Troll training

You may have seen this before – but it’s worth repeating. We need reminding from time to time of the tactics used by those who seek to discredit science. Particularly, at the moment, climate science.

It’s a short video – but you get the picture. These people are carrying out a political campaign – they are not interested in truth or science. Their whole approach is to smear and attempt to discredit.

Remind you of anyone?

Thanks to: Americans Against the Tea Party who offer this description:

This video was filmed in Nashville TN. A group tied to the Koch Brothers associate Howie Rich trains Tea Partiers in “guerilla internet tactics.” The presenter instructs his audience to put up false book reviews, as well as give “bad ratings” to documentary films that are embarrassing to the Tea Party. This clip shows us just how twisted, and pathologically dishonest the Tea Party really is.

Training Tea Party Activists In Guerilla Internet Tactics – BUSTED!.

See also: (Astro) Turf Wars

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38 responses to “Troll training

  1. I’ve noticed a distinct drop off in the volume of AGW denier trolling recently, in this site and others, it gives me cause to wonder if the contemporaneous implosion of the Heartland Institute had anything to do with the decrease.
    Bursting the Republican party’s bubble of reality in the recent US elections may also be a factor, resulting in some tiny semblance of self awareness from the US conservatives. I believe Sarah Palin has even been dropped from Fox News.

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  2. My impression, too, Richard. Also noticed that Kerry was confirmed as US Secretary of State with only 3 votes against – and those were diehard climate change denier and tea party people. Only 3 of them!

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  3. Same here. Climate deniers import their talking points from the U.S. They copy-cat their propoganda and basically just ditto whatever the babble is of the day. Australian and UK deniers don’t do it by themselves in much the same way as creationists or tobacco lobbyists don’t do it for themselves.
    It’s essentially just a cut-and-paste job from American interests.
    Take away the US skeptic tanks and the local ones over here would just dry up from lack of material.

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  4. Reblogged this on Louis' Outlook and commented:
    Very interesting…

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  5. There is no mention of science in this video

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  6. There is no mention of science in this video.

    That’s good. That’s really very good.
    (…slow hand clap…)
    Clearly your aural comprehension of English is coming along nicely.
    Now if we can just work on your reading skills….

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  7. The blog post starts with comments about discrediting science, in particular,climate science

    Yet the video makes no mention of science, or climate science
    What point is the blogger trying to make?

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  8. I shouldn’t have to spell it out for you Phil. What books are these activists seeking to give bad ratings on Amazon? Have a look at the amazon reviews for Mann’s recent book and see for yourself. Who has obviously not read the book yet gives bad ratings and vitriolic, even hateful, comments? Look at the science and climate change blogs. What commenters are obviously not interested in the facts but just want to bad mouth the science and the scientists?

    Perhaps you should provide more detail – just what is your problem with me displaying this video again?

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  9. I don’t know what books they are trying to give bad ratings. There are a lot of political books for sale on Amazon. Liberals and Conservatives alike both give books one star ratings that don’t agree with their world view. Some of them actually admit they haven’t read the book in the review. I can think of several liberals that have done this

    It is a pretty dumb thing to do because most readers are smart enough to see through the “review” which is why Amazon allows comments on the review.

    It seems a little bit of a stretch to suggest that these Tea Party people are attacking Michael Mann.

    I hadn’t realized that you were carrying water for Mann. I’ll back off because you people worry me.

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  10. Phil, I am not a water carrier. Man’s book is just one example, as is he as a scientist. As you say it might be pretty dumb to do this sort of thing to books like this – but it is done in a big wary. Similarly some pretty dumb things are done in the attempts to slander Mann. And it does work on some people. Just see the number of bloggers and Internet commenters unjustly slandering Mann – despite his well deserved scientific reputation and mana.

    Why does Mann “worry” you Phil? What is your problem with him? And what gives you the strange idea that the Tea Party people are not slandering Mann and other climate scientists?

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  11. I don’t know what books they are trying to give bad ratings.

    Yep, it’s a real mystery.
    Could be anything from “Pollyanna” to “Peter Pan”. There’s just no way of knowing.

    Liberals and Conservatives alike…

    The magical balance fairy just entered the room.
    Watch the video. Notice how it’s all about the Tea Baggers? Good.
    Now find the the training video counterpart that’s for the other side.
    (…crickets chirping…)

    I hadn’t realized that you were carrying water for Mann. I’ll back off because you people worry me.

    “You people”?
    You realise you are talking about NASA and every single scientific community on the planet, right?

    http://climate.nasa.gov/

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  12. And what gives you the strange idea that the Tea Party people are not slandering Mann and other climate scientists?

