The comments sections on the blog has unfortunately become rife with spooks. And by spooks I mean paid agents, shills and operatives. For too long I had become complacent, trusting that people would be able to sort out the bullshit. And frankly a bit lazy. But no longer. This post is meant to serve as a warning to all the forum spies: I’m on to you, and I’m going to root you out.
Simply put, I had not fully appreciated all the different ways that forums can be hijacked. So I went back and re-read “The Gentleperson’s Guide To Forum Spies,” which was partially compiled from the documents leaked by Snowden. Say what you want about Snowden. I don’t trust him either. But the information was nonetheless revealing.
Here are some of the tactics I can see that are clearly being used in comments. (There may be others that I am not seeing so feel free to read the whole thing. And also read Miles’ paper about it.) Anybody whose behavior in comments resembles these tactics will NOT be given the benefit of the doubt. I would ask the readers here to remind themselves of these tactics so they can help me spot them and also avoid being falsely accused [PLEASE NOTE, THE LAST THING I WANT IS PEOPLE ACCUSING EACH OTHER OF BEING SPOOKS — JUST WRITE ME AN E-MAIL WITH YOUR OBSERVATION AND LET ME TAKE CARE OF IT]:
Technique #2 – ‘CONSENSUS CRACKING’
A second highly effective technique is ‘consensus cracking.’ To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used. Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth – but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger ‘evidence’ or disinformation in your favour is slowly ‘seeded in.’ Thus the uninformed reader will most likely develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then ‘abort’ the consensus cracking by initiating a ‘forum slide.’
Technique #3 – ‘TOPIC DILUTION’
Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a ‘RESOURCE BURN.’ By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a ‘gossip mode.’ In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in. It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education is first determined of the group to determine at what level to ‘drive in the wedge.’ By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.
Technique #6 – ‘GAINING FULL CONTROL’
It is important to also be harvesting and continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavourable postings – and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the ‘ultimate victory’ as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms. Depending on the level of control you can obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a ‘honey pot’ gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from this point be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.
[Editor’s note: At first i thought that last one didn’t apply, since nobody is going to be able to take over this blog unless they outright steal it from me. But then I remembered that people have been linking to alternative forums to try to move discussion over there. Another way to “gain full control.” I will no longer allow links to other forums to discuss Miles’ work. You can discuss anywhere you want, but I’m not going to allow you to people to use my blog to advertise alternative forums. From now on anyone linking to another forum to discuss Mile’s work will be banned without further warning.]
Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the ‘How dare you!’ gambit.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how ‘sensitive they are to criticism.’
Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
7) Inconsistent. There is also a tendency to make mistakes which betray their true self/motives. This may stem from not really knowing their topic, or it may be somewhat ‘freudian’, so to speak, in that perhaps they really root for the side of truth deep within. I have noted that often, they will simply cite contradictory information which [“outs”] itself and the author.
And more: In some situations, to get control, the agent will tell the activist [something that] invites guilty feelings. Many people can be controlled by guilt. The agents begin relationships with activists behind a well-developed mask of “dedication to the cause.” Because of their often declared dedication, (and actions designed to prove this), when they criticize the activist, he or she – being truly dedicated to the movement – becomes convinced that somehow, any issues are THEIR fault. This is because a truly dedicated person tends to believe that everyone has a conscience and that nobody would dissimulate and lie like that “on purpose.” It’s amazing how far agents can go in manipulating an activist because the activist will constantly make excuses for the agent who regularly declares their dedication to the cause. Even if they do, occasionally, suspect the agent, they will pull the wool over their own eyes by rationalizing: “they did that unconsciously… they didn’t really mean it… I can help them by being forgiving and accepting ” and so on and so forth.
Some agents take on a pushy, arrogant, or defensive manner:
1) To disrupt the agenda
2) To side-track the discussion
3) To interrupt repeatedly
4) To feign ignorance
5) To make an unfounded accusation against a person.