How To Spot A Twitter Troll 400


UPDATE: GCHQ are currently advertising to recruit more trolls to carry out precisely the activity I outline here. As their advertisement puts it:

We are looking to recruit individuals who can contribute to a step change in the UK’s ability to project cyber power against our adversaries, in order to keep the UK safe. You will be at the forefront of the nation’s covert online capability. We want people who can help support and run operations that disrupt and degrade our adversaries’ ability to do us harm, and contest malign activity in cyber space.

I do hope this helps cut through the cognitive dissonance for those of you who found it difficult to come to terms with the truth of the below.

ORIGINAL POST

It is a matter of simple fact that the British government employs a very large number of people whose full time job is to influence the political narrative on social media. The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity Initiative, MI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet.

I have long been fascinated by the disconnect by which people, who do know and understand that the security services employ tens of thousands of people and have budgets of billions, nevertheless find it hard to accept that they may come personally into contact with their operations. Therefore when I state that the security services infiltrate groups including environmentalists and the SNP, and were involved in the Skripal story in ways not public, there is a peculiar desire among people to reject it as it is uncomfortable. Equally while people do know the security services are committing huge sums to social media influencing, to point out any of its instances brings derisive shouts of “conspiracy theory”.

It was when I was pointing out the many omissions and inconsistencies in the official version of events surrounding the Skripals, that I first came under sustained attack from accounts on twitter, often making short and very sarcastic comments. I confess for a while this did actually get me down. I have no difficulty with people disagreeing with me, but I find it depressing to encounter unreasonably closed minds.

But in quite short order I started to note a few defining characteristics of the scores of accounts from which I was being attacked. These are false accounts, but they are trolls not bots. There are people from the 77th Brigade, GCHQ or other agencies sitting behind a desk and running scores of fake accounts each. As there is a real human being behind them, unlike bots, these trolls can reply if challenged and attempt to promote a real identity. But there are a number of key giveaways:

1) Many times more “follows” than “followers”.

In establishing a fake identity, the first step they take is to follow other twitter accounts. This is because a percentage of twitter users will automatically follow you back, so if you quickly follow 500 people you will likely get 100 “followers” back immediately. That appears to establish a real identity with followers. There are some interesting consequences of this technique. These troll accounts remarkably often follow sports betting twitter accounts, for example – because those accounts automatically follow back.

2) A tweet record consisting almost entirely of retweets.

This is the most important single giveaway. If you select “tweets” under the account, these accounts have zero original content. Their timeline consists of retweets of pro-Establishment content, leavened with retweets of the single characteristic that was chosen to establish a “character” – eg “Everton supporter”, “gym fanatic”. They never initiate a topic or posit an original thought, but work entirely in “retweet” or “reply” mode.

3) Follow and troll

Accounts which had nothing in common with me in terms of interests or political views, would suddenly decide to post a brief highly disparaging or ridiculing comment, and always simultaneously would start following me. The motivation of somebody who opens with rudeness yet simultaneously starts following is plainly aggressive – and not usual behaviour.

4) No convincing tweet history

A great many of these accounts are very newly minted at the time of first propaganda use. Generally, even those routine retweets are few and far between. Occasionally the troll twitter account claims to be longstanding – dating from 2009 or 2010 – but there is no evidence of actual (re)tweets going back more than a couple of years. This either suggests wholesale sleeper accounts were established, or twitter is actively involved in helping produce fake ones.

5) Lack of a normal “cluster” of followers

On most real people you can look through their followers and spot a little cluster of family, friends or workmates. The trolls don’t have normal roots.

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How normal is this five point profile? Well, I looked through 200 entirely random twitter accounts and found 9 that would fit this profile – 4.5%. Yet surveying the threads from my own tweets, over 75% of the replies which I would characterise as hostile come from accounts that fit this profile. By which I mean meeting all five points. This analysis meets the scientific criterion of being replicable. You can test those figures for yourselves by looking through twitter. That is plain evidence these unusual profiles are being deliberately deployed – and highly probably deliberately created – for hostile intent.

I had spotted the giveaway profile of those attacking me a year ago, and had been mulling over posting on it. What determined me to do so was clicking on the “Mark Field” twitter trend following his physical attack on the female climate change activist. I was astonished by the sheer volume of tweets defending Mark Field. Clicking on them, I started to realise that what I was seeing was a massive deployment of twitter troll accounts all precisely following the profile I have outlined. They were putting out a unified message that the lady may have been an armed terrorist and that Field should be praised for his resolute, even heroic, action.

So here is the fun bit, some examples you can look at. I don’t claim these are all trolls. Some of these may be real identities who just happen to match the twitter troll profile. They may follow many times more people than they have followers simply because they have deeply repulsive personalities or nothing interesting to say. But remember we are talking about trolls not bots, so there is a human multiple account operative to all of the actual security service troll accounts, whose job it is to respond and attempt to portray a real existence. Unlike bots, if challenged, troll accounts will answer.

Look out yourself for troll accounts with these characteristics on twitter in future. Exposure is the simple way to nullify the vast state propaganda programmes on social media.

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400 thoughts on “How To Spot A Twitter Troll

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  • Goose

    I think anything done in a domestic UK context should be in the public realm so it’s debated properly and approved by parliament. The risk is we end up with what are basically lots of state cyber-vigilantes policing what is ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ free speech based on their own secret criteria; with the power to then to act using DDoS or other malware deployed with very little justification. I don’t necessarily think the GCHQ advertisement is sinister due to the vague outline of the role. It could be taking action against known overseas’ radicalisers active in UK forums; or shutting down those posting links to sites with malware. Or even churning out phishing emails aimed at defrauding esp. older less savvy UK citizens. It’s not really clear precisely what the role entails.

    • Shatnersrug

      it’s a massive change of approach. Britain’s security services never used to speak of adversaries, it was always presented as keeping the country safe and promoting Britain abroad. Adversaries was a term we used to snigger at the Americans for using.

      • N_

        Britiain’s security and intelligence agencies didn’t have any public face at all until recently. Some still don’t.

      • Goose

        Adversaries was a term we used to snigger at the Americans for using.

        The US has always seen it like that. Probably because the internet does have defence project origins. A network built as protection against single point of command failure in the event of a catastrophic war. The internet’s ancestor ARPAnet, was part of the DoD’s Advanced Research Projects Agency(ARPA) ancient network created in 1957 in response to the Soviet’s launch of Sputnik. ARPA became DARPA then divided into ARPAnet and Milnet before both were dissolved in 1990. TCP/IP were a US creation at UC Berkeley in Northern California.

        Sir Tim Berners-Lee merely finessed it all with HTML: HyperText Markup Language. Much unnecessary confusion over who invented the internet with many able to claim credit really.

  • Joiningupthedots

    Good analytics Craig. Zero Hedge has lots of this stuff going on too……I even caught two of them talking to each other via the comments, seriously!

    Anyone have any idea what has really happened to the Skripals?
    Im of the opinion that Sergi is dead and Julia is being drugged and brainwashed until its safe to release the wreck that she will eventually become.

    • Robyn

      Rob Slane of the blogmire has posted what he expects will be his last writing on the Skripals. He has done a sterling job garnering information and highlighting the holes in the official theory, and has a few dedicated amateur sleuths contributing useful comments under his articles.

  • Paul Barbara

    I trust these two links won’t be judged O/T, as they both are about interference with what we access online:
    ‘Who Created Facebook? New Letter from Alleged Insider Claims Zuckerberg is a Frontman for Military Intelligence’:
    http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/who-created-facebook-zuckerberg-dossier-darpa-cia/
    and: ‘EXCLUSIVE: Google to block all anti-cancer, “anti-vax” and anti-GMO websites at the browser level as tech giant goes all-in with pharma drug cartels’:
    https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-07-02-google-to-block-all-anti-cancer-anti-vax-and-anti-gmo-websites-at-the-browser-level.html
    The strong suspicions that these giant sites, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc are hand-in-glove with the ‘Security’ Services are almost certainly spot on, even to their inception.

    • SA

      Paul
      Not so much OT as OTT. We are all aware of the manipulations of Google but what you get reading Natural news and Organics is a series of articles each referencing each others’ articles or their own articles with allegations based on zero evidence just statements. It is this sort of thing that gives adversaries a chance to label people as conspiracy theorists. And to lump weed killers with vaccines and chemotherapy is just plain ignorant. Please do not take these hoax websites at face value be more critical and seek independent evidence and find out a bit more about how vaccines have transformed the prevention of many diseases and how chemotherapy, a crude first step in treating cancers, is evolving.
      Anyway thanks for reminding us not to consult these two websites in future.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ SA July 3, 2019 at 05:11
        As you are aware this is not the place to argue vaccinations etc. Some articles in Natural News I agree with, others I don’t. The point is, blanket banning because the site questions ‘Official Narratives’ is blatant censorship, and to be deplored.
        This site has frequently been attacked by ‘forces’ in support of the PTB; would you be happy if Craig’s alternative to official ‘narratives’ was also censored?

