The Dark Psychology of Trolling and Astroturfing

Evidently, one of the fastest growing career fields is that of the professional blogger (a.k.a troll and astroturfer). From what I can tell, "everybody's doing it."

In the comment section of the article posted below, can you tell the real "deniers" from the paid "trolls"?

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/pete...

One poster lists Bob Marley as a favorite on his Face Book Page, but dislikes "truthers." Are real people actually this conflicted? Sadly, they probably are!

Some other interesting links:
(Again, the comment sections are just as informing as the articles themselves!)

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/t...
http://www.naturalnews.com/042093_intern...
http://www.infowars.com/yes-there-are-pa...
http://www.vice.com/read/trolls-paid-by-...
http://www.rense.com/general87/trolls.htm

It's also interesting that Psychologists are now researching Internet trolling, but the studies are likely confounded by the presence of so many fake (i.e., paid) trollers/astro-turfers:

http://www.theguardian.com/media-network...

I never thought I would actually miss the genuine troll.

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emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
7 hours 2 min

Sunstein is a classic University of Chicago Neocon steeped in Leo Straussian Machiavellianism.

https://kassandraproject.wordpress.com/2...

"President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11. Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.

Sunstein’s article, published in the Journal of Political Philosphy in 2008 and recently uncovered by blogger Marc Estrin, states that “our primary claim is that conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a ‘crippled epistemology,’ in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.”

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
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6 hours 36 min

I'm currently going through my second "world view" shattering. One would have been quite enough, thank you very much!

This present incarnation of civilization is probably just an experiment in a long line of experiments. But, if the subjects become aware that they are being observed, then their behavior changes. So, Shush!

Planet Earth is ideal for experimentation. It's like a self-cleaning oven. Just toss down one asteroid or comet and you can start the project over again. The various interested ET parties must have agreed to take turns. The whole planet is an interstellar space (and play) station.

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
7 hours 2 min

That's maybe the most sane way to look at it, but I worry for my kids.

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 36 min

I worry about being a statistic.

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
4 hours 1 min
Charles Pope wrote:

Planet Earth is ideal for experimentation. It's like a self-cleaning oven. Just toss down one asteroid or comet and you can start the project over again.

All of this...on a T-shirt. That was beautiful ;_;

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................