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Thread: If you wanted to undermine the United States using the internet..How would you do it?

  1. #1
    Human Bean KnotaFrayed's Avatar
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    If you wanted to undermine the United States using the internet..How would you do it?

    At the same time, how would you go about stopping anyone from using the internet, in the ways you would use it to undermine America, American society and democracy?


    As a sideline. Do you believe there are paid shills/trolls that are regulars that visit this website to foment division?

    If you believe they visit this site, what do you look for to try to identify them and how would a site like this prevent their presence?

    The "sideline" questions are intended to demonstrate how difficult it might be for any website managers to identify and possibly block them, not to deny them freedom of speech, but to block any intent to deceive and abuse freedom of speech to spread lies, misinformation and foment division.
    Last edited by KnotaFrayed; 21st February 2018 at 07:12 PM.
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    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Well, with "state" media like Fox, we already have our job cut out for us.

    So, paid troll or not, you have to deal with them, "post for post."

    What we really need in this country, is for moderate repubs to rebuke the more fascist elements of the right wing: peer pressure. whatever happened to that?

    I mean, I wouldn't want anyone making my party look so bad, or ridiculous, this Trump disaster is in part the result of decades of apathy and "winning" at any cost, even "losing" the country.

    Thx
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  3. #3
    Human Bean KnotaFrayed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thx1138 View Post
    Well, with "state" media like Fox, we already have our job cut out for us.

    So, paid troll or not, you have to deal with them, "post for post."

    What we really need in this country, is for moderate repubs to rebuke the more fascist elements of the right wing: peer pressure. whatever happened to that?

    I mean, I wouldn't want anyone making my party look so bad, or ridiculous, this Trump disaster is in part the result of decades of apathy and "winning" at any cost, even "losing" the country.

    Thx
    Who's going to stop Trump, when for all intents and purposes, Trump the supposed (or marketed as) "non-politician" or "not Hillary Clinton" (who is?), pushes the same ole same ole "tea party"/neo republican agenda, regardless of whether it insults the intelligence of most Americans. Look what has happened to any republican that suggests the tea party/neo republican agenda is "stupid". Bobby Jindal is a perfect example. One minute he was the up and coming neo republican wunderkid (rebuttal to Obama's first SOTU address) and the next, he has pretty much been banished to some republican party limbo for suggesting the republican party had become the "stupid" party, referring to its talking down and treating voters as if they were ignoramuses that could not think for themselves or did not have the brains to see beyond the BS.

    Instead of applying the introspection Jindal was suggesting, the neo republican party rejected his claims and double downed on treating Americans as ignoramuses and eeked out elections for members of their party, perhaps based on a sad truth that the one crack in a system of government that had worked pretty well, had been exploited as Thomas Jefferson had feared, with regard to his reasoning for an informed and intelligent electorate.

    The one thing Jefferson did not count on, was mass media with such an instant and extensive reach and how the Electoral College could be used in a manner that was in opposition to its original purpose or in the very least, could become a tool that installed the very features in a candidate, it was instituted to prevent. The latter meaning that a minor number of a misinformed public held a key number of Electoral College votes, in their hands. The statistics of the 2016 Presidential election, back this up. Only 5 times in history has the winning candidate won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote. One of those times, all the candidates were of the same party and none won the majority of either the popular vote or the Electoral College. Of the four remaining times, all candidates who lost the popular vote, but won the Electoral College were Republican and of the four times, two have occurred in this century, at the time, only one year older than a decade and a half. Of those two times and of all times, NONE had lost the popular vote by such a great amount as Trump and won the Electoral College by a relatively minute number of votes that handed the Electoral College votes, to the winner of the EC. On top of that, the bullsh*t spread about the vote being a "landslide" only epitomized the absurd amount of misinformation and lies, used during the campaign. Once again, a victory need not be great or a landslide, all it needs to be, is just enough, to make it happen.

