Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trolls & Signal Jamming OccupyWallStreet

Blackout: censoring?

More and more analysis tools are being focused on Twitter's apparent "censorship" or downplaying of the #occupywallstreet hashtag. One good measurement graphic can be found here. Even taking into account the observable traffic on that channel and the throttling Twitter and associated apps (Tweetdeck, etc) will do when a stream exceeds the bandwidth you've set for it, there does seem to be some sort of downgrading of that hashtag's Trending measurement from inside Twitter. External tools are recommended for more measurement testing.

There are people also investigating what appears to be censoring/deleting comments off You Tube pages on OccupyWallStreet videos. More investigation is needed.

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Trolling the channels

What I'm looking at tonight, beyond the usual media roundup of stories, is the Rebuttalists. These are the people supposedly "debating" and flooding the channel with "common sense" in order to drown out the signals being propagated at #occupywallstreet. It's an ancient technique of internet disinformation called "trolling."

A troll does not seek to engage in reasoned debate. A Troll is not there to make points; a troll is there to stir up action; to divide people, to steal focus. A troll is a thief, hijacking a thread and enjoying the resulting chaos and fractioning of the issue by nitpicking here, there; changing positions. A troll does not have a position or focus; the troll's aim is to disrupt dialoge. It is a method of psyops and disinformation.

So tonight is deconstruction & analysis night. I'm going to look at some "positions" being touted by these trolls and compare them to protester/supporter tweets.

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Quick-and-dirty semantic analysis of tweets 9/29/11

[Tweets in italics as usual]


Almost all of the "opposition" tweets come in a few narrow sets:

1. they are young snots
2. they are old hippies
3. they are young dirty hippie kids with no jobs.
3. you use corporate made tools you hypocrites
4. no one's talking about you (on lamestream media)
5. It's already over so don't bother
6. Bad things are happening in other parts of the world and you are being selfish because you're only protesting here and not about all the other injustices in the world.
7. You won't tell us what you want; you have no position.

The smelly hippies will get bored and go home. Or they'll do something stupid and get their asses beat

#OccupyWallStreet The interviews are hilarious. The signs are adorable. At least the hippies of the 60s could thread together a sentence.

The hippies, bongo drums and police are multiplying but the press are largely gone. Guess it's old news now

Stop crying. You break the law, you get arrested. No one is picking on you. #occupywallstreet is a joke.

BREAKING: #OccupyWallStreet has personally assaulted hygiene

The #OccupyWallStreet loons will prove they have a clue when they go protest outside of Solyndra. #morons

Wall St won't have to do nothing. So far #OccupyWallStreet has shown folk don't like/trust WallSt. That's been old news for 70yrs.

I think #occupywallstreet would be better off trying to occupy a job and some responsibility.

I find the #occupywallstreet protests stupid. Wall Street isn't guilty of Crony Capitalism, Wash. DC is! #locationfail #wrongtarget

so apparently people have started this #occupywallstreet thing because they want to get rid of the rich who have worked their way to success

Sadly, tea party protesters couldn't sit on sidewalks for two weeks, having, you know, jobs and stuff.

Those #OccupyWallStreet people are still there? Funny how no one is talking about you or what you think you're accomplishing.

The Fed isn't on Wall Street anymore, nincompoops

Shorter #OccupyWallStreet: "We're going to sit here for as long as it takes." Normal people: "For what?" Hippies: "Not sure yet."

Has the so-called people's assembly at #occupywallstreet agreed on anything or are they still just repeating themselves?

Can somebody tell me whether #OccupyWallStreet has any clear vision/purpose whatsoever?

Been wondering the same thing... RT @JustBeinHonest: What's the purpose of this #OccupyWallStreet mess?

Proof #occupywallstreet is clueless about economics: They want to start their own newspaper.

You don't know who/what you're protesting and I'm sure 3/4 of you don't know the first thing about business.