        • SA

          As far as I know Craig never publishes ‘fake news’. These sites do and are misleading and dangerous and there is no loss if they are censored in my opinion.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ SA July 3, 2019 at 05:11
        ‘… And to lump weed killers with vaccines and chemotherapy is just plain ignorant…’
        Perhaps it is you that needs to watch where you get your info from – there are a slew of reports about Glyphosate being found in vaccines – are they all fake news?
        ‘Glyphosate Found in Childhood Vaccines’: https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/glyphosate-found-childhood-vaccines
        ‘…The ever-present narrative that vaccines are perfectly safe is falling apart after testing shows that many childhood vaccines contain the carcinogenic chemical glyphosate

        Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup and hundreds of other herbicides, has been found in vaccines. Moms Across America received preliminary screening results from Microbe Inotech Laboratories Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri, which showed:

        MMR II (Merk) vaccine had 2.671 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate
        DTap Adacel (Sanofi Pasteur) vaccine had 0.123 ppb of glyphosate
        Influenza Fluvirin (Novaris) 0.331 ppb of glyphosate
        HepB Energix-B (Glaxo Smith Kline) 0.325 ppb of glyphosate
        Pneumonoccal Vax Polyvalent Pneumovax 23 (Merk) had 0.107 ppb of glyphosate
        The MMR II vaccine had levels up to 25 times higher than the other vaccines. Following our test, additional independent tests have confirmed these findings at or above the same levels. The tests were conducted using the ELISA method….’
        Cast off your blinkers.

    • Kempe

      Good for Google and about time. It’s taken Facebook long enough to take down anti-vax sites and those pushing fake cancer cures.

      • nevermind

        Can you name any of the fake sites,Kempe, so we can stop wasting our time on them? Denial of facts do not equate with superior knowledge,imho.
        The derision of natural drugs that have been used for thousands of years and, shown drastically in current days, can help people, especially young children from epilepsy, reducing 200 tremors/day to almost none, without ever been scientifically assessed, and what was a large study in1947, coming out with the same conclusion,i.e. that this natural drug helps, was suppressed and buried.

        They knew this for 5 decades, but still send thousands to prison, declared them deranged criminals, and much more. Now big pharma wants to lay their hands and control a natural drug everyone has been growing for themselves for decades.

        Add to this, two Tory’s are growing 40 acres under police protection and with full knowledge of the cartel/Home office who sanctioned this cutting edge business for the Adkins family, whilst busting small scale growers nationwide.

        Thats is only one example, but a very big one, and the commercialisation of this drug in this country, will for years be tinged with the smell of corrupt self serving Tories who kowtow to big pharma and their,often, obsessive pricing.
        looking forward to hear your fake cancer story.

        • SA

          I agree mostly with what you say but these are two separate problems. One is that Big Pharma is out to make big money, mostly by charging a lot for drugs developed by others and this sharp practice must be condemned and regulated. But this does not mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Big pharma also produce highly effective vaccines and cancer treatments and without this major expansion there would not n=be as much progress in prevention and treatment of many diseases.

        • Kempe

          I suggest you do a quick search for MMS, Miracle Mineral Solution, on the search engine of your choice. Here’s a quick overview:-

          https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/miracle-mineral-supplement-as-a-cure-all/

          There were quite a number of sites on Facebook promoting this dangerous rubbish which Facebook initially refused to take down as they “didn’t violate Facebook’s terms and conditions” ie they were making money out of them.

          Desperate parents were encouraged to give their sick children enemas (which should only be done with medical supervision) of what is essentially industrial bleach on the promise that it would cure cancer, AIDS, autism; you name it. The result is really a lot physical and mental harm to the child.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kempe July 3, 2019 at 07:11
        As long as they don’t censor the trolls…

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kempe July 3, 2019 at 07:11
        I suggest you too read my comment to SA @ Paul Barbara July 3, 2019 at 16:59
        So if you had your way, this independently sought testing by a Mothers Health site would be censored?
        Why the hell didn’t the Big Pharma Vaccine producers check this out? Because they are not liable for vaccine damages, due to a government protective of ‘Big Donors’.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Kempeb July 3, 2019 at 17:34
            No, not UNTRUE, the silly bollo^^s say: ..’A closer look at the science shows that what MAAMs and Samsel describe is a very unlikely scenario..’ Where is the science in that?
            And similar prats say Glyphosate doesn’t effect humans, whereas it is an incontrovertible fact that it affects human gut bacteria, extremely important in human health and it’s immune system.
            Anyhow, thanks for at least trying to respond – you normally just ignore stuff you cannot respond to.
            And obviously, Moms Across America must, perforce, be a fake organisation. Why on earth should mothers in America give a truppeny f^ck about their kids?
            But you, obviously, appear to!

    • N_

      Google are scum and always have been. It’s a kind of litmus test for whether people are worth talking to or not: do they have the activeness of mind to be able to understand to a noticeable extent what Google is and to criticise it? Or do they think it’s just a noun formed from the normal verb for “to look for stuff”, and “obviously” beyond criticism in the way that one doesn’t criticise the sky or the mountains?

      Anyone who slavishly follows Big Pharma propaganda and gets their children vaccinated with every vaccine that is “recommended” and who rushes to get vaccinated against colds and flu every autumn is a complete and utter moron.

      It is about time that some of the moon-faced gumbies whose lives have involved so much “activity” on the internet to realise what the internet is all about and to find channels of communication which can be used for genuine contestation.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ N_ July 3, 2019 at 13:17
        I’ve just downloaded ‘Brave’ and made it my default browser. It’s Open Source, and though I don’t understand a much about computers, it is supposed to be faster than Google, as well as more privacy-conscious.

      • SA

        N_
        Rather sweeping statement
        “Anyone who slavishly follows Big Pharma propaganda and gets their children vaccinated with every vaccine that is “recommended” and who rushes to get vaccinated against colds and flu every autumn is a complete and utter moron.”

        First vaccines are manufactured and marketed by big pharma after they undergo extensive trials in research laboratories that are not directly under the influence of big pharma so this is not propaganda.
        Secondly, I would say that making sweeping statements about vaccinations is not really a sign of a discriminating mind, surely vaccines have saved millions of lives?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ SA July 3, 2019 at 16:24
          ‘…First vaccines are manufactured and marketed by big pharma after they undergo extensive trials in research laboratories that are not directly under the influence of big pharma so this is not propaganda…’
          It appears you haven’t seen my comment to you @ Paul Barbara July 3, 2019 at 16:59
          It obviously shows that Big Pharma do not rigorously test their products, and there are many instances where tesing that shows problems is not rectified, but simply covered up.
          There is enough material available to make anyone who cares about vaccines seriously question their blanket support for their ‘safety’.

          • SA

            Paul
            I dare say I know much more about vaccines, medical and scientific research than you do. I am trained to read a medical and research paper. I have myself done research and know the methodology of research and how to deduce the validity of scientific research. I say this not to be patronising but to say to you that it takes a lot of training and effort to go through this process. To rubbish this painstaking research and say that it is all big Pharma propaganda is the most blinkered attitude. Yes big pharma is out to get a lot of money but not by killing us all.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ SA July 3, 2019 at 19:32
            You may well have more knowledge of these issues than me, but that dows not give you any sort of ‘carte blanche’ right to rubbish comments, without giving your evidence.
            I put up evidence showing independent assays had shown Glyphosate in vaccines.
            Kempe replies with some waffle abut some jokers saying it is ‘highly unlikely’.
            The science in that? The science would be multiple assays showing no Glyphosate -n but of course, that might prove problematic, seeing as it has been found.
            Is the independent analyst crooked? So show it – shouldn’t be too hard.

    • SA

      Paul
      I am not going to make any more comments on this thread because I think you treat this as you treat religious belief. You cannot convince a religious believer by evidence or logic because belief does not need logic or evidence. Therefore I will not convince you and you will forever be using non-evidence and statements as proof. Have a good evening.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ SA July 3, 2019 at 19:38
        So you won’t be contesting my comments? What can I say, except I agree we seem diametrically opposed on many issues, so frankly I won’t miss you.

        • SA

          [ Mod: Unfortunately this anti-vax conspiracy theory is well off-topic, so the comments will be pruned accordingly. Please make copies of any foregoing comments you wish to retain.

