A Real Website Found; Netvocates Exposed

manufactured grassroots, disinfo, and insidious marketing
Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 25 Dec 2007, 05:59 #1

{with the merged thread, the adjusted view count is +84}


Robin Hamman is a Senior Community Producer / Senior Broadcast Journalist for BBC English Regions New Media. He is currently also project manager for the BBC Manchester blog, and an occasional contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live's Pods and Blogs.

Online since 1985, Robin has been researching and writing about life online since 1995 and holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Essex and an MPhil in Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool. Robin has recently completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Hertfordshire and is now a non-residential fellow at Stanford University's CyberLaw Program.

Robin has written articles about social uses of the internet and technology for major national papers in the UK, magazines, websites and edited academic book collections. He has also been interviewed by print and broadcast journalists about his work and has recently appeared in interviews on BBC London TV, BBC Radio Five Live's Breakfast program and BBC Radio Two's Chris Evans.

Robin lives in St. Albans, just north of London

You can find out more about Robin here.

There's tons of stuff on Netvocates at this dude's blog. Netvocates is the story that helped forge the friendship between myself and may41970. It was a pivotal topic which obviously has influenced our own development as amateur internet bloggers.

Netvocates Thread Started By May41970 at Chemtroll Central

From Robin Hamman's blog. There is a lot of info and links on this at his place. Myself and may41970 don't just talk about paid fakes because we are "conspiracy theorists." This stuff is real.

teaching an old post new tricks: netvocates again

I always find it strange how a post that's several months old can suddenly get a link from a big site and go bonkers with traffic.

Remember a few months back when I started posting about Netvocates, the company that willfully uses B.I.A.S. ["Blog Intelligence and Advocacy Service" - I kid you not] as it's acronym. (I'll link to all the posts I've tagged with Netvocates but, as they're in the business of Astrotufing, I'm not going to link directly to them from this post.)

When I first blogged it, the post got some links from some busy blogs (Daily Kos, Pandagon and others), which were then linked to by lots of smaller sites, and then reblogged by lots of people on livejournal and by forum users. A couple months later, the whole thing was revived with a link from Feministe and traffic spiked up again.

Today it's round three with a link from Crooks and Liars sending upwards of a thousand visitors to that post about Netvocates from way back in May.

These images from Advantage Consultants' homepage never get old. Who knows how many of these paid to post companies there are? This is not a small story is what I am trying to say. The internet has been corrupted. This is the message that a couple of nobodies have been trying to get out at the websites we have frequented.

It all comes out in the wash, may41970. People can see that our story adds up. Then it becomes a matter of them taking a closer look at some of the stuff we have compiled. Then it becomes a matter of the message, not the messengers, the way it should be.

Happy holidays to all the good readers.


Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 25 Dec 2007, 08:28 #2

{on edit: I had no right to post behind Lophofo's back. I had no right to post anything to do with himself as regards to Lophatt. Sometimes I can have a big mouth and get my foot stuck in it.}

Here is a link I found from Robin's website. The main entry was pretty good, but I really got some satisfaction from Cornfed's posts, and how he dealt with the trolls who tried to derail them. What has happened is simply that the facts of paid trolling have become well-known since last year. Our humble forum did not come out of nowhere. We are a result of a few people who could relate to this story when it emerged. Yeah, we all have always known about trolls. But we had never known that there was so much money behind it, what is now referred to as astroturfing.

The paid trolls know they have been busted. So their only strategies left are to call us troll busters anti-democratic, circle jerks, and authoritarian in our own ways. They tell us to start our own little blogs. They tell us how boring it would be if dissent was disallowed.

Myself and may41970 had one rule we wanted to apply to this place. The people had to be real. If I have made any mistakes, perhaps it was with banning Yoyos and Banta. I just felt let down by them not helping out with the investigation of Navari/Hertzberg. My other mistake was cracking down hard on Last Name Left for calling chemtrails kooky. Maybe he didn't realize that his comments were like hearing the "N' word. Sorry if that's an offensive analogy. But to be called kooky is the harshest form of criticism that the "chemmie" can be subjected to. We see the anomalous activities in the skies, and we know for a fact that chemtrails are real.

Otherwise, I don't think I have made too many mistakes at this place. Do chemtrails have to necesarily come directly out of the tail of planes and not through the engines? I don't think so completely. The aircraft can be run dirty. The military jets don't have the jet fuel specifications that the airliners do. Are commercial airliners involved in chemtrailing? No Friggen Way. As I said to Chem11 about a year ago, the only way commercial airliners are involved, is if they are empty of civilians and have been converted for the use by the chemtrailing project.

My main point here is please read closely what Cornfed posted. Then see how what appear to be paid trolls try to do damage control. Cornfed appears to be a combination of the best of the qualities of myself and may41970. I tend to be very idealistic. May41970 is the kind of dude that is tough for someone to pull a fast one over. But the bottom line is that these trolls are everywhere. And it is quite disgusting how there does seem to be this insidious plan to stifle humane dialogue wherever and whenever it exists on the internet. He or she made a lot of really good points.

