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(26,355 posts)
42. Just do some Googling on astroturfing - big organizations have some sophisticated tools.
Mon Aug 27, 2012, 12:19 AM
Aug 2012

The software is called "persona management software." With it, a single person could put together not just a few sockpuppets, but dozens, or even hundreds, or thousands. Not just here on DU, but on dozens of forums, and Twitter, Facebook, and countless other places online. Creating personas is automated to just a few mouse clicks & keystrokes, the personas are automatically built with accounts on multiple sites - so a sockpuppet on DU might also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account and a working email address and so on. The accounts would be automatically aged - automated posts, such as fluff posts in the Lounge or the less-trafficked forums can be used to boost the post count, for example, or posts of Youtube videos or news articles can be used to boost the post count without looking like spam or raising red flags suggesting a computer is generating posts.

You can no longer assume that the only people up to no good here on DU are the Beavis and Butthead types from Free Republic with a post count of two that manage to get a half-dozen mispelled posts out before getting PPR'd. These guys are slick. Some of the accounts they've "aged" for years, so they'll seem like long-time regulars. And in fact, you can have different accounts for different purposes - a quick throw-away persona that's sacrificed as a "troll" to drop a turd in the punch bowl to take a temperature check on an issue and see how people react, and a high-age persona used to lend legitimacy and "come to the rescue" of another persona that's getting called out or challenged. And maybe several medium-age personas used to dogpile a particularly meddlesome opponent ("HOW DARE YOU MAKE ACCUSATIONS OF SHILLING! THAT HURTS OUR FEELINGS!&quot


HBGary's high-volume astroturfing technology and the Feds who requested it
By Cory Doctorow at 10:57 am Friday, Feb 18

The enormous corpus of email leaked from federal security contractor HB Gary following Anonymous's hacking of the company's servers continues to deliver compromising payloads.

This time, it's internal emails detailing the creation of "persona management" software to simplify the process of pretending to be several people at once online, in order simulate widespread support for a point of view -- astroturfing automation software. The software appears to have been developed in response to a federal government solicitation seeking automated tools for astroturfing message boards in foreign countries.

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...
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...