          You’re welcome to continue the debate in the discussion forum. ]

          Paul
          Your are upset that I will not be contesting your comments, so I have to be fair to you gone back to look at the ‘evidence’ connecting glyphosate with vaccines. As expected I wasted my time. Look at this for details.

          https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/09/20/glyphosate-herbicide-vaccines-frightened-parents-know/

          The problem with the original study as discussed in this article are summarised:
          1. The results were published in a non-peer reviewed journal which means there was no critical analysis of the data.
          2. The techniques used are not suitable for assay of trace contaminants but may be used as a cheap screening test which will then require confirmation by more sophisticated techniques.
          3. The laboratory used is a private lab not qualified to be authoritative in these matters.
          4. Vaccines go through a rigorous process of testing and no such contamination has been found by other much better qualified labs.

          Now you can answer me by saying that of course this is all a big conspiracy theory, as you do, and that all scientists and politicians and everybody is trying to pull the wool over our eyes, or you can argue scientifically if you can.
          I have never used glyphosate, not necessarily because it is potentially carcinogenic, because if it is, it is a much weaker carcinogen than other very commonly used agents such as some solvents, let alone cigarettes and alcohol both of which are indulged in by many people who want to ban vaccines and endanger the lives of children.
          The reason I dislike Glyphosate is a simple political and economic one. It and GMO foods are being used as a political and economic tools to monopolise food control by corporations to the detriment of small farmers everywhere. It is well documented that there has been a steep rise in suicide by farmers in India related to this introduction of GM foods. Certainly also the environmental damage from glyphosate and GM crops is much more damaging to wildlife and in turn, mankind than the postulated unproven links produced by people unqualified to make these wild allegations

          So much for linking Glyphosate with vaccines.

  • giyane

    Classic post. This also explains how oafs like Boris , May and Hunt can rise to public prominence on a fart- cloud of blatant lies , prejudice and freemasonry, which is in reality state-generated levitation with zero intellect or human appeal.

    On Saturday I looked at a house for sale in one of England’s “shires “towns. Viewings lasted a week followed by a swift purchase by a property developer. No normal buyer looking for a family home on a mortgage got a look-in.
    It was a fine example of provincial corruption by insider dealing amongst professionals well known to each other

    Twitter is represented as ” social ” media but Craig exposes it here as a tool of capitalist power. Soft power. That is how the criminal UK state can fabricate a manufactured political fraud against Russia in Salisbury, in the Quaint old towers of He Quaint old shires.

    The entire provincial professional community is owned by the Tory state. Brilliant post Craig.
    More LinkedIn than a Bluebell wood . The soft foundation of imperial power.

    • Loony

      I have no idea to what extent freemasonry explains the political classes. It is though the case that they rely on both lies and prejudice.

      However this has nothing to do with Twitter, trolls or any other form of social media. Politicians lie because the population demand that they lie. Politicians are no more than a reflection of the society that they purport to represent.

      A swathe of the population are unremitting in their determination to force politicians to lie when it comes to leaving or not leaving the EU. They insist that politicians lie and demand conclusive proof that they are liars. Should this proof be delivered then they will be jubilant and bow down in grateful appreciation before the alter of lies.

      Some lies are more subtle than others, as you demonstrate with you tale of woe regarding the housing market. The real estate market has nothing whatsoever to do with Capitalism and everything to do with socialism. The problem that you have is that the “wrong people” are beneficiaries of this particular form of socialism. Socialism in the real estate market will, if left to its own devices, ultimately turn the entire population either into being homeless or into being serfs or both. Just imagine the consequences if socialism were to be applied more widely and benefit the “right kind of people”

      • N_

        The real estate market has nothing whatsoever to do with Capitalism and everything to do with socialism.
        That statement fits well with your chosen name here.

    • David

      giyane,

      Why do you seemingly associate corruption with capitalism and with Tories?

      Corruption is the abuse of power, and stems purely from the possession of power, and it will occur in all societies to a greater or lesser extent depending on how much power over others such societies grant to individuals.

      So corruption occurs to a greater extent in totalitarian societies than free societies as such societies allow greater amounts of power to rest in the hands of a few, whether such societies are Tory or Labor. Capitalism is orthogonal to corruption. While it is certainly true that capitalist societies can verge on totalitarianism (e.g. fascism, oligarchy) as we see today, and that such societies are therefore corrupt and evil, it is also perfectly possible to envisage capitalist societies which do not allow such concentrations of power, and such societies have existed in the past.

      However I would also argue that the absence of capitalism can only be achieved by a totalitarian state and therefore that capitalism itself is necessary to prevent corruption, even though it is not sufficient to prevent corruption on its own. The implication would be that all uncorrupt societies must be capitalist, although all capitalist societies are not uncorrupt.

      It’s also worth noting that education and culture influence the level of corruption in a society, and the slow and possibly irreversible decline of both in the West is consequently an absolute disaster.

      It might also be true that all societies, including those societies which feature capitalism, decay over time, gradually allowing greater and greater concentrations of power in the hands of a smaller and smaller number of people until they collapse. But that is not a sufficient reason to decry capitalism. In general the systems which are advocated as replacements (socialism, communism) are simply natural evolutions of a decaying society and will act to increase corruption and result in more misery for all.

  • AAMVN

    To anybody doubting the existence of publicly funded groups whose role is to monitor and subvert what is being said on Twitter, facebook et al…just ask yourself the question – “Why wouldn’t they do this?” Other countries do it. And the UK has always been top of the league in propaganda . This is propaganda too but just in a newer medium.

    The powers that be are terrified of what the internet can do to them. Anybody can become influential if they put the time in and have something to say that resonates with the public.

    It might sound like paranoia but it is not.

    • David

      @aamvn

      these publicly funded militaristic troll farms are active 24/7, they are endemic , illegal , often committing the illegal acts which are then mentioned in the daily press as being outrageous behaviour. They are hence nit just used for prompt diversion on blogspots, but also used for advancing the government’s control on society , by stirring up the “something must be done” D.Mail/Express crowds.

      I have long been a watcher of the Trolls, I was hoping that a university is studying them, but I suspect British universities ‘cyber’ budget might come with strings, departments subverted to •not• research in certain areas. I have noticed the Trolls not just here on CM, but also really helpful UK websites like thestudentroom; have gchq mapped out the societal damage that might occour when the youth of the UK is brought to realise how manipulated they are?

      Finally, the existence of these Troll farms is obviously not paranoia, agree there, because even the BBC confirms & talks about them! – though of course implying that only “the other side” is using them…..dee dah….

      I’ve noticed the large *erman car manufacturer “**” using presumably BND/BfV Troll farms for industrial/commercial reputation management, couple of years ago. ( censored as I’m not allowed to talk about some subjects )

  • Alex

    Trolls are (human) employees doing the work they were assigned (and, perhaps, agreed) to do. Some of the trolls are on the web only to make money & meet a quota, while others may genuinely like what they do and might even have a talent. And there will be plenty in between – a majority, in fact, as in any large group of employees.Thus a simple 4-rule classification matrix is not going to work very well. I suspect that it will mostly filter the “non-affiliated” accounts i.e. the real, genuine – and independent – twitter accounts whose owners do not share the agenda of any of the large (political) groups and have the nuts to say what they think in a straightforward manner (yes, rude too). I also would speculate that with ~10k employees in the system with multiple accounts each, it is not difficult to create any followers/follows ratio which someone might feel should be there.

    If I were you, I would not pay attention to trolls as their job is exactly to put you off balance. While a flood of garbage diluting the discussion section might be annoying, its effectiveness is the same as that of spam – or flies on a hot summer day. And trolls’ activity actually improves your statistics.

  • Sopo

    Clearly the ctiteria you cite could be automated and employed by Twitter. Indeed, they probably are when it’s Russian/Chinese trolling. The moral: all trolls are not created equal.

    • Alex

      The weaponised “anti Semitism” comments on social media to attack Corbyn are also trolls, yes?

      • nevermind

        Maybe they were,Alex, maybe some of the comments were placed to annoy and reap anger, My guess is that they were only supported by a very small minority of Labour members who are jewish, and a massive input from trolls operating from the embassy or from a rogue country wanting nothing else but to dethrone the elected leader of the Labour party.

        They failed and the continuous fruitless/fact less attacks from this vociferous minority is now creating its own insecurity and fear, just to carry on, take the shekel and keep those friends in power, regardless what the majority of members say about the need for social policies, an end to child poverty, a Green Deal, a fair and proportional voting system for all elections, and PEACE.
        If you don’t like that message, don’t repeat silly questions, or alienate yourself further into a shrill crescendo.

        • N_

          My guess is that they were only supported by a very small minority of Labour members who are jewish

          As usual the dominant Jewish organisations whether they are political party caucuses or community organisations functioning at country level (such as the British Board of Deputies, which is elected) support the existence of the fascist occupationist ultra-racist ethno-supremacist regime, even if for propaganda purposes they may be a teensy bit eyebrow-raisy about its “excesses”. Nobody is stopping a large majority of Jewish members of the Labour party (i.e. Labour members who consider themselves to be Jewish) from setting up their own organisation which denounces Zionist dirty tricks and its dirty fascist state if they want to. The possibility doesn’t even arise, because the existence said large majority is purely imaginary.