    And that leads us back to the OP and answering the questions, especially as it relates to what Thomas Jefferson consistently repeated about the importance of an informed and intelligent electorate and how that could be undermined in any number of ways, especially in the age of the internet as well as 2016 being closer to how propaganda was used on the 1930's in Germany, to "convince" people that democracy, not fascism, was the failure and the enemy of the people. It is rather chilling to know that the author of a theory on propaganda and to whom it is to be aimed at and why, was successful in using his own theory, to put himself in the position of power he then used to dismantle and get rid of any hints of the democracy that helped him gain his power.

    Combine those in this nation who wittingly or not, seem to dislike the idea of a free press and an informed public/electorate, with those in other nations who would prefer to see this nation either weakened and in disarray because it has caused their nation problems (sanctions and suppressed dominance in the world) and put them on the internet, aiming propaganda that fits their agenda and narrative, using the same propaganda theory (about who to aim it at and why) that propelled fascists to power in the 20th century and what do you have, but the absurd constructs one finds floated and repeated in memes, all over the place? Who on earth could anyone believe such off the wall constructs were to be aimed at, but those who the following successful theory, suggests, such things, should be aimed at?

    https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/people/DocPropa.htm

    Mein Kampf: War Propaganda

    It's not rocket science and yet it appears to be to those who do not even seem to possess the capacity for the awareness that it not only could be happening, but has been FOUND to have been happening.

    As you have said, the best sane, honest and intelligent people can do, is to keep putting out the fires of misinformation and propaganda that are constantly lit, by troll bots, anywhere on the internet, UNTIL a means to identify and vet potential troll/bots, seeking to start and spread BS across the internet, aimed at people who do not have the capacity or are too lazy and too political to do the necessary research and verification needed to sort the BS from the truth. Sadly as the people of Germany were used, the same sorts of Americans are being targeted and used to spread the BS forwarded separately or in concert, with foreign powers who may seek a different ultimate goal than those who wittingly or not, seek one party power from within the nation and use propaganda, aimed at the lowest level of intelligence to further their agenda and raise it to power.

    It takes a certain level of humility (something Christians claim to believe in) to ponder the thought that we might be being used by others or that we might not be using our brains enough, being smart enough to research what we hear and because we don't are being exploited by those who know we might be uneducated or not care about being intelligent or motivated enough to try to verify what we hear. Beyond having the humility to check out whether we're being intelligent or using our brains, is caring whether we are intelligent and having enough intelligence to ponder how NOT being intelligent leaves us open to all kinds of abuse by those who would exploit our ignorance or indifference to the truth and work it to their advantage, our disadvantage and our enslavement to their lies and abuse. If one does not care about intelligence and truth, why would they then care that someone is abusing their ignorance and taking advantage of them?

    There is a populace in this nation that seems to believe or has been led to believe, STILL (amazingly enough) that an 8th grade education was good enough for daddy and mommy, thus it is good enough for junior. Never mind that today's job market needs a higher level of technical skills, today's society needs a higher level of awareness and savvy about the world around them and how to sort the BS, from the truth, but consider that in the 1930's, no one in Germany and Italy might have believed that they were being targeted for their low level of intelligence and that low level of intelligence was being exploited to cause those with such low levels of intelligence to grasp onto simplistic populist ideals that few thinking, informed and intelligent people would take on face value, without a lot of questioning and rejecting, because the constructs that were facades (populist beliefs forwarded with mob psychology) only, collapsed, having no structure behind them, to hold them up. They worked to propel people to positions of power where they could then remove everyone else's power, including the free press and democratic processes, especially the ones that could remove those in power, from power, once they gained it, should they use that power for evil, instead of good.

    The question all Americans might ask themselves is whether they care about truth, justice and intelligence or do they only care about what they believe is "winning" even if what people "win" is a lie or based on a lie, hurts them more than helps them and profits only a very few, who also happen to be the same people pushing the lie the "win" was based on.

