This is a really long article, so I'll only post the first section here.
This is a pretty important read if we want to use the internet to make things better. Otherwise the internet will easily just turn into another source of disinformation...
1. COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum
2. Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation
3. Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
4. How to Spot a Spy (Cointelpro Agent)
5. Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression
COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum..
There are several techniques for the control and manipulation of a internet forum no matter what, or who is on it. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that only a minimal number of operatives can be used to eventually and effectively gain a control of a 'uncontrolled forum.'
Technique #1 - 'FORUM SLIDING'
If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum - it can be quickly removed from public view by 'forum sliding.' In this technique a number of unrelated posts are quietly prepositioned on the forum and allowed to 'age.' Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon at will to trigger a 'forum slide.' The second requirement is that several fake accounts exist, which can be called upon, to ensure that this technique is not exposed to the public. To trigger a 'forum slide' and 'flush' the critical post out of public view it is simply a matter of logging into each account both real and fake and then 'replying' to prepositined postings with a simple 1 or 2 line comment. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, and the critical posting 'slides' down the front page, and quickly out of public view. Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the posting it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and unuseful postings. By this means it becomes effective to keep the readers of the forum reading unrelated and non-issue items.
Technique #2 - 'CONSENSUS CRACKING'
A second highly effective technique (which you can see in operation all the time at www.abovetopsecret.com) is 'consensus cracking.' To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used. Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.' Thus the uninformed reader will most like develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'
Technique #3 - 'TOPIC DILUTION'
Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a 'RESOURCE BURN.' By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a 'gossip mode.' In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in. It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education is first determined of the group to determine at what level to 'drive in the wedge.' By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.
Technique #4 - 'INFORMATION COLLECTION'
Information collection is also a very effective method to determine the psychological level of the forum members, and to gather intelligence that can be used against them. In this technique in a light and positive environment a 'show you mine so me yours' posting is initiated. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided much statistical information can be gathered. An example is to post your 'favourite weapon' and then encourage other members of the forum to showcase what they have. In this matter it can be determined by reverse proration what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm, and or a illegal weapon. This same method can be used by posing as one of the form members and posting your favourite 'technique of operation.' From the replies various methods that the group utilizes can be studied and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.
Technique #5 - 'ANGER TROLLING'
Statistically, there is always a percentage of the forum posters who are more inclined to violence. In order to determine who these individuals are, it is a requirement to present a image to the forum to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction. From this the most violent in the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking. To accomplish this only requires posting a link to a video depicting a local police officer massively abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically of the million or so police officers in America there is always one or two being caught abusing there powers and the taping of the activity can be then used for intelligence gathering purposes - without the requirement to 'stage' a fake abuse video. This method is extremely effective, and the more so the more abusive the video can be made to look. Sometimes it is useful to 'lead' the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent, and that you 'do not care what the authorities think!!' inflammation. By doing this and showing no fear it may be more effective in getting the more silent and self-disciplined violent intent members of the forum to slip and post their real intentions. This can be used later in a court of law during prosecution.
Technique #6 - 'GAINING FULL CONTROL'
It is important to also be harvesting and continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavourable postings - and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms. Depending on the level of control you can obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a 'honey pot' gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from this point be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.
Remember these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal precidence to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline. This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.
Would you be willing to share more about the origin of this document? As far as I am aware, actual COINTELPRO was before the days of internet forums (ended in the early '70s), so I'm assuming they're using "COINTELPRO" as a sort of general phrase for that kind of op. This is presented as if it's from the files of an actual group/agency who uses these kinds of techniques to disrupt and control forums; is that actually the case, or is it just written up that way by activists themselves to make a point? If it is from the files of an actual group or agency, which one? The FBI, like the original COINTELPRO? Who exposed and distributed it?
I want to clarify that I don't find the idea of such techniques being used by various government agencies implausible at all, I am just curious as to the document's provenance, and I like to know what I'm dealing with from what source.
Reading through the information, I couldn't help but think of the first (or maybe second) X-files movie. The general premise was that the bees were going to cause some catastrophe, and then the highly organized special op teams at FEMA were going to take advantage of some slight window of opportunity and institute a coup.
