Paid Obama Troll
I first discovered the blogosphere in 2005 but I didn’t start blogging until March or April of 2008. By that time the Obama internet astroturf operation was well under way. I first became aware of this massive propaganda effort during the first six months of that year.
I began noticing similar (sometimes identical) comments being posted by people using different aliases. Sometimes at the same blog, sometimes they were posted at different blogs almost simultaneously. This was most notable during Obama speeches and debates between Dick and Hillary.
During Obama’s Greatestest Speech on Race EVAH! two different commenters at Buffoon Juice both claimed (just minutes apart) to have been moved to tears just from reading a transcript. As we all know, even the live version wasn’t that good.
The ABC debate was held on April 16, 2008. It started at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. I was switching between three different blogs watching the reactions. At about 7:45 p.m. I saw comments similar to this one on all three blogs:
Un-fucking-believable. This debate has gone on for nearly 45 minutes, and the moderators haven’t asked a SINGLE POLICY QUESTION. NOT ONE. Nothing about health care, nothing about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, or about how the Bush adminstration TORTURES PEOPLE. Noo, we want to ask questions about Bittergate, and flag pins! Oh, and then there’s Reverend Wright – that’s obviously more important than the country going down the shitter! I can’t fucking believe this! No wonder Bush got re-elected – he had simpletons like Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos helping to keep the American electorate in the fucking dark.
I think it was Joseph Cannon who first noted that many of the troll comments he was receiving at Cannonfire came from the same IP address located in a suburb of Chicago. Vastleft at Corrente noted that different trolls seemed to be working in shifts. Right about the top of the hour each day one troll would disappear and another would show up.
After the creation of PUMA we used to see Obot trolls at The Confluence who would use similar phrases. One of those phrases was “help me understand.” I saw it so many times it was a dead giveaway the person was an Obot. I even did a post about it:
Obama Trolling – The Standard “Feminist” Script
Kevin Dujan of Hillbuzz and some of his regular readers determined that someone with the same name as the founder of the troll-blog Rumproast was an employee at a PR firm that did unspecified work for the Obama campaign.
When you put these pieces together it becomes obvious that there was an organized effort to manipulate public opinion on behalf of Barack Obama.
I’m not trying to suggest that every online supporter of Barack Obama was a paid shill, but not long after he was elected 99% of the trolls disappeared. Most of the ones that remained (like ABG) were too insipid and moronic to be part of any professional operation.
But now the Obama reelection campaign has started and the trolls are back. Here is one using the alias “Montana” that visited here recently:
All hail to Astroturf TeaBparty Queen (ATQ), Michele Bachmann. Isn’t she the one that who rails against the Federal Government while every year she benefits from Federal Medicaid Payments for her Clinic, Federal farm subsidies (talk about a Corporate Welfare Queen), and adopts kids to work them on same farm. Oh yeah she is also a self-proclaimed historian on the US Founding Fathers and US history. The sad truth she will lie to get her way, what honor is there in that? But if you manipulate our US history and double down when you are found out, well don’t go crying to Fake News when you lose. Kind of like the Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Most recent quitter of her Bus Tour to restore America). We remember what happen when after “W” manipulate Florida (w/ the help of brother Jebb) to win the presidency and his failure to win any of the two wars he started that devastated our treasury and ruined our economy for the next 50 years. If the GOP thinks that Michele Bachmann is the answer, good luck with that. After her “John Wayne” mishap and Tom Petty, calling her a thief, well you know, same old Bachmann, you have a winner GOP.
How do we know this person is a troll? Our friend Dario used teh google:
They aren’t coming here to try to convince us to support Obama. I’m pretty sure by now they have figured out we don’t like Obama and never will. So their goal is to discourage us from supporting any other candidate and to convince us opposing Obama is hopeless (“resistance is futile.”).
In other words, they are trying to induce “learned helplessness“
Learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which a human being or an animal has learned to believe that it is helpless in a particular situation. It has come to believe that it has no control over its situation and that whatever it does is futile. As a result, the human being or the animal will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when it does actually have the power to change its circumstances. Learned helplessness theory is the view that depression results from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation, or situations (Seligman, 1975). Examples can be found in schools, mental institutions, orphanages, or long-term care facilities where the patients have failed or been stripped of agency for long enough to cause their feelings of inadequacy to persist.
The fact that you’re here and not at Cheetoville or some other Koolaid blog shows that you are resistant to peer pressure and psychological manipulation. Not only that but knowledge is power – when you know what they are trying to do it loses it’s effectiveness.
The people behind this are experts at propaganda and psychological manipulation. But we’ve been there and done that. This time around we need to focus on exposing them and showing our friends and family members what these people are up to.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32
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