          • Jimmeh

            The number of Jews in Britain is about 275,000, according to Wikipedia. This is probably an underestimate, due to flawed census questions, and the reluctance of some Jewish communities to participate in censuses at all. So let’s say 350,000 – roughly the number of Labour Party members. Most of them live in England. It is pretty implausible that they are mostly Labour Party members. For example, the ultra-orthodox community have little in common with Labour values, other than that a small subset of them oppose Zionism (for religious/scriptural reasons, not out of any political principle).

            Wikipedia says: “According to a poll published by the Jewish Chronicle before the 2015 General Election, 69% of British Jews surveyed were planning to vote for the Conservative Party, while 22% would vote for the Labour Party. I’d guess that the ones planning to vote Labour were not opponents of socialism, and would continue to vote Labour.

            It is good and proper that Labour has always offered a home for Labour-inclined Jews; but there is no room in the Labour Party for ethno-supremacist apartheid racists. Labour is and always has been an anti-racist party, and it has no need for the votes of a few thousand ethno-supremacist infiltrators. The Jewish Labour Movement is ethno-supremacist, and many of it’s members are shills paid by the Israeli Embassy. The Jewish Labour Movement should be banned from the party, and all its members expelled. Same goes for Labour Friends of Israel – Labour is no friend of the Israeli government. Perhaps all these “Friends of Israel” might even show their true colours, and join the Tory Party.

            Let the accusations of antisemitism in Labour come from members of other parties, They will then cause a lot less damage to the Labour leadership. It will then be much more obvious that a lot of these preposterous allegations are nothing but attempts to smear an authentic socialist Labour leader who has never, ever been a racist.

      • Shatnersrug

        N_ anti-zionist jews in the Labour Party are being subject to the most shocking amounts of antisemitism – not from the left but from dreadful trolls like David Collier who runs an organisation of aggressive and sometimes violent Zionists who call themselves gnasherJew. They have harassed and hounded many left wing anti-zionist Jewish organisations like Jewish voice for Labour. And two members have actually been prosecuted for violent attacks of a free Palestine demo in London.

        Antizionist jews like Tony Greenstein and Jacky Walker have been hounded from the party but shady organisation such Jewish Labour, who you neither have to be Jewish not a labour member to join, it’s where most of the nastiness comes from being that it is funded almost entirely by the Israeli embassy.

        What is frustrating is how pathetic PLP members are, even those sympathetic to the left and Corbyn are absolute wimps when it comes to any accusations of crimes against identity politics. This is a result of cultivating MPs from universities rather than the shop floor where middle class people like to martyr themselves at the alter of identity politics and are usually quite inflexible with their views as to what might be acceptable or not. This makes them extremely susceptible to malevolent organisations such as Israel because they are naive in the extreme.

  • Kempe

    It must be very tempting simply to brand anyone who sees the world differently as a paid troll, shill or whatever. That way consideration or discussion of any awkward facts they might bring to the debate can neatly be avoided. That’s where the real cognitive dissonance lies.

    • David

      @kempetai

      anyone who sees the world differently doesn’t have a trillion dollar Military budget, wheras the Trolls do……

      you seem somehow impatient to minimise the existence of Trolls?, have you never been to Norway

      • Shatnersrug

        Kempe is a paid troll as is martined and Charles. Why on earth Craig allows them to continually disrupt threads is beyond me. It’s fairly obvious that anyone as disinterested and annoyed at Craig’s site – as they always appear to be – simply wouldn’t keep coming here.

        Craig always used to refer to his belief in free speech, but honestly? Charles? What did he ever contribute? And kempe??

        Someone early posted the CIA’s list of how to undermine an organisation, I’ll paste it below. Once you’ve read it, go back and read any post by Charles, Kempe, Martined or any of the other crackpots and you’ll see straight through their twaddle. I’m sure Kempe will try to respond to this, but I won’t know because I now almost instinctive scroll passed without reading any of his twaddle – I suggest everyone do the same. Remember a troll is useless is no one reads it.

        Ok so the OSS(forerunner to the CIA) list on how to sabotage an organisation 👇

        Organizations and Conferences

        Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
        Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
        When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.
        Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
        Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
        Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
        Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable”and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
        Managers

        In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers.
        Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.
        To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.
        Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
        Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
        Employees

        Work slowly.
        Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can.
        Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.
        Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

        • Iain Stewart

          “Kempe is a paid troll as is martined and Charles. Why on earth Craig allows them to continually disrupt threads is beyond me.”
          What evidence do you have to support this claim that they are not merely troll-like volunteers whose comments irritate you? Charles’s impish squibs (or should that be cruel bullying) have been banned for weeks now in any case, which I miss, “disruptive” or not. Like Craig, I always find it informative (or at least mildly entertaining) to hear views I don’t share, such as those of Brexiters or other varieties of British nationalists (unlike Hatuey for example, who is wilfully deaf to monarchists and marxists).
          More to the point, why do you and Loony (another rich source of harmless fun) both spell altar with an E?

    • Laguerre

      You’re just being wilfully blind. The Israelis have been quite open about their troll farms, with rooms of students at the Hebrew University doing the hasbara, with scholarships subsidising their studies.

      • Sharp Ears

        True.

        How Israeli spies are flooding Facebook and Twitter
        https://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israeli-spies-are-flooding-facebook-and-twitter/27596
        25th June 2019

        ‘Israel secretly operates a troll army of thousands, partly funded by a government department.
        The Ministry of Strategic Affairs is dedicated to a global “war” against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.
        To conceal its involvement, the ministry has admitted to working through front groups that “do not want to expose their connection with the state.”’

          • Laguerre

            I guess the link to an arguably anti-semitic article is a hasbarist attempting to discredit SE’s post, in fact an example of a troll in action.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Laguerre July 3, 2019 at 09:38
            I found the article very interesting. It is not the sort of information a ‘Hasbarist’ would wish to promulgate, even to discredit someone’s post.
            Did you not find the link illuminating?

          • Doodlebug

            @Laguerre

            Guesswork is to be dismissed. The article is lengthy, objective, and tells it like it is. Furthermore the author is himself jewish. Quite who is the ‘troll’ here then becomes an open question.

        • Sharp Ears

          Further. Mr Block has resigned from the Israel Project.

          ‘Head of Israel lobby group exposed by undercover film resigns
          Lobby Watch
          3 July 2019

          The Israel Project’s Josh Block has stepped down. (Al Jazeera)
          The CEO of one of America’s most influential Israel lobby groups has stepped down, amid reports of a funding crisis.

          Though unacknowledged in the reporting, Josh Block’s resignation as head of The Israel Project comes less than a year after an undercover documentary revealed many of the group’s covert activities.’

          https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/head-israel-lobby-group-exposed-undercover-film-resigns

    • Tatyana

      Kempe, as an abstract philosophizing, this idea is correct. But, logically, you put your comment in this particular discussion, so I think you mean Mr. Murray, do you? I think, yes, you specify with the words “paid troll, shill or whatever”, so you definitely mean Mr. Murray.

      Given that, your premise “anyone” is wrong. Mr. Murray emphasized his “not every” thought in the article itself, and made a few yet clarifying comments about his point on the first page.

      Having already made the wrong premise, you further develop the idea into a whole paragraph.
      1st phrase – ascribing the wrong position,
      2nd – describing how this position brings benefits in disputes,
      3rd – concluding that this is made to manage the conflict between the ‘facts’ and the ‘desired’.
      —-
      This logical mistake is known as deliberate distortion of the opponent’s position, in Russian it has a short name “чучело” (*scarecrow, dummy).

      • John A

        Hi Tatyana,
        As ever I admire your erudition. Interesting you say the Russian term is a ‘scarecrow’. The English term is ‘strawman’, which scarecrows are often made of. Great minds and languages think alike!

        • Doodlebug

          Well spotted. She’s a smart cookie is Tatyana (I don’t know the Russian for that expression). Just to add that Bertrand Russell once famously demonstrated at a dinner party that one can prove anything based upon a logical inconsistency. As the lady said, “Having already made the wrong premise, you further develop the idea into a whole paragraph.”

        • Tatyana

          I identified the trick and looked for its name in the russian RationalWiki. I translated russian word “чучело” as “scarecrow”, but correct term used by english-speaking auditory perhaps is “strawman”.
          I believe it is the same Formal Logic manual.

          I’m not keeping all the words in my head, John. But I’m able to recognise the trick used.

      • Kempe

        The comment wasn’t directed specifically at Craig, no. It was a general point but as we say in this country “if the cap fits wear it.”

