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Catherina

(35,568 posts)
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:09 AM Jul 2013

The government figured out sockpuppet managment but not "persona management".

Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention Yurbud!


...

As I also mentioned yesterday, in some of the emails, HBGary people are talking about creating "personas", what we would call sockpuppets. This is not new. PR firms have been using fake "people" to promote products and other things for a while now, both online and even in bars and coffee houses.

But for a defense contractor with ties to the federal government, Hunton & Williams, DOD, NSA, and the CIA - whose enemies are labor unions, progressive organizations, journalists, and progressive bloggers, a persona apparently goes far beyond creating a mere sockpuppet.

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.

Persona management entails not just the deconfliction of persona artifacts such as names, email addresses, landing pages, and associated content. It also requires providing the human actors technology that takes the decision process out of the loop when using a specific persona. For this purpose we custom developed either virtual machines or thumb drives for each persona. This allowed the human actor to open a virtual machine or thumb drive with an associated persona and have all the appropriate email accounts, associations, web pages, social media accounts, etc. pre-established and configured with visual cues to remind the actor which persona he/she is using so as not to accidentally cross-contaminate personas during use.

And all of this is for the purposes of infiltration, data mining, and (here's the one that really worries me) ganging up on bloggers, commenters and otherwise "real" people to smear enemies and distort the truth.

This is an excerpt from one of the Word Documents, which was sent as an attachment by Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary's Federal subsidiary, to several of his colleagues to present to clients:

To build this capability we will create a set of personas on twitter,‭ ‬blogs,‭ ‬forums,‭ ‬buzz,‭ ‬and myspace under created names that fit the profile‭ (‬satellitejockey,‭ ‬hack3rman,‭ ‬etc‭ )‬.‭ ‬These accounts are maintained and updated automatically through RSS feeds,‭ ‬retweets,‭ ‬and linking together social media commenting between platforms.‭ ‬With a pool of these accounts to choose from,‭ ‬once you have a real name persona you create a Facebook and LinkedIn account using the given name,‭ ‬lock those accounts down and link these accounts to a selected‭ ‬#‭ ‬of previously created social media accounts,‭ ‬automatically pre-aging the real accounts.


Yes!!! That's how democracy and the first amendment are supposed to work.


....

... And ... this is just one little company of assholes.