So, the attack is basically: You are all unwashed old/young hippies/college snots; no one's talking about you; it's already over so don't try; you're ungrateful louts; you should attack Washington because the enemy is government, not moneymen; there's injustice in Somalia (or wherever) and you are hypocrites because you are using tools made by corporations to talk bad about money; get a job, kid!

And... that's about it; repeated endlessly with variation. The same "talking points," which are not points of debate or even positions other than "you suck." You can read the same kind of trash talk in any history book; I incorporated a 1931 Slavik poster in my State of Mind exhibit which translates: "Gypsies are smelly and need a bath." No lie. I'm sure other archeologists besides a friend of mine is aware of Ancient Greek graffiti saying much the same thing: "You sucketh."

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Let's contrast that with tweets from the OccupyWallStreet supporters:

#occupywallstreet has demands, including re-instating Glass–Steagall and eliminating corporate personhood

demands are coalescing around a simple boildown: get money out of politics

The way I see it, we're out to demand accountability and responsibility and financial reform.

I see a real protest of financial sector recklessness, power

one of the biggest issues with the movement is #getmoneyout

It's about big, established companies bankrolling laws that support big, established companies.

Massive financial losses, ten's of thousands of layoffs in the last 3 years @Liberty Mutual.

46 000 000 - the number of Americans on foodstamps.

Banks profit from food stamp and unemplyment benefits "debit cards"

BoFA plans to start charging customers who make purchases with a debt card a fee of $5 per month starting early next year..

Today, 1 in 4 credit card holders are paying interest rates of more than 20%. That is usury.

The media is asking "what's it all about?" to #occupywallstreet. Where were those questions regarding derivatives and default swaps? huh?

Let's not be so critical of #occupywallstreet for their organizational issues. Every movement in history began w/o a Master Plan.

How many teabaggers, carrying menacing signs & guns to a POTUS appearance, got pepper sprayed by police?

Would believe what U say abt #OccupyWallStreet if I had not seen press falling all over to cover 2 doz Teabaggers at a waffle house.

Democratic process takes time to resolve; position, grievances need be heard, collated, discussed.

Every story needs new wrinkles and new angles to keep going, so just keep talking about the story.

If there was ever a case to be made that #occupywallstreet is just a bunch of hippies, that case doesn't make even a shadow of sense anymore

... many more tweets distributing information like you will find linked on my past posts and this one under "Media." Hard information, gleaned from the web: analyses of the Wall Street Bailout; where the money went and who it came from; Glass-Steagall being repeated endlessly as a kind-of rock-solid inclusion; financial analyses of CEO salaries vs company performance; endless retweeting of each major lamestream media story that's been published/televised in the last 7 days; unemployment figures; tax tables; Constitutional amendments, NY civil law and police procedure...
a self-organizing neural network composed of human-net interlinks, distributing information.

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You do see certain positions coalescing; most of them revolving around people's awareness of the lobbyist's corruption of law and decency by subverting the representative process of democracy ie "get the money out of the political process".

You also see the experimentation with the controls of the media channels; the questioning of ownership, the reporting or blacking-out of the demonstrations, the Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Facebook and You Tube "censorship" issues; a great deal of comparison between lamestream media coverage of Tea Bag protests (they carry guns and "dangerous" signs, tie up traffic and are not pepper-sprayed or given "hard takedowns" ie police brutality) to the non-coverage by major outlets (some are running to catch up now because of the Pepper Spray Martyrs) of mostly peaceful, non-abusive protesters. Sure they are shouting! They are protesting, duh.

There is comparison worldwide of the coverage of foreign media; who's been there from the first; who's catching up or opened up and who continues to sit on the story in line with US lamestream media. People are exploring the parameters of the media network and finding out which nodes are free, which nodes are compromised and where alternate nodes of information lie. They are mapping the system.