        Why do you think the premise is wrong?

        • Tatyana

          Hey, Kempe, I showed that the hat you’re selling doesn’t fit 🙂
          *Just as the diameter of the gas cylinder does not fit into the hole in the concrete slab.*
          Why so persistent?
          If that’s your character trait, consider selling winter blankets to Africa, it’s low competition and easy money.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “anyone who sees the world differently”

      There is a world of difference between people holding views and opinions and those that project a blatantly false narrative in contradiction of the facts or promote a geopolitical political agenda that is no different to the geopolitical political agenda promoted by various governments. If someone wholeheartedly believes the nonsense spouted by lying and corrupt politicians and their sidekicks in the corporate media then they have my complete sympathy.

        • David

          I sympathize entirely. Years of working on a computer have left me highly dependent on the ability to subsequently, and repeatedly, edit what I have written. The lack of an edit button on this forum has frequently embarrassed me too :-).

    • SA

      Kempe
      I think that your comment is out of place. Craig has written an article where he identifies 4 factors that to his mind, characterise a troll. He by no means includes everyone who disagrees with him, otherwise it would have been a non-article. I know from this blog for example that although you disagree with Craig on many issues, and with many other bloggers, that you are not a troll.

  • David McG

    Great bit of advertising for Twitter Craig. It makes me wonder why anyone uses it.

  • J

    Obviously the first major reaction to such a disclosure will be to vary the dynamics of these accounts wherever possible to further refine the difficulty of identifying them. Any programmers out there who feel like making a disproportionately large contribution to the public discourse could immediately build a web based tool for identifying human operated troll accounts, ideally a tool which can be fine tuned and fully customisable with a range of diagnostic tools.

    I first noticed these masses of sleeper accounts during the Anders Brievic atrocity. We were looking at oddities regarding his Facebook page, for example we watched his Facebook biography being edited in real time, while he was loose and stalking children on the island. This led us in several directions, one of which was a large number of apparent sleeper accounts on Facebook.

  • Dungroanin

    I think i’ll start tweeting! Troll hunting has become quite a fun hobby.

    This is a very important article and I hope it is picked up and followed through across the global alternative media.

    There is no doubt a case to be made by a state that it is a protection against foreign adversaries and counter measures – but surely that should then restrict these activities to these foreign states? Can we believe MI6 doesn’t operate within our own borders? Haven’t heard from deedee recently or Scarlett, they do keep dragging Stella out to hold the line – ‘she’s a lady’ a cuddly miss Marple, how can you not believe her?

    As the next election campaign is already sneakily underway – with the fog of the Tory leadership coverage being used to test out the manifesto lies, the msm commentariats ever decreasing circles of fire on the Corbynite that is destroying their super powers, eating up their own absurd vomit and bile to barf it yet again over the libg suffering public.

    Watching the Graun headlines and their shameless skanky pushers trying in vain to manipulate the ever fewer believers is a bit like a Das Bunker parody.

    The phony war is nearly over – they can’t resist any more conventionally, there is just the ‘nuclear’ options left – a coup (dressed up as a ‘unity’ government) has been seriously touted for a few days no;. Maybe an arrest and barring from parliament of certain individuals;. Mass disenfranchisement of undesirable voters based on our posted opinions. Etc.

    Ultimately the globally coordinated 5 + 1 imperial protection force are threatened from their own centre.

    Many fortunes, careers , corrupt nepostic legacies, criminal activities, ‘god given’ rights etc are threatened by exposure and a clean hands administration.

    We the people on the ground can stop their troll armies passing with inpunity. We are many they are few. They are armed with their high tech weapons we use our daily implements and our voices. If they want to move from the virtual to the physical plane – there are enough sticks and stones always available, the whole country is a ‘Brick Lane’.

    No passaran!

    • Rhys Jaggar

      MI5 is supposed to be domestic, MI6 abroad. reality is the boundaries are blurred.

      Recruitment of ambitious amoral addictive personalities, often drinking far too much in their mid 20s is a favoured tactic. I have seen digital marketers, NHS doctors, ICT geeks and management consultants all recruited under that profile. They need to ‘prove themselves’ through malignant destruction case studies.

      They do not like it when you use their tactics to smear them publicly, repeatedly and to those at the top of organisations.

      Dear me!

  • Graham Else

    Twitter is aptly named as a site for bird brains but you are correct about the trolls. I’ve noticed a large number on Disqus. Any mention of a politically incorrect topic or opinion gets a flood of condemnation. The Guy Fawkes website is particularly infested with people accusing Labour politicians of anti semitism and howling if you suggest that the first thing that is important is not whether somebody is offended by a statement but whether the statement is true. Climate change is another favourite for trolls. Any dissent from the warmist dogma is rewarded by a torrent of ill informed “facts”, claims of “settled science” and calculations from computer models that don’t work. Having to employ people to counter stuff online is pretty good evidence that the alternative media is correct about a lot of things. Government in general is a lie and telling the truth has to be countered by any means available. We can see that the trolls are failing by the way more draconian legislation is being introduced constantly to shut down free speech. 1984 is here.

  • Soothmoother

    So who can you trust? There must be “sleeper” bloggers. Dissident ex-diplomats, for instance, exposing wrong-doings by the state, not yet called upon to support a given narrative.

      • Loony

        Why don’t you try trusting yourself?

        When appraising the views of others just ask yourself whether it makes sense, whether it is logically consistent, whether it is trying to sell you something, whether it is written by someone with an ex to grind, whether the writer is being paid and if so by whom, or whether it is from some virtue signaling narcissist who wants nothing more than other people to agree with them and commend them for their enlightened tolerance.

        • Greg Park

          I have appraised the views you regularly punt on here: that there is and has been no austerity in the UK; that Corbyn is a communist; that Tommy Robinson is the light. I find them insulting to the intelligence.

          • Loony

            Maybe you should appraise things more carefully.

            I have no idea what you mean by “Tommy Robinson is the light” It is certainly not something I have ever said since as far as my knowledge of the English language goes the phrase appears meaningless.

            It is the case that I have called Jeremy Corbyn a Communist and for evidence I rely on the words of his right hand man – a Mr. John McDonnell who is on record as stating that “Marxism is a force for change today and one of the biggest influences on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party” If you have more relevant information than that possessed by the Shadow Chancellor then perhaps you might consider sharing it.

            It is also true that I have claimed that there has been no austerity in the UK. That claim is based on the fact that I have lived in a country that has experienced austerity. I saw people struggling to find sufficient food to stay alive and I witnessed families being torn apart when the able bodied were forced to flee abroad in order to earn hard currency to repatriate so that those to weak to leave (the very young, the elderly, the infirm) could have a chance at acquiring food. There is absolutely nothing like that going on in the UK, and to suggest otherwise is not insulting to the intelligence but insulting to those who have had to suffer way beyond anything experienced by the cossetted and delusional British.

          • Republicofscotland

            “It is also true that I have claimed that there has been no austerity in the UK”

            Loony.

            Tell that to the families of the folk who’ve died due to austerity in Britain dreamt up by the Tories, and kept afloat by certain Labour, LibDem politicians either voting for or abstaining.

            http://calumslist.org

          • George

            So, Loony, if you’ve lived in a truly hard-hit austerity country, you’ll know what’s in store for us. (And just as a matter of interest, which country was it?)

          • Republicofscotland

            Loony full of it, he/she never reveals where he/she is from. I mean how can you take someone’s comments seriously when they won’t even reply to such a minor detail.

  • pretzelattack

    i wonder if luke harding supplements his income with a twitter troll job. it would be irresponsible not to speculate, as donald rumsfeld once said.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Actually you will find spooks infiltrating political parties too. I joined Libdems for a while after Iraq as they were only mainstream party promoting the right to human life. I went out one day to campaign in a by election and met some obviously spooky people clearly wanting to eliminate non-Establishment thinking, but only if the party grew big enough to be relevant. That way charges of totalitarianism could be avoided.

    You are an adversary of UK spookery if you:

    1. believe in the right to human life free of NATO bombing campaigns.
    2. think Palestinians have the same rights as Israelis.
    3. assume Russia to be innocent until proven guilty.
    4. Think a subset of Jews can be racist.
    5. think the majority of Muslims just want to bring up their children in peace.
    6. Do not defer to authority shown to be ignorant authoritarian narcissists.
    7. call American murdering murder.
    8. consider American murders to be liable to face criminal charges.
    9. Consider George Soros to be an enemy of the Uk.
    10. Consider malignant mind control to be incompatible with the Hippocratic Oath.
    11. Consider being forced to grow up in a family of spooks an intolerable contravention of healthy family life.
    12. Take note of the complete illiteracy, narcissism and psychopathy manifested by various MI5/6 operatives.

