En Garde!

En Garde!

How to Control an Internet Forum

The following selection is excerpted from an internet article whose origins are unknown, but available at the link above.

It alleges to be a series of techniques (or dirty tricks) having their origin in former US President J. Edgar Hoover’s counterintelligence program (known by its Orweillian newspeak designation “COINTELPRO”) for the use of its operatives to take control of news groups, by disrupting, hi-jacking, distorting, changing, covering, controlling, and/or discrediting its message.

These trolls have made their appearance on every Resistance forum, and you will easily recognize their presence by gaining cognizance of their modus operandi, outlined below.

Their entire success or failure depends upon their ability to avoid detection as a troll, and once they are identified, there are measures which can be implemented to prevent their machinations on your forum (or blog), presuming you are willing to implement them.

Forewarned is forearmed.

“Cointelpro Techniques for Control of an Internet Forum

There are several techniques for the control and manipulation of an internet forum. Most involve dilution and misdirection. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that even a minimal number of operatives can eventually gain control of an “uncontrolled forum.”

“Forum Sliding”

If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum, it can be quickly removed from public view by “forum sliding.” This maneuver brings unrelated postings to the top of the forum, and the critical posting “slides” down the front page — out of public view. [Ed.: By“sensitive posting of a critical nature”, the author refers to comments that include facts that interfere with the false narrative being promoted.]

In this technique a number of harmless posts are quietly pre-positioned on the forum and allowed to “age.” This is done in anticipation of troublesome postings. Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon to trigger a “forum slide.”

Several fake accounts should be ready when called upon. To trigger a “forum slide” and “flush” the critical post out of public view, it is simply a matter of logging into each account, both real and fake, and then ”replying” to pre-positioned postings with a simple one- or two-line comment.

Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the unwanted posting, it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and useless postings. This effectively focuses the attention of forum readers on non-issue items.

Inoculating the Public Against the Truth

A second highly effective technique is what we call “consensus cracking.”

Here’s how we develop a consensus crack: Under the guise of a fake account, a posting is made which looks legitimate — but the critical point is that it has very weak back-up[Ed.: We assume this counterfeit posting contains some of the same points being made by those attempting to reveal the truth, but in a weaker form. Think of it as an “inoculation.” ]

Once this is done, then, under alternative fake accounts, a very strong position in your favor [Ed.:“your” meaning the disinformant’s favor] is slowly introduced over the life of the posting.

It is imperative that both sides are initially presented, so that uninformed readers cannot determine which side is the truth — but assume they have seen all the relevant facts on both sides of the issue.

As postings and replies are made, the stronger “evidence” or disinformation in your favor is slowly “seeded in.”

Thus, uninformed readers will most likely accept the disinformation. But even if they don’t, they will probably drop their opposition to your posting.

However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then “abort” the consensus cracking by initiating a “forum slide.”

Turning a News Group into a Gossip Corner

Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a “resource burn.”

By implementing continuous irrelevant postings that distract and disrupt the forum readers, they are effectively prevented from being productive. If the intensity of gradual dilution is great enough, the readers will stop researching and simply slip into a “gossip mode.”

In this state, they can be more easily misdirected away from facts. The less informed they are, the easier it is to control the entire group in the direction you desire.

It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological characteristics and levels of education of the group are first determined. You don’t want to “drive in the wedge” too soon. By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.

Collecting Information on Forum Members

This is about determining the psychological level of the forum members, and to gather intelligence that can be used against them. In this technique, a light and positive environment is created, leading to “I’ll show you mine, you show me yours” postings. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided, much information can be gathered.

For example, posing as one of the forum members, post your “favorite weapon” and then encourage others to showcase theirs. It can then be determined what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm, and/or illegal weapon.

Or, post your favorite “technique of operation.” From the replies, methods used by the group can be studied, and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.

Identifying Violent Forum Members

Statistically, there is always a percentage of forum posters who are inclined to violence. In order to determine who these individuals are, you present an image that will incite a strong psychological reaction.

For example, post a link to a video depicting a local police officer grossly abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically, of the million or so police officers in America there is always one or two being caught abusing their powers, and the taping of the activity can be then used for intelligence gathering purposes — without having to stage a fake abuse video. [Ed.: Interesting choices of word in this paragraph. “One or two” being caught?  We know these instructions were written before so many instances of abuse were recorded. Maybe the emphasis was on “being caught.”] 

This method is extremely effective, and more so if the police officer can be made to look even more abusive, by the way the video is introduced, and by selective editing.

Sometimes it is useful to “lead” the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent — that you “do not care what the authorities think!”

Showing no fear may get those forum members who are more silent and self-disciplined to slip — and post their real intentions. From this, the most violent in the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local law enforcement tracking. And his or her posting can be used later in a court of law during prosecution.

Gaining Full Control

It is important to continuously maneuver for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavorable postings — and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public.This is the “ultimate victory.”

Depending on the level of control you obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by

censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, or “accidentally” taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be killed.

However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a “honey pot” gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and, from this point, be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.

Conclusion

Remember: these techniques are only effective if the forum participants do not know about them

Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal precedence to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline.

This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them.

Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share them with HQ.”

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