Friday, January 8, 2016

A Few Insights Into Kremlin Trollery...(and also a list of Kremlin-influenced targets I'm going after)

I've interacted with a lot of Kremlin trolls over the past couple years and I've learned a few of their tricks.

Back in the days of Disqus (yes, more or less past tense, for our purposes here), they were literally everywhere, often accounting for the majority of online commenters on news stories.

There were the guys who would transliterate cyrillic characters for similar looking Roman characters, and effectively get around Disqus' profanity filters. I have to admit, I'm rather impressed with this little hack and I admit I've used it myself in the past.

There were also the guys who would post ASCII art as well, another impressive method for making an impression in Disqus. Again, guilty as charged...I've sometimes found this irresistable, usually opting for something like this:


....................../´¯/) 
....................,/¯../ 
.................../..../ 
............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸ 
........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\ 
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...') 
.........\.................'...../ 
..........''...\.......... _.·´ 
............\..............( 
..............\.............\...
Kremlin trolls often tell you a story with their monikers and avatar pics.  They've become considerably more discreet now, but you'd see monikers like "WWIII Has To Happen" or "Putin Sucks" or "Zionist banksters" or other names referencing key individuals, places or events central to Nazism, Communism or Russian conspiracy theories.  Often times, you'd see monikers and avatar pics meant to stir deep partisan resentments, usually anti-Bush or anti-Obama-related.  And, of course, you had your online pervert types, with avatar pics of penises or naked women...the very picture of self projection.

Kremlin trolls are sometimes very clever. At times you'd think you're interacting with a fellow Republican or Democrat, but there would usually be something in the back of your mind, telling you that something isn't quite right.  You'd probe them some more, until you found the missing link.

Of course, I had my tricks as well. One of my favorite tricks was to create the illusion that I was effectively pulling rank on them. I'd pull this one out if they were absolutely terrorizing the comments:

"What about Alexander Men?  He was killed 25 years ago, remember?  You guys built two churches on the site where he got knifed. And wasn't Men friends with Yulian Semyonov, author of "17 Moments in Spring", Putin's favorite television series?  You still haven't figured that one out, have you? Why don't you take the rest of the day off?"

That one would usually get something like the following response:

"I'm REALLY sorry to have offended you.  I didn't know!"...followed by blessed silence.

But once in a while, you might get a response like:

"TRAITOR!!! THEY WILL SHOOT YOU!!!"

Lately, they seem to have shifted over to Twitter, as have I, where they're considerably more organized than the three man teams of "liberal", "conservative" and "undecided, who sees the light" that you'd see on Disqus. 

More disturbing still, they seem to have thrown a lot of manpower into expanding their ever-growing influence operations in the media.  They appear to be creating many more web-based groups as well as ramping up the frequency of carefully crafted news stories in the mainstream media venues that they control or heavily influence.

It has gotten to the point where it's now difficult to find media venues that they aren't influencing, at least to some extent.

I'm including a list of some of the more heavily Russian government-influenced media outlets (a few of them are 100% Kremlin assets), most of which I will be exposing on an individual basis over the next few months:

Adbusters
Alternet
Anonymous
Antiwar
Bayoubuzz
Bizpac Review
Business Insider
Bustle
Buzzfeed
Counterpunch
Crunchbase
Euronews
Forbes
Gawker
globalresearch
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Infowars
International Business Times
kyivpost
Mashable
Media Matters
Mediabistro
Mediaite
Mondoweiss
Mother Jones
Newser
Newsmax
OpEdNews
Raw Story
Rolling Stone
RT
russia-insider
Salon
Slate
Sputnik International
Stormfront
Techcrunch
The Atlantic
The Daily Caller
The Daily Kos
The Guardian
The Telegraph
Truthdig
Tumblr
Veterans Today
VICE
Vox
Wikileaks
Wired