One last thought. It is tough to know who is fake and who isn't. I am waiting for NatureisMad to answer why he found may41970's comment about the spray from under the sink so rip roaringly funny. Cornfed points out that eventually trolls do show their true colours. But if NatureisMad is for real, I want us all to be able to get beyond this.

It's like with Lophofo. I had forgotten how he explained to me his name at Gastronamus as coming from a sea creature, and it does. There is no way that Lophofo has anything to do with Lophatt, a paid troll who has been involved in cyber bullying both myself and may41970. But Lophofo did make a comment on his HAARP thread, about something about how this info or thread on HAARP would be for our pleasure. I am not saying we should be depressed or sad so much. But what kind of statement is that. Basically we can't win. Lophofo might think I am doubting him or ripping into him. And I am sure I have made some posts that might make someone scratch their head, too. So that is why I don't think it is that big a deal.

But NatureisMad should answer why he cracked up so much over what was really a serious comment made by may41970. Maybe may41970 shouldn't have cursed at him...... Just saying- I am not gonna give up. I am not gonna walk on eggshells. Check out this Cornfed. If I'd only understood his words when I got to Gastronamus, things would have been a lot different. But maybe they would have been worse. Maybe we needed to be taken for a ride by the chemtrail forum fakes in order to truly understand the insidious depths by which they operate. Then we wouldn't realise so well how the chemtrail forum fakes cover just one topic. We wouldn't now realise the insidious depths by which the internet is contaminated by paid trolling.

Good people, keep your chins up. Never lose your idealism and inner peace. Never lose your capacities for critical thinking.

From Deconsumption: Awakening from the American Dream
Trolling for Dollars

From the comments section. Kudos to Cornfed.

Most likely a huge aggregate percentage of posters on esoteric forums are trolls and most of the forum owners are government operatives of some sort. (Either that or the average person is stark, raving mad to a much greater extent than I had realized). This really shouldn't be all that surprising. Western regimes tend to have a very feminine way of dealing with opposition in that instead of outright squishing it they will attach their agents to it and co-opt it, and having managed to eliminate free speech in most offline contexts, it was only a matter of time before they went after the Internet.

The tactics their paid trolls use are easy to recognize once you are sensitized to them, the common thread being that they will be designed to waste the maximum amount their victims' time while requiring the minimum amount of the trolls' time. Hence the trolls will tend to avoid developing a positive viewpoint and instead confine themselves to generic objections to the viewpoints of others that can be recursively applied to subsequent posts. One way of doing this is to simply post insults, but this tends to have the trolls recognized as trolls too quickly, so they tend to adopt a variety of other tactics. A few I've noticed are the following:

1. Active listening objections: The trolls feed back their victim's posts in the form of stupid questions and asinine misunderstandings and simply repeat the process when the victim offers clarification.
2. Demands for (always unspecified) evidence: The troll will say that the victim hasn't offered enough evidence, that his sources are no good etc. and demand more evidence. The demands will always be open ended so that actually satisfying the troll's request for more evidence will be impossible.
3. Relativistic/nihilistic objections: The troll will say something along the lines that no-one knows anything, you can’t prove anything, it's all just a matter of opinion, just because something happened in the past doesn't mean it will happen in the future etc. (I suppose this is true at some philosophical level, but not very helpful to the progress of any discussion).
4. Diagnostic objections: The troll will claim that the victim is only advancing his position out of resentment of his own circumstances, some psychological problem etc.

Sophisticated trolls can mix and match these techniques and manage to fool the naive and stupid into believing that they are in fact urbane and perceptive social critics while making their victims look bad if they object. Using these techniques an experienced troll would be able to crank out posts as fast as he could type, while victims who took his posts at face value would have to spend a long time writing replies. Therefore a single troll working a forty hour week could potentially waste hundreds of hours of time belonging to opponents of the regime. This would have an effect equivalent to imprisoning several people at a much reduced cost.

I'd have to conclude that most anti-establishment forums have been reduced to a farcical waste of time by lowlifes using these tactics, and I'm not sure there is any good counter. Sincere posters should immediately leave a forum where the forum owner allows this sort of thing and join one that doesn't. However, even most previously sincere forum owners could be coerced by the regime into becoming disinfo agents, and those that can't would likely be put out of business by denial-of-service attacks and/or railroaded on trumped up charges like the raisethefist.com guy. It may be that we should give up of Internet forums and find other ways to communicate. Hey ho, the scum always win.

Posted by: Cornfed | June 09, 2006 at 06:33 PM

Want to see a real battlefield? Just go to any even remotely controversial topic on wikipedia. There you will witness the opposing sides continously editing each other's edits. Some topics are edited (or vandalized) every few minutes. It can be quite humorous to see people so obsessed about seemingly trivial details.

That's what I love about the Net. It's the one of the few places where you will still find "free speech" (which includes the opinions you happen to disagree with.)

The boards that I run and participate in allow the opposing sides to battle it out in a war of ideas.

Frankly, I like having people disagree with me as it forces me to become better at articulating my positions.