I recall some of my friends actually being concerned about FEMA taking over at the time...of course, a few years later Katrina occurred and nobody has worried about the agency's ability to institute a coup since then.
This has been floating round for ages and I'm inclined to think this is pretty much bunk. Perhaps some of this might have been viable back in the early days of the internet when it was a much smaller and more manageable affair, but the state of it these days is such that it has grown beyond the scope of easy manipulation. More to the point, to "manage" even a small forum would be a pretty much full time job.
I'm not aware of a sizable portion of the population of a country working in forum manipulation.
That is not to say that a government agency might not check out your facebook profile and forum habits if they were looking in to you over some other matter, but there really cannot exist some secret agency doing professionally - they are just not that good at keeping secrets.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
Well, I have heard the Russia hires lots of people to do this sort of thing. And yes, they use some of these techniques.
That being said, I imagine our government has lots of other things to do then keep tabs on permies. They might be interested in keeping an eye on some survivalist and gun forums, to look out for rouge militias, though. And since they are the sort of people worried about this sort of thing, in a sense they are right. I don't think any of us have to worry, though.
Computers make this sort of thing easier to do with less people.
You would probably be surprised at how much this goes on in the US and at the weird places they place agents. Two informants that got pretty famous around around the scene in Austin were Brandon Darby and "Anna," who entrapped Eric McDavid (who I think was admittedly a bit of a tool, but the FBI pretty much totally disgraced itself in that case). Activists have reported being approached to infiltrate vegan potlucks, of all things. I have many times in the past been proven wrong when I thought that surely the FBI would not engage in X ridiculous or futile behavior or target Y clearly harmless group, so I now maintain an attitude of jaded unsurprise when it comes to them. Let's just say that I am pretty unimpressed by the attitudes and practices of most of our national intelligence agencies. That being said, I think Permies is well-modded and generally low-key enough that I also don't foresee much in the way of potential problems.
Oh yeah! I used to be on some pretty radical forums (one of which was unmodded and all anon...hoo boy) back in the day, and at times I actually think the spooks and agents provocateurs outweighed the legit posters, and it was kind of mindboggling. Trolling them was kind of a sport. A sport that only those of us with terrible, terrible judgment engaged in, upon reflection, but it was pretty hilarious. And then of course there were the trolls who were pretending to be spooks but weren't actually, and the painfully earnest militants who were all about OPSEC who were in constant conniption fits, and the people trolling them...good times. My politics have since mellowed, so I'm not really up to date on all that anymore.
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
posted 4 years ago
A couple of thoughts-
I intended this to be more about the intentions of powerful organizations and how they do things. This was not some 'gotchya' journalist bombshell I found and had to release to the public through permies.com. I merely have seen this on a couple of other sites and thought it would be good to share here.
I completely understand the need for sound evidence. Paraphrasing Chris Hitchens- what's claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. To a degree that's definitely true. But what do you do when you don't have much evidence of any kind? I rely on my intuition. Sadly, I think we are being trained to be dismissive of our intuition. This makes us solely reliant on others to understand the world, which makes us more easily manipulated.
I've heard Paul talk on podcasts about how he feels that there are companies that engage in these kinds of tactics on forums to dissuade people from rethinking the use of pesticides. This was a podcast from years ago. The more I look at any kind of website/youtube video with any kind of 'alternative' message, the more I see a flood of comments yelling out "FAKE!" and trying to tear down the person asserting said alternative message. The more I see this, the more I think that this is NOT coincidential, but that there are people who do work full time for companies and/or the government whose job it is to sway public opinion through sleazy tactics that are seen on any kind of public discussion section online.
I mean, it makes sense, right? If you are a giant company, what would be a more effective way to sway public opinion these days? From an effectiveness standpoint, would you pay the same amount of money to run nationwide commercials, or would you pay some people to influence online forums?
Knowing that my opinions on issues are influenced WAY more by forums than commercials, I personally would choose to infiltrate forums over running commercials. But that's just me.
So, I think that, even if I can't verify the article, that there is a ton of truth contained in it. And yes, I'm basing that on my intuition. If you disagree, that's fine! I guess I just wanted to start a conversation on the topic.