...
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All
305 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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The government figured out sockpuppet managment but not "persona management". (Original Post) Catherina Jul 2013 OP
k&r for exposure. This is very important. n/t Laelth Jul 2013 #1
Thanks. The credit goes to Yurbud. It is very very important. Catherina Jul 2013 #2
k&r Starry Messenger Jul 2013 #3
Who are the they you refer to? Ah you fixed it! hootinholler Jul 2013 #4
I'm in no position to list names but I know my ignore list here covers some of them Catherina Jul 2013 #5
Top People is the author's term hootinholler Jul 2013 #10
I'm not sure about it becoming more difficult to recognize them. Not to disagree totally as you sabrina 1 Jul 2013 #263
The usual suspects aren't these sorts of personas hootinholler Jul 2013 #273
want me to name the obvious ones? backwoodsbob Jul 2013 #18
fuck it backwoodsbob Jul 2013 #19
G4A is gone. hootinholler Jul 2013 #28
G4A is gone? Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #87
Why yes, he is hootinholler Jul 2013 #98
Do tell. East Coast Pirate Jul 2013 #282
No clue, I'm not a host. hootinholler Jul 2013 #283
"I have in my hands a LIST of ...." JoePhilly Jul 2013 #156
LOL! nt SunSeeker Jul 2013 #201
And SHOCKINGLY, 3-3 verdict to leave it. Number23 Jul 2013 #233
I'd vote leave it ... A post that stupid ... JoePhilly Jul 2013 #239
You shouldn't be picking names at randome. backscatter712 Jul 2013 #189
This message was self-deleted by its author SunSeeker Jul 2013 #195
not gonna happen but deserves a duzy..nt xiamiam Jul 2013 #197
I was thinkingabout doing the same thing, OnyxCollie Jul 2013 #257
!!!!! bvar22 Jul 2013 #289
Bing. morningfog Sep 2013 #296
LOL Th1onein Jul 2013 #220
You forgot. Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #246
Ding! Capt. Obvious Jul 2013 #251
I thought you left. CreekDog Jul 2013 #256
welcome back..du is swinging back xiamiam Jul 2013 #196
I can't see any of them lol. Catherina Jul 2013 #236
The issue is, they are blocked on an individual basis PowerToThePeople Jul 2013 #42
Report them? The most prolific ones were protected for years Catherina Jul 2013 #59
I also think the jury system was an improvement. LuvNewcastle Jul 2013 #96
I noticed that too. Along with the discontent of the old protected class Catherina Jul 2013 #99
almost every jury i've served on is someone complaining about something ridiculous xiamiam Jul 2013 #199
You notice how they're the ones who wail the loudest about hurt feelings? backscatter712 Jul 2013 #192
I'm particularly impressed when they JoeyT Jul 2013 #205
you have a way with words, JoeyT!!! Skittles Jul 2013 #213
Indicators of persona management would be rapid climbs in post counts and clustering by a group leveymg Jul 2013 #6
And they only have circular links to back up their talking points Catherina Jul 2013 #9
there's a reason for managed personas to use managed links... nashville_brook Jul 2013 #61
Ah yes, the blind post of links. Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #90
Oh haha lol. I never thought of that but it makes perfect sense. Catherina Jul 2013 #101
This is very interesting. woo me with science Jul 2013 #202
They also have maps! backscatter712 Jul 2013 #207
I would say it depends hootinholler Jul 2013 #14
DU is the stuff of a thousand doctoral dissertations. leveymg Jul 2013 #21
Well I would need to get a degree of some sort hootinholler Jul 2013 #31
That much was already happening after the 2004 election starroute Jul 2013 #35
We saw a crew of professional crisis managers here after the Fukushima disaster. leveymg Jul 2013 #45
And they will not be able to answer sophisticated questions. bemildred Jul 2013 #119
omg -- that's such a good analogy. nashville_brook Jul 2013 #122
An example of the idea: bemildred Jul 2013 #127
That one made no sense. Enthusiast Jul 2013 #151
Thanks. I used to like to wallow in this stuff. bemildred Jul 2013 #152
Dang. Enthusiast Jul 2013 #160
It is not at all new, actually. Ramped up a bit. nt bemildred Jul 2013 #161
That's a classic Catherina Jul 2013 #169
Ordinary people talk just like that. So does the media, all the time. bemildred Jul 2013 #172
I'll remember your advice and astute observations Catherina Jul 2013 #186
It's not a trick, it's a test. An ersatz Turing test. bemildred Jul 2013 #191
The thing to notice is none of my questions got a responsive answer. bemildred Jul 2013 #200
Thank you for that. zeemike Sep 2013 #298
"canned responses and paste-ups" is the first giveaway. Catherina Jul 2013 #154
Please see the second link I posted (#152). nt bemildred Jul 2013 #158
Wow ... Fantastic Anarchist Jul 2013 #211
Blatant is what is easy and safe to do. Subtle is what they can't do. bemildred Jul 2013 #240
please, tell me more Warren DeMontague Jul 2013 #181
And typos will be a problem, missing spaces, misspellings, webisms, mispelled webisms , slang .. bemildred Jul 2013 #185
That is why certain memes are so valuable to them and are so often employed truedelphi Jun 2014 #304
Yes, ambiguity in all its forms is rejected, it's black-n-white all the way. bemildred Jun 2014 #305
A prominent poster who was also a mod once admonished me for Lydia Leftcoast Jul 2013 #265
We've all had our encounters with packs of feral cats. ;-) leveymg Jul 2013 #271
Yes, my apologies, I post so quickly that sometimes it takes me a while to see something is unclear Catherina Jul 2013 #7
No worries. hootinholler Jul 2013 #15
It's mutual, and based solely on rock steady principles. The stuff of lasting relationships Catherina Jul 2013 #33
Who are they? bvar22 Jul 2013 #72
"the first response to an OP" lol! I noticed. They always showup in swarms too Catherina Jul 2013 #94
Damn, Catherina! I noticed this, too, but I never thought it would be something so sneaky. Th1onein Jul 2013 #219
But how do they always manage to be first? starroute Jul 2013 #247
I have thought about the same questions myself. truedelphi Jun 2014 #299
ROFL smilies are the best! snooper2 Jul 2013 #280
Sockpuppets "...hijack the thread, distract with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense..." chimpymustgo Jul 2013 #120
Yes! I just came from one such thread. They disrupt the thread so no Mojorabbit Jul 2013 #131
Well you could do what I do and just put them all on ignore Catherina Jul 2013 #146
+1 NealK Jul 2013 #162
That is flat out not true. I have seen so many posts favorable to Obama that are then swarmed by Pretzel_Warrior Jul 2013 #215
You are right PW sheshe2 Jul 2013 #224
You are right, there are two sides. The one side refuses to discuss issues but only personalities. rhett o rick Jul 2013 #229
PLONK. sibelian Jul 2013 #258
what the plonk is PLONK? Pretzel_Warrior Jul 2013 #259
This message was self-deleted by its author HangOnKids Jul 2013 #264
That's you getting dropped onto the iggy list Fumesucker Jul 2013 #270
That's either you being removed from the echo chamber... randome Jul 2013 #272
lol...nt Jesus Malverde Jul 2013 #274
Jun 22, 2010 -- the date of the HB Gary email. might be interesting to examine nashville_brook Jul 2013 #8
Haha lol. It would be interesting indeed Catherina Jul 2013 #12
so glad Kos is finally getting it. nashville_brook Jul 2013 #17
I would love to quit my day job hootinholler Jul 2013 #106
I am an unemployed programmer dreamnightwind Jul 2013 #194
K&R. Propaganda *always* accompanies the rise of authoritarianism. woo me with science Jul 2013 #11
All of it with our money as we lose our homes and jobs Catherina Jul 2013 #13
If investigative journalists were not being surveilled and threatened with felonies, woo me with science Jul 2013 #73
And that is what we are watching happen Enthusiast Jul 2013 #159
Quite right TheKentuckian Jul 2013 #22
Excellent insight: "Propaganda *always* accompanies the rise of authoritarianism." chimpymustgo Jul 2013 #36
Deception accompanies the rise of authoritarianism. cprise Jul 2013 #70
+1 "the establishment's propaganda... its increasingly intended to deceive." woo me with science Jul 2013 #74
There is only ONE party now, WMWS. The corporate party. Th1onein Jul 2013 #221
we used to have words for those who catapaulted the propaganda grasswire Jul 2013 #180
+1 It's a sad comment on our species woo me with science Jul 2013 #244
I've noticed our own little DU gets a veritable little chorus of Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #16
You noticed that too? nadinbrzezinski Jul 2013 #20
sometimes it's not newbies...Brandon Darby strategy nashville_brook Jul 2013 #23
Asshole sleeper cells, in other words. Food for thought. n/t DirkGently Jul 2013 #38
+1 woo me with science Jul 2013 #49
+2 Enthusiast Jul 2013 #164
Darby's pal Lee Stranaham has admitted to something similar starroute Jul 2013 #44
GREAT example!! thank you for posting this!! nashville_brook Jul 2013 #53
+1000000 n/t Catherina Jul 2013 #67
Here's the thread he was talking about, just for historical reference starroute Jul 2013 #143
"So, I had a Democratic Underground account I started a couple of years ago" nashville_brook Jul 2013 #55
This is an example of a manually managed persona hootinholler Jul 2013 #68
precisely -- and as of this month, there's no law against Pentagon propagandizing Americans! nashville_brook Jul 2013 #78
Thanks for that link! hootinholler Jul 2013 #92
this story has REALLY flown under the radar! nashville_brook Jul 2013 #100
This is one fucked up country. Enthusiast Jul 2013 #170
that movie is getting way too real. nashville_brook Jul 2013 #175
+1 woo me with science Jul 2013 #212
I had a post hidden in less than 10 minutes zeemike Jul 2013 #80
Lol, no worries. It happens Catherina Jul 2013 #109
I knew it was not just me zeemike Jul 2013 #121
Hmm, small fish? I beg to differ Catherina Jul 2013 #123
"Kafkaesque anonymous cyber tribunal." So unfair to the infiltrating right-winger. 8( DirkGently Jul 2013 #168
The chess metaphor is excellent, particularly about building expendable personas. leveymg Jul 2013 #128
I'm glad they post here - gives us a handy resource to examine the larger war propaganda machine. leveymg Jul 2013 #24
Who are they though? darkangel218 Jul 2013 #26
Servants of the 1% Hydra Jul 2013 #39
As one of my favorite DUers said zeemike Jul 2013 #89
There are a number of US funded and industry advocacy/PR groups that have a web presence. leveymg Jul 2013 #51
it's been most obvious with industry-supporting personas... nashville_brook Jul 2013 #64
The influx is steady, wars or not. And the numbers will keep increasing woo me with science Jul 2013 #27
I didn't see your post before. DU moves so fast with important posts buried under royal baby love Catherina Jul 2013 #46
I have tried to kick several old, important threads lately. woo me with science Jul 2013 #66
The only answer I have for you is that the money comes from us Catherina Jul 2013 #91
That is a great post. Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #83
+100 zeemike Jul 2013 #93
That is an extremely insightful and useful post on many levels. leveymg Jul 2013 #135
"What is happening to it now is, quite frankly, not natural." Skittles Jul 2013 #238
Very astute observations n/t truedelphi Jun 2014 #300
Then they disappear for ages only to reappear at the same time to assault and counterrecommend Catherina Jul 2013 #30
Yep. Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #85
Yes! Those are the funniest lol Catherina Jul 2013 #95
You know things are going bad when the "poutrage" meme starts popping. DirkGently Jul 2013 #103
Yep- Poutrage. Ponies. Pearls. Catherina Jul 2013 #133
Some of those "newbies" had accounts opened as far back as 2003, bvar22 Jul 2013 #77
Exactly. Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #86
That is *very* interesting. woo me with science Jul 2013 #209
Dang. I missed that one also. Arctic Dave Jul 2013 #245
The law needs to catch up with the tech. False advertising DirkGently Jul 2013 #25
CosPlay for the 1% n/t radhika Jul 2013 #29
Before any of us could even imagine such deceptive tactics, we did remark on the similarity of sabrina 1 Jul 2013 #32
spot-on. the term "bots" emerged to describe a brand of insincerity... nashville_brook Jul 2013 #48
Bot, at least to me, implies a crude effort hootinholler Jul 2013 #60
totally agree -- i'm pointing to the use of the term by casual users... nashville_brook Jul 2013 #63
Ah, the same way that Hacker became corrupted hootinholler Jul 2013 #71
eggsactly. nashville_brook Jul 2013 #105
hastings was investigating wht versues blk hackers questionseverything Jul 2013 #198
Shoals of trolls and clots of bots Divernan Jul 2013 #225
If anyone disagrees with you, then you can claim Pretzel_Warrior Jul 2013 #34
no -- but you can take into account their behavior and history nashville_brook Jul 2013 #43
It is reasonably easy to discern good-faith disagreement Maedhros Jul 2013 #112
Yes, I see both kinds here every day I am here. Pretzel_Warrior Jul 2013 #114
Exactly. CakeGrrl Jul 2013 #277
Or rest assured they may just be an asshole. morningfog Sep 2013 #297
du rec. xchrom Jul 2013 #37
It's a brave new world agent46 Jul 2013 #40
No... Brave New World had Sex and Soma whttevrr Jul 2013 #50
see post #44 -- yes, they have been used here. nashville_brook Jul 2013 #58
Wow agent46 Jul 2013 #65
BOOKMARKED..... n/t annabanana Jul 2013 #41
K&R. nt DLevine Jul 2013 #47
LOL, the fantasies of some fringe company means it's really happening! MannyGoldstein Jul 2013 #52
You forgot the pom poms, Palin, apple pie and something about vodka Catherina Jul 2013 #62
Oh, they're just mad because they didn't get their unicorn magical thyme Jul 2013 #84
No Manny, everyone who disagrees with you here is a government mole. geek tragedy Jul 2013 #248
Interesting to see the mechanics of these propaganda ventures revealed. Mc Mike Jul 2013 #54
I've just been reading up on this stuff at Project PM starroute Jul 2013 #56
"such software will form a broad programmatic area of military operations" + Smith-Mundt Amendment nashville_brook Jul 2013 #76
I don't see the problem. DirkGently Jul 2013 #81
wouldn't it be cheaper for them to just bomb us for real, in a false flag attack? magical thyme Jul 2013 #88
these sorts of propaganda programs are exactly what drives cynicism wrt attacks on the US nashville_brook Jul 2013 #108
Tax payers probably spend billions Enthusiast Jul 2013 #179
They have our best interests at heart. Enthusiast Jul 2013 #176
Mantech purchased them? Catherina Jul 2013 #148
The usefulness of open forums is coming to a close cprise Jul 2013 #57
Sad, but true. But I would think a few minor restrictions would screen out (most of) the fakes. reformist2 Jul 2013 #69
Thank Goodness! Vanje Jul 2013 #75
Thanks, Catherina, this has been a constant annoyance to so many of us for years Zorra Jul 2013 #79
Could explain a lot here at the "Underground..." villager Jul 2013 #82
But I have a question. Puglover Jul 2013 #97
Well that's what happens when you're so cheap you won't pay for quality labor Catherina Jul 2013 #104
I think the goal, rather than convincing anyone, woo me with science Jul 2013 #113
Exactly! Distraction is often the goal. Maedhros Jul 2013 #116
And "they" have been successful. bvar22 Jul 2013 #206
Bingo! Th1onein Jul 2013 #222
The purpose of disinfo is to muddy things up, not to convince starroute Jul 2013 #115
Yes! To derail and to muddy, not to convince Catherina Jul 2013 #125
Very good! Enthusiast Jul 2013 #184
It seems TPTB have Enthusiast Jul 2013 #182
Heh RobertEarl Jul 2013 #102
Could you expand on how they may have gamed the jury system? Maedhros Jul 2013 #118
Via software hacking? RobertEarl Jul 2013 #126
I think they are gaming the juries. backscatter712 Jul 2013 #210
This is absolutely hilarious. Scurrilous Jul 2013 #107
You're welcome. Catherina Jul 2013 #117
She saved the PM. Scurrilous Jul 2013 #132
Oh gawd, now you're just as lost as I thought Catherina Jul 2013 #138
Awkward... whttevrr Jul 2013 #140
Long story... Scurrilous Jul 2013 #144
So you're the one that was the subject of an ATA whine! You should know that Skinner himself has Number23 Jul 2013 #292
Check your inbox. Scurrilous Jul 2013 #294
Nailed it... SidDithers Jul 2013 #137
Indeed Capt. Obvious Jul 2013 #278
K&R idwiyo Jul 2013 #110
ah! almost forgot...and then there's those who are real people nashville_brook Jul 2013 #111
the CEO of HBGary has stinky socks Generic Other Jul 2013 #124
I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation, Catherina Jul 2013 #129
Oooh look, Booz Allen named here too Generic Other Jul 2013 #134
Yeah, but it's just a SIMs family. Mc Mike Jul 2013 #241
Do we see this on DU? I suspect so. But who knows? JDPriestly Jul 2013 #130
see post #44. nashville_brook Jul 2013 #174
I think it is everywhere. Enthusiast Jul 2013 #188
K&R!! Pro surveillance state felix_numinous Jul 2013 #136
My tinfoil hat needs another layer or two after reading this thread Fumesucker Jul 2013 #139
I stole it from Yurbud, as noted in the OP Catherina Jul 2013 #142
K&R'd, bookmarked, & quoted elsewhere -- snot Jul 2013 #141
There is ample evidence that this ... 99Forever Jul 2013 #145
At some point the bulk internet surveillance is going to get corrupted Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #147
IP addresses : Sockpuppets : Swarms whttevrr Jul 2013 #149
I was thinking of ways that they might implement it, but it really does pose some interesting penultimate Jul 2013 #165
Both of you should read the back-links more thoroughly dreamnightwind Jul 2013 #203
That's crazy to know such a system very likely may exist penultimate Jul 2013 #204
I'd say it clearly already exists dreamnightwind Jul 2013 #208
Wow! nt Zorra Jul 2013 #223
How organized. And who was paying for this? Why we were of course. n/t Catherina Jul 2013 #237
K&R. Segami Jul 2013 #150
kr HiPointDem Jul 2013 #153
And now the thread is complete...nt SidDithers Jul 2013 #157
Yep. joshcryer Jul 2013 #230
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! nt msanthrope Jul 2013 #290
brad covered this extensively questionseverything Jul 2013 #155
Thanks, I didn't know that. n/t Catherina Jul 2013 #167
someone as well informed as you should read him questionseverything Jul 2013 #171
Thanks. I'll give it a try Catherina Jul 2013 #177
The article was probably written by a sockpuppet. JoePhilly Jul 2013 #163
I'm more of a stocking than a sock. penultimate Jul 2013 #166
I don't like wearing socks. Or much of anything else. But my onboard cam is disabled. Lucky you! freshwest Jul 2013 #216
Snort~ sheshe2 Jul 2013 #226
I looove that picture. I have one with a cat... freshwest Jul 2013 #227
Like this one? sheshe2 Jul 2013 #228
Oh, no, that is much better! I did tell you about the cats reporting to Sirius nightly, didn't I? freshwest Jul 2013 #231
Your petite chat is beautiful. sheshe2 Jul 2013 #232
Welcome to ignore, sheshe2. Th1onein Jul 2013 #235
+1 for this and the cat pics JoePhilly Jul 2013 #242
... sibelian Jul 2013 #260
great post and discussion xiamiam Jul 2013 #173
I didn't know Rahm Emmanuel did 'message management' Catherina Jul 2013 #178
an article by scahill in 2009 on rahms program xiamiam Jul 2013 #190
"Message Discipline"! Catherina Jul 2013 #218
big K and R bbgrunt Jul 2013 #183
That makes a lot of pro-sense! n/t backscatter712 Jul 2013 #187
It is a matter of when, not if. Rex Jul 2013 #193
Kick. Thanks, Catherina. tblue Jul 2013 #214
Have you copped to your discredited Venezualen posts yet? randome Jul 2013 #217
Goodbye, randome. sibelian Jul 2013 #261
So you think Kerry really did threaten Venezuela? randome Jul 2013 #268
Your Op is a Hoot Catherina~ sheshe2 Jul 2013 #234
Post removed Post removed Jul 2013 #262
I love it when they out themselves like this Lydia Leftcoast Jul 2013 #266
LL, can you please edit or self-delete that remark ucrdem Jul 2013 #269
Results from your alert. bahrbearian Jul 2013 #275
Post removed Post removed Jul 2013 #284
The thread is almost as illuminating as the OP. Nice work, Cat! LanternWaste Jul 2013 #243
Umm... why are you calling a company "the government"? (nt) Recursion Jul 2013 #249
What is fascism? The merger of state and corporate power. n/t backscatter712 Jul 2013 #252
This thread is very useful for id'ing one of two groups: geek tragedy Jul 2013 #250
This thread is a who's who of who is who. great white snark Jul 2013 #254
. geek tragedy Jul 2013 #255
I'm beginning to agree with you! flamingdem Jul 2013 #281
Not only that, but the theme of this thread is exceptional for getting Skinner himself Number23 Jul 2013 #293
K&R nt TBF Jul 2013 #253
HB Gary always had the look and feel of a limited hangout ucrdem Jul 2013 #267
maybe al queda is using bots. or China Pretzel_Warrior Jul 2013 #285
My guess would be a PMSC, "private military and security company," ucrdem Jul 2013 #286
kick woo me with science Jul 2013 #276
k&r Puzzledtraveller Jul 2013 #279
No doubt they're using this place as both testing ground and theater of deployment kenny blankenship Jul 2013 #287
Seems like the sockbot squad got in a platoon of reinforcements since this OP was posted. nt Zorra Jul 2013 #288
Kicked & Recommended In_The_Wind Jul 2013 #291
Well, I can see now what that $52 Billion a year is buying US 99th_Monkey Aug 2013 #295
Thank You For Sharing cantbeserious Jun 2014 #301
This post nearly has hundreds of recommendations. Help put it over the top. Enthusiast Jun 2014 #302
Leave HBGary alone!11!!!11 Only "crazy people" think the USG hired them! Pholus Jun 2014 #303

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
2. Thanks. The credit goes to Yurbud. It is very very important.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:23 AM
Jul 2013

for his (or her) post here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3357581

So now, anyone wondering why certain characters seem intelligent one day and downright cartoonish the next, or when they're overwhelmed with s many little fires to put out, now you know why.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
4. Who are the they you refer to? Ah you fixed it!
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:28 AM
Jul 2013

Persona management is an insidious tool in propagandizing the nation.

Did I recently hear that psy-ops are now allowed to be used by the government on the US public?

There are enough private firms using it and they are hiring top people to implement it.