If the Netvocate trolls want to come to my board or blog, let them.

Posted by: Peter | June 09, 2006 at 10:14 PM

"Sincere posters should immediately leave a forum where the forum owner allows this sort of thing and join one that doesn't."

Good grief, that sounds boring. If you want a place where everyone agrees on everything, go to one of the forums for people awaiting Rapture.

I prefer debate.

Posted by: Peter | June 09, 2006 at 10:17 PM

^ There is a difference between sincere debate and using the shabby tricks I mention to waste people's time, you know.

Posted by: Cornfed | June 09, 2006 at 10:21 PM

I've been online since 1995. Back in the 90s, I spent a lot of time in Usenet groups where people argued passionately. Over the past 6 years, I have spent many fun hours knocking heads with people in several forums where people come to debate politics, Peak Oil, and the environment. I like the intellectual stimulation of debate.

A place where everyone agrees would put me to sleep.

Posted by: Peter | June 09, 2006 at 10:28 PM

A popular webcomic with gamers (Penny-arcade.com) ran into this recently, in their case it was people paid to talk up certain video games in online forums and blogs to increase the sales of crappy (or just low-selling) games. I'd imagine cases of this will only increase with time...

Posted by: petegala | June 09, 2006 at 10:29 PM

"[..]A place where everyone agrees would put me to sleep."

Is this supposed to be directed at my post somehow? If so, why do you not address the points I raise? You seem to be just flogging the same straw man fallacy over and over. That's another familiar trolling tactic, although I thought it to be too crude and obvious to include in my list.

Posted by: Cornfed | June 09, 2006 at 11:10 PM

Here's an idea, go set up your own forum and/or blog and apply your rules re what constitutes "acceptable" debating tactics. Ban anyone who dares to ignore any of them. Show them who's boss! Hell, you could just prohibit commenting altogether.

Most blog platforms are free, so there's no financial excuse not to do so. See what happens. Go for it. Let us know the URL.

As for me, I welcome anybody and everybody. It's more fun when we disagree and have ideas to battle over. It's all about thesis, antithesis, and finally, synthesis.

My preference is for forums where I will find people with opposing views to mine. I like to find out why they think the way that they do.

Posted by: Peter | June 09, 2006 at 11:36 PM

^ Both the original post and subsequent replies have been on the subject of people with ulterior motives using dishonest tactics to mislead people and impoverish discussion. You are trying to set up a straw man fallacy by talking as if someone is objecting to open debate, when in fact anyone of normal intelligence would realize this is not the case at all. Is it that you are too stupid to read and understand the above posts, or is it that you yourself have and ulterior motive to troll and think others won't realize what you are up to?

Posted by: Cornfed | June 09, 2006 at 11:49 PM

Already into ad hominem attacks, are we? I suppose those are acceptable under your rules?

Want to know the truth that I've been skirting around? Here it is: You come across like a control freak who wants everyone to play "his way" and agree with him so that he can feel safe and smart. Sorry, but that's not how it works in the real world where most people play by whatever rules happen to give them an advantage.

Like I said, go start your own little free blog and live out your fantasies about being the master of your domain.

Good luck.

Posted by: Peter | June 10, 2006 at 12:00 AM

^ These idiot posts from Peter actually serve a purpose by demonstrating the kind of trolling tactics I alluded to in the first reply above. Instead of specifically addressing points others make, which would take time and intelligence, the troll posts the same recycled timewasting generic abuse over and over. As stated, more sophisticated trolls manage to package the abuse in different ways so as to avoid detection as trolls, rather than essentially using the same straw man fallacy repeatedly, but the essential features of their tactics are variations on a theme.

Posted by: Cornfed | June 10, 2006 at 12:14 AM

No wonder you need everyone to follow your little rules. I simply dared to disagree and you go postal on me. If you don't mind my saying so, you come across like an incipient little commissar.

For anyone else reading this, I'll close of by saying that the people who run forums have enough on their hands deleting spam for pron, dick enlargement pills, and online poker sites to have any time or energy left over to parse through individual posts to see if they comply with a set of subjective rules such as those being proposed by Comrade Cornfed here.

I run two forums and have mod status on a third. The keys to success in building an online community are in letting people know that they are free to disagree and keeping the rules to an absolute bare minimum. Otherwise the form operator will be talking to himself.

Well, goodnight, everyone.

PS Comrade Cornfed, please do start a forum of your own so that you can go over every post with a jeweller's loupe. The sense of power it will give you will be quite intoxicating.

Posted by: Peter | June 10, 2006 at 12:32 AM

Lighten up, Petey.

Posted by: Mr.Murder | June 10, 2006 at 01:38 AM

Finally a rational argument along with the umpteenth restatement of the same straw man - moderating a forum properly takes a lot of time. Yes, so it may be that Internet forums are inherently vulnerable to trolls and therefore are not the vehicles for serious discussion. However, it would be good if people could at least recognize the familiar trolling tactics and not be sucked in to taking the trolls at face value.

Posted by: Cornfed | June 10, 2006 at 01:43 AM

Of course I'm nothing but a troll myself. So pay no attention to me.