    The strangest thing I have ever experienced in my life thus far is to see how many people (genuinely or because they are shills (foreign or domestic)) claim that Donald Trump is not only NOT an elitist and a hero of the "working class", but is not a politician, when even the slightest investigation into his life's history, including video tape of his own words, records of his own words in print, the few court records made public and his and his company's own confessions, reveals that there is VERY LITTLE, that is honest and forthright, about Donald Trump and that to believe he is NOT a politician's politician, NOT an elitist, NOT self-centered, Not self-dealing, NOT greedy, NOT a cheat (including adultery and shortchanging contractors) and a liar, NOT insecure about himself and thus a raging narcissist......among a whole slew of other things, is to be delusional or in total denial of reality!!
    Last edited by KnotaFrayed; 22nd February 2018 at 03:54 AM.
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  4. #4
    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    It is hard to comment here, for one reason because there is so much to this, so many ways American ideals are under fire, both from hostile foreign actors, but also from within.

    A difficult topic (I can imagine Mueller with a gigantic, yet intricate flow chart tacked on his wall, maybe wall-to-wall!) yet one that needs to be broached, could be the most important topic we face, so thanks for setting it.

    With all the things the Framers could not envision, a complicite Congress must be the worst, because here, yes, it is possible to really "undo" America, start with the courts and the media.

    Long-term, yes erode the education system, health care, social security, anything that hurts the average American and promotes general despair and hopelessness, apathy, cynicism in the American system of democracy.

    This way fewer and fewer people vote.

    As far as spotting foreign trolls, what does one look for...? I look for inexplicable and persistent "kick America" posts, no matter what the topic, it always seems to boil down to "America bad," that's the implied result if not said directly.

    Of course, there probably are domestic players here, I don't know how one detects them, but they are going to be the same dishonest brokers either way and are going to get a similar response.

    Thx
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  5. #5
    In the Human Network Babylon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaFrayed View Post
    At the same time, how would you go about stopping anyone from using the internet, in the ways you would use it to undermine America, American society and democracy?


    As a sideline. Do you believe there are paid shills/trolls that are regulars that visit this website to foment division?

    If you believe they visit this site, what do you look for to try to identify them and how would a site like this prevent their presence?

    The "sideline" questions are intended to demonstrate how difficult it might be for any website managers to identify and possibly block them, not to deny them freedom of speech, but to block any intent to deceive and abuse freedom of speech to spread lies, misinformation and foment division.
    There's at least two on PH imo, and think they are easy to spot. The first thing you look for is a poster with NO original thought whatsoever. Then you monitor that poster to see the other signs..
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    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Then, there is always "If you are not a Russian troll you are doing a pretty fair impression of one..."

    Thx
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    Member Robert Urbanek's Avatar
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    Of course, there is also the theory that liberal media played along with the Republican crazies because they figured if Trump was nominated, he would be easily defeated by Hillary or any other Democratic candidate.

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Trolls and bots are the result of a free and uncensored internet. We really need to figure out how much we want that changed. For instance would anyone join a forum if they had to provide a true identity?

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    Nuisance Factor Yeti 8 Jungle Swing Champion, YetiSports 4 - Albatross Overload Champion, YetiSports7 - Snowboard FreeRide Champion, Alu`s Revenge Champion boontito's Avatar
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    I'd start a fake news site and spread propaganda that fed into the fears of the paranoid snowflakes out there who think everyone is out to get them.

    The Mexicans are coming for your jobs!

    The liberals are coming for your guns!

    The poor are coming for your money!

    The government is coming for your religion!

    The gays are coming for your restrooms!
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  10. #10
    Human Bean KnotaFrayed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Trolls and bots are the result of a free and uncensored internet. We really need to figure out how much we want that changed. For instance would anyone join a forum if they had to provide a true identity?
    With net neutrality, "neutralized" the internet is no longer free and uncensored. The corruption in government, comes from the outside, not from within. Who would want net neutrality neutralized, but those who would profit from it. How, other than lobbying elected government officials and donating to their campaigns, would they get net neutrality dissolved? Where money rules the roost, it's not only government that can be corrupted by payoffs.......Those that payoff politicians can themselves be paid off and where money will now push content even more than it has, surrogate payments (money laundered) to push disinformation, could now become more prevalent than before net neutrality, was nixed. The irony? All those who fear a tyrannical government are possibly duped by their "friends", who turn out to be the tyrants that turn the government into a one party government, with or without the help or influence of any foreign trolls/posers. The weird thing about the notion of suggesting the government should not be trusted is that in reality, one needs to do both and be as wary of government as they are of anyone or any entity. The other weird thing about those that want less government is when their representative make up the majority of government, they are now the "government" and the notion of "less government" or the government is mostly "evil" and "corrupt", is softened a bit because those that claim to believe that are either now the government or elected their people to government. Kinda hard to claim government is all corrupt, elect your own people, then claim the same thing. Neo republicans have come up with what they seem to think America will buy into as their "solution" to still being able to mistrust government, even when it is mostly made up of their people......their solution is to claim or create a construct that points to a "deep state" or in their minds and their propaganda, some rogue government, inside government, that they have no control over, even though they are the majority...... Other parties simply point to obstruction by their opposition, something that is somewhat verifiable.

