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The question of Sockpuppets: To censor or not to censor

 
 
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 08:06 am
Sockpuppets aren't a new phenomenon here at a2k. For years, we've had newcomers post one time threads about the Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc countries. They were soon deleted even if they lacked the typical spam link.

Now, that Putin has been actively pushing his military agenda for months, we are now accepting this nonsense and more and more people are feeding the proverbial trolls. It's been speculated here that these sockpuppets are part of a The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) [AKA the institution formerly known as the KGB]. Of course, none of this can be proved, it just seems odd that since we never had a small (let alone sizable) active populace of a2k members from the Ukraine, Georgia, or the other former Soviet bloc countries that we'd get more then our fair share of Ukrainian, etc... propaganda.

They never come back to answer any challenges or just repost more nonsense. They tend to be filled with antisemitic and/or homophobic nonsense to intentionally rile up whomever will read and kneejerkishly react to their unsourced claims.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_(Internet)

To the people who are feeding the proverbial trolls? What do you expect when you sincerely reply to these threads? Someone to come back and have a debate with you? That your challenge will scare away other sockpuppet attempts? It seems to me that interactions of any kind only lead to further sockpuppet activity.

It seems to me that sockpuppetry of this kind is perhaps the most successful SEO campaign in the history of the internet. Am I right or wrong?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 3,068 • Replies: 20

 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 08:27 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Sockpuppets aren't a new phenomenon here at a2k. For years, we've had newcomers post one time threads about the Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc countries. They were soon deleted even if they lacked the typical spam link.

Now, that Putin has been actively pushing his military agenda for months, we are now accepting this nonsense and more and more people are feeding the proverbial trolls. It's been speculated here that these sockpuppets are part of a The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) [AKA the institution formerly known as the KGB]. Of course, none of this can be proved, it just seems odd that since we never had a small (let alone sizable) active populace of a2k members from the Ukraine, Georgia, or the other former Soviet bloc countries that we'd get more then our fair share of Ukrainian, etc... propaganda.

They never come back to answer any challenges or just repost more nonsense. They tend to be filled with antisemitic and/or homophobic nonsense to intentionally rile up whomever will read and kneejerkishly react to their unsourced claims.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_(Internet)

To the people who are feeding the proverbial trolls? What do you expect when you sincerely reply to these threads? Someone to come back and have a debate with you? That your challenge will scare away other sockpuppet attempts? It seems to me that interactions of any kind only lead to further sockpuppet activity.

It seems to me that sockpuppetry of this kind is perhaps the most successful SEO campaign in the history of the internet. Am I right or wrong?


How do we determine a new poster is a "sockpuppet" without some interactions and exchanges, Tsar?

tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 08:48 am
@Frank Apisa,
They're literally spouting out the same crap that was happening several years ago (regarding Jews/Jewish and US conspiracies in the Ukraine/etc...). Now that there is an active military campaign in that area.

Okay. Admittedly it's impossible to prove.

I'm just wondering why the moderator policy change? Also, no one responded to it back when it wasn't an active news story months ago. Why are people now trying to openly debate these new members who quite literally don't ever return to answer said challenges?
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 08:53 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

They're literally spouting out the same crap that was happening several years ago (regarding Jews/Jewish and US conspiracies in the Ukraine/etc...). Now that there is an active military campaign in that area.

Okay. Admittedly it's impossible to prove.

I'm just wondering why the moderator policy change? Also, no one responded to it back when it wasn't an active news story months ago. Why are people now trying to openly debate these new members who quite literally don't ever return to answer said challenges?


I do not know, Tsar.

But my question remains. If a newcomer posts a topic...how do we know it is a sockpuppet unless the person is engaged at least one or two times?

It is sorta like the people who want spying to be done only on people who mean us harm. How do we know who does and does not mean us harm unless we do some spying?
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 08:53 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
it just seems odd that since we never had a small (let alone sizable) active populace of a2k members from the Ukraine, Georgia, or the other former Soviet bloc countries that we'd get more then our fair share of Ukrainian, etc... propaganda.


how do you know it is more than our fair share? is there more/less at other websites? (I have no idea)
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 08:59 am
@Frank Apisa,
This guy is pretty easy to identify once you've read a few of his posts. (His
attempts at American slang are often hilarious.) For a while I was tagging
his posts and then from time to time would take a look at that "forum".
Almost always, his posts were one-offs. He makes up a name - probably
has some utility program for it, registers, drops his load, and is never seen
again under that id.

I guess this constitutes a form of spam and is therefore reportable, but I've
long since stopped bothering.

Who knows, maybe some of his blurtings have spawned interesting discussions.
tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:09 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

It is sorta like the people who want spying to be done only on people who mean us harm. How do we know who does and does not mean us harm unless we do some spying?

Unfortunately the nature of the internet is if a given idea has been stated online in more then one place it then becomes a de facto fact. This activity is disinformation campaign and the more of it exists, the more it becomes concrete.