The money quote:

I have rummaged through the leaked email, some of which contain resumes for employees there. These guys are recruiting people with incredibly advanced skills from many different agencies and top universities like MIT.

HBGary and its subsidiary, HBGary Federal, as well as Berinco and Palantir, employed a lot of extremely qualified people with backgrounds in the NSA and ATT and other major organizations/corporations. These guys are pros.

Aaron Barr may be a mockery to Anonymous for running his mouth off. As he should be. But he's not an idiot and he wasn't the one who gave out the company's keys to a 16 yo girl.

I wanted to make this clear because it is in the interests of government and propagandists, and anyone else who wants this story to go away to try and blow all this off as one little company who wrote a proposal no one even read and who isn't even competent enough to protect its own servers so no one should pay any attention at all to what they were up to.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
5. I'm in no position to list names but I know my ignore list here covers some of them
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:38 AM
Jul 2013

Though I beg to quibble with you about your term "top people". They're too transparent to be "top people". If they're "top people", our fight is easier than we first thought.

You can spot them even more easily on twitter. They all roll out with the exact same stupid tweet and link at the exact same moment, 20-so of them in a row lol. Then when you look at their profiles, they're all following each other and backing each other up lol.

Their whole implementation is so embarrassing that I hope we start charging them for it one day instead of paying for it with our tax dollars.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
10. Top People is the author's term
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:57 AM
Jul 2013

Which I agree with. He refers not to the personas managed, but to the developers of the systems behind them.

Consider that this technology is just coming out of infancy and is already quite sophisticated in that local detail or 'flair' assigned to personas (including colloquialisms, locations etc) are coherent. When the capability to express opinion becomes a deterministic rule set, which is the next obvious step, detection will become difficult at best.

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
263. I'm not sure about it becoming more difficult to recognize them. Not to disagree totally as you
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:24 PM
Jul 2013

could be right. But issues are how I judge who is a phony and who is not. There are specific issues that are the reason why many of us are Democrats. For me, I have no interest in the opinions of people who dismiss torture eg, or try to explain or excuse it. Or anyone who tries to appear 'reasonable' while defending Bush policies eg.

And a dead giveaway for me, are those who are disdainful of the 'left' who use words like 'extreme left' about people who are obviously main stream democrats.

I don't know how they can hide their positions on issues for very long. If they do, then what is the point of their 'work'?

But they will never influence true Democrats to abandon their opposition to policies that are clearly wrong and dangerous.

Maybe they should try arguing for their 'cause' instead. But they mostly can't, it's hard to defend the indefensible.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
273. The usual suspects aren't these sorts of personas
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:52 PM
Jul 2013

I believe they are real people with their own motivations.

I suspect the managed ones would do a lot of drive by posts

 

backwoodsbob

(6,001 posts)
18. want me to name the obvious ones?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:25 AM
Jul 2013

I don't really post here anymore in large part because of them.

I'll name the top three for you.If I get banned no loss..I quit this bullshit and just happened to see your post looking around

JoePhilly

(27,787 posts)
156. "I have in my hands a LIST of ...."
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:34 PM
Jul 2013

... "the authoritarian sock puppets."

The irony is just too hilarious to go unmentioned.

JoePhilly

(27,787 posts)
239. I'd vote leave it ... A post that stupid ...
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:13 AM
Jul 2013

... should stand as a monument for all to admire and reflect on.

Response to backscatter712 (Reply #189)

 

OnyxCollie

(9,958 posts)
257. I was thinkingabout doing the same thing,
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 04:26 PM
Jul 2013

but I was afraid I would be run out of town on a railsback.

Maybe allineediscoffee, and I'll forget it.

CreekDog

(46,192 posts)
256. I thought you left.
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:47 PM
Jul 2013
backwoodsbob (5,095 posts)

this will be my last post on DU [View all]

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Kali (a host of the The DU Lounge forum).
I love all you guys who get how much I love my doggies.I've spent the last 15 years doing what I do and I am PROUD of my work with PAWS and the ASPCA for the last 15 years.I'm gonna miss you guys.Between Junior and Bengie and Katie and Charley and all the love I have seen for Big bear and Little Bear and Princess..and King..All The love I have shared with all of you ...and then...the budster..God I miss the Budster..GOD DAMN I miss my Budster.

It's not all about winning...it's about being true to yourself.....and I cant be true to myself if I mindlessly follow the party line.

Iyt's time to fight and I hope someone grabs it by the horns

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1018&pid=436593

xiamiam

(4,906 posts)
196. welcome back..du is swinging back
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:58 PM
Jul 2013

I left for awhile also.. its not perfect but it never was..at least the masks and gloves are off

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
236. I can't see any of them lol.
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:38 AM
Jul 2013

Not unless I have the misfortune of forgetting to log in before reading a thread but then I remember very quickly and log in lol. Or if someone PMs me a link and an ignored post just leaps out. I learned my lesson lol, never ever read this place without the ignore filter.

 

PowerToThePeople

(9,610 posts)
42. The issue is, they are blocked on an individual basis
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:59 AM
Jul 2013

So, you do not see or hear them but a new member would. I think the site owners need better mechanisms of rooting out and blocking the fake accounts. Do you report these accounts prior to blocking them?

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
59. Report them? The most prolific ones were protected for years
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:23 AM
Jul 2013

with increased requests for *civility* as opposed to demolishing their propaganda. I don't blame the site owners at all and I think they did a great thing when they implemented the jury system to redress those imbalances and make DU more reflective of reality (this is where the hysterical shrieks of "DU doesn't reflect the real world" come in).

I don't report them because MIRT has been very good at sniffing out the newer accounts without my help. The older accounts are a different matters. Especially the ones we haven't seen for years but then mysteriously show up slyly blasting DU's intransigence to roll over for the corporate state and get 250+ recs before they go on to something as totally transparent as political boycotts, that work to the advantage of the State Department's latest talking point, where they get about 20 recs lol.

I think the site owners are doing a great job walking that fine line of respecting free speech that doesn't contrast with their mission statement and have enough headaches (based on all the shrieking in "Ask The Administrators&quot , but our definitions of "troll" aren't the same, nor is our tolerance. Theirs is a lot greater.

LuvNewcastle

(16,793 posts)
96. I also think the jury system was an improvement.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:40 PM
Jul 2013

Average DUers are pretty good at sniffing out bullshit and recognizing that a lot of the complaints are silly. I always felt that the mods' hands were tied too much. I've seen a lot of complaints about the jury system, but it's usually people who have an agenda and don't like to see dissent.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
99. I noticed that too. Along with the discontent of the old protected class
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:45 PM
Jul 2013

that keeps saying their character is being attacked when the truth is it's their lies and slimy behavior that's being attacked.

People who go from site to site, from thread to thread, posting their same old recycled bullshit and snarky insults can't stand to be unmasked. Good lol.

xiamiam

(4,906 posts)
199. almost every jury i've served on is someone complaining about something ridiculous
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:04 PM
Jul 2013

I think it probably drove the admins nuts. Silly alerts by grown ups on a discussion forum. Only a few have been worthy of the alert.

backscatter712

(26,355 posts)
192. You notice how they're the ones who wail the loudest about hurt feelings?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:51 PM
Jul 2013

The sockpuppet army shamelessly works the refs here, wailing like banshees every time they're called out about how hurtful people are to them, and how they're in tears because someone chewed their ass for trolling, and how "troll-hunters make DU suck", and how they're the civil ones, and so on.

I've seen some Oscar-winning dramatic performances.

JoeyT

(6,785 posts)
205. I'm particularly impressed when they
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:51 PM
Jul 2013

seamlessly go from posting huge diatribes about how liberals critical of the president are really conservatives being paid by right wing think tanks to stir up shit against Obama to screaming and rending their garments because someone accused them of being paid to post.

That or going from posting threads (rightly) deriding conspiracy theories to supporting threads with the most crazy-as-shit conspiracies full of the more insane logic leaps and improbable Rube Goldberg mechanisms than moon landing denial and Space Lizards rolled into one.

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
6. Indicators of persona management would be rapid climbs in post counts and clustering by a group
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:39 AM
Jul 2013

of posters that focuses closely, but not exclusively, on certain issues. It's also an indication of the entry of a team of trolls and there are some long-term "professional posters" who seem to work round-the-clock. We've seen it here - it's unmistakable. You and I know who they are.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
9. And they only have circular links to back up their talking points
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:48 AM
Jul 2013

Example

"This was already debunked" + link to an old post of yours, or a gazillion blue links, that everyone laughed at + 4 more everyone ignored.

or

"I'm a criminal defense attorney" with no clients so I can spend all day on the internet stalking people. LMAO!

Yeah, we all know who they are and thankfully the circle of anyone paying any attention to their sterile talking points is shrinking.

Just something "I noticed" too with great love to Sabrina who's never been afraid to confront people some of us have no patience for. Her latest, quite brilliant example is "Something I Noticed regarding the Difference Between Democrats and Republicans"

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
61. there's a reason for managed personas to use managed links...
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:24 AM
Jul 2013

that allows them to track and measure effectiveness. a "click-thru" is a step above a page view, and if the sock owns the source of the link they can capture who has interest in their talking point and target them for more engagement.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
101. Oh haha lol. I never thought of that but it makes perfect sense.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:49 PM
Jul 2013

Of course. How else to prove your effectiveness for a bonus? I see it happen on twitter a lot. About 15 yahoos show up at the same time with the same tweet and same link. It's so obvious that everyone just blocks them.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
14. I would say it depends
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:10 AM
Jul 2013

Those are certainly indicators of hasty attacks by groups, but not direct evidence of persona management systems in action.

I would love to be in a position to quit my day job and study this exclusively. The problem space cuts across a variety of fields: PoliSci, CS, Psyc, and AI. These are not typical bots written by script kiddies.

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
21. DU is the stuff of a thousand doctoral dissertations.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:32 AM
Jul 2013

All the more fascinating for the fact that Google picks much of it up and assigns a high rank-order to DU content shows how important it actually is. I've poked around with Google Analytics and some other readily available data tools. I too wish I had more time to really seriously study this place. It helps that I am fond of many of the people here, and am never tired of watching DU work as a crowd-sourced parsing engine of public opinion and policy choices.

starroute

(12,977 posts)
35. That much was already happening after the 2004 election
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:47 AM
Jul 2013

I spent time tracking some of them (using the old DU search function, which made it easy), just to reassure myself I wasn't imagining things. They'd show up, post 24/7 for a week -- mostly using one-line posts in minor forums -- to get their post count over 1000, and then start depositing disinfo.

The main objective seemed to be muddying the waters over questions of election fraud. There were entire threads of these puppets just agreeing with one another and using standard DU phrases like "good catch" to shore up their distortions and red herrings.

Perhaps the worst effect was that they drew some sincere posters into agreeing with them. And then self-appointed vigilantes sprang up to accuse people of being infiltrators -- and sometimes they'd accuse the sincere posters as well, and it got very nasty. This is why there are rules against that sort of thing now.

It's still a puzzle where the infiltrators came from -- whether they were paid professionals or just right-wingers working in tag teams like the gang that were found to be targeting digg in 2010. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/08/06/886069/-Right-Wing-Extremist-Digg-YouTube-Trolls-Outed) However it started out, theough, the HBGary material suggests that the idea has been taken up in a serious way on the professional level.

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
45. We saw a crew of professional crisis managers here after the Fukushima disaster.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:01 AM
Jul 2013

Last edited Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:30 PM - Edit history (1)

Some of them were actually well-informed with scientific training working in the nuclear industry. It was fascinating to watch their responses and eventual disappearance after many of their primary claims were disproven by a series of events they said were impossible.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
119. And they will not be able to answer sophisticated questions.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:20 PM
Jul 2013

They will fail the Turing test, so to speak, if you attempt a real conversation.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
122. omg -- that's such a good analogy.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:27 PM
Jul 2013

instead of even attempting an answer they might fall back on:

strawmanning
ad hominem
deflection
links! often to material that has no bearing on the issue.
ridicule
cat photos


actually, that last one is just wishful thinking.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
127. An example of the idea:
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:35 PM
Jul 2013
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101669707

I claim nothing in particular about the poster in question, but the idea should be clear. Ask about what they said. You may get an answer, but it will not address what YOU said; it will throw another red herring out, or some red meat liberal talking points.

And generally they will not make sense either, they cannot parse meaning in vernacular, so have to use canned responses and paste-ups.