    Whether intended or not, if you make education difficult and too expensive, you might have an unintelligent and misinformed electorate......Once you have done that, you can use Hitler's playbook on propaganda, successful because of who he theorized the propaganda should be aimed at and why and what history shows, was his success in its application. What Hitler ultimately did, following his success in getting himself put into power where he dismantled the democracy and any of the German people's right to object or means to remove him from power, was a big failure, but not before the death and destruction of millions upon millions of people and of his own nation.

    It should be alarming to any American that a POTUS is calling ANY free press "the enemy of the American people", at the same time he refuses to criticize a former superpower enemy, now headed by a former agent in their version of our CIA and that same nation gives him huge support over his predecessor. In addition, if there was dirt to be found about HRC, why would contacts with Russia to find that out, be so reluctantly disclosed and why would at least two of Trump's "only the best people" (that he hires), now be in deep doo doo regarding their dealings with the Russians?

    There seems little doubt the Russians have been and continue to work to undermine our nation, for any reason, whatsoever and it seems clear, how that are doing it. Posing as Americans or others, makes them hard to specifically point out, but for the constant forwarding of (pardon my French) BS, that is just as constantly and just as consistently debunked and shown to be, BS........ They need not get a huge number of Americans to buy into the BS, just enough to divide the nation and enough to cause a freak election result, where someone can lose the popular vote by close to 3 million votes, but still win the Electoral College, by an effective number of votes that are a mere fraction of the number of votes they lost the popular vote by. Considering this has happened only 5 times in this nation's history and one of the times all candidates were members of the same political party and none got the majority of the Electoral College and of the 4 other times, two have occurred in this century, which is not yet 20 years old. That there was not a general uprising or a lot of court cases regarding how a candidate for President was chosen to be President by the SCOTUS, by a single justice's vote, based on a voting recount in the one state of 50, plus territories and the District of Columbia, the winning candidates brother was Governor and the Secretary of State, who certified the vote, had been co-chair of the Bush for President campaign, in that state. Further the SCOTUS decision was about a time constraint to come up with an equal standard to recount the vote and because there was no time to formulate one, the SCOTUS vote handed the presidency to the person who was ahead, at the time based on and UNequal standard of voting and no equal standard for recounting. If that was not a railroad job, what was it? But America did NOT speak up and let it slide.......If it truly was a railroad job, then why not try it again, if Americans would let it slide, yet again, which, for all intents and purposes, they have, but this time, there is more pushback and people are a little more suspicious of what's going on.

    Personally, I hope we can keep the lid on this nation and that enough people learned their lesson from allowing themselves to be split up or disenfranchised to the point they didn't vote or feeling their vote was not needed or didn't count. I hope we work a change without this nation exploding into something close to or an all out civil war, based on the majority of Americans being fed up with being duped, yet again and being controlled by a minority of the population.

    The founders sought to prevent ignorance from influencing government by use of the Electoral College, based on the idea that delegates or the EC electorate were wiser than the majority of the population, in spite of their still being chosen by a plurality, but on a state basis, rather than national basis. The founders may not have considered that the Electoral College might be no less susceptible than the popular vote, to a misinformed and ignorant public. Analysis later on in history may find that this is the first and perhaps the only time in the history of this nation, that the EC actually caused or facilitated the very thing it was instituted to prevent.
    Last edited by KnotaFrayed; 24th February 2018 at 09:05 PM.

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