Troll
The motive of an Internet Troll is an interesting subject, and it is something we need to understand to be able to deal with them adequately. With this article we are not talking about the ‘Bullying Troll’, the motive of a ‘Bullying Troll’ is normally revenge, ignorance and lack of intelligence. The breed we are interested in is the ‘Disinformation Troll’, this breed tends to lurk in the dark corners of just about any media platform which shares information which goes against the mainstream narrative.
Many of these trolls have already had their motive exposed, it’s their Job!
One of the many documents which Edward Snowden has leaked contains GCHQ’s method of infiltrating social media in order to change public perception, Glenn Greenwald covered the story back in 2014 in an article titled ‘How Covert Agents Infiltrate The Internet To Manipulate, Deceive And Destroy Reputations’ :
‘Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.
To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.’
GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).”
We recommend you read the full article to get a better understanding of just how deep this Psyop goes.
As well as Governments employing ‘Trolls’ to affect public perception the same tactic is now used by Corporations. Monsanto, the GMO Agricultural Giant were ‘caught out‘ hiring a whole department of trolls to sway public opinion into accepting Genetically Modified Foods:
Surprisingly, it was actually a Monsanto employee that unintentionally let the truth behind their ‘discrediting operation’ slip in a conference with students that he may have forgotten was open to the public. In a conversation with students, Dr. William “Bill” Moar raved that Monsanto had established:
“An entire department” (waving his arm for emphasis) dedicated to “debunking” science which disagreed with theirs.”
Employed Trolls are now an essential element to any large corporation who’s profits are directly connected to the public perception of their product.
Typically these Trolls would be paid for their work, which is their motivation – however, it is also highly likely many working for Governments are Blackmailed into such activities:
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, has made a new controversial claim yesterday, saying that he possessed some classified information proving that the NSA is stealing and even producing pornographic pictures and videos, in order to blackmail various individuals around the world.
This pornographic material which is stolen from cell phones and computers around the world is then analysed and sorted in terms of potential value.
Many of these images are then used to blackmail politicians and other influential people, forcing them to collaborate with the agency or face public sex scandals.
Mr. Snowden claims that this program has already caused the fall of many politicians, including former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in March 2008, and David Petraeus, who resigned as Director of the CIA in November 2012. – Abel Danger
Although Snowden is claiming these tactics are used on Politicians and other influential people around the World, is it so hard to believe that these same tactics are being used on individuals with extensive knowledge and experience in the ‘Truth’ circles. What were once fighters for Truth and Freedom can very easily be coerced into fighting for the other team, a little Blackmail can go a long way!
It’s worth noting that ‘Disinformation Trolls‘ work on both sides of any given discussion, by doing so they can lower the credibility of those who go against the intended narrative. For example, it’s not unusual to have agents who appear to be working on the side of the Anti-Vaccine movement, but by using vile language, false information and disregard for human feelings they ‘smear’ others within the anti-vaccine community.
The Daily Telegraph in Australia published an article back in April 2015 which is a prime example of this:
THE bereaved parents of Riley Hughes, who died of whooping cough last month, have spoken of their dismay at becoming the target of an anti-vax hate campaign after the Abbott government announced its “No Jab No Pay” plan.
On the morning of the announcement that parents who refused to vaccinate their children could lose up to $15,000 in family benefits, the Hughes family woke to find their baby’s memorial Facebook page, which encourages vaccination, desecrated by anti-vaxers.
Under the name “Vaccines Don’t Prevent Pertussis”, a troll wrote on Riley Hughes’ Light for Riley page: “I’ve had enough of people like you spreading lies just because your baby died. Well no more, I will not be silenced. F… you Hughes family.”
Another troll wrote: “Bullshit the vaccines work. Stop the lies Hughes. Grieve in private like everyone else.”
But no verifiable names can be given to the Trolls in question, you’d expect this would be the perfect opportunity for someone to name and shame these so called ‘Anti-vax Trolls’, but alas no further reports on the individuals were ever published. Why ? Because they are fake, we have no evidence that they were fake, but we do have common sense and the knowledge that Pharmaceutical Corporations and Government actively employ people to perform this type of perception manipulation.
The majority of ‘Disinformation Trolls’ are likely to have the above-mentioned motive, however, there are many who genuinely feel as compassionate about what ‘they’ believe to be ‘The Truth’. Sometimes this can be due to some personal experience which has led them to these conclusions, but more often than not it’s due to Mainstream Academia and Media being their main source of education. You will often find that these people have gone through the State Education system from Nursery through to University.
Doctors and Teachers often fall into this category; due to their long time exposure to mainstream academia, any information which conflicts with what they believe to be true angers them. This is an understandable response, when something you have spent years studying and then practising is questioned by another the natural response is to defend your knowledge, defend your hard work. The alternative would mean accepting the possibility that what you thought you knew, what you have spent 20 years working towards within various levels of education is potentially incorrect, inaccurate or even an outright lie. This is where compartmentalization comes in:
Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defence mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.
These particular types of ‘Disinformation Trolls’ are not overly active and tend to latch onto posts and blogs by chance, but once latched on they can be difficult to shake off.
Habitat of an Internet Troll
When we say ‘Habitat’ we are talking about the online subject areas in which they most commonly inhabit.
Probably the most noticeable area of activity for ‘Disinformation Trolls’ is the Anti-Vaccine movement, whether it be on social media or Alternative News platforms, the trolls are quick to act on any new comment or news article which negates the public opinion of Vaccines.
Other common places to find them is discussions or articles about GMO, Immigration, Satanic Ritual Abuse, Palestine & Zionism and current Political affairs.
Their methods of transportation within social media are via the ‘hashtags’ often contained within a post, this allows them quickly dip into new posts. Trolls prefer to work as a team and so will normally ‘Tag’ another troll to assist them in an attack. A typical troll attack will normally be carried out by 2 or 3 trolls working as a team.
How to deal with an Internet Troll
The easiest method is simply to Ignore them and Block them, there is nothing whatsoever to be learnt from these creatures and the negativity they extrude from themselves is not something worth being infected with.
If however, you feel able to detach yourself from the hate filled comments they unleash upon you and wish to respond then do so politely, intelligently and grammatically accurate. We have yet to encounter a ‘Disinformation Troll’ that understands the subject they are hijacking ; debating is not within their credentials.
However, they do have what appears to be a fetish for other people’s Grammar. A small spelling error or grammatical error will cause the Troll to become excited and all focus is quickly placed upon your mistake, they often begin ‘chittering’ and foaming at the mouth in what seems like a state of euphoria.
The positive part of all of this is that we can sleep well knowing that various organisations and individuals have had to resort to this level of psychological warfare in a failing attempt at regaining the minds of the populous. Do not fear them, pity them!
Informative, learned a lot today.
Fairly accurate. But what about deliberate subversives? Those who seek to undermine and overthrow what is already established in order to cause the established to be doubted or overthrown. I note that such types will latch on to any fact of abuse, while ignoring the fact they own cause or nation behaves much worse. In the USA, we have faults but we did free slaves and tried to secure the protection of rights, which has been a rare thing throughout history. But we are said to be monsters. We have become such but then I ask, who is not? Who… Read more »