Posted by: Mr.Murder | June 10, 2006 at 01:48 AM

Man, I'm so glad arguements like this don't happen on my blog - probably because next to no one reads it :-)

For the record I think you have some good points to make in your first comment Cornfed. I used to spend time at the New Zealand Indymedia site and everytime a troll dissapeared (occaisionaly from being busted by another reader) another would pop up within a short time to replace them. Of course I have no evidence but it must have happened about 10 or so times that I saw.

Posted by: Aaron | June 10, 2006 at 01:54 AM

What a funny little coincidence that a troll should appear so suddenly in order to support someone attacking trolls?

Are we being trolled by an anti-troll?

Posted by: Scott | June 10, 2006 at 02:20 AM

I think the real question is are you a troll trolling by pretending to be anti anti troll trolls? :)

Posted by: Cornfed | June 10, 2006 at 02:57 AM

Hmmm - I noticed these guys (NetVocates) a few weeks ago (mid May) in my logs.

At the time they were trawling for blogs that mentioned "climate change", "earth" and "al gore" - so my initial guess was that they were doing advocacy / monitoring work for the forces of reality :-)

The CEI "carbon dioxide is good for you" ads came out shortly after which left me undecided about their purpose though.

There are lots of firms doing this sort of stuff and to be honest I couldn't care less about them (as long as they don't come knocking on my door at 2am anyway !).

My view is that all debate is good - if paid trolls (and there are plenty of them out there - I used to bait them for sport for a while) want to leave comments and spark debate let them do their best - its good for honing your own understanding of the world and learning how to mitigate various dishonest talking points when you're simply being bombarded with propaganda.

This doesn't happen often in my little soap box for some reason - presumably because I take the "wrestling a pig in shit" approach - I (like the metaphorical pig) quite enjoy all the muck while the rare troll that visits usually learns one of the basic PR lessons - don't give oxygen to viewpoints you vehemently disagree with...

I was tracking these sorts of blog monitoring and tuning companies for a while - the weirdest one I've seen in my logs is a cross between Douglas Adams and Harvey Keitel - the "brand cleansers" at vroomfondel.co.uk (though I never worked out whose brand they wished to cleanse).

Posted by: Big Gav | June 10, 2006 at 10:18 AM

I know that this will come as a shock to the system to those with a delicate constitution, but sometimes the alleged "trolls" are actually your forum's best members. Why? Well, because they take the effort to stir up debate and get people thinking and talking, instead of merely patting one another on the back.

The good trolls do this with a sense of humor and often end up being far more entertaining than the deadly earnest types. Over the past three months, I have observed the poster who was branded a troll by the regs at a popular blog evolve into the group's best contributor. What was his crime initially? Well, he had refused to play by the rules set forth by a few old regs who had come to think that they owned the blog.

Posted by: Peter | June 10, 2006 at 11:36 AM

Technologically speaking it's easy enough to remove the Http-Referer (sic) URL from a request by a minor browser modification. Any trolls worth their salt are not going to announce themselves as trolls -- or if they are, they'll get more savvy about it soon.

Posted by: Wesley | June 10, 2006 at 02:13 PM

in my experience moderating an indymedia site, i can say that trolling is more likely to close down debate rather than open it up. i suspect that all the talk of how it can contribute to robust open debate is by folks that haven't experienced the worst of it.

i really enjoy discussing/arguing with people of different opinions. but trolls are not simply people of different opinion, they use the type of tactics mentioned by CornFed, usually with an insideous brand of negativity, which scares off anyone who values their time and sanity. on the indymedia site there were a couple of obsessive individuals who i doubt were in the pay of anyone, but at least one cop who didn't identify himself (or bother to mask his ip address) posting snide comments, but also numorous others who might have been paid - so diverse were their tactics at disruption.

some sites/mailing lists seem to escape it, and develop a strong culture which is hard for trolls to upset. best to not waste your time and stick with these i reckon. the internet is still a really useful medium.

Posted by: adam f | June 11, 2006 at 09:09 AM

Well Adam, we will have to disagree then. In my experience, the label "troll" is all too often is used against anyone who dares to disagree with us. (See above example)

I have also seen too many communities deteriorate into dull, pointless, circle-jerks where members only spout the party line and then applaud each other for doing so.

To each his own.

Posted by: Peter | June 11, 2006 at 12:17 PM

Dull, pointless circle jerks that don't get anywhere or achieve anything is exactly the kind of list the scumbag trolls are generally aiming for. Unless they are kicked out immediately they will invariably succeed in achieving it.

Far more insidious than trolls are people who pretend to support the list purpose but are in fact spooks trying to keep people within the tent, gather intelligence and prevent any substantive action from taking place. As stated, it is likely that most of the owners of esoteric lists and forums fall into this category.

