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Thu Sep 24, 2020, 01:35 AM

Confessions of a Trump Troll

Source: The New Yorker
By Charles Bethea
August 24, 2020
Read more: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/31/confessions-of-a-trump-troll

This article presents interesting ideas about how to troll. Makes me wonder about how to use these tactics against Trump and other Republican candidates.

“I like chaos. I thrive in it”: a Georgia lawyer with too much time on his hands and ties to the G.O.P. describes how he used twenty fake Twitter accounts to disseminate political disinformation.

For years, the lawyer, who asked not to be identified, worked in Washington, D.C., for the Republican Party. He moved his family south a few years ago, having realized, he said, that “D.C. is just Hollywood for ugly people.” He found that he had time on his hands. “I’d never been interested in social media,” he said. “I can’t stand Facebook.” But he became intrigued by the power of Twitter. “Really repulsive meme-ing, the stuff that makes you laugh, makes you remember,” he said. The right, he went on, “is great at it instinctively. Whether it’s a 4chan board or basement neckbeards, they nail it. They can distill a huge talking paragraph into a cat picture.” He considers Trump’s digital facility “absolutely genius,” and believes that his frequent Twitter misspellings (“Barrack Obama,” “covfefe”) are intentional. In 2015, while the lawyer’s young children napped, he began trolling. “I’d have a glass of wine, talk to my wife, watch Netflix, and see what kinds of things we could do,” he said. He would sometimes pass four or five hours a day this way.

The lawyer is not a mainstream Republican; he likes Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders. He was also unbothered by the recent Senate report on Russia’s election meddling. (“If you’re not interfering with elections,” he said, “you’re not doing it right.”) Out of curiosity, he attended a far-right gathering, where he found the younger attendees to be “maybe a little misguided, but well intended.” He began creating fake Twitter accounts, he said, to see “whether I could get more interactions, more retweets, by being a little more radical.” The Confederate flag was often his avatar, or the Bonnie Blue, a lesser-known Confederate banner. For his handles, he made up acronyms with a nationalistic tinge, such as FFK: Faith Folk and Kin. He fashioned the accounts’ ersatz users as boomers or gun-rights activists. The latter, he said, were easy: “Just follow Dana Loesch and interact with those crazy girls who stay up all night tweeting Second Amendment stuff.” He added, “I’d get them to retweet me and then my following would blow up.” By the time the 2016 race was under way, he had about twenty accounts, each with a few thousand followers. His fake alt-right accounts amplified Trump’s messaging and distorted Hillary Clinton’s. (“Something about her makes me nervous,” he said.) His fake Antifa ones spread what he called “disinformation and false stories” to benefit Trump.

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Reply Confessions of a Trump Troll (Original post)
FreddyWhite Sep 2020 OP
Wounded Bear Sep 2020 #1

Response to FreddyWhite (Original post)

Thu Sep 24, 2020, 01:48 AM

1. Like I've been saying, we've been taken over by internet trolls...

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