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The picture is of a bunch of reasonable people struggling to coalesce a democratic consensus. It's only been 12/13 days and you are talking about many thousands of people, including the ones who only have netpresence in this protest. The First Continental Congress lasted 51 days [Sept. 5 to Oct 26, 1774]

The continual badgering about "what's your point/position/protest?" is easily countered by the information being retweeted; by a little web searching; by a little reading. People point the trolls to this information as a good-faith answer to "what is this all about anyways" [the disingenuous troll 'hook']

But that is not at all what a troll wants; a troll isn't seeking to debate you. He's seeking to make you take the bait with his initial, harmless-looking statement. When you engage, the dialogue goes like this [taken from one of many exchanges I have had in the last few days]:

TROLL: What exactly is OccupyWallStreet about? Can anyone enlighten me?

MS: Best thing to do is review this channel, follow some of the links, read. There's a lot of material

TROLL: OIC in other words you don't have any ideas.

MS: The history of economics and finance is a bit long to go into in a Twitter format.

TROLL: So you don't have any REAL ideas.

MS: I'm not here to teach lazy students. What are YOUR ideas on why this is happening?

TROLL: a bunch of dirty smelly unemployed hippies with nothing to say.

another example:

TROLL: You don't know who/what you're protesting and I'm sure 3/4 of you don't know the first thing about business.

oh, we know business. MONKEY BUSINESS. That's why we'd like to see it out of real capitalism.

TROLL: Explain to me in great detail what the 'MONKEY business' is and how you plan on resolving it.

MS: then send me your email because that won't work in a Twitter format. Or just follow some of the links in the channel

TROLL: [cricket sounds]

That's how a troll works. It's pretty apparent to anyone who's spent time on the nets. They only want to maneuver you into a false position, created by them, in order to attack that position and force you into defending it. Trolls throw up strawmen, ad hominem attacks, informal fallacies and the rest of the weapons in a bad debater's arsenal of semantic tricks and strategies.

These are the people who only consider "winning the debate" and not actually debating the merits of any issue. Their goal is power, not reasoned dialogue. They don't care for reason unless it can be used as a tool for winning. They see debate as a contest of power and "winning" as silencing opposing views. That is not winning anyone over to your side with information or appeals to reason; that is semantic warfare. Their other goal is also simple: to disrupt the debate and drain off energy, derailing a conversation or honest debate into one-way back alleys of bickering feints.

Ok, enough about trolls; it's boring, right? They have nothing to contribute and steal your energy, so it's not worth engaging; just ignore their little personal attacks and proj on. Because as this tweet says,

Folks, when the professional right wing astro-tweeters start hammering on #occupyWallstreet tag, you know they're getting worried.

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Live stream from Liberty Square

A bunch of nice stuff tonight; first, links to coverage in Independent and Lamestream Media, then some nice posts/op-eds and some informative article links being passed around as the protesters and supporters find information that is central and focused to the protest on certain issues:

Wikipedia - OccupyWallStreet page
w00t! Something easy to point the "what is this all about?" people to

Here's a handy tutorial about getting out of Zip-tie cuffs [youtube]

New York Patrol Guide Procedure Number 212-95 [Pepper Spray]

General Assembly Minutes 9.29 &pmEDT

A Message from Occupied Wall Street - Day Eleven

OccupyWallStreet Official Demands
Your chance to make your voice heard and considered by the General Assembly

A Map of the Occupy***** demonstrations now in progress or planning has been posted

Everyone is excited about several big unions and personalities coming out in support of OccupyWallStreet:

Transport Union Workers to support OccupyWallStreet [Dailoy KOS]

United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United [NYmag]

Some of the bigger alternate-orgs are getting involved finally:, Coalition for the Homeless, Working Families [NYbusiness]

Sen. Bernie Sanders praises ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests

Media Mogul Russel Simmons comes out for Occupy Wall Street

Former NY Gov. David Paterson tours Liberty Square [AM New York]

John Stewart Takes On Tony Bologna: The Vigilogna


5 Things that #OccupyWallStreet Has Done Right
This is a reply to the Mother Jones article that pissed people off [including me]

We are the 99%

Great collection of photos/statements sent in to #occupywallstreet of protesters who cannot be there.

