Caitlin Johnstone and Ukraine Trolling -- What a Coinky Dinky!

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Ukraine Is The Most Aggressively Trolled War Of All Time: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

There's a lot going on in America and the people are very stressed out and frightened, but don't worry, there's nothing the US government won't do to make sure more High Mobility Artillery Rocket systems get to Ukraine.

Rest assured Americans: no matter how dark things may seem right now, no matter how insecure and uncertain you may feel, you can sleep soundly knowing your government is moving mountains around the clock to make sure the Ukraine war becomes a strategic quagmire for Moscow.

The Ukraine war is the single most aggressively trolled issue I've ever witnessed. As soon as it started, Twitter was full of brand new accounts swarming anyone who uttered wrongthink about Ukraine, and now there are entire extremely coordinated troll factions working to scare people away from criticizing the imperial line. It's plainly very inorganic, so it's good to recall what we know about the trolling operations of western militaries.

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media | Hacking | The Guardian https://t.co/IFH9KsXTxa

— Abbas (@Abbas_Muntaqim) July 11, 2021

How did we miss this year-old Newsweek report about a secret and unaccountable Pentagon "undercover force" which "carries out domestic and foreign assignments" that include "campaigns to influence and manipulate social media"? https://t.co/zo7liETtnn pic.twitter.com/nTibeLpZxH

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) April 13, 2022

British Army unveils ‘Twitter troops’ for social media fight – Channel 4 News https://t.co/OZbpqIOmUj

— Patricia Dowling (@ketchmeifucan) June 29, 2022

We're used to hearing about state-backed Twitter campaigns from the likes of Iran and Russia, but why do we never hear about US and UK social media ops? (Spoiler: it's not because they don't exist) https://t.co/Aj7i3LNAZD

— WIRED UK (@WiredUK) October 8, 2019

So the western empire is responding to a war that was caused by NATO expansion by greatly expanding NATO, at the same time we learn that the Biden administration doesn't even believe Ukraine has any chance of winning that war. This is going great, guys. Good job everyone.

Sure the worst case scenario of all this brinkmanship with Russia is nuclear war, but on the other hand the best case scenario is securing planetary domination for an empire that has spent the 21st century killing people by the millions in wars of aggression for power and profit. Totally worth the risk!

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I oppose censorship, period.

But I do believe in fighting fire with fire. I chose that nick in 2003 because I was totally shocked by the brazen bullshit coupled with perpetual snark from the Bush Trolls cheerleading for the Iraq War.

The technique is always to shift the conversation from whether to have a war to painting opponents of war as apologists for the latest reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. It amazes me how well that gimmick works with so many intelligent and earnest souls who take the bait and explain the dispute from the perspective of the people we attack. From the troll/propaganda perspective, that is Mission Accomplished.

It is all about Them and Us for propgagandists.

They are not trying to win any argument or to make anybody believe their silly assed snark. They want to prevent coherent discussion of public policy. The harder one pushes on such a character with coherent discussion of public policy, the more they mock you without ever trying to persuade you of anything.

There is no way to "beat" them as there is no scoreboard. There is only war and the people who try to make it seem normal and reasonable. The9r basic technique is to convert all discussion into an argument about the "intentions" of the Villain du Jour.

The answer is not to shout them down. The answer is to point out how absurd their bullshit is, and then move on . . . .

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Comments

Both parties are corrupt and the democrats will do the best to keep the few progressives from getting elected.

The EU could be the faint glimmer of hope (due to the economic impact of recent policies) to break the ongoing puppet control by the US and their so-called leaders.

South and Central America have somewhat seen the light but they unfortunately have little power or control of events.

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12 users have voted.

when the collapse @humphrey occurs
sure they’ll double down to infinity
and implode

the question is how many do they
take with them when
they go

or
are we All just collateral
damage at this point

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6 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
Now you know. . .
Sign at protest march

janis b's picture

does pointing out absurdity often have so little influence on more objective perspectives? I still wonder how fighting an opponent with fire or words improves the situation?

I read your response in the other post to dystopian, and I had the feeling that you didn't include the value of community and culture that has long existed here in your analysis of how public sites should operate. Opposing expressions of a genuine kind are welcome to me. When someone's intention is only to inflame, then to my mind there ought to be a limit to expression. Call that censorship or whatever you will, it is defeating.