The way they go about their business is generally to ingratiate themselves with real freedom supporters and offer them assistance of some kind. So say you had written several pro-freedom essays. They might e-mail you and say something along the lines of "Wow, my friends and I were really inspired by your writings. With your permission I'd like to set up a forum to discuss your work". Or they might offer to host your site for free. In meatspace, they might offer you the use of a hall to hold meetings. If you are lucky, they will use the leverage they gain over you and your group to keep you under control and prevent you from using your time productively. At worst, they will try to railroad you for this or that crime.

How do you differentiate the scum from genuine helpers? For one thing, you should do your homework by, for example, goggling on the e-mail addresses they use and browsing the forums they are associated with. If they are fakes, inconsistencies will likely show up. Then you should monitor their subsequent behavior. If they are spooks, the time pressure they are under can make them quite "bipolar". For example, they might be quite disrespectful to a committed member in public (to keep him from steering the group into doing something useful) and then apologetic to him in private (to stop him from leaving the group and therefore falling outside their control). Or they may be very nice to a member to try and ingratiate themselves in the manner described above, and then suddenly turn on him and disassociate themselves from him (because they realize that he won't fall for their tactics and so have decided to move on to easier marks).

People, don't let yourselves be played for chumps, and take stock of your current situation

Posted by: Cornfed | June 11, 2006 at 09:06 PM
Last edited by socrates on 27 Dec 2007, 19:47, edited 1 time in total.
Nobody - I mean nobody - pulls the wool over the eyes of a Gambini

Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 25 Dec 2007, 18:50 #3

I got this pm from may41970. Part of the reason I wish he would post this instead of pm'ing is because our post counts get skewed. Maybe that isn't too important. But we lost three weeks of posts back in July. I found most of them through google cache and reposted them, posts by Con-trail, may41970, Don Smith, even the one by Crystal Rose who also got her account here deleted. My post count is skewed. I am not sure of what my post per day average is, but it can't be much more than three a day, not that many. {on edit- I just checked my profile. Right now I am averaging 2.47 posts per day for this forum.}

As one can see below, may41970 has given me permission to print his emails to me. I do have tons of those I could post. But I am kind of lazy with that. I end up fixing spelling, deleting the stuff that doesn't really matter. Same with my own emails back to him. So when I put it up as dialogue, if folks are interested in our give and take, I hope they can appreciate that those are abridged versions of what we wrote. I would never write anything for him. I can't believe that anyone could think we are the same person. The astroturfing that we are, to me, is kind of like what Cornfed wrote above. The paid trolls just keep regurgitating the same hollow arguments. As Cornfed wrote, the paid fakes want the few real people to waste time answering idiotic debate points. They first wish to have us think they are real people worthy of our time. Once we figure out that they are fakes, they ratchet up the noise.

If we think they are real, then we spend more time answering their points. When we figure out they are paid trolls, they bring in sock puppets to make noise, to turn people away. The main tactic used by troll linguistic sciences is to bury good points, to obfuscate. Then they try to ratchet up the emotions of real people, to get them to blow up like a raging liberal stereotype, the moonbat thing. Or they try to get us to simply quit.

When all else fails for them, and it eventually does, they resort to the cyber bullying.

Here is the email sent. Please note that my responses are being made now for the first time.

may41970 wrote:I only have a few minutes a day to visit this place. And I see how you always mention me, though I've really added very little here. You know that too. The only reason you mention me so much is that I'm a real person that feels the same as you about so much stuff. Which, of course, is why it's necessary for motherf*&^ers to "prove" that we're the same guy by endlessly reposting the fake spam from those outland message boards where you "admit" to being me.
I just cleaned up your cursing. I have a few problems with ur paragraph. One, stop putting yourself down. You have made many a good posts. Second, you know I am not a big fan of the cursing.

But great points as usual. It's like when I came up with my new catch phrase. Not saying I created it. I'm sure it's been said before.

Can You See What I See?

That's what helped us to become friends. We both had empathy for the other. Sure, we had that falling out over at Gastronamus Cafe. But you saw what I went through. You've been the only person to ever try to talk out what happened the last couple years with the chemtrail forums. Correction- the last year and a half. June 2006- December 2007. Crystal Rose knows only about the debunker trolls at Chemtroll Central.

It's interesting to go back and see that thread we were in. The threads we ended up mentioning, the ones "Greenman" recommended, those were the chemtrail central changes threads, the ones that have been scrubbed and deleted.

I actually wrote a letter to Cathay's List where one of the fake socrates posts landed. I remember there were also a few others of the same post, one at the Oregon Student paper, and at that other place, forget the name, but think it is linked to somewhere here. Oh yeah, the fakes posted the same crap at Herb Allure. I ended up going there for a bit to clear my name. I know of those four places where that one post and a few others were made.

At around the same time, the same crap picked up at the WRH forum. Our thread here was just too good. I think I came up with too much good crap on Rivero. Then I criticized both the Israeli government AND the Jew-haters.

One reason I have doubts about Last Name Left is that he conveniently showed up right before the WRH forum's second shutdown. He made three threads, the one important one has been copied and saved and is here for anyone to read through. Then came the long copy and pastes, with the argument that Last Name Left, urself, and me are the same person. Then the fake lawyer. If Last Name Left is for real, you'd think he'd try to resign up here and spill his guts about what really happened. He may not believe in chemtrails, but we all agreed about WRH and its forum bullshit. I just find Last Name Left's timing at the forum to be dubious. Of course, folks are gonna want to read through that thread I put up, if they want to understand where I am coming from.

