#1 By: Xeni Jardin, October 9th, 2013 14:01
#2 By: incarnedine_v, October 9th, 2013 14:07
You mean I can get paid to do this?
#3 By: Jason Andresen, October 9th, 2013 14:29
In the US I think you generally need to look for private companies if you want to be a professional astroturfer. Google "Image management" type jobs if you're interested.
Of course all bets are off come election season. That's the astroturfer Olympics.
#4 By: oktroj, October 9th, 2013 14:34
"maybe we do too"
Who are "we" ?
#5 By: Rachel D, October 9th, 2013 16:44
The CIA has long funded groups to do propaganda overseas, so yeah, it would be silly to think it doesn't happen.
And as a bonus, you get Fox News too!
#6 By: Devin Carless, October 9th, 2013 17:05
I strongly encourage anyone to read the comment section for this one. There's an anti-Semitic homophobic irony-free troll spewing out comment after craptacular comment. Nothing could better prove the point of the article - nationalistic trolls (paid or otherwise) create a chilling climate and turn people away from forums that would otherwise expose readers to points of view that don't accord with the official line.
In one reply s/he complains about being accused of being a paid troll - which the original comment didn't do - and accuses the original commentor of being a paid troll themselves. A couple of softball jokes with little to do with the article are treated as fresh opportunities for grandstanding.
...I really need to get my Department of Troll Studies academic site up and running again.
#7 By: Tim, October 9th, 2013 17:16
I like to imagine that @Antinous left BoingBoing to pursue a solitary quest to hunt down and destroy these people with his mighty Banhammer.
#8 By: Gt Bear, October 9th, 2013 19:50
there is no "we". there is only "them."
#9 By: botness, October 9th, 2013 20:42
The South Korean CIA (actually the CIA, FBI, NSA rolled into one) was found out doing this, thousands of comments per month, retweets and uncounted amounts of upvotes and downvotes, in favor of the conservative party in an extremely close presidential election last year. The conservative candidate (daughter of the dictator of the 1970s) won. This became known well before the presidential election but investigation was suppressed.
After they were put in hot water, they (yes, the CIA, not the police) arrested a senator for alleged conspiracy to overturn the government, and the chief prosecutor (who was pressing for truth) was accused of having a "illicit love child" to pressure him to step down. This is the same organization that "disappeared" political dissidents during the 60s, 70s and 80s. South Koreans are just beginning to realize just how much this unaccountable cadre still rules the roost in the name of national security.
Elections was hard won by South Koreans in 1987, overthrowing military dictatorship for decades, but all the players are still in power. Democracy seems not only hard to achieve, but harder to hold on to.
#10 By: Cary, October 9th, 2013 20:54
Since July of this year, the US govt is free to use propaganda within the US as well... Fox should be able to complain about unfair competition.
#11 By: Cary, October 9th, 2013 20:55
Antinous at work...
#12 By: Yama Ploskonka, October 10th, 2013 00:59
I possibly met one of these when trying to get Wikipedia to indicate at least with a footnote that the USSR has been with Germany during the earlier years of WW2, before being attacked and thus changing sides. That person, alone, energetic and with excellent knowledge of the rules of WP, kept the "facts" as WP tells 'em that the USSR was an Ally - actually it appears it was the main Good Guy, if you look at the box on the right in the WP article on WW2. Katyn, anyone? oh well, astroturfing does win. There were several of us asking for a compromise, even if just a footnote. No dice against someone who appears to be a pro.
@oktroj I wonder, what can "we" do? I don't have the time or skill to fight someone who appears to be a pro. Do I need to get myself another pro? I don't feel it would be right, but then, how do we get the truth come up?
#13 By: Jeff Atwood, October 10th, 2013 02:02
Please! That would be awesome! And certainly worthy of a Boing Boing mention..
#14 By: Devin Carless, October 10th, 2013 02:43
I never actually did all the writing for it I wanted to; my original plan was to make accounts on various forums for the faculty and post troll reviews: trolling, like any other art form, needs novelty and new ideas, and seeing so many promising publish derivative material that could have been cribbed from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion - well, it's a shame.
What little I've done are the Faculty, FAQ and Submissions sections at http://trollstudies.wordpress.com/ .
#15 By: Xeni Jardin, October 14th, 2013 14:01
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