Monday, October 24, 2011

How to identify trolls on #ows and #agw

In the #occupywallstreet campaign, and #climatechange struggle, we are plagued by provocateurs and agents of oil and the 1% which attack from the outside and from within. Here are some tips on how to identify them.
  • high tweet/follower ratio on twitter (amazingly useful metric)
  • super-radical terminology with confusing array of targets
  • insistence on moral absolutes, one must be for/against x
  • focus on divisions in the 99%
  • focus on any path (money, law, celebrities) except mass unity 
  • obsession with corporate media coverage
  • focus on conspiracy or implying explosive hidden truth
  • asserting belief required for understanding
  • asking for money (unless homeless, then give)
  • saying "I support your cause, but..." (if they really support, it's their cause)
  • always criticizing 99% leadership or persistently negative
  • ad hominem attacks, or scatology (to make new people give up in disgust)
  • generalized misanthropy - "all people are greedy," "all politicians are crooks"
  • claiming all the answers are in one document or candidate
  • blaming government for everything
  • never directing comments against the banks or oil industry
These characteristics apply to both internal and external trolls. Use common sense and trust your instincts. There are always honest people who are misled and temporarily fall for scams. Some are just people trying to sell something.  Just keep shining daylight on the subject and the trolls will scatter.