So it's tough to know who is real, and who isn't. The only way we can figure that out is if people explain themselves, if they debate and interact fairly and organically.

I can't believe how many of them have used that fake socrates posts. Aubuchont, TOTO, Arcadia Ego, even the creepy Jeff Wells. "I was May41970 at Megasprayer," or whatever the effen it said. Please. That's why I devoted a chunk of time to going after Jeff Wells. He used that fake post as proof against me. I don't think that guy is even a real person. I don't see any articles on him, no photos. It's the same kind of thing one sees with Aubuchont. No Pictures, no articles on him except for the Will Thomas crap.

Here's the email I got back from Cathay's List after asking them for some info.
{on edit: it appears that Cathay's list or the fake socrates took down the fake post. It was meant to run at least into next year. Folks can still see the fake post left at The Daily Emerald with my response saying that wasn't me. By the way, I was in contact with two reporters at that "paper" giving them the scoop on top10th.net. They could see in real time that the domain along with others were being deleted. Neither of them cared enough to follow through on what was obviously a scoop. I even showed them the proof of what was going on. It is here at this website. 160,000 google hits for top10th.net has turned into zero hits to that exact domain. Maybe I need to drop a dime to the Attorney General? I am not scared of them or anyone!}
From: "Cathaylist.com" <info>
To: "Truth Seeker" <yahoo>
Subject: Re: Abuse Report- My Internet Identity Was Stolen
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 18:56:08 +0800

An ads must be email valid before it can be seen on our webstie.
The Email of the ads you mentioned is [email protected]" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false"
You may need to contact a person or company who registered thegame.com.


----- Original Message -----
From: Truth Seeker
To: [email protected]" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false"
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 1:34 PM
Subject: Abuse Report- My Internet Identity Was Stolen

Hi. My username has been stolen by the person at your link from below. They probably used a proxy. I am the real administrator of allaircraftarenotinvolved.freeforums.org

I did not write the following at:

Code: Select all

{on edit- that post above is now gone, but it was made by the fake socrates}

If it is possible to get a tracer to the exact person who posted this, behind the proxy, it would be much appreciated. I would like to make a legal complaint against this person or group. I hope to hear back from a technician or customer service person who may be able to aid me in this process. I have no problems with yourselves. I hope a good person is at the other end of this message and can help me figure out who these people are that are terrorising me on the internet.

Thanks for your time and consideration, "socrates"

But regarding your new thread, it's great thread. I'm no writing teacher like you, but believe me that you, as well as your writing has matured hugely in the last year. You've outgrown all that "fuck you bitch" stuff. Which is good. And is why we are being buried. Make no mistake, you are the king here. And I am guy that helped to prop you up. But I don't have the ability/interest to get into the kinds of details and specifics that you do.
Thanks. It's not too bad. I never really have been a big curser. I'll even ask you to find posts where I was like that. A few, yeah, at DebateBothSides, I was like that. I had a few like that at Huffingpost. There was this creep called Jon Quixote who appeared to be paid to post. I went after him. I even found a photo of him at some place called the tree house. Another poster called JamesR loved that one. It became a classic. The photo found was from some seedy chat place.

But the fakes astroturf that I have a hot temper. I really don't. Just rarely, once in a while. The change I have made is that I try real hard not to directly interact with trolls. I may debate their points. But my goals changed in which after what I went through trusting Swampgas, Aubuchont, and Mr. Ego, I felt like a chump. Like Cornfed wrote above, don't be a chump. So the big change for me, is that I try not to interact directly with them. I actually got very good with that as regards to Kola and Wayne Hall/Halvar at DebateBothSides. One can see that I rarely interacted directly with them, unless it was to pin them down on something.

Like Cornfed said, these fakes are under certain pressures. Reverse-troll operations can be conducted on them. I will say that I am not as cynical as Cornfed. There is something to be said about being a Socrates, the refusing to leave one's home. In other words, why should we quit the internet if we like it? Yeah, cut back for sure and breathe in some fresh air, but you know what I mean. Socrates refused to leave Athens. I gotta stay true to that ideal.

And that reminds me. My propensity to write a lot, to talk a lot on the internet, that is because I am an American. One great trait we have is we are not so shy speaking our minds. But I also feel that the reader who likes it here can tell I am a good person. If we even pick up again for members, I promise to put my ego to the side.

Just thinking, Will Kane and Socrates were perfect usernames for us. We always could have taken an easier road. I could have gone to DailyKos or DemocraticUnderground and never gotten involved with chemtrail discussions and research. You could have bailed out of the WRH forum as soon as the organised trolls started turning on you. I think we have a solid base of good readers because those are real "chemmies" who appreciate what we have done. On the surface, it may seem counter-productive to destroy the credibility of the major chemtrail forums. But we had to do it. And we did. And how long were we actually duped by fakes? Perhaps four months, tops? We can't be as wise as Cornfed and see through the crap so quickly. We did the best we could at all times.