    Because you haven’t provided any evidence to support it.

    Peter Gleick wrote a one star review of a skeptic book that he obviously hadn’t read. He also went on to steal documents from Heartland.

    So there’s your example of a real person on the Liberal side, doing what you accuse Tea Party people of doing.

    The Tea Party is all about small government. You clearly have a problem with this. The USA gets about 20% of GDP in tax revenue and spends about 40%. It accumulates $1 trillion of additional debt each year.

    Do you have any other solutions to this problem? Increased tax?

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  13. OK Phil, you have revealed your motivation – you are a supporter of the tea party movement in the US. Hardly a recommendation that you would either be objective or rational.

    There are plenty of examples of the extreme right wing factions of the republican party (characterised by the description “tea party) have carried out an unprincipled campaign against honest scientists. A disgusting campaign of lies. Mann has been a particular target (and its interesting that you appear to have it in for Mann but seem afraid to declare yourself). You have to be either ignorant or dishonest to attack my claim by saying I have not provided evidence – just have a look.

    What is your exact bitch with Mann?

    Or are you just a victim of the sort of slandering and dishonest manipulation the video recommends?

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  14. Ken, this is bizarre. I haven’t claimed that I support the Tea Party, and I don’t have a bitch with Mann.

    Are you on medication? Your posts appear to be almost delirious.

    I made the comment that there was no mention of science in the video. Somehow you have come to the conclusion that they are attacking Michael Mann and that I am supporting them.

    This is paranoid delusional behavior.

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  15. Phil, in your last comments you argued the case for the tea party policies – even asked me if I had an alternative conveying the impression you support their policies.

    However, that is your business and if you don’t want to discuss it or wish to back away from that position – no skin off my nose. I really aren’t interested in discussing US economic and financial issues.

    This article of mine merely, and briefly, pointed out some tactics used by trolls on the Internet – using the examples shown in the video. These tactics get used a lot to campaign against the science of climate change and against climate scientists.

    For some reason my article seemed to upset you.

    As a scientist my concern is with the science and the standing of science and scientists. I am interested in exposing the methods used by those who are attempting to discredit the science and slandering the scientists.

    Good if you don’t have a bitch with Mann – after all why should you?

    Just that you described me as “carrying water for Mann” and said that consequently “I’ll back off because you people worry me.”

    Very strange comments which you now are not willing to explain or even repeat!!

    I am quite happy if you were to clarify things now by affirming that you are not trying to discredit Mann, and nor do you find the fact that I accept Mann’s good scientific reputation is well deserved anything to “worry about.”

    Yes I am on medication – beta blockers for my heart condition. Helps to keep my blood pressure low and consequently I find trolls these days tend to amuse me rather than annoy me. They are often good for a laugh. That’s why I usually don’t ban them.

    As you can see, Cedric also finds trolls entertaining.

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  16. So are you calling me a troll?

    Is that your response to my reasonable initial comment?

    And who the hell cares what Cedric thinks. He appears to be a very rude person

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  17. Whatever gave you that idea (that I am calling you a troll), Phil?

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  18. Climate Deniers: It’s all about swapping science for global conspiracy thinking.

    It starts with Gore (clearly the mastermind). Now, he’s hired Mann (with secret money, of course). NASA? Well, they are in on it too. Royal Society? Corrupted. AGU? In cahoots. USGS? British Antarctic Survey? Every single National Academy of Sciences from every country and every single scientific community covering all the physical sciences?
    Yep, they are all Kommi, Fascist, eco-pinko, hippie, Marxist thingies….just like all scientists generally are.
    (shrug)
    The wonderous thing about this global conspiracy is how perfect it is.
    No deathbed confessions.
    No jilted lover spilling the beans.
    No gigantic team of scientists on the ground in Antarctica going “Hang on! All these records have been altered. Quick, give us our Nobel Prizes!”
    No science faculty car parks with Rolls Royces parked just outside.
    There’s bugger all.
    All that’s available is Alex Jones and Monckton doing the same ol’ dog-and-pony show on an echo-chamber blog somewhere.

    The global scientific conspiracy. Perfect in every way.
    For decades…. and decades…

    Climate Science 1956: A Blast from the Past

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  19. All that’s available is Alex Jones and Monckton doing the same ol’ dog-and-pony show on an echo-chamber blog somewhere.

    and thanks to the magic of the interweb, here is Alex Jones and Lord Monckton talking about…. Agenda 21 and communists

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  20. Thanks Phil, that was a hoot.