  • nevermind

    with those you go to sleep, you will wake up to. Time to come off twatter, it is totally overrated and overrun with incomprehension, imho.

    Looks like you are now in the cross hair of the bot-nuts to have a go at anything they are told to hit.

  • Sarah Walker

    Must say, I have got
    – far more follows than followers (about 2:1).
    – no family members who also use Twitter. We’re pretty old and tech resistant in my family.
    – a lot of my posts are re-tweets. If someone says something interesting that I didn’t know before, I’ll likely retweet it.
    – a far more distant date of joining than of actually tweeting. I joined in 2011, tweeted once, then forgot I had an account. Restarted this year.

    Also, I usually only tweet during office hours! Because I don’t have a smart phone (I have a stupid phone but I don’t know where it is right now) and when I had wifi at home it ate my life. All my internet access is through the library, apart from sometimes staying with the grandsprogs and using their computer. So usually it’s during library opening hours.

    So that looks pretty conclusive, doesn’t it?

    On the other hand, I try not to pick fights (though I do sometimes post provocative talking points on facebook discussion groups full of Kippers, Brexiteers and Trump fans… maybe that’s trolling?).

    Also, I do exist.

    In fact I once met Craig Murray.

  • Tom

    Back in the day, MI5 and MI6 used to employ “Readers” they were usually ex Army officers employed to go through newspapers and in particular personal ads; the Russians used to use box ads to send coded messages to their agents.

  • Sharp Ears

    In ‘Cheltenham AND Scarborough.
    Salary -£28,804 – £32,349 (includes a concessionary payment) ‘ – Not great pay for such a soulless job.

    What goes on in Scarborough? I suppose they mean the listening station aka Irton Moor.

    Listening base stays silent on its top secrets
    https://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/listening-base-stays-silent-on-its-top-secrets-1-6663831 (Puff piece – keeping Britain safe’!)

    A relic from WW1 updated at massive cost, plus £42 million in 2016 in a four year package. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GCHQ_Scarborough

    ‘With the new ATTIC building (Alan Turing Training and Innovation Centre), which coordinates training for the northern GCHQ network, staffing should rise to 300 at the site before 2020.’
    How dare they use Alan Turing’s name. They hounded him to death.

  • Sharp Ears

    Our old friend Eliot Higgins seems to retweet in blocks, ie 17 hrs ago. 2 hrs ago. etc. Would that be done automatically? Or is there a team at work?

    https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins

    The one suggesting Trump will tweet about the fire onboard a Russian sub is staggering – ie that it has irradiated the Atlantic ocean.

    ‘Verified account
    @EliotHiggins
    We’re going to find out a Russian nuclear submarine just blew up and irradiated the entire Atlantic Ocean from a badly phrased, mis-spelt Trump tweet.
    9:50 am – 2 Jul 2019

  • mark golding

    Craig was derided for this important post: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/importing-jihadi-terror-to-the-uk-cui-bono/ that exposes British Security Services collusion with terrorists. I myself also exposed another MI6 asset called the ‘White Helmets’ which Craig revealed ‘are largely British government funded’. You may scoff at this information so here is the evidence from my trusted friend who I knew in 2004 onwards reporting from a ravaged Iraq (see http://www.coia.org.uk) where many children I knew were maimed, losing limbs or dying from cancers by a war/attack/massacre/slaughter conceived and planned on a bunch of lies and deceit by British and American political terrorists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=478&v=eVQzkxqHVNY
    – and here words from a terrorist asset:

    https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm34939390

  • mark golding

    Craig has exposed propaganda by British security services before in this critical post that outed the jihadi logistic support and propaganda group, the ‘White Helmets’ paid by Britain out of ‘black’ funds supported by your taxes: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/importing-jihadi-terror-to-the-uk-cui-bono/

    Craig was derided by a number of suspect posters at the time as the evidence shows us.

    To those that may scoff at the epiphany of critical posts here I present some evidence from a friend who at one time reported war crimes from the Iraq war; a massacre where innocent children were maimed or killed by indiscriminate bombing and incineration of family homes while the occupants were enjoying their breakfast.in Baghdad and surrounding villages. A war conceived on lies and deceit by political terrorists who are still walk free 17 years on. The same lies and deceit created the Syrian killing fields today.

    https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm34939390

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=478&v=eVQzkxqHVNY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fJbMWhkTAw

  • Garth Carthy

    @ Loony who says:
    “It is the case that I have called Jeremy Corbyn a Communist and for evidence I rely on the words of his right hand man – a Mr. John McDonnell who is on record as stating that ‘Marxism is a force for change today and one of the biggest influences on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party’.
    Loony, Just because McDonnell states that Marxism a force for change doesn’t mean to say he believes in total Communism. I hate Communism as usually practised but I admire Marx who wasn’t alive to see the abuses done to his philosophy. What is so wrong with Marxism, in principle? Is it so much worse than full-blown capitalism which is threatening humankind’s very existence?
    Then you say:
    “It is also true that I have claimed that there has been no austerity in the UK. That claim is based on the fact that I have lived in a country that has experienced austerity.”

    A pity you didn’t stay there. I suspect the austerity that you have experienced abroad was caused by Western ‘humanitarian interventions’ and the consequent blow-back. Seriously, what does it take to convince you that there is no austerity in the UK? There are food banks everywhere. There have been thousands of disabled people who have died or suffered because of the Government’s criminally callous delaying and refusal of benefits unless they take jobs that are impossible for them to do.
    We all know there is terrible austerity in other countries but that does not mean we should turn a blind eye to successive government’s brutal treatment of our own people.
    You are clearly a very clever person, Loony, but cleverness and rationality aren’t mutually exclusive.

    • Loony

      I think you will find that Communism is a little like pregnancy – in that you cannot be a little bit pregnant or a little bit Communist. It is either one or the other.

      Most of the great pogroms undertaken by Communism were justified on the basis of the need to remove reactionary forces – forces that were acting as an impediment to arriving in the sunlight uplands of paradise on earth brought about by Communism. No matter how many were killed nirvana always seemed to be just one more massacre away.

      Sure Marxism is an interesting doctrine when viewed in the abstract. The problem has always been when it is viewed in the reality when by necessity it can only be viewed through a lens obscured by blood.

      Some claim that Marxism has yet to be implemented in its “pure form” – but there have been so many attempts that it seems sensible to conclude that it is incapable of being implemented in its “pure form”

      Others say that malignant forces emanating out of the US have acted to forestall the altruistic creation of paradise. This argument is revealed as patent nonsense if you look at the USSR. Sure the US tried to interfere but the USSR was much bigger than the US much better endowed with natural resources and protected by the Red Army – the most effective fighting force on earth. How could the US have possibly prevented paradise from arriving?

      Take a look at the USSR. Look at all the pogroms. One reason it took them so long to get rid of the Nazi’s is because Stalin decided to kill all the Officer Corp. In order to get rid of the Nazi’s they basically had to abandon Communism and return to atavistic exhortations to protect the Motherland. Hence for a while the Army enjoyed operational freedom from the Political Commissars and the State reintroduced medals commemorating noted non Communists such as Kutuzov and Suvorov. When the chips were really down even the USSR recognized that Communism was a crock of shit.

      Still there is no need to worry as current western monetary policy sees no end to increasing wealth inequality. At some point people will become terminally disenchanted and are highly likely to turn to Communism. No doubt some will be seduced by its Utopian promises and others will simply see it as an opportunity to kill people with whom they disagree or who they hold responsible for their plight. When Utopia fails to arrive some erstwhile Utopians will develop a blood lust for those they hold responsible for failing to deliver Utopia, and the cycle will be set in motion.

      The fact that there are “food banks everywhere” proves my point – austerity is when there is no food period. Conversely the UK suffers from massive cultural austerity, and staggering and growing levels of inequality. For anyone interested in future stability then these are not promising signs.

      • Garth Carthy

        Well, Loony, I have to admit you are making a good deal of sense with your last rather good and challenging post.
        However, I’m not convinced with your argument when you say: “Others say that malignant forces emanating out of the US have acted to forestall the altruistic creation of paradise. This argument is revealed as patent nonsense if you look at the USSR. Sure the US tried to interfere but the USSR was much bigger than the US much better endowed with natural resources and protected by the Red Army – the most effective fighting force on earth. How could the US have possibly prevented paradise from arriving?”

        Well, I’m open to argument, but I feel that the US interference by Reagan and the neo-cons ruined Russia’s ability to make genuine economic and social reforms. As I understand, Gorbachev’s plea for the US to allow more time to make his reforms went unheeded and the US backed the takeover by Yeltsin who enforced Neo-Con ‘Free Market’ ‘reforms’. Hence the greedy capitalist oligarchs – monsters created by Capitalism.
        However, I do agree that Communism may well be potentially as bad as Capitalism. I think it boils down to human nature – any system depends on the integrity of those who run it and I suppose there are, and always will be, certain individuals who are greedy for power and control over the rest of the population.