Using the assigned social media accounts we can automate the posting of content that is relevant to the persona. In this case there are specific social media strategy website RSS feeds we can subscribe to and then repost content on twitter with the appropriate hashtags. In fact using hashtags and gaming some location based check-in services we can make it appear as if a persona was actually at a conference and introduce himself/herself to key individuals as part of the exercise, as one example. There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas
Du rec. Nt xchrom Aug 2012 #1
Yep. The whole Assange fiasco... Teamster Jeff Aug 2012 #2
TL;DR: "Everyone who disagrees with me is a shill or an idiot." Robb Aug 2012 #3
No...and poor, but prompt, and substanceless, attempt. Zorra Aug 2012 #5
Don't mischaracterize your brilliant prose. Robb Aug 2012 #7
"The important thing is you've found a new bogeyman." great white snark Aug 2012 #19
Two lawyers disagree. Film at 11:00. girl gone mad Aug 2012 #23
David Allen Green is a shill, for the Third Way. sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #32
Klamberg's main point in his blog post was... AntiFascist Aug 2012 #48
Thank you. Deliberate misinterpretation of the discussion by the anti-Wikileaks sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #130
*sigh* another strawman. Wealthy private interests are have been a primary enemy of the Democrats Zorra Aug 2012 #58
... Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #9
So you support the Third Way? rhett o rick Aug 2012 #17
I stand for a lot of things Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #20
Fair enough. Then tell me what you do stand for. rhett o rick Aug 2012 #21
She/he was aggressively in favor of the corrupt bank bailouts, as I recall. girl gone mad Aug 2012 #24
Care to post a link to where Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #31
It's been hours now Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #49
Are you serious? Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #25
As I expected. You will denigrate progressives but wont explain rhett o rick Aug 2012 #27
And as I expected Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #29
What is a progressive democrat to you? What issues are important to them? sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #38
Is this a pop quiz Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #47
You seem unaware that there is a Progressive Caucus in our Party that goes by that very name Bluenorthwest Aug 2012 #66
And you seem unaware Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #77
I see you proclaim that others 'self proclaim' but that's not what is being discussed... Bluenorthwest Aug 2012 #79
OMG! Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #80
The question is what do you care about? I have asked that question to rhett o rick Aug 2012 #89
Exactly who are "you guys"? Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #91
"jeopardize the reelection of our President Barack Obama by continuously denigrating progressives to Nuclear Unicorn Aug 2012 #119
Ah, no particular positions on any particular issues? Zalatix Aug 2012 #134
It seems there is a contingent here Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #137
Temper, temper. Just because you can't answer "what is a Progressive Democrat to you" Zalatix Aug 2012 #138
Please re-read my post at #137 Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #140
Don't need to. Zalatix Aug 2012 #141
As I've told you before Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #142
You're not arguing. You're throwing a tantrum and hurling personal attacks. Zalatix Aug 2012 #143
Look, sweetie Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #144
LOL at your enraged tantrums. "I know you are but what am I?" is all you've got left. Zalatix Aug 2012 #145
Projection ... Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #147
Seriously, Peewee Herman called and he wants his taunts back. Zalatix Aug 2012 #148
What's interesting is that those who oppose Wikileaks, also oppose OWS. The two most sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #35
Out of respect, sabrina1 Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #51
There's nothing ridiculous about what she said. Zalatix Aug 2012 #55
I completely support OWS. Wikileaks not so much. Chorophyll Aug 2012 #63
OK tama Aug 2012 #105
Care to offer a link to " certain posters starting every OP or reply Bluenorthwest Aug 2012 #72
The answer: nothing. Zalatix Aug 2012 #149
They believe in "whatever Pres Obama believes". But that's as far rhett o rick Aug 2012 #150
And criticizing Obama on ANYTHING puts you outside the big tent. Zalatix Aug 2012 #154
Right after the election in 2008, the Democratic machine decided rhett o rick Aug 2012 #155
And THAT mindset is why the Democratic Party keeps shifting to the right. Congratulations! Zalatix Aug 2012 #33
What mindset is that? Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #45
"Welcome to Litmus Test Underground" Zalatix Aug 2012 #56
Here are the "self-proclaimed true progressives". Tell me, what "mindset" do have a problem with? PassingFair Aug 2012 #62
It would seem more than obvious Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #76
lol. Don't want to give a straight answer to a direct question? Little Red Riding Hood: Zorra Aug 2012 #60
I see you got a nice children's book Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #78
Accurate labels for all things have been the most common form of human communication Zorra Aug 2012 #116
A lot of words to say one simple thing Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #121
+100,000, sing it loud, we're leftists AND PROUD!!! Zalatix Aug 2012 #135
Bullshit.. sendero Aug 2012 #88
I never argued the fact that the Third Way isn't an actual organization Summer Hathaway Aug 2012 #90
If it quacks like a duck and it walks like a duck... Zalatix Aug 2012 #146
lately it's become abundantly clear that yes, sometimes they are... mike_c Aug 2012 #16
It's not nice to insinuate that he is a shill. rhett o rick Aug 2012 #18
Where they belong is NOT in a civilized society. Zalatix Aug 2012 #34
Many of them are, let's be honest. Marr Aug 2012 #37
I quickly stopped too hfojvt Aug 2012 #73
Superb analysis. 99Forever Aug 2012 #4
Exactly. nt Zorra Aug 2012 #6
Yep. laundry_queen Aug 2012 #40
The Third Way is nothing but Bush Doctrine Redux. formercia Aug 2012 #8
Indeed, I thought the topic referred to RNC coverage... kenny blankenship Aug 2012 #156
Third Way tama Aug 2012 #10
Kick. Nt xchrom Aug 2012 #11
Well stated... About time somebody comes out and says the obvious fascisthunter Aug 2012 #12
The swamping of DU with the Third Way shite is undermining this site's functionality. riderinthestorm Aug 2012 #13