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@janis b

expression of opinion is just who the arbiter of the line is..."Opposing expressions of a genuine kind are welcome to me. When someone's intention is only to inflame, then to my mind there ought to be a limit to expression. Call that censorship or whatever you will, it is defeating."

Of a "genuine kind" is the line I am interested in. Who defines genuine? You? Me?

On this site it's JtC's call. I have not seen him knock off any essay writers lately just because most here don't agree with the argument. And I find that good. Again, the impulse is to attack someone for holding an opinion or presenting information that is contrary to one's own view. I am guilty of that. We all are guilty of that on this site and everywhere else. However, censorship is still not a good solution. I still think just ignoring and walking away works best. Now if we can just get ourselves to do that.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02
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.."Opposing expressions of a genuine kind are welcome to me. When someone's intention is only to inflame, then to my mind there ought to be a limit to expression. Call that censorship or whatever you will, it is defeating."

Of a "genuine kind" is the line I am interested in. Who defines genuine? You? Me?

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I agree that you have correctly identified the problem.

The difficulty (and practical impossibility) of deducing "intention" from an internet post is daunting. I draw the line for whether a post deserves a reasoned reply is by whether the post is minimally rational. Saying that "liberal democracies don't allow dictators to take over adjacent countries" or "Putin is lucky he did not get nuked" is outside of any plausible definition of rationality. In his study of "commy dictators," evidently Ban Nock missed that little detail about Joe Stalin grabbing up all of Eastern Europe in 1945 -- and holding it until 1991.

These are not petty mistakes. And when this silly shit was originally posted I "called it out." No response from Ban Nock yet.

Maybe this will get a response.

Since I do not think censorship does anything good, I oppose it. But pointing to the obvious baiting rhetoric of trolls is worth the effort.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire @fire with fire

I've seen it used in so many ways on various sites, I'm not sure at all what it means.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02
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In Internet slang, a troll is a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others' perception.

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I make a further distinction between goofy trolls and agenda trolls.

At our old website called "Downsize This," some creepy character repeatedly posted photographs of a distended anus. That probably stretched the word goofy out of shape, but I hope it gets across the idea of a random disrupter who is doing nothing other than mischief toward no specific end. These creepy characters of course never get much sympathy and rarely ask for it.

More common and more of a problem are agenda trolls -- characters who make no sincere effort to argue for their agenda, but instead post insults and preposterous nonsense like, "Liberal Democracies don't allow countries to invade adjacent countries" or "Putin is lucky he did not get nuked." Even Henry Kissinger realizes that you cannot pretend that Russia can't blow us to smithereens if we push it hard enough. Anybody trying to undermine the idea of avoiding nuclear war is an agenda troll from hell.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

janis b's picture

@Fishtroller 02

I agree, that it is often restraint that is called for when feeling provoked. Sometimes I respond and sometimes I curb myself. Sometimes it’s easy to let go, and other times more difficult. If I try to understand for myself why I feel provoked, and all I find are feelings that clash with my sense of justice or integrity than I feel more compelled to respond. My perceptions might be faulty, but I do appreciate sincere feedback, so thanks.

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@janis b

It made my morning.

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2 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@janis b
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How come then, does pointing out absurdity often have so little influence on more objective perspectives? I still wonder how fighting an opponent with fire or words improves the situation?

It doesn't. Nothing on a message board, or social media in general, "improves" anything. Moreover, in my opinion based on being a message board addict for the last 20 years, virtually nobody on the internet changes their mind based on what is posted.

So why post at all? I had been trying to make myself quit this hobby as the pandemic was starting. But I could not shut myself up and I posted some drama queen crap here as I was wrestling with the dilemma posed by my message board habit -- nothing one posts has any perceptible effect. Then the descent into the chaos that is developing now obliged me to retire and since last September I have had nothing but time to waste and I resumed regular posting.

I get two things out of this exercise. First, this is an excellent place to find links to interesting material. Second, I continue my 20 year investigation into Imperial Propaganda, monitoring what the War Trolls and other propagandists are trying to sell.

For most on the last 20 years, I shared in the community aspect of my old board as we built long term real life friendships. It is just a personal quirk without a good justification with me -- but I hate the internet too much to take much joy in online friendsh9ip.