        • Loony

          You are correct. But by the time Reagan ramped up the pressure on the USSR it was finally obvious even to the intelligence services that the USSR was doomed.

          I met with Russians back in the 1980’s. They were heavy smokers but they had to hold their cigarettes vertically to prevent all the tobacco falling out. They could not believe that in New York you could buy cigarettes without the risk of all the tobacco dropping on the floor. When they were not at the bar they had their noses pressed up to the window of shops selling refrigerators – the waiting lists for refrigerators in the USSR ran into years.

          They supplied cement to Nigeria so that the Nigerians could build dry cargo import facilities. They sent the cement in ships that could not dock because there were no dry cargo import facilities. They anchored the ships offshore waiting for the construction of import facilities. The import facilities could not be constructed because all the raw materials were on board the Russian ships. Eventually the cement hardened and all the ships sank, Even Anglo-American intelligence could work this out.

          Of course the US acted to steal as many Russian resources as they could. Why would they not? That is not to say that they were “moral” or “correct” – it is just how things are, the strong grow stronger and the weak get crushed. The point here is that the USSR was not weak on any objective basis. The one thing that made it weak, cruel and stupid was the Communist system.

          • lysias

            Reagan ramped up pressure on the USSR in the early 1980s. At the time, I was on officer in U.S. naval intelligence. It certainly wasn’t obvious to us the the Soviets were about to collapse. Patrick Moynihan wrote a book about how the Soviet collapse surprised the CIA.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The fact that there are “food banks everywhere” proves my point – austerity is when there is no food period”

        No food period isn’t austerity, its a famine.

        austerity
        /ɒˈstɛrɪti,ɔːˈstɛrɪti/
        noun
        1.
        sternness or severity of manner or attitude.
        “he was noted for his austerity and his authoritarianism”
        2.
        difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure.

      • Anthony

        Loony, have a look at the earthly paradise the Chicago boys brought to Russia in the 1999s.

      • bevin

        “Take a look at the USSR. Look at all the pogroms.”
        There were none. And when did you take a look at the USSR, Loony? Reading political propaganda generated by the Foreign Office doesn’t count.
        ” the US tried to interfere but the USSR was much bigger than the US much better endowed with natural resources and protected by the Red Army ..”
        This is rubbish of the sort generally filed under “arrant.” From 1917 the country was under continual attack by both sides in the First World War and for years after it had ended. It was subject throughout its existence to various degrees of sanctions designed to starve it of capital and prevent it from developing the economy, it was under successive waves of military threats and actual attacks, which distorted both its economic policies and its politics into authoritarian and militaristic-guns not butter- directions.
        The actual authors of the many excesses of Stalinism were the imperialists determined to eradicate the threat of rational economic and decent social policies from the face of the globe that they were and remain intent upon ruining.
        Craig’s caution against professional trolls should not lead us to forget that, much more dangerous are volunteers in the cause of evil.

        • Iain Stewart

          Bevin V Loony. The blog is looking up! (This could be even better than last night’s England V USA.)

        • Loony

          How surprising to learn that you think there were no pogroms in the USSR. No doubt you will be equally surprised to learn that your view is shared by no-one at all outside of the intellectually captured.

          Did you know that pogrom is a Russian word? Odd that a country that never engaged in pogroms would invent a word to describe something that never occurred. Still, anyway you can look up all of this stuff for yourself.

          It is good to learn that it is arrant rubbish to describe the USSR as being larger than the US. My (naturally Capitalist) Atlas tells me that the USSR comprised some 22.4 million square kilometers whereas the US comprised (and comprises) some 9.2 million square kilometers.

          According to you the USSR was subject to threats and sanctions designed to starve it of capital. Quite why a Communist country would require capital remains unclear to me. No doubt it is also unclear to you.

          Leaving aside the fact that a Communist country apparently requires access to Capitalist capital, where do you think capital comes from? Is there some kind of mine where the Americans dig up capital? If so where is it?

          Maybe capital is created in order to exploit and profit from natural human and physical resources. Perhaps that explains how companies like Microsoft and Facebook have grown from nothing into behemoths. Preceding companies such as these were industrial enterprises – coal, steel, ships, oil, railways et al. These kind of companies exploited access to natural resources. The British had to colonize large swathes of the world to gain access to raw materials and markets.

          What might have been found inside the USSR? Why 40% of global gas reserves, 6% of global oil reserves, 20% of global timber reserves, 15% of global iron ore deposits, 20% of global gold and silver reserves 25% of global diamond production, 30% of global nickel production, and 20% of global cobalt production. I could go on and on but hopefully you get the picture.

          The USSR was packed full of natural resources. It had an impregnable land mass and it had a large indigenous population. It needed nothing from no-one, Yet it failed. It killed millions of its own people for no reason whatsoever and it collapsed.

          It was impossible for the US to compete with it on any basis, and yet…because it operated an insane system it managed to negate what would have appeared to be an insurmountable advantage.

          As you so sagely observe we should all be wary of volunteers in the cause of evil. Perhaps we should also bear in mind Mathew 7.5

  • oldman

    [ luxetveritas ]

    Ironic to read your pleas for financial support.
    Remember you banned me for posting about Macron.
    Now we read this analysis by Dean Baker:
    “One of Macron’s first moves as president was the elimination of the country’s tax on wealth. There were serious problems with the tax (evasion and avoidance was widespread), but the beneficiaries of this policy were exclusively the wealthy. At the same time, Macron had an ambitious agenda for weakening labor market regulations. Here too, there was an argument for modernizing many of these regulations, but the net effect was to weaken the bargaining power of workers.”
    So please tell us Mr. Murray, how do you like your Macron now?
    (this comment is of necessity posted from my neighbor’s computer)

    • bevin

      I too was banned for realising-the name of his movement was an obvious clue-that Macron was the real fascist candidate in the election that he won. I guess being old helps.

      • Laguerre

        Macron is not a fascist, or even near. You might call him a Blairite, if you want.

      • craig Post author

        Nobody has been banned for criticising Macron. People have been banned for supporting LePen, which is very different. Facists are not welcome.

        • Iain Stewart

          That was an impressively swift piece of housekeeping there: Dave and bevin’s exchange >pop< into the memory hole.

        • lysias

          Isn’t it becoming increasingly clear with every day that neoliberals like Macron ARE fascists?

        • J

          Bevin Supproted LePen? Very surprised to hear that. You have to be honest craig, at the time, your ultimatum left little room for honest debate. As was the intention of those who made the choice a toss up between far right racists with socialist policies and far right fascists with neoliberal polices.

        • J

          Hope you don’t excise that last post Craig. it’s a discussion which needs to be had. If we can’t talk about how we got here, we can’t understand how we got here.

      • J

        I said the same Bevin, must have done it in different terms (wasn’t banned for example) but certainly I resented Craigs ultimatum at the time, even as I understood why he made it (while cursing the manipulation of the argument by the usual omnipresent forces.) Gladdened to see you back.

      • Republicofscotland

        Rather strangely Emmanuel Macron’s farther Jean Macron has published extensively papers on how cats sneeze.

    • Anthony

      Interesting, though no surprise, that the British establishment loudly supports the protesters in Hong Kong, yet when it comes to the GiletsJaunes in France, who’ve been getting battered and bludgeoned by French riot police for months, not a peep.

      • Laguerre

        You’ve not well understood the gilets jaunes, not unusual in Britain. The gilets jaunes were a populist uprising, against being left behind. Much like a good proportion of the Brexiters, but not oriented towards Frexit. They allowed a lot of very violent types to join them, and have never disavowed them – that was a fault. At one point they overwhelmed les flics, and ransacked the Arc de Triomphe. Not surprising that the state reaction was vigorous. Nobody has discovered quite who the violent lot were, though a lot of their acts were filmed on video. They said Black Blocks, who are supposed to be far left, but far right is much more likely. The unemployed poor youth will fight if paid. Who had the money to pay them, and order them to keep their mouths shut other than the far right, Bannon types?

        • Anthony

          Thanks for the theory, but i’m. more inclined to go with the actual footage I’ve seen of police assaults on peaceful protesters, interviews with the permanently maimed and relatives of the deceased, etc.

          • Laguerre

            It’s not a theory. I was there personally, which I suspect you weren’t. I saw the violence, at least some of it. Why the peaceful gilets jaunes never disavowed the violence, I’ve never understood.