Enthusiast

(50,983 posts)
160. Dang.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:46 PM
Jul 2013

I have known for a long time that this was an organized effort. It's a universal organized effort across the intrawebs.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
169. That's a classic
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:09 PM
Jul 2013

WTF is "natural coalition in our party" if not based on principle? This is where the apologists trip up and have no rope to grab.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
172. Ordinary people talk just like that. So does the media, all the time.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:21 PM
Jul 2013

You have to build up some context to be confident.

It's the semantic content that cannot be parsed, particularly idiomatic forms and all the various types of ambiguity and sarcasm that humans handle well. So you have to coherently ask them to be coherent and see if they can. And don't yell, it muddies the water.

If they won't answer your questions responsively and keep spewing out word salad, there is certainly no need to continue.

Give them a jabberwocky.

I'm almost reluctant to mention it, it could cause giant flame wars. But I am fed up with the constant barrage of whining and empty noise.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
186. I'll remember your advice and astute observations
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:42 PM
Jul 2013

but it's going to be for a slow day. I have little patience for the word salads and horizontal attacks. It's hard enough to keep up with important posts here without wasting time on those so I use the ignore list generously, just to save time.

How often has that jabberwocky trick worked? The idea of doing that is fascinating.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
191. It's not a trick, it's a test. An ersatz Turing test.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:50 PM
Jul 2013

I do it when I'm bored or someone gets annoying, or I want to make them go somewhere else. You're just asking them to explain themselves, right?

It will annoy the hell of of some people too. Experienced web people will respond or move on.

Even if you are wrong, you have definitely established that they cannot or will not respond to what you say.

The downside is you have to actually try to understand the babble.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
200. The thing to notice is none of my questions got a responsive answer.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:08 PM
Jul 2013

That is the key.

And I notice it all comes in these neat little blocks of text, a list of independent paragraphs, with unrelated points, and the same world salad.

One of the things also is the ambiguity of what they say, so you have nothing specific to refute, that is why the word salad. An unparseable melange of loaded language.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
154. "canned responses and paste-ups" is the first giveaway.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:33 PM
Jul 2013

Not making any sense, not addressing the topic, nails it.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
240. Blatant is what is easy and safe to do. Subtle is what they can't do.
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:22 AM
Jul 2013

Intelligent is what they can't do. It takes a much higher quality troll to get by in academic circles that on some web message board too. It's very noisy here, that's useful camoflage. Flame wars are easy, dialog is not.

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
185. And typos will be a problem, missing spaces, misspellings, webisms, mispelled webisms , slang ..
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:40 PM
Jul 2013

You would figure out that "Isaid" means "I said". A very smart computer might get that one too, but a dumb scripted implementaion like this would call for, will not, too slow.

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
304. That is why certain memes are so valuable to them and are so often employed
Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:46 PM
Jun 2014

By the trolls. "Conspiracy theorist" and what not. That one has come up with regards to the stolen election of 2000, 2004, and many other topics that the 25 cent per post poster is not going to spend time answering a complex question (possibly as they can't think that clearly but also because why would they spend a half hour on some issue they only get that 25 cents for?)

bemildred

(90,061 posts)
305. Yes, ambiguity in all its forms is rejected, it's black-n-white all the way.
Tue Jun 3, 2014, 07:46 AM
Jun 2014

And the more negative the emotions aroused the better.

Or as I like to say: "People who try to make you angry or afraid are not your friends."

Lydia Leftcoast

(48,217 posts)
265. A prominent poster who was also a mod once admonished me for
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:33 PM
Jul 2013

pointing out a tag team of right-wingers. All I said was that I was being tag teamed, and the long-time mod sent a PM saying essentially that I was cruising for trouble.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
7. Yes, my apologies, I post so quickly that sometimes it takes me a while to see something is unclear
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:40 AM
Jul 2013
Thank you for clarifying and adding that important information.

bvar22

(39,909 posts)
72. Who are they?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:45 AM
Jul 2013
"...To the extent that the propaganda technique known as "Bandwagon" is an effective form of persuasion, which it definitely is, the ability for a few people to infiltrate a blog or social media site and appear to be many people, all taking one position in a debate, all agreeing, for example, that so and so is not credible, or a crook, is an incredibly powerful weapon.

How many times have you seen a diary get posted that reports some revelatory yet unfavorable tidbit about someone [font size=3]only to see a swarm of commenters arrive who hijack the thread, distract with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense, start throwing unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks to where, before you know it, everyone's pretty much forgotten what the diary said in the first place."[/font]

<excerpt from linked article>


On DU,
they will try to get in the first response to an OP, usually an Ad Hominem attack on the OP,
which is then followed by a tag team of irrelevant one line agreements or additional Ad Hominems.
I've seen many threads where I had to scroll down many replies to find an actual response to the content of an OP.

And it DOES seem to happen in "swarms". They are usually ALL here at the same time and make posting here a nightmare,
or they are ALL "off", and posting is normal.

Naturally, this only happens to posts that OPPOSE Government Authority,
or support Liberal/Progressive "change".







You will know them by their [font size=3]WORKS.[/font]

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
94. "the first response to an OP" lol! I noticed. They always showup in swarms too
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:39 PM
Jul 2013

It's never 1 person asking an intelligent question, just a bunch of dumb regurgitated shit, circular blue links and ROFL smilies. That sort of thing may pass as " discussion" or "civility" in some circles but not mine. Oh no ma'am.

Yes indeed. You will know them by their WORKS.

Th1onein

(8,514 posts)
219. Damn, Catherina! I noticed this, too, but I never thought it would be something so sneaky.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:05 PM
Jul 2013

And they're the same people, over and over again. The same "swarm."

This really pisses me off.

starroute

(12,977 posts)
247. But how do they always manage to be first?
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:08 AM
Jul 2013

That's something I've wondered about in the past. It's one thing when someone shows up maybe 20 or 30 minutes along to try to disrupt an active thread by suggesting it's pointless and a waste of time. But how would you manage to regularly get in first, virtually the moment a thread is started?

It seems to suggest either a very high level of monitoring or some kind of automated process for flagging certain keywords. Either way, those first posts are not just random trolls in their mothers' basements looking for lefties to annoy. It's got to be more professionally organized.

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
299. I have thought about the same questions myself.
Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:14 AM
Jun 2014

As I am sure others have.

A person puts up a topic, and 45 seconds later, the trolling and the disdainful remarks set in.

Maybe certain userid's are noticed by the trolls, and there is a way to implement a quick alert and attack on those userids?.

 

snooper2

(30,151 posts)
280. ROFL smilies are the best!
Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:50 PM
Jul 2013


What do you do for a living again? I'm always curious with people who delve DEEP into conspiracy theories

chimpymustgo

(12,774 posts)
120. Sockpuppets "...hijack the thread, distract with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense..."
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:20 PM
Jul 2013

"...start throwing unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks to where, before you know it, everyone's pretty much forgotten what the diary said in the first place."

Sigh. So predictable. Great to see it laid out and explained.

Mojorabbit

(16,020 posts)
131. Yes! I just came from one such thread. They disrupt the thread so no
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:39 PM
Jul 2013

meaningful discussion can occur. It is so frustrating.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
146. Well you could do what I do and just put them all on ignore
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:17 PM
Jul 2013

What way they just have each other to talk with and it's painfully obvious what their agenda is.

I have hundreds, literally hundreds, on ignore and it makes DU an intelligent forum again.

 

Pretzel_Warrior

(8,361 posts)
215. That is flat out not true. I have seen so many posts favorable to Obama that are then swarmed by
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:11 PM
Jul 2013

People who seem to think any continued positive thoughts about our president must be stamped out immediately. It's pretty gross to see. Quit acting like this is one-sided, because it is not.

 

rhett o rick

(55,981 posts)
229. You are right, there are two sides. The one side refuses to discuss issues but only personalities.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:50 PM
Jul 2013

They will defend the President even if his double-tap drone strikes kill innocent children. Unabashed adulation is all they got. No substance.

The other side discusses issues like the TPP, XL Pipeline, the Patriot Act, the FISA Law, indefinite detention, the NSA, etc.

Do you think that double tap drone strikes are war crimes?

Who is collecting data on Americans? Who do they provide it to?

Will the TPP end the sovereignty of the USofA in favor of international corporate control?

If Obama care was the first step, who is working on the second step?

Are Wall Street criminals immune from prosecution under Obama?

Why does this Admin target medical marijuana patients?

Should we try to reestablish Glass-Steagall?

There are lots of issues to discuss. I never see the "Group" enter these discussions. But if a whistle-blower speaks out, look out.

Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #259)

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
272. That's either you being removed from the echo chamber...
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 06:01 PM
Jul 2013

...or someone who is badly in need of more fiber!
[hr][font color="blue"][center]You should never stop having childhood dreams.[/center][/font][hr]

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
8. Jun 22, 2010 -- the date of the HB Gary email. might be interesting to examine
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:47 AM
Jul 2013

questionable personas that appeared around that time. i mean, if there's a site that you think could be affected by these sorts of tactics.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
12. Haha lol. It would be interesting indeed
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:04 AM
Jul 2013

and no, I just threw that out there, I have no particular site in mind because that "just one little company of assholes" is such a small part of what's all over the net. The problem for them is that they're only talking to each other, hence all their accelerated entreaties for *civility* so they can spread their poison without being laughed at and put in their place.

Daily Kos has finally started throwing them out and openly, officially, signing on to things like activists sites supporting Ed Snowden to make it clear they get the message. "Battle lines are being drawn"

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
17. so glad Kos is finally getting it.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:15 AM
Jul 2013

on the OP and my inelegant comment -- this stuff is quantifiable. just looking at the stats of a well traveled forum to find spikes in membership would be interesting -- if you could then weight the participation of those members in terms of clustering activity.

getting my morning geek on.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
106. I would love to quit my day job
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:00 PM
Jul 2013

To do that sort of analysis and work on recognition tech. It's a very interesting problem space.

dreamnightwind

(4,775 posts)
194. I am an unemployed programmer
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:55 PM
Jul 2013

with a background in data analysis (mostly mitochondrial DNA analysis of marine species populations). I find this idea fascinating.

So you think there would be clusters of personas joining at the same time? I can see that there might be some of that, not necessarily though. I read the DK story on the HB Gary emails, and some of the backlinks, and it looks like there is some pretty sophisticated spoofing tech that we're up against. There might be clusters of persona joining at the same time, but they could pretty easily have them join at different times.

Also it looked to me like they have actual humans "managing" these persona, while looking at an entirely fake virtual machine that contextualizes the persona for them, so they think they're in Chicago (shows local weather) or wherever, for example, and it shows their "personal info" and posting history to the manager. In this case an actual interaction with that persona manager should be entirely possible, and I don't see how they would appear much different to us than a real poster, maybe except they wouldn't devote a lot of time to a single conversation (though they might, and they would be capable of it). The persona manager has a bunch of puppets going at once, but the virtual environment from the persona's VM helps them stay in character, so they can be many people at once.

Clustering activity seems to me to be an excellent tool for finding them, since their puppets would tend to be posting about certain things, probably supporting each others' posts. Of course there is natural clustering activity among people who hold similar beliefs and are drawn to click on certain types of OPs. You'd have to find some way to tease out the natural affinity from the swarms of sock puppets.

Any other ideas on how to unmask these things? Seems like a worthwhile thing to kick around.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
11. K&R. Propaganda *always* accompanies the rise of authoritarianism.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:01 AM
Jul 2013


And the propaganda machine has become ubiquitous and creepily interactive.

Corporate authoritarians have deep pockets and access to the very best in technology.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
13. All of it with our money as we lose our homes and jobs
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:07 AM
Jul 2013

How long do they think they can keep this up? Their little bag of tricks isn't fooling enough people anymore.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
73. If investigative journalists were not being surveilled and threatened with felonies,
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:46 AM
Jul 2013

we might actually have a chance at learning more about the propaganda machine and how it operates.

In rising authoritarian states, the propaganda machine inevitably takes the place of the journalism that is criminalized and gradually eliminated.

chimpymustgo

(12,774 posts)
36. Excellent insight: "Propaganda *always* accompanies the rise of authoritarianism."
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:49 AM
Jul 2013

K&R - Excellent OP from Catherina.

cprise

(8,445 posts)
70. Deception accompanies the rise of authoritarianism.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:39 AM
Jul 2013

And that's the problem with the establishment's propaganda... its increasingly intended to deceive.

Propaganda is simply any corpus of publication/communication in support of some goal: For instance, getting kids to brush their teeth more, eating healthier, becoming devoted to a brand, better self-image through shopping, or invading a non-threatening country. Propaganda can be straightforward & informative, outright lies, 'false-flag' or some mixture of those.

