Are Right-Wing Libertarian Internet Trolls Getting Paid to Dumb Down Online Conversations?

There are daily attempts to control and influence content in the interests of the state and corporations: attempts in which money talks.

Over 75% of the funding for American Majority, which hosted this training session, comes from the Sam Adams Alliance. In 2008, the year in which American Majority was founded, 88% of the alliance’s money came from a single donation, of $3.7m(13). A group which trains rightwing libertarians to distort online democratic processes, in other words, was set up with funding from a person or company with a very large wallet. Full Story »

Posted by Dwight Rousu - via Ray Nichols (t)
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Posted by: Posted by Dwight Rousu - Dec 15, 2010 - 1:28 AM PST
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Edited by: Dwight Rousu - Dec 15, 2010 - 1:36 AM PST
Vincent Caminiti
3.0
by Vincent Caminiti - Mar. 8, 2011

The sub-title of the story was actually a more fruitful lede - and the actual title in the form of a rhetorical question was quite confining and misleading. 'Astroturfing' has a much broader meaning than just the Internet gaming of other Web interests or competing objectives. The Internet activities, very briefly outlined in the article, are part of a well organized and simultaneously executed action plan that is staged in all media with scripts. While it is not confined to Tea Party Libertarians, the Right-wing has been extremely adept in its deployment. The article was disappointing inasmuch as it didn't connect the dots very well to the big picture, which in my opinion, would have given this specifics of this article much more meaning.

It's not a conspiracy theory, it is a propaganda / marketing methodology that is deployed en masse in order gin up a controlled desired reaction. It is actually the anti-thesis of 'dumbed-down' because it inspires the "subscribers" to accept or reject a messenger by diffusing focus on the message. It is those "callers" to talk-radio shows that seem inexplicably unable to move from their position even when confronted with hard data. It is a political pundit making an insensitive ... More »

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Dwight Rousu
4.4
by Dwight Rousu - Dec. 15, 2010

Monbiot cites several discovered examples of paid obstruction of information on the web, and identifies it as a serious problem for a democracy that should be thriving on exploring ideas, and testing them in open debate.

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Sirajul Islam
4.0
by Sirajul Islam - Dec. 15, 2010

A good Alternet piece authored by George Monbiot on usage of corporate money to obstruct information on the Internet or to misinform. Some of the contributors to this forum (see earlier postings) seem to have taken this to heart.

‘The greatest threat to free enterprise, he warned, was not Communism or the New Left but, rather, ‘respectable elements of society,’intellectuals, journalists, and ... More »

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Randy Morrow
3.7
by Randy Morrow - Dec. 15, 2010

We’re in danger of losing this global commons as it comes under assault from an army of trolls and flacks, many of them covertly organised or trained. More »

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Mary Hartney
4.0
by Mary Hartney - Dec. 16, 2010

The internet is a remarkable gift, which has granted us one of the greatest democratic opportunities since universal suffrage. We’re in danger of losing this global ... More »

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Roland F. Hirsch
2.1
by Roland F. Hirsch - Dec. 15, 2010

This blog post has moderate journalistic merit. It brings up a number of incidents which do not however come close to covering the real situation. It is one-sided, mentioning one group that happens to be conservative, but not mentioning the many professional experts in astroturfing on the left.

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