          • Anthony

            Laguerre, I don’t know where you were and what you happened to see. But these unprovoked, super violent assaults by riot police have been broadcast internationally for months -, by dozens if not hundreds of professional and independent reporters and citizen journalists. The toll of serious injuries and fatalities inflicted on the GiletJaunes by the police is not a mystery. It is on the record and speaks for itself. If it were being ordered by a government disapproved of by “the international community” there would be demands for sanctions and even regime change.

          • Laguerre

            You believe a lot of rubbish, of what you see on the internet. To the extent of denying what people present saw.

          • Laguerre

            It’s a good example for this thread, a commenter believes what he has read on the internet, rather than what an actual witness has really seen. Reality is of no importance. I can tell you that the column of activists descending the Rue St Denis was very frightening, my friend had to warn the cafe on the corner to close. I saw the destruction the following day.

          • J

            Laguerre, I watched French police beat a man to death, but sure, it doesn’t override you being there at some point.

          • Iain Stewart

            Of course, “the actual footage” or cinema as reality.

            I can support Laguerre’s Parisian observations with my own of five or six Saturday afternoon Gilet jaune demonstrations in different parts of France’s second city, where I saw a lot of standing off with tear-gas rockets and general police intimidation. Having spoken with some participants I confirm that the movement was (it has since fizzled out) dominated by non city dwellers in various states of exasperation over three recurrent themes, with contradictory responses.
            — Reduce the price of diesel, while protecting the environment.
            — Reduce taxes, while increasing public services.
            — Reduce immigration, while welcoming immigrants.
            The only thing they all could agree on was disliking Emmanuel Macron.

          • Anthony

            Iain Stewart
            There have been a dozen deaths from police violence and hundreds of serious injuries. Neither you nor Laguerre are capable of spinning that away.

          • Iain Stewart

            “There have been a dozen deaths from police violence”
            Not quite.
            Apart from one police tear-gas grenade and two heart-attacks, the deaths were Gilets jaunes run over by lorries that refused to stop (so nothing to do with the police).
            Which is “spinning away” nothing about a clear policy of state violence and intimidation, as you seem to impute for some reason from your distant observation point. Neither “the actual footage” (whatever that means) nor individual eyewitness accounts will ever give a full picture, they can only contribute to it.
            To return to your original comment, in comparison with the recent Hong Kong protests, an equivalent number of French demonstrators would have been two million.
            https://fr.wikinews.org/wiki/Gilets_jaunes_en_France_:_statistiques

          • Iain Stewart

            J wrote, “Laguerre, I watched French police beat a man to death, but sure, it doesn’t override you being there at some point.”
            What did you do to prevent them? Have you made a witness statement? How could the press (apart from Le Figaro no chums of the police) have failed to report this?

        • Anthony

          Statistics on protester casualties have been updated month on month across the international media. There are links to corrobirating video footage with which i could fill this entire page. But instead I’ve decided to disregard all that as unsubstantiated rubbish posted on the internet . Henceforth.I’ll be relying solely on the Laguerre report and its explanatory frame of unemployed youths being paid by Steve Bannon. Keep it coming.

          • Laguerre

            You’re a great believer in the internet. You believe what you read on activist websites. If someone who was there says otherwise, that can be dismissed as ignorance.

          • Anthony

            You’ve put me straight tonight, Laguerre. I’ll look out for your further reports and theories on the GiletJaunes. Thanks.

      • Ken Kenn

        Quite.

        The Chinese cops are no angels but they are not using Tear Gas which is banned in Military Theatres and haven’t blinded protesters with Flash Bombs ( stun grenades) and they have not blown protesters hands off.

        High Spirits – not rioters according to the BBC.

        On another note:

        ” We are looking to recruit individuals who can contribute to a step change in the UK’s ability to project cyber power against our adversaries, in order to keep the UK safe. You will be at the forefront of the nation’s covert online capability. We want people who can help support and run operations that disrupt and degrade our adversaries’ ability to do us harm, and contest malign activity in cyber space.”

        It all sounds great – except our biggest enemy is at home.

        Our biggest enemies are not Russian/Chinese spies – that’s what THEY do.

        That is priced in as they say.

        It is expected.

        It’s what YOU do to UK Subjects that should be of concern to all.

        • Laguerre

          The French can get over-excited. They’re not Tunbridge colonels, stiff upper lip and all that. You shouldn’t expect the restraint of the British police at Orgreave, for example.

          • Ken Kenn

            I was at Orgreave and the police were not kind atop their horses believe me.

            ” Bobbies ” they weren’t.

            Army – some of them were.

    • Laguerre

      Pity that you can’t give us a link to what Dean Baker said, so that we can judge what was said. Pity also that you cherry-pick one thing that Macron has done, and ignore the rest. The French economy is very different from the hyper-neoliberalism familiar in the UK and US. Macron doesn’t claim to be a Thatcherite, as his predecessor Sarkozy did. It’s better to take an overall look at Macron’s policy, rather than cherry-pick one issue which looks Thatcherite, and you don’t like.

      The problem with Macron is not that he secretly wants to give all to the rich, but that he is still too young, and wants definitive solutions, and lacks the wisdom of age.

        • Laguerre

          Difficult to understand what you mean. Macron has not discredited himself in the way that Sarkozy and Hollande did. The gilets jaunes movement was against the state as a whole, not against Macron in particular, as indeed is much of Brexit. If you believe in Farage’s Brexit, then you will also believe in the rights of the gilets jaunes.

          • Iain Stewart

            “not against Macron in particular”
            I can’t agree with that.
            Extreme distaste for Emmanuel Macron is the only unifying element of the Gilets jaunes, some of whom of course voted for him, to block Marine Le Pen, or in the hope that he wasn’t serious about his manifesto. Harmless small groups are still to be found demonstrating at country roundabouts if you look hard enough, composed of the whole range of non LREM political affiliations and non voting abstainers.

  • bevin

    ” They were a sect of revolutionary Jews who were inserted into Russia by the German High Command with money and weapons on the promise they would take Russia out of WWI to enable the Germans to counter-attack in the West with all their strength before America entered the war in force.’
    This is rubbish with a stench redolent of the gas chamber and the rhino whip.

  • doug scorgie

    Jimmeh
    July 3, 2019 at 17:49.

    “The Jewish Labour Movement is ethno-supremacist, and many of it’s [sic] members are shills paid by the Israeli Embassy.”

    Do you have any evidence of that Jemmeh?
    ……………………………………….

    “The Jewish Labour Movement should be banned from the party, and all its members expelled.”
    ……………………………………………….

    Would that not be viewed as anti-Semitic?
    Are you a mischievous Troll ?

    • Laguerre

      They are not a poor suffering minority. They do pretty well, compared to others, such as Muslims, who suffer fires at mosques every day.

      • nevermind

        They should not be banned at all, but Labour should disband the FoI guff and be friends to all nations, to establish a power base in our representative system and influence it with an agenda most of the membership dont agree with, is bound to get toxic.
        Add to this, an unhinged PlP that uses evety sticl in the book to support this fake meme will have only one outcome, self alienation of a small minority.
        There are many who dont agree what the likes of Margaret Hodge and others are pursuing, and they should not be tarred with the same brush.

    • MAB

      To be a member of the Jewish Labour Movement neither requires one to be Jewish or Labour.

      Contrast that with Jewish Voice for Labour, who are all Jewish and all Labour members. They are the people Lansman said were ‘not part of the Jewish Community’.

      They just happen to be left wing Corbyn supporters.

  • Freddy Freeloader

    “They may follow many times more people than they have followers simply because they have deeply repulsive personalities or nothing interesting to say.”

    That’s not entirely fair. Some people follow thousands of accounts because they add them indiscriminately, or because they want to be exposed to a wide range of views, or simply because they find them interesting. I follow about 7 times as many accounts as I have followers. I have lots to say, I’m not repulsive, but I make no effort to pander to people or attract followers for the sake of it, and I follow anyone that might be interesting.


    [ Mod: While you’re at it, would you care to explain why you’ve used so many different identities on this blog (e.g. Freddy Freeloader, Ronny Mouse, anon, Ronny, Ron, Ron Sizely, Promise K. Fahrenheit, Jezzaugh, etc.)? ]

      • 陳水扁

        Yes, but his answer isn’t quite consistent with his main text, is it.

        • lysias

          Is Chen Shuibian your real name? I see you use traditional Chinese characters.


          [ Mod: It appears to be Freddy Freeloader (aka Ronny Mouse) posting under a different name yet again. ]

        • Tatyana

          Quite consistent. Let me make it clear to you, here is a quotation from the main text:
          “3) Follow and troll
          Accounts which had nothing in common with me in terms of interests or political views, would suddenly decide to post a brief highly disparaging or ridiculing comment, and always simultaneously would start following me. The motivation of somebody who opens with rudeness yet simultaneously starts following is plainly aggressive – and not usual behaviour.”

          I wonder how you failed to read it in the main text?

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