If you have a worthwhile cause then don't be afraid of using propaganda techniques to help spread the truth. And don't shrink if someone accuses you of propaganda, either. The argument over global warming is a propaganda war fought from both sides; but one side's propaganda can be traced to a large and growing body of scientific knowledge.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
74. +1 "the establishment's propaganda... its increasingly intended to deceive."
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:54 AM
Jul 2013

In this country we have always marinated in *corporate* propaganda, but more and more we are fed a brazenly manufactured, Orwellian storyline that has no resemblance whatsoever to actual reality.

2 + 2 = 5

President Obama: "If I’m for it, then they’ve got to be against it."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023358030

Mass spying on Americans and domestic drones? Both parties support it.
Militarized police and assaults on protesters? Both parties support it.
Indefinite detention? Both parties support it.
Drone wars and kill lists? Both parties support it?
Austerity for the masses? Both parties support it.
Cutting social safety nets? Both parties support it.
Corporatists in the cabinet? Both parties support it.
Corporate education policy? Both parties support it.
Bank bailouts? Both parties support it.
Ignoring the trillions stashed overseas? Both parties support it.
Trans-Pacific Job/Wage Killing Secret Agreement? Both parties support it.
Drilling and fracking? Both parties support it.
Wars on medical marijuana instead of corrupt banks?
Deregulation of the food industry? Both parties support it.
GMO's? Both parties support it.
Targeting of journalists and whistleblowers? Both parties support it.
Private prisons replacing public prisons? Both parties support it.
Unions? Both parties view them with contempt.

What Orwellian BULLSHIT.

The record shows aggressive, proactive pursuit of a corporate agenda.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3202395




grasswire

(50,130 posts)
180. we used to have words for those who catapaulted the propaganda
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:32 PM
Jul 2013

It's not a very honorable pastime or vocation to sell out one's brothers and sisters through disinformation and disruption.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
244. +1 It's a sad comment on our species
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:11 AM
Jul 2013

that every authoritarian government in history has easily found people willing to do this.

 

Arctic Dave

(13,812 posts)
16. I've noticed our own little DU gets a veritable little chorus of
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:14 AM
Jul 2013

newbies every time we have a new military adventure that needs to be sold.

Amazingly enough, they just happen to be from the region in question and have a treasure trove of video, blogs and links.

Funny how that works.

Updated to fix the word salad.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
23. sometimes it's not newbies...Brandon Darby strategy
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:34 AM
Jul 2013

the fake activist and FBI/teaparty cohort is doing a workshop in August called:

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Importance of Relationships (Grassroots Activism Session)
Featuring Brandon Darby & Evan Feinberg (Generation Opportunity)

ignore for a moment the diamond-dense irony of Brandon Darby teaching relationship-building and focus on the stated objective: dig your well before you're thirsty.

when i notice posters being particularly driven on a RW/authoritarian subject it's often the case that their memberships begin a year or two prior to the high-profile activity. yes, it feels like we see this here, but i think you really see it on mass media like NPR, HuffPo and other mega-comment forums.

as a PR counselor, if I were coaching clients on a long-term guerrilla/"street-team" strategy for "brand" management, I'd suggest the very same thing: accrue your assets, build relationships, and let the personas fly under the radar until they're needed. and maybe they've got 10 that focus on the client's core service...let's say it's fossil fuels. they might create a total of 100 personas and task them with different subjects, and different engagement strategies. the goal would be to have enough personas that you'd be able to attack an idea from different levels: reasoned argument through ad hominem trolling. they could lose the most disruptive personas (pawns, if this were chess), and keep their highest value personas (knights, bishops, queens) for long-term.



starroute

(12,977 posts)
44. Darby's pal Lee Stranaham has admitted to something similar
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:00 AM
Jul 2013

Darby and Stranahan have engaged in several ventures together, including being jointly responsible for the anti-Occupy smear film "Occupy Unmasked." Here's something Stranahan wrote at one of the Breitbart websites, whining about how totalitarian it was that a DU jury had deleted his sock puppet's post defending Darby. Going by the bit I bolded, it seems like he'd had the DU account for several years before using it -- so perhaps Darby had learned from the incident and is now advising trolls to build up their personas before actually putting them to use.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/02/21/democratic-undergrounds-hides-occupy-assaults-smears-brandon-darby

21 Feb 2012

The popular liberal website Democratic Underground had a vicious, factually inaccurate post about Bigs contributor Brandon Darby and our work on the story of assaults at Occupy. I decided to correct these errors and my post was promptly banned by a "jury" at Democratic Underground and hidden from view; another clear example of the constant liberal censorship and how the entire left seems intent on covering up assaults at Occupy.

The original thread started Saturday was entitled Why are FBI agent provocateurs taunting Occupy? was started by a user named FarLeftFist, who wrote: "A little background: Brandon was outed as an FBI agent after posing as an Leftist activist in 2008. He threw a number of people in jail as an agent provocateur and now spends his time working for Andrew Breitbart and still works undercover. He spends his time on Twitter along with Andrew Breitbart taunting Leftists and posting smears ALL DAY LONG. Him and Andy also spend alot of time along with Dana Loesch having twitter-wars with Keith Olbermann and others. I have been involved in these back and forths as a twitter user myself. They get nasty, ugly, and even threatening as Darby and Breitbart unleash their moronic henchmen on anyone they choose" . . .

So, I had a Democratic Underground account I started a couple of years ago but haven't used. I decided it was time to post. I said: ". . . And now you attack a guy -- Brandon -- who STOPPED people from using Molotov Cocktails. That's the 'snitching' he did; stopping admitted, convicted liars who wanted to perpatrate violence. Is violence okay if Republicans are your targets? Stop acting like sheep and believing the radical left's lies."

In less than an hour, I relieved the following, telling me that my post was hidden by a "randomly selected jury." The Kafkaesque anonymous cyber tribunal didn't ask me to testify or ask any questions. Such is left wing "justice."

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
53. GREAT example!! thank you for posting this!!
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:15 AM
Jul 2013

deconstructing this post, you see some of the hallmarks of managed personas:

-- appeal to authoritarianism: he supposedly did a good thing to stop the bad people (nevermind that he entrapped them); bestowing noble intent on the authoritarian: his snitching served a greater good

-- use of common RW/TP language: "acting like sheep," and "radical left"

-- spelling errors, bad grammar: this is a strategy that email spammers use to appeal to masses (the assumption is that using proper english is a turn-off for the vast majority)

-- shaming: "you attack (poor) Brandon Darby!" when all he was doing was...(entrapping young activists into committing felonies).

starroute

(12,977 posts)
143. Here's the thread he was talking about, just for historical reference
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:09 PM
Jul 2013

Last edited Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:44 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002327269

Here's the first hidden post, from someone who had become a member just a few minutes earlier and was tombstoned immediately after this, his second post.

sjr2012 This message was hidden by Jury decision. Hide
3. OK

So it is OK to use the sidewalk as a bathroom, it is ok to have sex in open, it is ok to use drugs in plain view, it is ok to destroy public and private property, it is ok to use violence, it is ok (I could go on and on... ) The occupy protestors are Amateurs... never did it that way.. always got results... Occupy Wallstreet = LOSERS

A Jury voted 6-0 to hide this post on Sat Feb 18, 2012, 10:25 PM. Reason: This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See Community Standards.)


And here's the second one, from Stranahan, with an account that he'd created in August 2008. That account was also tombstoned as a result of this thread.

Stranahan This message was hidden by Jury decision. Hide
17. Pathetic is defending rape

Keith Olbermann denied that there were any rapes or sexual asaults at Occupy.

Then he claimed to have 'debunked' the assaults -- and he didn't. In fact, he defended a 14 year old runaway as having 'consensual sex' with a guy in his 20s. He debunked nothing.

And now you attack a guy -- Brandon -- who STOPPED people from using Molotov Cocktails. That's the 'snitching' he did; stopping admitted, convicted liars who wanted to perpatrate violence. Is violence okay if Republicans are your targets?

Stop acting like sheep and believing the radical left's lies.

A Jury voted 5-1 to hide this post on Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:04 PM. Reason: This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See Community Standards.)


nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
55. "So, I had a Democratic Underground account I started a couple of years ago"
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:19 AM
Jul 2013

this is exactly what i'm talking about.

managed personas are more often than not created way before they're needed.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
68. This is an example of a manually managed persona
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:36 AM
Jul 2013

Now consider an automated one, a program that you write a core statement for as input and it 'decorates' (an IT term of art) the statement with local information that is coherent across the history of the account. The same statement can be propagated through many such account filters and it will appear like people across the nation are interested in and hold the same beliefs.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
78. precisely -- and as of this month, there's no law against Pentagon propagandizing Americans!
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:13 PM
Jul 2013

in reporting on the Smith-Mundt Amendment, the media has focused on Voice of American and Radio Free Europe...but the act covers social media, and proponents have been specifically interested in upping the Pentagon's game on US soil with social media and internet technology.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-wp-frgnp-bc-propaganda15-20130715,0,4048254.story

U.S. repeals propaganda ban, spreads government-made news to Americans


By John Hudson, Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
11:20 p.m. CDT, July 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But this month, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

(snip)...the Smith-Mundt Act, a long-standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, D. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, D, who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."

(snip)

But if anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign after reporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon's top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. Eventually, one of the co-owners of the firm confessed to creating phony websites and Twitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously.

(snip)


hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
92. Thanks for that link!
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:37 PM
Jul 2013

I knew I had seen the story here somewhere, but didn't recall the particulars, especially the bolded bits.

Enthusiast

(50,983 posts)
170. This is one fucked up country.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:10 PM
Jul 2013

And they are doing their best to fuck it up even more, every single day. Idiocracy.

zeemike

(18,998 posts)
80. I had a post hidden in less than 10 minutes
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:17 PM
Jul 2013

And the alerter posted to me to gloat about it.
I have long suspected that the jury system is somehow rigged but reading this thread makes me understand how it can be done...and probably is done.

Thank god for the wonderful intelligent and dedicated people here that I love...they are what keeps me here and gives me hope...I only wish I were as savvy as they are.
K&R and for the OP and those who posted great stuff.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
109. Lol, no worries. It happens
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:04 PM
Jul 2013

Here's my badge of honor. The little troll was banned 2 months later but his friends are still here disrupting except that now they trying to pretend they never knew him after gloating about it. Haha. Kiss my grits. Badge of honor I tell'ya.

zeemike

(18,998 posts)
121. I knew it was not just me
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:22 PM
Jul 2013

I am small fish, because I don't make many OPs that have an impact like you and some of the others here do...they waste their time with me

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
128. The chess metaphor is excellent, particularly about building expendable personas.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:37 PM
Jul 2013

There's a whole branch of game-theory that applies to these on-line strategies, and I bet the larger corporate PR firms and gov't agencies have synthesized it into instruction manuals for their web posting operatives. In fact, I'm quite sure of that.

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
24. I'm glad they post here - gives us a handy resource to examine the larger war propaganda machine.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:34 AM
Jul 2013

Know thine enemy.

Hydra

(14,459 posts)
39. Servants of the 1%
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:51 AM
Jul 2013

Notice what they support- things that make a lot of money or consolidate power in fewer hands, and usually hurt/kill a lot of people in the process. Either that, or fighting back against proposed changes to the status quo that would disrupt that.

There are many tentacles of the Leviathan, and they all need to be protected or expanded.

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
51. There are a number of US funded and industry advocacy/PR groups that have a web presence.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:09 AM
Jul 2013

Some of them show up here.

I'm convinced some of the pro-nuclear industry posters after Fukuyama were professionals. Same with the BP-Halliburton Oil Spill. There have been a couple foreign-appearing enthusiasts for the war in Syria. There are a couple self-admitted Israeli military types who make an appearance every now and then. Most of them provide useful information, even if they spin it in ways that can be deceptive to the average reader.

I've also seen some outright disinformation and ratf-cking operations posted here.

Then, there are the RW trolls. Some are quite long-lived. They are an amusing part of this place that keeps things lively.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
64. it's been most obvious with industry-supporting personas...
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:30 AM
Jul 2013

because no human is going to cheer for more oil spills, nuclear power plants, and fewer FDA regulations.

good point, too, about recognizing that there's value in knowing the talking points of The Managed Ones.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
27. The influx is steady, wars or not. And the numbers will keep increasing
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:40 AM
Jul 2013

until this board looks like Corporate Defense Underground. A very creepy, unnatural pattern is evident.

