Posts filed under “Web/Tech”

Secret Playbook of Internet Trolls

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
What’s confusing you
Is the nature of my game

- The Rolling Stones

What’s Confusing You Is the Nature of Their Game

 

The reason that Internet trolls are effective is that people still don’t understand their game.

There are 15 commonly-used trolling tactics to disrupt, misdirect and control internet discussions.

As one interesting example, trolls start flame wars because – according to two professors – swearing and name-calling shut down our ability to think and focus.

And trolls will often spew divisive attacks so that people argue against each other, instead of bad actions and policies of the powers-that-be.   For example, trolls will:

Start a religious war whenever possible using stereotypes like “all Jews are selfish”, “all Christians are crazy” or “all Muslims are terrorists”.

Yesterday, the alternative news site Common Dreams caught a troll using scores of different user names to spew anti-Semitic bile. (Common Dreams discovered that the same troll was behind the multiple user names by tracking their IP addresses. And the troll confessed to Common Dreams.)

The troll is a “a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website’s discussion of issues involving Israel”.

He posted anti-Semitic diatribes – such as Hitler should have finished the job and killed all Jews – using one alias.  Then – a couple of minutes later – he’d post an attack on the first poster using a different alias, claiming that criticism of Israel is the same thing as anti-Semitism.  (Note: Holocaust survivors and Israeli ministers say it’s not.)

Why would a Jew post vile anti-Semitic comments?  Because normal people are offended by – and don’t want to be associated with – pure, naked anti-Semitism, and so they will avoid such discussions.  If the discussion was originally criticizing a specific aspect of Israeli policy, the discussion will break down, and the actual point regarding policy will be lost.

Similarly, anti-Semitic posts weaken websites by making them seem less reputable. Indeed, Common Dreams says that the troll’s anti-Semitic comments drove away many of that site’s largest donors … dealing a severe blow to its continued viability. That’s exactly what trolls spewing anti-Semitic bile are trying to do: shut down logical discussion and discredit and weaken sites which allow rational criticism of policy.

It is well-known that foreign  governments and large companies troll online. See this, this this, and this. For example, the Israeli government is paying students to post pro-Israeli comments online.

And American students are also attempting to influence internet discussion.

While the Common Dreams troll claims that he’s not sponsored by the state of Israel, government  agencies have manipulated  Internet discussion for years. This includes the use of multiple “socket puppet” aliases.  The potential for mischief is stunning.

Unless we learn their game …

Category: Think Tank, Web/Tech

The Nude Picture Scandal

How dumb can you be? Excoriate Perez Hilton, come down on 4chan, but what I want to know is why these celebrities have nude photos on their phones to begin with? Maybe I grew up in the dark ages, when you had to go to the porn shop to buy European magazines to see naked…Read More

Category: Think Tank, Web/Tech, Weekend

Is Modern Life Making Us Dumber?

Forget “Peak Oil” and “Peak Credit” … Are We On the Downslope of “Peak Intelligence”?   Scientists say that we have much smaller brains than our ancestors had 20,000 years ago … and we might have gotten stupider since agriculture became widespread. Huffington Post reports that we’ve probably gotten dumber than even our Victorian ancestors:…Read More

Category: Psychology, Think Tank, Web/Tech

Lefsetz: Digital Presence

1. DIGITAL HOME A. Wikipedia Your goal is to be big enough to have a Wikipedia page. It’s the first place newbies go to learn about you. It’s got the imprimatur of authority, people believe what they read, however inaccurate the details may be. We live in an information age and what we want most…Read More

Category: Think Tank, Web/Tech

The 21st Century

INFORMATION OVERLOAD The twentieth century was all about scarcity, making it to the top and then dominating. Today there’s so much information that you feel inadequate. It’s an endless buffet that never closes where you find yourself unable to resist taking one more bite, yet still believe there’s something you don’t know. Distribution used to…Read More

Category: Think Tank, Web/Tech

Digital Presence

1. DIGITAL HOME A. Wikipedia Your goal is to be big enough to have a Wikipedia page. It’s the first place newbies go to learn about you. It’s got the imprimatur of authority, people believe what they read, however inaccurate the details may be. We live in an information age and what we want most…Read More

Category: Think Tank, Web/Tech

John Oliver’s HBO Program is Astoundingly Viral

Fix the teeth, make it shorter and lie about your age. Is John Oliver breaking all the rules or is the truth there are no rules to begin with? What we know is you’ve go to appeal to the younger generation, oldsters don’t switch products, advertisers are not interested, if you’re not shooting for tweens…Read More

Category: Television, Web/Tech

Jeff Gundlach: Full Podcast, Now Online

This past weekend was the inaugural show of Masters in Business. Its a new Bloomberg radio show (read how it came about here).

The first show was an interview with Jeff Gundlach, who has become one of the bond market’s most influential and savvy investors. His firm, Double Line Capital, manages about $50 billion.

Over the weekend, the stream of the one hour radio show was posted to Soundcloud.

The full & uncut Interview with Jeff Gundlach is now available. Its  about double the length of the radio show. It includes:

• Short intro/explanation of what the show is;

• Full one hour radio interview (Its commercial-free and clocks in at 36 minutes)

• Full half hour podcast.

All told, its over an hour (1:09) of great Gundlachian content. I am very pleased with how this came out!

You can download the entire thing here (click, then scroll down, then right click “Download this link”).

Play full Radio + Podcast here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

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Category: Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Podcast, Web/Tech

How the Military Manipulates the Web

Eglin Air Force Base Busted Gaming Reddit The Pentagon and spy agencies have been busted manipulating the Internet – including social media – in order to promote false propaganda and to stifle dissenting information. Earlier today, newly-released Snowden docs showed that British spies manipulate polls, website popularity and pageview counts, censor videos they don’t like and…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense, Web/Tech

Google Search Volume by Language

click for interactive graphic Source: AppSpot

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Web/Tech