    @14.18 : “…ordinary people like thee and me”
    lol

    Agenda 21, ICLEI … very spooky @17.50

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  21. Otherwise sane people lend this man credibility. There is not a single climate denier argument out there that he has not supported to the hilt. It’s no exaggeration to say that he really is the best spokesperson they can muster. He’s been invited everywhere by them and they lavish him with all of the airplay he can handle.
    He really is the No.1 face of climate denial.
    There’s lots more stuff out there on him but I like Hatfield’s takedown of him the best. In fact, there was so much to take down that Hatfield ended up doing a series on him.
    Each one more brutally honest than the last…

    Monckton Bunkum Part 1 – Global cooling and melting ice

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  22. There isn’t any mention of climate science in the video I posted.
    Although Monckton is easy to mock, he is largely right on the issues raised in the video.

    The bureaucracy in Australia is terrible, and when government employees try to kill farmers by ramming them with a truck then things have gone a little too far

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  23. There isn’t any mention of climate science in the video I posted.

    What was the clip you posted entitled, Phil?

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  24. The title was about climate tyranny.
    There was no mention of climate science in the video.

    The title was put there by whoever posted the video on YouTube.

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  25. Did Mr Prison Planet mention climate in his introduction of Mad Monckton?

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  26. Richard! You have it all wrong.
    The video Phil posted is Monckton speaking about climate tyranny.
    It’s nothing like my video of Monckton speaking about climate science.
    Two totally, completely, utterly, astoundingly, different things.
    Whatever next?
    If someone posted a video about Monckton speaking about climate corruption, would you put it in the same basket?
    Inconceivable!

    Although Monckton is easy to mock…

    Actually, he’s extraordianarly easy to mock. The man’s a first-rate kook.

    …he is largely right on the issues raised in the video.

    Total bullshit wavey-hand nonsense full of aimless, non-specific vaguishness.

    The bureaucracy in Australia is terrible, and when government employees try to kill farmers by ramming them with a truck then things have gone a little too far…

    You think that’s bad? They really go over the top when they grab the corpses of those poor farmers, bash their heads open with rocks so that they can scoop the goo out from the inside. Terrible stuff.
    I mean, won’t someone think of the children?

    Monckton is a kook. Yet not just on climate change conspiracies…
    Oh no. His range and depth is very impressive.
    (Remember folks, this is the No 1 climate denier spokesperson.)
    Behold…

    Lord Monckton: “I’ve discovered a cure for HIV!”

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  27. Hi Cedric
    I’m glad that we agree on the basics then.

    I do agree that smashing rocks on the heads of farmers is worse than trying to run them over. I would also go as far to say that kidnapping their children, raping them, and then burning them alive is worse than that

    I would also say that dismembering them limb by limb, pouring acid into their eyes, and then dragging them through the streets behind a motorcycle is even worse than that

    However, I don’t really get your point on this issue.

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  28. Hi Phil,
    Are “they” going to do all that dismembering stuff before or after they put the entire population of USA into concentration camps (@18.20)?

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  29. However, I don’t really get your point on this issue.

    Well, it’s your derp game that you yourself started. I’m only replying in kind. Act like a tool and you’ll be treated like one.
    (shrug)

    Are “they” going to do all that dismembering stuff before or after they put the entire population of USA into concentration camps…

    Maybe they get them in there by killing farmers with trucks since it’s a terrible bureaucracy or something? Mysterious ways are mysterious.

    Let’s have some more stupid from Monckton…

    The Terrifying World From Monckton’s Mind

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  30. I was just trying to make a point about excessive regulation. Obviously, this is the wrong forum.

    By the way, what is a derp game?

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  31. I was just trying to make a point about excessive regulation.

    No, there are no regulations allowing Australian government employees to try to kill farmers by ramming them with a truck. Reality is not your friend.

    By the way, what is a derp game?

    Internet fail.

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  32. No, there are no regulations allowing Australian government employees to try to kill farmers by ramming them with a truck.

    You are kidding me right? Surely government employees wouldn’t do this if it was illegal

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  33. Reality is not your friend.
    “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”- Christopher Hitchens.

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  34. (* chortles *)

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  35. That’s all you have left.
    Reality is still not your friend. Burble in your throat all you want.
    It won’t help you.

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  36. (* guffaws *)

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  37. That’s all you have left.
    Reality is still not your friend. Burble in your throat all you want.
    It won’t help you.

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  38. Some unscrupulous individuals are creating automated tools for astroturfing, that let a single troll appear as a whole crowd of trolls:

    From DailyKOS:
    The HB Gary Email That Should Concern Us All
    “According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HBGary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated “persona management” software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online. [...]”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All

    The article is quite worrying. Read it and share it. Help spread awareness of astroturfing.

    Like

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