But I understand and respect the bonds of community and friendship that exist on this board. It is part of what makes life worth living.

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When someone's intention is only to inflame, then to my mind there ought to be a limit to expression. Call that censorship or whatever you will, it is defeating.

I agree with you that intentional instigation of discord without any other goal is inconsistent with any reasonable forum of discussion. But that is the rub -- what constitutes intentional trolling rather than mistaken opinion or creepy philosophy? I leave it to JtC to call that shot.

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By the way, I was careful in the opening post not to refer to this message board. I found it an interesting coincidence that Caitlin was posting evidence of organized trolling by our freedom loving government just as we had our own little imbroglio with an advocate of our Cowardly War against Russia. Far be it from me to guess whether anybody is cashing those Uncle Sam Influencer checks. I like to see little people make good and I hope they all get paid well.

Irony never sleeps.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

janis b's picture

@fire with fire

Thank you for your considered and discerning response. Relating your personal experience on message boards is interesting to give thought to.

I try to reflect before responding, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I don’t hate the internet, even though I’ve had adverse experiences. I still appreciate the platform it offers for learning how to communicate more clearly, even if it is not as ideal as face to face communication. The subtleties can be deceiving and ironic, but still valuable to some degree.

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4 users have voted.

I have changed my opinion many times as information was brought to my attention. I would rather back away from a long-held opinion after due diligence and reconsideration shows it is wrong. My ego is just not that important. If anything, it is bolstered by education.
My first case as a lawyer was a murder case. The trial went on for more than a week. I never saw enough trustworthy evidence to justify the guilty verdict, nor the life sentence. The defendant was a fairly famous stage actor of the trans variety. My impression is that the jury of Baptists and Pentecosts were repulsed by that.
So, lo and behold, within the last 5 years, as he is soon due for parole after he serves his mandatory 38 years, he does a dramatic interview for a reality tv show. First time for him to be in the spotlight in 30 years. He not only confessed, he gave details of how and why he murdered the woman.
I never again want to worry about anybody for 30 years for nothing every again.
Or, a country.

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@on the cusp
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It wasn't the gig for me.

My favorite guilty client was a police officer in Hillsboro, Texas who was charged with felony assault for punching out a fellow officer. I was able to talk the prosecutor into reducing the charge to a bottom level misdemeanor, "Assault, Contact."

He needed to plead guilty to the lesser charge in front of the judge, whom he knew, of course in that tiny city of maybe 10,000 folks. The judge was reading through the Plea Out rap which included these words, "And you are pleading guilty because you are guilty . . . " and my client could not hold in his chuckle. The judge gave him a funny look, but finished the case formalities.

Afterwards, in front of the Court House, I had to ask him what that was about. "Well, I have heard judges read that script probably a hundred times. And I was just thinking, 'Damn it felt good to slap the shit out of that silly mother fucker.'"

He moved to upstate New York and lived happily ever after.

Lawyers have a much more realistic conception of "facts" than laymen. We know how much perjury winds up deciding cases. Or failing to decide them. The Objectivity Problem has been troubling philosphers for thousands of years . . . .

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire the Socratic Method.
Chicken shit cops are nothing new, eh?
An analogy for today is that The Thin Blue Line requires the cops to tell lies in unison. They protect each other first.
Well, by analogy, MSM talking points given to them daily, are repeated by all newsmen and women. Nobody steps out of line. It required to conform or be ousted from their careers.

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Lookout's picture

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
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My pet peeve is the idea that what we see on the internet is an accurate reflection of how the general public is reacting to events. Yes, the internet is clogged with "people" who believe the Imperial Narrative about everything. And there are plenty of such folks in real life -- but it is impossible to know how many.

In order to buy any national story, you have to be aware of it. How many people get daily "news" on the net or television? Or compare scientific theories? Or compare "sources" to assess the facts about Russia and Ukraine?

In the literate social classes, there will be many. Among what used to be called The Great Unwashed, I suspect the percentage is in single digits -- and definitely nothing close to a majority.

Sock puppets can't really be said to have an opinion.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Lookout's picture

@fire with fire

instead of others cause can't do shit about them, best I can do is be the person my dog thinks I am. (but don't have a dog right now)

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”