I wrote about this a while back:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3189367
We are not talking last-century MSM propaganda on TV and radio. We are talking highly targeted and interactive propaganda across the internet, such that people who believe they are merely having political discussions with others online are immediately and relentlessly countered with corporate talking points and social manipulation/mocking/bullying when they challenge the corporate party line. There is a great deal of theater going on to create the illusion that Americans support what is being done to us and have contempt for those who don't.

DU has a history and an identity that is well-known to those of us who have been here since near its beginning. The flavor of its membership was generally steady during the early years. What is happening to it now is, quite frankly, not natural. It is particularly not natural on a liberal board, given the political climate and the general distrust across the country of our government.

The number of corporatism-celebrating personas, and especially the ratio of them to traditional Democrats on DU, is constantly, gradually, and unnaturally increasing. The number of expected recs for a post blatantly supporting antidemocratic, anti-Constitutional, corporate (often Bush II) policies used to be in the single digits. It is gradually increasing in a way too steady to be accidental, to the point that such posts now routinely garner 50+ recs. The influx of low-count posters coming in spouting the corporate line is constant and unrealistic.

And this marked change in the quality of the participation on the board is not unique to DU. This is happening all over the internet, on all the major political boards. The corporate forces that have taken control of our government have very deep pockets. Also keep in mind that the primary goal of any state turning to authoritarianism is to manage public opinion and public response so as to reduce the likelihood of pushback and revolt. Millions of us are being pushed into poverty, and our Constitutional protections are being stripped. Of course great attention and money will be poured into managing public opinion and creating the illusion that the people support what is being done to them.

One of the great unresearched and untold stories in the media right now, I am convinced, is the growth of the new Propaganda State alongside the Surveillance State. Governments and their corporate appendages use propaganda, and the more authoritarian and corporate governments become, the more they will rely on such "advertising" and stealth manipulation of public opinion. The level of cash and technology available now makes today's propaganda unlike any we have seen in the the past in terms of its relentlessness and interactivity.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
46. I didn't see your post before. DU moves so fast with important posts buried under royal baby love
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:03 AM
Jul 2013

Thanks for mentioning your post here. I was only too happy to kick that entire thread. Your post nails it.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
66. I have tried to kick several old, important threads lately.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:34 AM
Jul 2013

Unfortunately, once they are archived, they don't kick anymore. Thanks for trying to kick that great thread, though.

It's got to be one of the great untold stories of this surreal period in American history: the modernization and expansion of this tremendous propaganda machine alongside the new surveillance state.

You have to wonder, how is it organized and by whom? To what extent is it being kept artificially separate from government and in private hands? Where does the money come from?



Catherina

(35,568 posts)
91. The only answer I have for you is that the money comes from us
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:33 PM
Jul 2013

That's where these total bastards getting the money for this. They just shift around a few honeypots in Congress, buried in their appropriation bills and we're stuck.

"How is it organized and by whom?" I can't trace these constitutional violations further back than Senator (then) Cheney and his "Minority Report". Before then rascals at least pretended to respect the constitution but with after Iran Contra scandal., they just decided to stop pretending. I hate the term *BFEE* but what else do you call this horrible chapter of blatant, brazen capitalist excesses?

leveymg

(36,418 posts)
135. That is an extremely insightful and useful post on many levels.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:47 PM
Jul 2013

I tend to be a classical liberal in my views about allowing all opinions -- even manufactured ones -- participation on the board, but you make the most persuasive case I've yet seen for a reexamination of that policy, particularly with regard to those posters who are merely disruptive background noise, who unfortunately also exercise rec and DU Jury privileges. The trollish "pawns," as they were referenced by another valued poster on this thread, probably do have to go as they have proliferated to the point where they threaten to spoil the entire DU process.

Thanks for this. It makes me reconsider my attitudes, something I probably should do more of more often.

Skittles

(152,844 posts)
238. "What is happening to it now is, quite frankly, not natural."
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 02:49 AM
Jul 2013

HELL NO it is not natural and I spot these freaks online just like I do in real life - DU used to be a sanctuary for me but now my Ignore list is reaching 50

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
30. Then they disappear for ages only to reappear at the same time to assault and counterrecommend
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:41 AM
Jul 2013

topics that are working against failing propaganda efforts. It's most amusing to watch this in action.

 

Arctic Dave

(13,812 posts)
85. Yep.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:25 PM
Jul 2013

The, "I've just been lurking for years since my last post but this topic has compelled me to come out of hibernation to post about it" ad nauseum.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
95. Yes! Those are the funniest lol
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:40 PM
Jul 2013

They're even funnier when you look at the recs and it's about 100 people no one ever heard of.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
133. Yep- Poutrage. Ponies. Pearls.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:41 PM
Jul 2013

Their brains seem stalled on the letter "P" lol.

Ok.

Piss Piffle.

How's that?

Poutrage, pearls and ponies. LMAO! The only thing missing is some babble about hope.

bvar22

(39,909 posts)
77. Some of those "newbies" had accounts opened as far back as 2003,
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:13 PM
Jul 2013

with about a thousand posts back then,
quiet for the next 10 years,
and several THOUSAND posts in the "Last 90 days".
(Probably last two weeks, but the Transparency Page only tabulates the posts in last 90 days.)

I started checking the Profiles when all those Pro-Government Secrecy Newbies started showing up. I was very surprised to see accounts going back to 2003 that had "slept" for 10 years.

Back in 2003, The "new" had worn off of Iraq Invasion and the realities of a never ending Occupation was starting to cause pain,
we were coming up on Bush-the-Lesser's midterms,
and DU had many more readers back then.

Things that make you go "Hmmmm."

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
209. That is *very* interesting.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 06:09 PM
Jul 2013

I saw another post referring to them as "sleeper cells." One thing is for sure, the corporate nightmare we are waking up to around us, in more ways than can be counted, has been meticulously planned for a very long time.

I'll quote you again: "These things do not happen by accident."

THESE THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3348542

 

Arctic Dave

(13,812 posts)
245. Dang. I missed that one also.
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:23 AM
Jul 2013

Another great link.

I need to start checking the greatest page more often.

DirkGently

(12,151 posts)
25. The law needs to catch up with the tech. False advertising
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:36 AM
Jul 2013

is generally illegal. Why on Earth would we allow corporations (or government) to create imaginary people, or, say, several people pretending to be one person, to fake public commentary for commercial or political purposes?

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
32. Before any of us could even imagine such deceptive tactics, we did remark on the similarity of
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:43 AM
Jul 2013

'discussion style' (and that is being kind) of, back then it was Bush bots. When you see the same 'talking points', the same repeated FALSE information against someone who is well respected, with a record of truth telling, you wonder how so many people could all be saying the same things.

Also they use similar 'insults', no individuality even there. Several we began to notice on Democratic Forums, included 'Purity Troll' 'Concern Troll' and 'Member of the Reality Based Community'. 'Martyr', 'Whiner' 'Ponies' etc.

This is what I know, sincere people first of all rarely engage in name-calling, they are able to make their points with FACTS. But bots have a whole list of phrases and words, such as the examples above, which they all use repeatedly, showing either a complete lack of intelligence or they are part of a smear campaign.

I will say this, some are part of these campaigns unwittingly, they simply feel the 'campaign' represents their pov so they are freebies.

But it was back in around 2004 that people began to notice the use of these 'tactics' on LEFT WING forums and when they questioned them, were usually instantly banned.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
48. spot-on. the term "bots" emerged to describe a brand of insincerity...
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:05 AM
Jul 2013

and this article confirms that they are used in the interest of those who can pay for the service, i.e. 1%-ers, corporate interests (CoC), military campaign interests, etc.

it's only natural that real people with real, "whole-world" insights, would get a creepy feeling about personas that engage in goal-directed one-way interactions. it doesn't take metadata to figure this out, it's something that a real human being can sense.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
60. Bot, at least to me, implies a crude effort
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:23 AM
Jul 2013

Considering that bots came out of the IRC world. Some are beneficial in that they delete spam, welcome users etc. and are typically identified as a bot.

Once a script kiddie sees the example and is intrigued they try writing their own to spam, or harass people for kicks.

The software systems talked about here are at least 3rd generation. Calling them bots incorrectly implies a lack of sophistication.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
63. totally agree -- i'm pointing to the use of the term by casual users...
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:26 AM
Jul 2013

but yes, you are so right that there's a bigger history, and that the term is actually quite limited.

hootinholler

(26,449 posts)
71. Ah, the same way that Hacker became corrupted
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:41 AM
Jul 2013

Hacker was once a term of endearment and respect, as you are most likely aware.

Divernan

(15,480 posts)
225. Shoals of trolls and clots of bots
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:37 PM
Jul 2013

I've decided to follow the advice/example of several posters whom I most admire, like Catherina, and put these bots on my ignore list. Really, I've been on DU since 2002 without putting anyone on ignore. And you know what? It feels pretty darn good to put these poseurs on full ignore.

 

Pretzel_Warrior

(8,361 posts)
34. If anyone disagrees with you, then you can claim
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:45 AM
Jul 2013

They are an auto generated sock puppets generated by malevolent corporations.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
43. no -- but you can take into account their behavior and history
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:59 AM
Jul 2013

and assess for yourself just how authentic that persona is. same as in IRL -- inauthentic interactions breed contempt.

CakeGrrl

(10,611 posts)
277. Exactly.
Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:42 PM
Jul 2013

What a great way to amp up the paranoia around here - as if THAT'S needed.

The echo chamber for the ignore list enthusiasts will be built ever faster.


agent46

(1,262 posts)
40. It's a brave new world
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:51 AM
Jul 2013

Last edited Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:28 AM - Edit history (1)

I also wonder if these capabilities and strategies have been used here on DU.

On a side note, it occurs to me this kind of software would be a perfect tool for criminal gangs and toxic corporate cults like Scientology or Eckankar for harassing their whistleblowers.

Let's hope not, but in the current lawless climate I suspect access to such cyber weapons is only a matter of writing a fat check.

It seems we're awash in an ocean of bullshit these days.

 

MannyGoldstein

(34,589 posts)
52. LOL, the fantasies of some fringe company means it's really happening!
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:15 AM
Jul 2013


Of course, reasonable Democrats like me know that our government would never do such a thing. We may have our imperfections, and we need to come together to work harder for the middle class, but we are still the greatest nation on Earth.

Regards,

Sock-Puppet Manny

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
62. You forgot the pom poms, Palin, apple pie and something about vodka
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:25 AM
Jul 2013
The funniest is watching all the "Free Apple pie here! Just don't drink vodka" threads. Who the fuck do you think you're fooling? How about boycotting all the countries that collaborated on illegal renditions or boycotting companies that condone the torture and murder of workers around the world? Even better, how about boycotting all the silent partners that profit from the exploitation and murder of workers around the world as they fatten portfolios of the rich and famous? These people be very funny lol.
 

magical thyme

(14,881 posts)
84. Oh, they're just mad because they didn't get their unicorn
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:24 PM
Jul 2013

or pony or...something.

Also, they hate President Obama

Mc Mike

(9,102 posts)
54. Interesting to see the mechanics of these propaganda ventures revealed.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:18 AM
Jul 2013

They're such miserable failures in terms of their ideas and viewpoints, and they know it. So they have to invent a bunch of 'like-minded' people to agree with their lame viewpoints.

Even when 4 or 5 alleged 'people' appear to be attacking a good progressive Dem idea, if the actual repug propagandist behind all the 'people' has nothing convincing to argue or offer, their various 'people' are just offering 4 or 5 X nothing, regarding the debate on the issue. And the good real person's good ideas shine through.

I think sometimes the fake personas, operated by the single person, take two polar opposite caricature-like extreme viewpoints on the issues, in order to sew disruption and discord, and in order to force real people to pick one extreme side or another, where either side has a harmful pro-repug nazi aspect to it.

Thanks for the post, C, and yb.

starroute

(12,977 posts)
56. I've just been reading up on this stuff at Project PM
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:19 AM
Jul 2013

That's the wiki set up by Barrett Brown to analyze the HBGary emails. It's not as complete or as deep as it might be, but it's a good starting point.

http://wiki.project-pm.org/wiki/Persona_management

In the wake of the HBGary investigation, it was discovered that the federal contractor had bid on a call for applications by the USAF to develop persona software for apparent propaganda and/or infiltration purposes. CENTCOM later admitted to using such capabilities abroad, but denies using them in the English language or in a way that would explicit target U.S. citizens, an action which would be illegal. Global Business Solutions and Associates LLC, Uk Plus Logistics, Ltd., NevinTelecom, Bunker Communications and Planmatrix LLC., were also among those bidding to provide such software, according to documents discovered by Raw Story. The contract was later discovered to have been won by Ntrepid, which still later was confirmed to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cubic Corporation and led in large part by execs and employees of the latter firm.

