Fox News's astroturfers who defend the network online with armies of fake identities


#1

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#2

I am OUTRAGED that a legally incorporated, profitable news operation is being ATTACKED in this way!


#3

I absolutely agree. It is outrageous, egregious, preposterous!


#4

Why?! Why do you liberal socialists hate america?! We in America have freedom of the press! Freedom to astroturf the HELL out of your opinion!


#5

I am OUTRAGED that a legally incorporated, profitable news operation is being ATTACKED in this way!


#6

My outrage is somewhat mollified by your use of the words preposterous and egregious. Thank you.


#7

This isn't exactly news. There are all sorts of organizations/causes with dedicated internet attack hounds ready to troll any thread discussing their pet topic to death. Bring up Climate Change, Evolution, Fox News, or GOP craziness and you'll see them pop up most of the time. Concern trolls, false equivelency trolls, and straight up flamers are the most common sight. You can't really fight them without seriously heavy handed moderation either, because they have a large number of sock puppet accounts and love to shout about moderator bias.


#8

Seriously, what is this? Why is it whenever there is a post about some egregiously awful (or in this case just drearily pathetic) action by a large institution, there never fails to be a commenter who makes a big dramatic yawn, claims that everyone who is anyone knew that AGES AGO, and implies that it is boring even to be talking about it.

I swear this happened with every damn post about Wikileaks when it was a thing, it has certainly been a post in the first 5 of every single thing I've ever read about the Snowden leaks.

As if knowing something is probably true is somehow equal to or sufficient compared to knowing that something is definitely true.

Seriously, anyone who reads science fiction has probably known or suspected that the NSA was reading and watching everything that happens. But that is very different from KNOWING FOR SURE that it is happening. Because it shouldn't be happening and should be stopped.

Fox deserves to be publicly humiliated for this childish and silly behaviour. Let's not yawn and pretend their pathetic stupidity was common knowledge and it doesn't matter. Fuck that, let them squirm.


#9

#10

This is actually a documented tactic in trying to depress any feelings of outrage by pretending that it is old news: it tries to keep people from getting energised by arguing that they already missed the boat, that the opportunity to change something has long passed.
Hint: the moment to get energised and do something is never passed.

Oh yeah, and extra points for the Nirvana Fallacy argument that since there are enough commenters that will cry foul about moderation, moderation is essentially unhelpful.


#12

Jeepers, and all this time I though boingboing was famous for posting articles that the editors thought were interesting - unlike, I suppose, just about every website in the world. Disemvoweling, anyone?

/Surprised to learn that Fox News is taking its comments policy tips from boingboing. The more you know, eh?


#13

The best part is imagining the tiny elves sitting before those over-sized screens, toiling away. This makes a lot of sense when you realize that they never actually have news. I suspect Ruppert's workshop has another factory area where a head elf mans the opinionator, a large computer, whose main function is produce various versions of outrage, fear and vitriol on the same topics with a seasonal program devoted entirely to "killing Christmas" quotes.


#14

Except that I've been complaining about this for years now. Post some article about Evolution and within an hour I can tell you who will be posting in the thread for the next 5 days, drowning out all possible discussion about the article with copy and paste noise and flames.


#15

I think you're reading a tone into jandrese's comment that isn't there. I see no "yawn" at all, but rather a comment to the effect that the problem is quite widespread and has been known to be widespread for some time. For a reader learning about this issue for the first time through the above article, jandrese's comment adds a helpful bit of broader perspective -- which enhances the sense that action needs to be taken, rather than dampens it. What's sad is that you're on the same side as jandrese yet you're behaving like he's your enemy.


#16

Gotta love you for that quote.


#17

That reminds me of a Roald Dahl story, "The Great Automatic Grammatizator", about a failed writer who builds a machine that writes bestselling books, driving real writers out of business. For now at least the nicest thing we could say is that Fox was employing real people to do its astroturfing.

Somewhere, though, in their IT department I'm sure they have a team collecting comments and working on an automated commenting program that will do their bidding.


#18

And yet, there your comment sits in the open.


#19

I'm going to have to check out that book.

Ruppert could be trying to invent a way to subliminally implant those opinions into unsuspecting minds. I don't have the theme figured out yet....something something, hacking phones and medical devices and whatnot. Cheney would be the partner somehow.


#20

So, how much money can one person make by posting political comments all day? I've been doing it for years for nothing!


#21

"This isn't exactly news" almost always comes across as a smug, self-assured yawn, as it did here. It In this case, it set a bad tone for what is otherwise an informative comment.