I'm lazy.
Stop it! You're reminding me of some of my Irish friends with the insecurity problems. I won't throw the Irish under the bus, but they got a double whammy. They got burned by the Church and by the British. You have helped me with constructive criticism about my temper, my emotions getting the better of me. You need to be nicer to yourself. You are a good writer. You are a smart kid. Sure, you seem to have been duped at times {just like me with Gastronamus} with Hufschmid, Rivero, etc.. But try to stop beating on yourself so much. Yeah, it's kind of funny to read a title called a drunk post by a drunk or whatever you wrote at DBS. A lot of writers have been drinkers. But seriously, please be nicer to yourself.
I want to write books. Or maybe some blues tunes with the right lyrics. But I want to leave a mark that can't be erased on the electronic internet.
There's always hope. And there's no way Watermelon Slim is that good a musician. It was a joke when all those folks came out of the woodwork saying how great he is. Getting nominated for awards or whatnot is probably similar to operation mockingbird and other forms of astroturfing. A few years back, The Bee Gees were getting a lot of play on the radio. The early Bee Gees were good, imho, but it was strange to see them getting a lot of air time those few years back. It turned out they had made a deal with the radio networks. It's like that Bush hack, Armstrong, getting on the tv news. But this stuff does come out in the wash. People can listen to some Watermelon Slim and see for themselves whether he is good or not.

Hey, maybe he is good and just not our cup of tea. I just tried to find a link for the Bee Gees thing with no luck. My point is, check out Elvis Costello's song Radio Radio. That is the point I am making. Or in other words, it's not what you know, it's who you know.
I looked at my second comment on the "netvocates" thread, and I can see that I should trust my intuition more.


I was gonna post it on the thread, but I didn't want to distract from all the other good shit you had.
Just post away. You love forums. You know it. They don't have to be longwinded like mine. You don't have to write a book. Say one idea gets into your head, share it with us. E.G., Just like Cornfed wrote, yadda, yadda. You know what I mean.

Yeah, maybe NiM is real. Or maybe he's Greenman. I'm thinking Greenman. I remember Greenman from Gastro. Maybe I'm wrong. Just wait and see.

All NiM has to say to get completely absolved, imo, is "Hey, I'm not the best poster in the world and sometimes I say stupid shit. Come on, give me a break. Even you and socrates say stupid shit sometimes. I made one single bad comment, and now you're attacking me that I'm a phony. Come on, give me a fuckin' break. Everyone says stupid shit sometimes. Don't judge me based on a single dumb post I made."

If I were him, (assuming he's a real person) that's what I'd say.
Greenman was the one who pointed out the CTC Changes Threads. NatureisMad does write similar to him. At Gastro, he started writing up about ufo's and aliens. I called him on it. He attacked back. After mmmmbarium got banned by swamparse, Greenman got up and left the next day, from memory here. The big stink up at Gastro was with Mech versus Swamp, with the pseudo-debate on the origins of global warming. You actually got booted probably for that part of the script. You asked folks about Michael Chricton, who is a denier. Since you also were asking Swamp whether he himself could be trusted, you were the kind of person Cornfed referred to who the paid trolls would just get rid of to get to easier prey like myself. But to use the religious analogy again, it all comes out in the wash, and it did. 8)

Off topic, I love the theme song to High Noon. I'm not sure if you've seen the whole movie, but if you can, please do.

From your friend


ps - sorry, I'm tipsy here and I re-edited this letter a few times. I hope I made sense.
It did. They always do, perhaps except for the time you apologized to Rivero. :P

I've seen that movie. Since becoming friends, its meaning has come into better focus.

*** Sometimes we can't run away. Sometimes we have to stand up to evil.
*** Few are willing to take personal risks for the common good.

Yeah, the theme song is good. Don't forsake me, oh my darling. And she didn't. She was the only one to help out Will Kane. For me, I like John Lennon, when he sang Don't Let Me Down. Music is a great thing. Now finding high quality music to post from youtube, that is another matter.

Merry Christmas, my friend.

Christmas is a secular thing in America. I get your point. I do not believe in God either. I mean I do, but it is more like budhism {sorry if spelling is off}. It's about a force for good, for what is right. I am not sure how anyone can be an atheist. I can understqand how people can be agnostic. It turns out that even Mother Theresa had some doubts. Love is the friggen answer. Love and compassion. One thing I notice about the paid trolls is their total lack of love and compassion. One of the best videos I recently posted here was from the Breakfast Club. That was one of those rare movies that was both fun and meaningful. All those kids were being told by society to hate each other, to begrudge one another. But after spending the day in detention together, every single stereotype got revealed as being a hoax. Paid folks are fundamentally about divide and conquer and ratcheting up the emotions and noise level.