On October 15th, 2010, HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr emailed Mantech CEO Robert Frisbie about considering Palantir Technologies for help "..on some of the integration for link analysis and data correlation. We will likely be able to get into some of the persona management logic.." Barr here attached the PDF titled Social Media Persona Development. At some point, Barr also deployed a primitive single persona, intended to represent an intelligence contracting employee and USAF veteran, on Facebook and Twitter. During his attempt to infiltrate Anonymous, Barr also planned to create at least two fake personas with the intention of using the first to "discredit" the second in order to gain influence within the movement. In both instances, Barr seems to have relied on manual trickery rather than employing specialized software of the sort that's been developed elsewhere.

Patent 20090313274, created in an apparent join effort by IBM and the U.S. military (four members of which are listed as inventors), describes specific workings of a reasonably advanced persona management system, or at least a component thereof, providing software-based linguistic capabilities in order to retain "linguistic integrity" from conversation to conversation.

DARPA's July 2011 BAA (Broad Agency Announcement) entitled Social Media in Strategic Communications indicates that such software will increasingly form a broad programmatic area of military operations, rather than being acquired piecemeal or in covert dealings, as has been the case in the past.


http://wiki.project-pm.org/wiki/Mantech

Mantech International Corporation describes itself as "a leading provider of advanced technology, technical services and security solutions to the U.S. national security community" employing "approximately 10,000 highly skilled people who manage our global operations" in 40 countries. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia the firm's revenues have increased from $431 million in 2001 to $1.137 billion in 2006, mostly from providing IT and systems engineering services to intelligence agencies and the Pentagon, which together account for more than 90% of its revenue. It was founded in 1968 as a specialized military contractor that devised submarine war-game models for the U.S. Navy and was little-known outside the Pentagon until 1988 when (having previously grown by acquiring obscure professional services and engineering firms such as Mathetics Corp. and Energystics Corp) it acquired a subsidiary of Northrop Corp. In this way, Mantech continued to improve its position as a viable contender for further contracts. It was noted by the Washington Post at the time of the 1988 Northrop deal that chairman and co-founder George Pedersen would not let himself be photographed.[1] One of Mantech's many areas of expertise is "Policy Development, Planning, & Program Implementation"[2]

Mantech is of interest to this investigation due to its extremely close association with Aaron Barr and its interest in Persona Management, its status as major provider of services to the FBI, and its role in the Romas/COIN recompete lead by Barr and TASC.

In early 2011, Mantech won a five-year, $9.2 million dollar contract by which to "supply the FBI with security policies, procedures, training and planning, and manage security for FBI communications."

In early 2012, Mantech purchased HBGary, adding the firm to its Mission, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions unit.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
76. "such software will form a broad programmatic area of military operations" + Smith-Mundt Amendment
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:04 PM
Jul 2013

...interesting too that the Smith-Mundt Act was amended to allow for social media "special ops" in the US, they same way they run them in foreign countries we're "at war" with.

Here's the late Michael Hastings reporting on the possibility the amendment would pass -- which it did, going into effect July 1 this year (right about the time of his accident).


Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban
Propaganda that was supposed to target foreigners could now be aimed at Americans, reversing a longstanding policy. “Disconcerting and dangerous,” says Shank.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban


The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns. The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State. In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations — Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.”The bill’s supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda, a borderless enemy whose own propaganda reaches Americans online.

Critics of the bill say there are ways to keep America safe without turning the massive information operations apparatus within the federal government against American citizens.

(snip)

The new law would give sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

(snip)

The Pentagon spends some $4 billion a year to sway public opinion already, and it was recently revealed by USA Today the DoD spent $202 million on information operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last year.

In an apparent retaliation to the USA Today investigation, the two reporters working on the story appear to have been targeted by Pentagon contractors, who created fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in an attempt to discredit them.

here's an article on the Pentagon's smear campaign against the journalists -- > http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-05-24/Leonie-usa-today-propaganda-pentagon/55190450/1

(snip)

The evaporation of Smith-Mundt and other provisions to safeguard U.S. citizens against government propaganda campaigns is part of a larger trend within the diplomatic and military establishment.

In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul.

A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment “to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will,” he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general.

DirkGently

(12,151 posts)
81. I don't see the problem.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:21 PM
Jul 2013

We're just paying the Pentagon and the State Department mountains of our own tax dollars, in a time of supposedly necessary austerity as to social programs and infrastructure, in order to flood the media and the Internet with false information and credibility attacks on critics in order to influence public opinion in favor of government policy, by using armies of invented personalities pretending to to be ordinary American citizens?

Nothing to see here.

Nothing at all.







 

magical thyme

(14,881 posts)
88. wouldn't it be cheaper for them to just bomb us for real, in a false flag attack?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:32 PM
Jul 2013

They want to bomb Iran? Blow up a major attraction in a major city, blame it on al Qaeda in Iran, presto, we're off to war.

I guess we should be relieved and grateful they're spending our money to dump bullshit on our heads instead of bombs.

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
108. these sorts of propaganda programs are exactly what drives cynicism wrt attacks on the US
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:03 PM
Jul 2013

either real or imagined as future possibilities/potentialities.

Enthusiast

(50,983 posts)
179. Tax payers probably spend billions
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:31 PM
Jul 2013

developing just such scenarios and alternatives to be activated at a command. Was 911 such a command? I believe it was.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
148. Mantech purchased them?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:22 PM
Jul 2013

That means they can hire anyone desperate enough for pennies to do whatever it takes for those pennies.

No wonder the arguments are so unconvincing, there are no convictions to them.

cprise

(8,445 posts)
57. The usefulness of open forums is coming to a close
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:20 AM
Jul 2013

In the future we will see more emphasis on blogs/forums built on trust relationships where the operators are more selective about who can post. I can see Diaspora filling a need here.

Zorra

(27,670 posts)
79. Thanks, Catherina, this has been a constant annoyance to so many of us for years
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:15 PM
Jul 2013

~~If It Quacks Like A RW Troll, It Is Most Likely A RW Troll~~
Est. 2003


 

villager

(26,001 posts)
82. Could explain a lot here at the "Underground..."
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:21 PM
Jul 2013

...and its palpable rightward drift on so many issues...

Puglover

(16,380 posts)
97. But I have a question.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:43 PM
Jul 2013

Isn't the purpose of this sort of thing to bring you over to the PTB's way of thinking.

I gotta say if that IS the purpose the folks that I think would possibly be suspect really really suck at that.

All they do is make me want to run the opposite way screaming. So that is why I have my doubts that this sort of thing really exists on DU. They just seem like the type of personalities that everyone avoids at parties frankly.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
104. Well that's what happens when you're so cheap you won't pay for quality labor
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:55 PM
Jul 2013

"Quality labor at fair prices". Another thing they stand against. Instead they settle on, I dunno what you call it, idiots?

Out of pity for how pathetic their *contributions* on the internet are, you just want scream "OMG, pay them more! At least make it a challenge!". They just make me want to hurl so I totally ignore them, not figuratively either, at DU, I just banish them to nothingness so they can twist and squeal away out of my sight. It makes the gathering here so much more productive.

woo me with science

(32,139 posts)
113. I think the goal, rather than convincing anyone,
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:09 PM
Jul 2013

is to thoroughly hijack, pollute and therefore eliminate public spaces where real discussion and organization can occur.

DU used to have a much higher level of discourse and therefore influence. It was not unusual for threads to reach a level of depth and detail that garnered many hundreds of recs. Substantive posts made today are quickly drowned in garbage talking points, vitriol, and mocking.

It is no accident that the small propaganda brigade here starts at least half of the new threads on DU each day, and that they nearly *always* demand the last word in any interchange. Their goal is to disrupt the important public space for liberal thought, discussion, and organization that DU used to offer, and to keep us busy instead batting off the corporate lies and talking points.





 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
116. Exactly! Distraction is often the goal.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:18 PM
Jul 2013

For example, when a thread is posted about NSA surveillance we end up arguing over one paragraph of the preface to "How Would A Patriot Act" instead of discussing the abuse.

bvar22

(39,909 posts)
206. And "they" have been successful.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:55 PM
Jul 2013

They have succeeded at driving off the majority of Well Intentioned Liberal Posters,
Honest Brokers of Information & Opinion, and loyal Democratic Party Activists who enjoyed an intelligent and challenging discussion of today's issues and problems.
[font size=1](I'm ONE STUBBORN SOB, so I'm still here.)[/font]

Not many years ago,
it was not rare to see a Top of the Greatest post with over a THOUSAND Recs,
and over 100,000 "Views".
One Hundred Thousand people reading a post at DU in a 24 hour time period!


Today, 200 recs, and 2,500 VIEWS is GOOD!
No wonder it echos in here.

The drop in the level of discourse at DU HAS driven people away from a place that was once know for the High Level of Political Discussion.

You are correct when you stated that their goal[font size=3]" is to thoroughly hijack, pollute and therefore eliminate public spaces where real discussion and organization can occur. "[/font]




You will know them by their [font size=3]WORKS.[/font]

starroute

(12,977 posts)
115. The purpose of disinfo is to muddy things up, not to convince
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:13 PM
Jul 2013

For example, we have a stream of investigative journalists and whistleblowers dying in questionable circumstances, being arrested on seemingly trumped-up charges, or simply being called liars or Ron Paul supporters.

You might not actually believe any of the negative statements you see about such people. But that's not the point. The point is to sow a seed of doubt in your mind. To make you less likely to regard them as heroes or martyrs. To be reluctant to appear as their defender in case even more damning charges come out.

It's also to derail the discussion -- so that, for example, people are talking about whether Edward Snowden is a narcissistic attention-seeker instead of the content of his allegations. Or at the very least, it's to make you "want to run the opposite way screaming," with the result that you tune out on what has come to seem an unpleasant and pointless controversy.

Propaganda has many aspects, and the whole winning hearts and minds thing is only one minor category.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
125. Yes! To derail and to muddy, not to convince
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:32 PM
Jul 2013

It's why you see the same people dragging along their same tired circular blue links saying "this was already debunked". Then you click on the link and most importantly "view all" at the top only to see everyone laughing at their stupid shit.

I have all of them on my ignore list list. They're simply not worth the time, and I think that, except in circumstances where their egregious lies have to be obliterated, they're better left squawking among themselves.

 

RobertEarl

(13,685 posts)
102. Heh
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:50 PM
Jul 2013

Just read the whole thread and don't recall even one punk troll reply!

Did ya notice that?

DU does get infested with swarms around major breaking news and whatnot.

And I think they have somehow gamed the jury system. Note in the admins forum the signs of software problems vis-a-vi jury selections?

Anyway, if they think they are winning, they are crazy. DUers always come through with the real facts and effectively counter as the OP calls out the 'company of assholes' at play work here.

Noticed too that many of the best DUers are posting on this thread.
Cheers! Comrades!

 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
118. Could you expand on how they may have gamed the jury system?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:19 PM
Jul 2013

I admit, I have very little understanding of how the jury system functions.

 

RobertEarl

(13,685 posts)
126. Via software hacking?
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:34 PM
Jul 2013

I don't know beyond that. Just noticed that the admins were being alerted that many were being excluded from jury selection and that others were being pinged more often. That is what DUers reported in the admins forum.

We do know that script kiddies just love to mess with other's software. So this should come as no surprise to think they'd mess with DU. Eh?

backscatter712

(26,355 posts)
210. I think they are gaming the juries.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 06:10 PM
Jul 2013

My bet is that it's been scripted into the persona-management software. They have to age their socks, otherwise they're too obvious. MIRT whacks the Beavis-and-Butthead trolls with a post count of two quite efficiently. To be a plausible persona, you've got to have a few thousand posts under your belt.

One thing you can do is post stuff in the Cooking forum or some other forum where nobody goes. That does eventually get trackable though.

You can also build a library of innocuous post material, with stuff like "K&R!" "He's my President!" "Awesome post!", and sprinkle them in threads as appropriate.

I'm thinking it's a mix of techniques used to automate the process, age their socks, make them appear to have at least superficial personalities, and do it in enough volume that they have several dozen socks to swarm a thread when a story like the Snowden story comes along and threatens the power-elites that write the checks.

On juries:

One thing you can do is have the persona-management software refresh threads and refresh forum index pages over and over, periodically, with a bit of randomness to simulate a human surfing DU, and screen-scrape the results for "You've been selected to serve on a jury."