A Report from the Frontlines: The Long Road to
#OccupyWallStreet and the Origins of the 99% Movement

What I Saw at #OccupyWallStreet Last Night, and What I Saw When I Left
Thoughtful opinion from a protester

Connecting the Dots
Maybe yer not doin' it wrong

Occupy Wall Street and the limits of spontaneous street protest
Another post that doesn't understand the network model of democracy

Beautiful statement video from MyPeace Media

25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis [Time]
Good roundup of what's connected to what

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% [Vanity Fair May 2011]

Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail? [Rolling Stone Feb. 2011]

States' unemployment debit cards often carry hidden costs, fees
How banks profit off unemployment

Wall Street is SCREWING the NYPD too [DailyKOS]

Lamestream media

Fox News attacks female protesters for being pepper-sprayed
Disgusting, and typical. I guess they don't read the NY Times...

Protestors Continue ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Demonstration In Zuccotti Park [CBS-NY]

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, trying to save face after the police brutality videos gained widespread recognition, says that the protesters cannot be removed from Zucotti Park (now Liberty Plaza) [New Yorker]

CNN FINALLY covers OccupyWallStreet, then just happens to have technical difficulties [DailyKOS]

Adbusters sparks Wall Street protest

Canadian media trundles in [although Canadian Tweeters have been steadfast from the beginning. Here's a cold one to ya, eh!]

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.. and of course. my favorite Tweets O' the day:

John Perry Barlow, founder of the EFF, now heading to #occupywallstreet 9/29 6:30EDT and tweets "#occupywallstreet is lovely. Calm, polite, intelligent, young, efficiently self-organizing. I'm proud to be an American."

CONFIRMED: former Gov David Paterson (NY) arrives at #Zuccotti Park..

You can now look up on Google maps Zuccotti Park as One Liberty Plaza. Try it for yourself. #occupy #occupywallstreet

One pizza sent to the #OccupyWallStreet protests came all the way from South Korea!

Does anyone else find it ridiculous. That we get better news from comedy central. Than the MSM?

RT: #occupywallstreet has 3107 tweets/hr but is still not trending. Harold and Kumar is trending with only 323 tweets/hr. [one of many stat-analysis monitoring tweets using Twitter monitors and mappers external to Twitter]

These next three deal with the fact that the Dr Conray Murray trial, involving the death of Michael Jackson, is getting more media coverage than OccupyWallStreet:

RT @BorowitzReport: BREAKING: CNN Announces Plan to Cover #OccupyWallStreet Once Michael Jackson Trial is Over

Disappointed that CNN wld rather spend HOURS on the MJ trial than just a minute on #occupywallstreet @cnn @AC360 @andersoncooper

Rumors state that Michael Jackson's body has been exhumed and supports #occupywallstreet

Please raise my taxes. I will not accept a country that neglects the poor and the most vulnerable. [Uncle Rush, a well-known entrepreneur and social activist]

I don't need 2agree wth everything they say.But I believe tht they have the right 2say it w/out boots on their necks!

Oh #OccupyWallStreet? You could probably get support for untangling business and government from the people who work in those buildings.

Not on same page as #OccupyWallStreet culturally, but great to
Do the protestors think protesting about a range of grievances dilutes their message?

So, Bank of America is really about to institute this $5 fee for debit card use, but "premium" accounts are exempt

#OccupyWallStreet is experiencing a burst of rapid visibility and support. Established groups are now getting involved

Egypt inspired, planning repeat tahir square

Write in big letters OCCUPY WALL STREET on your $ bills and pass them on!

Did you know that our 'economy' only grows if people go into debt, or borrow 'money'?

The #OccupyWallStreet thing going on and this is what @HuffingtonPost is talking about?!

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Day 12: Trolls & Signal Jamming

My name is Anonymous Kitty
and I approve this message

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  1. You just keep getting better Miso! *hugs*

  2. *Old dirty hippies* LOL! U are the best @Miso <3