My recent piece on Darren Wilson and the Right-wing propaganda machine is teetering on going viral. It has a few thousand shares so far on Facebook.
"The Facts are None Too Kind to Darren Wilson: How Will the Right-Wing Hate Media Distort the New Evidence in the Michael Brown Murder Case?" has both sizzle and steak.
I am my hardest critic; I also know when I have put in some good work. Hopefully, my most recent piece on Michael Brown, the new witnesses to his murder, and the lynching photography culture of Wilson's supporters, will be a slow burn that gets enough heat stored up so that it explodes--in a good way--on these Internets.
When an essay is gaining momentum it begins to attract the sewer dweller online trolls. Some of them are paid for PR hacks running multiple accounts. The vast majority of trolls are people who lack insight, talent, and the ability to contribute constructively to a discussion. They are the worst example of Plato's chorus as all they can do is throw garbage, complain, and conspicuously play with themselves in the digital public sphere with the hope that someone will comment on their defunct genitalia.
Several Right-wing trolls are trying to pollute the comments section for my recent piece on the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson over at the Daily Kos.
The trolls will likely begin to publicly soil themselves over at Alternet too.
WARN is a moderated site where I only leave up such examples of the talking point detritus which is simultaneously forced out of the mouths and cochleae of trolls because their waste can provide a teachable moment for the rest of us. Consequently, while I try to monitor the rhetorical tropes and techniques of the Right-wing, racist, and other trolls as need be (and because of intellectual curiosity), I do not pay that much attention to them.
Online trolls have a known psychological profile. A question for those of you who encounter their mess on other sites that allow such pollution: what are some of their new tropes and styles? Are there any? Or are they just doing the same old thing? How are Right-wing trolls responding to the Michael Brown case and like situations where white thug cops and other vigilantes have killed unarmed people of color?
The following is a very useful outline of the strategies and tactics used by online trolls. Works such as The 15 Rules of Web Disruption helped me in my decision to make WARN a moderated site, and to also reign in my instinct to engage and confront the online trolls who complain about my work, as well as that of others who are trying to do some truth-telling about the realities of the color line and white supremacy in the United States and elsewhere.
For me, several of the most resonant points from The 15 Rules of Web Disruption are:
3. Demand complete, fool-proof and guaranteed solutions to the problems being discussed. For example, if a reporter breaks the story that the big banks conspired to rig a market, ask “given that people are selfish and that no regulation can close all possible loopholes”, pretend that it’s not worth talking about the details of the manipulation. This discourages people from reporting on and publicizing the corruption, fraud and other real problems. And it ensures that not enough people will spread the facts so that the majority know what’s really going on.
6. Coordinate with a couple of others to “shout down” reasonable comments. This is especially effective when the posters launch an avalanche of comments in quick succession … the original, reasonable comment gets lost or attacked so much that it is largely lost.
7. Use an army of sock puppets. You can either hire low-wage workers in India or other developing countries to “astroturf” or – if you work for the government – you can use software which allows you to quickly create and alternate between numerous false identities, each with their own internet address.
8. Censor social media, so that the hardest-hitting information is buried. If you can’t censor it, set up “free speech zones” to push dissent into dank, dark corners where no one will see it.
11. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
13. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.Trolls want attention, they are desperate to exhaust their foes, and especially on matters of race, the cyber racists' ultimate goal is to create a hostile environment that breaks you via a strategy of repeated and coordinated micro aggressions.
Do share, why do so many folks find themselves compelled to engage in a losing battle with individuals who are not intellectually honest actors?