Quantifying the influence of 4chan's alt-right trolls on normies' discourse


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/23/weird-raids.html


Has anyone ever looked at what it would take to disrupt places like 4chan?


so, places with either kinda dumb moderation, or no moderation at all. I hope their follow-up can help to quantify the value of good moderation.




I’m pretty sure the answer is a global level EMP device…



Remember the good ol’ days when Anonymous was fighting against the Church of Scientology? And the latest hacking news constituted the antics of lulzsec?

Seems like it’s been ages in Internet time since I heard about “Anonymous” doing anything much at all, let alone much that is productive. Now it’s all /pol/ and Pepe pics.


Wouldn’t an anonymous board with no moderation be really susceptible to, say, an army of time-wasting bots?


Pretty good description of what’s there already!


That was already tried by people who are even more assholes than 4channers: ex-4channers with a grudge. It’s the reason you now have to go through CAPTCHA to post or pay up for the very 4chan Gold Account that was being memed on years ago.

Dispersing or disrupting the site won’t solve your problems except temporarily, and you’ll just make a whole bunch of good but very misguided people there who already disdain /pol/posters and frogposters hate you too.


So are people “very misguided” just for posting on 4chan in your opinion? There are plenty forums there with no political agenda whatsoever.


They could do it by keeping only the blue boards, though the retaliation would be immense. It would solve most of their problems, except that most of the “work” /pol/ does is on Twitter these days.


The white paper you linked in the article is not the source for the claim of % of Reddit articles. The correct link to cite that source was the second paper referenced in the nature article. See here.


No. Posting there does not make you misguided. But many people who have no other direction in life gravitate there due to its reputation. Those who stick around for a while find their direction in life there, whether it’s upwards, downwards, leftwards, rightwards, forwards, backwards, or at right angles to all of these. Or sometimes nowhere at all.

The problem, I think, is that most of those who ascend from the cess pit don’t bother lowering a rope to help more people up and out, never mind going back in and helping people figure out that there is somewhere called “up”.

If you want to defeat the alt-right, I believe, you have to go in there (and other virtual places like it) and help people figure out that they have a choice that doesn’t involve becoming a racist, viciously hateful memester. Give these odd people something else to feel like they can belong to. Right now, it’s pretty much not even a contest: the ironic, self-deprecating hate of the aimless sees the unironic, self-aggranding hate of the alt-right, and it becomes the most natural way to act.


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