ps - remember, you can repost anything I pm to you. Edit it if you feel you should. Just protect my anonymity. Don't mention my wife's name or anything else that could give me away. I may come out someday, but I'm not ready yet.
Not gonna ever edit too much, maybe spelling. But even with that, there isn't much to do. You are a good writer, not just saying that. I hear you with the anonymity thing. I just might come out and make a chemtrail video. I still think there was something illegal going on with that top10th.net, fastusa.net, and onlinehot.net which should have been revealed. Maybe I should post up everything I have on those fockers. Funny how within hours and then days, all that crap got deleted. It looked like some kind of social engineering racket, not a google ad scam at all. Those places were so obscure, how the heck could they be getting that many clicks? So, if that is a real story, I am not scared to reveal my name. I am just not scared of anything any longer. I am past 40 now. None of us live forever. We have to do the right thing when we can. We need to believe in ourselves, in humanity, in love. And that doesn't mean we are gay, like the astroturfers like to promote. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But again, they are all about divide and conquer, whether with sexuality or politics.

Mind control has nothing to do with HAARP. Mind control has to do with paid trolls on the internet. Cornfed is right. Freedom of speech and expression was taken away from out traditional media outposts. It was to be expected that their next target would be the internet.

I am hopeful. Most people are awesome. Those who stink are probably just some sock puppet of someone already nailed as being a sado-masochistic paid fake.

The Breakfast Club

Compassion and love will see us through.

Don't you forget about me

Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 28 Mar 2008, 21:12 #4

BradBlog caught a good one the other day. Check out this Michael Gibbons of Kwaidan Consulting.


In this next one, yours truly almost ended up in the doghouse for no good reason. That Agent99 is on some kind of power trip. But she sounds cute, so I'll let it slide.


Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 05 Apr 2008, 05:00 #5

m3ttt wrote:an astonishing amount of the news comes straight out of PR departments

this is a short film with an interview with john stauber co founder of PRwatch and author

News is PR - John Stauber

{sorry for this broken link.}

Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'

Code: Select all

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/03/r ... cruit.html

Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 05 May 2008, 19:54 #7

Thanks for sharing this info. From a quick search, here is a good one backing up your thread.


That article gave a link to this one by George Monbiot of The Guardian. I remember linking to it somewhere here or elsewhere a while back. It's good to see that more and more folks are connecting dots and following through with research.

The fake persuaders

Monbiot had quoted from a Bivings blog which supported "viral marketing." The Bivings Group has since scrubbed the article titled Viral Marketing: How to Infect the World.

But for now, it is still available via the wayback machine.



Bivings reminds me a bit of Advantage Consultants and other astroturfers who give away the shop and let the world know exactly what they are up to. Like when Shrub said "we need to catapult the propaganda." Ego driven mistakes can lead to greater awareness of some of the most insidious tools used by politicians, military, corporatists, et al.

The cat is our of the bag, so to speak. The internet is besieged with "viral marketers," who we refer to as astroturfers, who others refer to as spooks, hacks, and shills, etc..

Joined: 12 May 2007, 00:58

Unread post 28 Dec 2008, 02:53 #8

This is a good one.

Newest Net Scam: Phony Grassroots Campaigns
by John C. Dvorak

There's no such thing as grassroots anymore. Everything is manipulated and fake. Sound cynical? Read on.

If you find a grassroots campaign of any sort online, you are probably reading a fake—an "Astroturf" rootless campaign orchestrated by a professional being paid by some group to do its bidding. There is no such thing as grassroots anymore. Everything is manipulated and fake....

Just this last week, the Associated Press ran a piece on a slew of Astroturf sites it discovered, including these two phonies:

* Tennesseans Against Teen Drinking was promoted as a font of grassroots opposition to Internet sales of alcohol, but its Web site didn't mention that the group was backed by major alcohol lobbying firms that wanted to kill legislation allowing people to buy wine from other states.

* Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity ran a Web site warning about the consequences of an electricity rate freeze. It was later revealed the group was largely funded by Illinois electric utility company Commonwealth Edison......

Usually these fake sites are just a shade too slick to be legit. This is because the site developers use them as examples—as sales tools—and simply do not want to look amateurish, the way a real grassroots site would look......

While there is no punishment for putting up a fake public service or a grudge site filled with misleading information, there probably should be. I don't believe the public will ever catch on to the BS. And I say that only because to this day very smart people will send around bogus chain letters or pass around "important" information about a horrible virus attack that turns out to be a complete hoax. And, worse, the Nigerian scam letters do work.

The public, in fact, should be concerned about anything put on the Internet. The public should assume that it's all a pack of lies, no matter how often it is reprinted. Many blogs and gossip sites have endless published commentary by readers, which helps sort things out—to a point. I suspect that someday an Astroturf site will take the form of a blog complete with hundreds of fake comments too. The possibilities are endless.

Keeping a few trusted sources is the only answer to all of this. But it is not the complete answer. Even a trusted source can fall prey to a believable story, just as CNN rolled with the bogus report about Steve Jobs having a heart attack when he did not. You just have to assume that you will be fooled once or twice a year and simply live with it as something funny. Hopefully the moment of gullibility will never be too damaging.
Nobody - I mean nobody - pulls the wool over the eyes of a Gambini