They are permitted, welcomed, and protected on the site. woo me with science Aug 2012 #98
Yep, seen that lie all over the Assange threads here. The Doctor. Aug 2012 #14
Thank you for shedding some light on the Assange drama 99th_Monkey Aug 2012 #15
K&R! If one of them suggested harvesting the organs of undocumented immigrants, backscatter712 Aug 2012 #22
K&R idwiyo Aug 2012 #26
Thanks. Cleita Aug 2012 #28
Good, AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #30
Inconvenient truths about the New Democrats, the Third Way, Democratic Leadership Council, etc. bobthedrummer Aug 2012 #36
I don't know it's Third Way, but I'm sure some organization is systematically astroturfing here. backscatter712 Aug 2012 #39
They don't need to pay more than one or two people. Those who actually sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #41
Just do some Googling on astroturfing - big organizations have some sophisticated tools. backscatter712 Aug 2012 #42
This message was self-deleted by its author DemocratsForProgress Aug 2012 #52
Yet another example of Greenwald's now long history as a fuckeddy-faced little liar. struggle4progress Aug 2012 #43
Lol, that's an awful of work to try to discredit Greenwald. HB Gary had him on their list sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #44
Translation: "Anyone who dislikes Greenwald is a paid operative or a stooge" struggle4progress Aug 2012 #68
Are they? I don't believe I have ever said that. sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #71
David Allen Green is WRONG and no less a person than Klamberg shows why along with sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #46
Before he ranted on Greenwald, he expressed his "disappointment" in Baltazar Garzon... backscatter712 Aug 2012 #59
Lol. The ptbs went after Garzon also because he went after the Bush criminals sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #64
No, I mocked Garzon for spouting whackadoodle crap about grand juries, and then I mocked him struggle4progress Aug 2012 #65
Please note what Prof. Kevin Von Heller actually cites: AntiFascist Aug 2012 #50
So first Greenwald, trying to argue his view, misrepresents both Klamberg and Heller struggle4progress Aug 2012 #53
Uh, did you notice Greenwald's response... AntiFascist Aug 2012 #54
Greenwald first misrepresents Klamberg as supporting Greenwald's view, and then (when it struggle4progress Aug 2012 #67
Greenwald did not misrepresent Klamberg. As has been proven to you now several sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #70
Red herring? AntiFascist Aug 2012 #74
From your second link: ronnie624 Aug 2012 #61
Any legal issue can be argued from both sides treestar Aug 2012 #124
That is true. BUT Greenwald's technique is worth noting: what he does is quote people who disagree struggle4progress Aug 2012 #126
I despise the Third Way and the DLC from which they were birthed tavalon Aug 2012 #57
Agree....sadly... KoKo Aug 2012 #92
K&R for a fresh blast of much needed truth. nt woo me with science Aug 2012 #69
"New" Democrats ??!!! bvar22 Aug 2012 #75
Will someone explain what The Third Way has to to with Greenwald's argument? muriel_volestrangler Aug 2012 #81
I'll support my recommendation... AntiFascist Aug 2012 #82
It seems a ridiculously tenuous connection muriel_volestrangler Aug 2012 #85
Third Way is not just a Think Tank... AntiFascist Aug 2012 #87
The Gates Foundation is in on it, too. At least that's the latest claim.... msanthrope Aug 2012 #127
Yeah, it's a bizarre tangent. cemaphonic Aug 2012 #83
"Extradition to Sweden" is not the issue we are against... AntiFascist Aug 2012 #84
they won't... the dishonest narrative must be repeated, and repeated to "Catupult the propaganda" fascisthunter Aug 2012 #94
When are republicans going to do their version of 3rd way? craigmatic Aug 2012 #86
Ron/Rand Paul...might be the beginnings of their own Third Way...n/t KoKo Aug 2012 #93
Not really because it'd still be conservative. craigmatic Aug 2012 #95
That already happened, in 1985, the heart of the Reagan era. Zorra Aug 2012 #122
I know about the DLC but my point was where is the republicans' moderate version of it? craigmatic Aug 2012 #128
I just received this email from TYT Oilwellian Aug 2012 #96
Thanks, I guess. AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #152
Kick. woo me with science Aug 2012 #97
kick woo me with science Aug 2012 #99
It's really quite simple. AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #100
Bullshit, woo me with science Aug 2012 #101
Occupy! AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #102
Yup, that's the typical response woo me with science Aug 2012 #103
Yup, that's the typical response AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #106
Shame on you. nt woo me with science Aug 2012 #107
back at ya in spades AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #108
The corporate shilling is thick here and across the internet, and transparent as hell. woo me with science Aug 2012 #109
parse away, apologist AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #110
As I said, transparent as hell. nt woo me with science Aug 2012 #112
^ projection AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #113
I wonder if astroturfing has procedures... woo me with science Aug 2012 #114
Rape apologist bingo! AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #115
Thank you for that stunning pink Bingo! example woo me with science Aug 2012 #117
LOL. You tout an opinion post on a message board as scripture. AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #120
I'll ask again, when will those who are putting so much energy into this sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #133
As soon as someone is accused of rape he's pretty much guilty in your book. Zalatix Aug 2012 #136
So.... AntiFascist Aug 2012 #123
apparently ... AtomicKitten Aug 2012 #125
Two activists who worked to help victims of sexual assault are members of a "cult of personality"? backscatter712 Aug 2012 #132
Wrong, the two women have not spoken publicly since the sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #131
It is only simple because you choose to think so. rhett o rick Aug 2012 #151
What would make the Third Way disappear? Public funding of elections. librechik Aug 2012 #104
Yup. The entire process is corrupted and controlled by corporate interests. woo me with science Aug 2012 #111
Great point! Zorra Aug 2012 #118
+ 1 million. Doesn't France use public funding? Zalatix Aug 2012 #139
kick Zorra Aug 2012 #129
bless your little heart for trying so hard to diss dems instead of republicans. dionysus Aug 2012 #153
kick4progress Zorra Aug 2012 #157
^ Zorra Sep 2012 #158
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