Voila - not only are you aging your sock, but now you got on a jury, you've automated the process to maximize your odds of being on a jury, you're probably doing this with a hundred socks all at once, so you've multiplied your chances of getting on a jury by a hundred-fold, now you can use the juries as a weapon against those bitching about the sockpuppeting, trolling and propagandizing.

Because don't you know, troll-hunters make DU suck! :-p

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
117. You're welcome.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:19 PM
Jul 2013

My sister had quite a bit to say about her disgust of how certain people threw the Palestinians, their supposed *cause*, under the bus when it became convenient. You wouldn't know any of those would you?

Once again, you're most welcome for reminding people of our blood link. I'm extremely proud of it. Call me whatever you want, as long as you think it's a slur, I'm proud of it.

Scurrilous

(38,687 posts)
132. She saved the PM.
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:41 PM
Jul 2013


On edit: And while we're here, please explain how trolling and gaming DU is going to bring about the revolution and collapse of the free enterprise system that you and your cohorts so constantly jawbone about?

You're a fucking clown.

Number23

(24,544 posts)
292. So you're the one that was the subject of an ATA whine! You should know that Skinner himself has
Wed Jul 31, 2013, 10:19 PM
Jul 2013

your back. He's as sick of the moronic "you're a paid shill!" and "you're a persona!" garbage as every other moderately intelligent person on this site is.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12592697
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1259&pid=2715

SidDithers

(44,228 posts)
137. Nailed it...
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:50 PM
Jul 2013


Ever notice some of the ones screaming loudest are posters who've had multiple identities at DU over the years?

Better Believe It!

Sid

Capt. Obvious

(9,002 posts)
278. Indeed
Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:39 PM
Jul 2013
Skinner (57,821 posts)
1. It's not something I want to encourage, no.

I would alert on such behavior when I am aware of it, and if I were on a jury I would vote to hide it.

I'd say it's pretty presumptuous for any DUer (other than myself) to claim to know who are sockpuppets and who are previously banned people. I think that Sid needs to spend more of his time discussing issues and less of his time focusing on stuff like this.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/12592693

nashville_brook

(20,958 posts)
111. ah! almost forgot...and then there's those who are real people
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:06 PM
Jul 2013

who identify with the managed personas.

that is all.

Generic Other

(28,979 posts)
124. the CEO of HBGary has stinky socks
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:32 PM
Jul 2013

Aaron Barr CEO of HBGary is a sockpuppet himself. He was a low-level hacker who resigned from HBGary after Anonymous hacked his site releasing 71,000 emails making a laughing stock of HBGary's security. They even hacked Barr's home router forcing him to go offline. “I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,” he reportedly said.

A link to the chats he had with Anonymous under his sock name CogAnon. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/02/virtually-face-to-face-when-aaron-barr-met-anonymous/

Before he was forced to go offline, Barr organized "cyberattacks, misinformation, forged documents, pressuring donors and even blackmailing WikiLeaks supporter and Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald" on behalf of BoA and the Chamber of Commerce, the USAF among others. (Forbes 2011) http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2011/02/28/hbgary-federals-aaron-barr-resigns-after-anonymous-hack-scandal/

Among the sockpuppets Barr was said to have personally created was an avatar on World of Warcraft.

His resignation coincides with the mysterious disappearance of several DU sockpuppets: At least one criminal operation comes to mind.

He and his company were fired by the government for exposing the dirty secrets, after which the government hired Ntrepid to create socks that could speak Farsi, Arabic, Urdu and Pashto.

The disinformation and astroturfing continue.



Generic Other

(28,979 posts)
134. Oooh look, Booz Allen named here too
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:46 PM
Jul 2013

Following the sting of HBGary Federal and parent company HBGary, Anonymous disclosed on-going interest and contract bids between those firms, Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Air Force to develop software that will allow cyber-warriors to create fake personas that help "manage" Pentagon interventions into social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2011/03/sock-puppet-planet-secret-states-quest.html

Does this mean the NSA is involved in this sort of sockpuppet show too?

Fumesucker

(45,851 posts)
139. My tinfoil hat needs another layer or two after reading this thread
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:05 PM
Jul 2013

I think I'm going for the extra heavy stuff this time.

Thanks for posting Catherina, it's been an interesting read.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
142. I stole it from Yurbud, as noted in the OP
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:08 PM
Jul 2013

I think I'll join you in that extra heavy stuff tonight.

99Forever

(14,524 posts)
145. There is ample evidence that this ...
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:15 PM
Jul 2013

... a major problem on this site.

The only really puzzling thing is, just who is it they think they are fooling?

Waiting For Everyman

(9,385 posts)
147. At some point the bulk internet surveillance is going to get corrupted
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:19 PM
Jul 2013

by all the fake personnas. It would be super funny if the Feds ended up trying to bust one of their own fictions. No doubt it will happen sooner or later.

whttevrr

(2,345 posts)
149. IP addresses : Sockpuppets : Swarms
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:24 PM
Jul 2013

There would really have to be a focused effort to hide the origins of individual sockpuppets from a board admin. All connections to the board come from a unique IP address. There would be multiple sockpuppets coming from the same IP address unless forwarded through a proxy or spoofing is involved.

Obviously the less technical puppets would be found out quickly. It would be so easy to see multiple identities using the same IP address.

TOR could be used, but there would most likely need to be an individual virtual machine for each sockpuppet. And, it can be quite a task to find a node that would have a consistent regional signature. If someone was using multiple identities it would be difficult to hide that from the board Admin. The software involved in this must use some kind of proxy/IP spoofing mechanism to thwart detection.

It must be difficult to manage all that.

I wonder too if maybe the latest batch of sockpuppetry wasn't tested last year on Fox. There was a while where enormous flooding of their comment section occurred daily.(I only looked because it was like comment porn) I wonder if they disabled comments after suffering large bandwidth hits due to so many sockpuppets flooding their comment sections.

And once Fox shut down their commenting section, there was an explosion of new identities commenting at other places across the web.

This is definitely an intriguing thread.

Is there a list of suspected sockpuppets here?

penultimate

(1,110 posts)
165. I was thinking of ways that they might implement it, but it really does pose some interesting
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:57 PM
Jul 2013

hurdles. For example, it's easy to get it so different IPs are used, but that right there in itself would be a red flag for me as an admin. If someone constantly connects with a new IP, something is probably funky. Even more so if you can identify the IP as originating from device functioning as proxy. Although, I could easily create something that spins up cheap cloud server every time I want a 'clean' IP, and then use that server proxy traffic for me. Of course all IPs in that case would be assigned to the same entity and appear to come from the same place. Also, if it's apparent it's a IP coming from something like that, then that's another red flag. So really for it to really work, I'd think they'd need to have a pool of IPs in different location that they could grab and assign to each persona within every context in which they are operating. The IP should match up with the general location that they say they're located at to add that extra credibility to admins who might be digging deeper.

The idea of virtual machines make sense, for a few reasons that I can think of off the top of my head. First it helps ensure that any signatures the browsers, plugins and whatever else don't give them away. Or that there isn't anything like secret flash cookies that expose themselves. Also, it seems like it would help them immerse themselves in the persona. Each one could have their notes all self-contained, they can put up pictures of the person they're pretending to be to keep them in the zone. Maybe even each VM could have some software that will auto-adjust grammar and spelling habits based on certain rules defined during its creation. For example, maybe a persona commonly confused words like "there", "their", and "they're" or than and then. You know? Then if they take screen shots during their discussions, it will look legit because they can customize it to look like something the person they are pretending to be would have (maybe add a wallpaper of the person's supposed husband or pet cat) It also ensure that suspicious people can't look closely and compare matching font sizes, types, taskbar icons, OS type, color schemes, timezones make sense etc... I've discovered sock puppet accounts before based on the fact the person used netzero and had many of the same programs running (plus the fonts used were similar and the person had the same IE toolbars installed)

Woah, I just went off spewing a bunch of nonsense. I'm sure some people are now eyeing me with a bit suspicion hehe... I swear, I was just typing shit that popped into my head for some reason.

dreamnightwind

(4,775 posts)
203. Both of you should read the back-links more thoroughly
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:16 PM
Jul 2013

if you have time, much of what you are discussing is detailed in the articles.

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

there is the link and quotation which describes, amonng other things, how they use different IPs, a static one for each persona. It goes on and on and is pretty sophisticated.

"link to the solicitation at website "FedBizOps.gov""

Solicitation Number:
RTB220610
Notice Type:
Sources Sought
Synopsis:
Added: Jun 22, 2010 1:42 pm Modified: Jun 22, 2010 2:07 pmTrack Changes
0001- Online Persona Management Service. 50 User Licenses, 10 Personas per user.
Software will allow 10 personas per user, replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent. Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries. Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms. The service includes a user friendly application environment to maximize the user's situational awareness by displaying real-time local information.

0002- Secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). 1 each
VPN provides the ability for users to daily and automatically obtain randomly selected
IP addresses through which they can access the internet. The daily rotation of
the user s IP address prevents compromise during observation of likely or
targeted web sites or services, while hiding the existence of the operation. In
addition, may provide traffic mixing, blending the user s traffic with traffic from
multitudes of users from outside the organization. This traffic blending provides
excellent cover and powerful deniability. Anonymizer Enterprise Chameleon or equal

0003- Static IP Address Management. 50 each
Licence protects the identity of government agencies and enterprise
organizations. Enables organizations to manage their persistent online personas
by assigning static IP addresses to each persona. Individuals can perform
static impersonations, which allow them to look like the same person over time.
Also allows organizations that frequent same site/service often to easily switch IP
addresses to look like ordinary users as opposed to one organization. Anonymizer IP Mapper License or equal

0004- Virtual Private Servers, CONUS. 1 each
Provides CONUS or OCONUS points of presence locations that are setup for
each customer based on the geographic area of operations the customer is
operating within and which allow a customer?s online persona(s) to appear to
originate from. Ability to provide virtual private servers that are procured using
commercial hosting centers around the world and which are established
anonymously. Once procured, the geosite is incorporated into the network and
integrated within the customers environment and ready for use by the customer.
Unless specifically designated as shared, locations are dedicated for use by
each customer and never shared among other customers. Anonymizer Annual Dedicated CONUS Light Geosite or equal

0005- Virtual Private Servers, OCONUS. 8 Each
Provides CONUS or OCONUS points of presence locations that are setup for
each customer based on the geographic area of operations the customer is
operating within and which allow a customer?s online persona(s) to appear to
originate from. Ability to provide virtual private servers that are procured using
commercial hosting centers around the world and which are established
anonymously. Once procured, the geosite is incorporated into the network and
integrated within the customers environment and ready for use by the customer.
Unless specifically designated as shared, locations are dedicated for use by
each customer and never shared among other customers. Anonymizer Annual Dedicated OCONUS Light Geosite or equal

0006- Remote Access Secure Virtual Private Network. 1 each
Secure Operating Environment provides a reliable and protected computing
environment from which to stage and conduct operations. Every session uses a
clean Virtual Machine (VM) image. The solution is accessed through sets of
Virtual Private Network (VPN) devices located at each Customer facility. The
fully-managed VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is an environment that allows
users remote access from their desktop into a VM. Upon session termination,
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penultimate

(1,110 posts)
204. That's crazy to know such a system very likely may exist
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:34 PM
Jul 2013

or at the very least they want one and are developing it (I'm assuming they have it) They seem to have removed the solicitation request from the site listing though. Not sure if they expire or if they are hiding it though. Either way, that's messed up.

From technical standpoint, I find the possible implementations of it interesting though.

dreamnightwind

(4,775 posts)
208. I'd say it clearly already exists
Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:58 PM
Jul 2013

This is one use of technology that should not ever have been explored, there is no legitimate purpose to such technology, IMO.

I can see how it seems interesting from a technical standpoint. Also interesting would be an effort to identify its persona wherever they appear. Some kind of automated tree analysis to identify cohorts, then you need some way to distinguish real cohorts from false ones. I'd think that real cohorts would have a more diverse body of posts and probably more thought-out, conversational posting styles, though that would not necessarily be the case.

You'd need to work up a large number of possible indicators of sock-puppetry, a Bayesian approach I think it's called, and score the persona across all of them, since no one way would be certain to identify it. In the end, the decision should be made by a human but I'm fascinated by the idea of automated software that would flag likely trolls using the known techniques we have learned about so far, and hopefully adapting it as the propaganists improve their methodology. I have to focus my time looking for employment, not sure if I'm the person to tackle this, but it would be a real interesting and challenging project, and a very good thing if it worked, hmm. Maybe we could crowd-source this project somehow.

Catherina

(35,568 posts)
237. How organized. And who was paying for this? Why we were of course. n/t