Quote:
How do we know who does and does not mean us harm unless we do some spying?

There is no way we at a2k can get any legitimate information or is it our duty to investigate it/refute it in the first place. Do you really think our own intelligence agency is using what's published here as a jumping point for their own investigation into their claims? I don't think they'd bother with this low level disinformation campaign.

I guess this is just a rant out of frustration. I'm thinking long term down the road of the future where people can use whatever nonsense published here as primary source info (even though none of the nonsense will ever be sourced or verified).
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:10 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

tsarstepan wrote:
it just seems odd that since we never had a small (let alone sizable) active populace of a2k members from the Ukraine, Georgia, or the other former Soviet bloc countries that we'd get more then our fair share of Ukrainian, etc... propaganda.


how do you know it is more than our fair share? is there more/less at other websites? (I have no idea)

You're right. I just kneejerkishly threw that sentiment out. Still, any militant and unsourced disinformation shouldn't be tolerated. Don't mind my frustrated rant. I know nothing is going to change from it or will I change anyone's opinion on it.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:12 am
@George,
George wrote:

This guy is pretty easy to identify once you've read a few of his posts. (His
attempts at American slang are often hilarious.) For a while I was tagging
his posts and then from time to time would take a look at that "forum".
Almost always, his posts were one-offs. He makes up a name - probably
has some utility program for it, registers, drops his load, and is never seen
again under that id.

I guess this constitutes a form of spam and is therefore reportable, but I've
long since stopped bothering.

Who knows, maybe some of his blurtings have spawned interesting discussions.


I did not realize this was about a particular individual.

Who are we talking about?
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:13 am
@tsarstepan,
Who is the individual being discussed? I am not up to date on this at all.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:21 am
@Frank Apisa,
See the multiple one shot posters (this activity existed far before the Socchi Olympics as well):
http://able2know.org/forum/sock_puppet/


http://able2know.org/user/toterion/
http://able2know.org/user/victory/
This guy is the only one to come back and post again.
http://able2know.org/user/katsung47/
0 Replies
 
George
 
  6  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:22 am
@Frank Apisa,
It is my assumption that many of these sock-puppet posts, specifically the
ones advancing the Russian agenda, are the work of one individual. After
you've read enough of these (admittedly a shameful waste of time) you get
a feel for his writing style.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:23 am
@George,
George wrote:

It is my assumption that many of these sock-puppet posts, specifically the
ones advancing the Russian agenda, are the work of one individual. After
you've read enough of these (admittedly a shameful waste of time) you get
a feel for his writing style.

This is exactly what I've noticed but clearly failed to mention in my original post.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 09:37 am
I was just wondering -- what's Yakov Smirnoff doing these days?
Do you thnk maybe . . .
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2014 10:01 am
@George,
George wrote:

It is my assumption that many of these sock-puppet posts, specifically the
ones advancing the Russian agenda, are the work of one individual. After
you've read enough of these (admittedly a shameful waste of time) you get
a feel for his writing style.


(And Tsar)

I guess!

I probably just don't read them...or read a sentence or two and move on. And I certainly do not reply to them.

I did not realize there was a problem with these kinds of things here.

My bad.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 01:08 am
Jesus, there's a lot of them
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 01:34 am
The FSB (the Federal Security Bureau--the English name for the Russian espionage agency, the successor to the KGB) will pay people up to $250 US/month to post this drivel online. This has been reported here more than once, but not in any thread dedicated to the subject. Whether or not it is the same individual does not matter. They have a party line to propagate, and are very likely being paid to do it. They don't give a rat's ass if you replay or not. They're not going to come back to look for responses. I always tag them "Russian Propaganda" and leave them alone after that. Sometimes i respond, but that's more of a way to highlight the absurdity of their claims to be English or American, so that others reading here will be aware of what is going on.

What would be more alarming, to me, would be to see them returning to respond. I saw one instance of this recently, but the joker didn't stick around long enough, and i don't remember the account name.

Remember that these people are very likely being paid to do this by FSB.
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 02:10 am
@Setanta,
Set, thanks for info about those paid shills of FSB.

Oh yeah ... him. I used to post a Youtube link on his propaganda posts linking to 'Rainy Night in Georgia'. He usually posted esoteric drivel about Georgia.

Quote:
I'm just wondering why the moderator policy change?

What moderator change? If they have no link to spam, they don't get deleted.

Quote:
... newcomers post one time threads about the Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc countries. They were soon deleted even if they lacked the typical spam link.

Never have seen such a deletion. Maybe I missed it.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 02:29 am
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
Still, any militant and unsourced disinformation shouldn't be tolerated.


AKA only non offensive twaddle from the elite should be tolerated here.

HELL. NO.
izzythepush
 
  4  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 06:07 am
@hawkeye10,
What elite? For a "socialist" you sure have your head stuck up your arse.
0 Replies
 
 

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