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Sat Nov 30, 2019, 11:54 AM

Since Russian trolls are omnipresent, do we do anything to counter-troll them?

A signature line like mine would be a start IMHO.

"Sergei Magnitsky's cause of death: Heart attack. No, fall on head. No, pancreatitis. No, abdominal rupture. No, Bill Browder did it. No, self-inflicted."

Why do we need to start counter-trolling them?

I see this in many places, I'm calling the whole internet out, all sides, all factions. When someone makes an unorthodox argument, says something that defies social conventions, or says something perceived to be shocking or deviant... they get called a Russian troll or an agent of Putin trying to divide us. This should have become a dead horse when I saw a defender of Michael Flynn saying it, saying that people supporting accountability for Flynn are just doing Putin's work, but no, this circumstantial ad hominem or ad fontem argument is still with us. So let's not call someone a Russian troll just because we don't like what the other person is saying.

Also, the need to counter-troll them does not ignore or exclude the reality that Russians are indeed manipulating our political system. And if they are engaging with us, then maybe we can engage back with them. It's funny, we're supposed to somehow convince Republicans who subscribe to conspiracy theories about Pizzagate and QAnon and believe Democrats are now "socialist" and "socialist" now means valuing human lives over confederate statues or not wanting to get shot in school to vote for us in 2020. If we CAN convince those people to vote for us, then I'm pretty sure we can convince some Russian trolls to become assets against Putin as well.

So instead of just saying Russian trolls are around every e-corner and the source of every opinion you don't like, what are you doing to counter their influence or even turn them into activists against Putin?

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Reply Since Russian trolls are omnipresent, do we do anything to counter-troll them? (Original post)
ck4829 Nov 2019 OP
Coventina Nov 2019 #1
Beakybird Nov 2019 #2
Leith Nov 2019 #5
Igel Nov 2019 #7
gulliver Nov 2019 #3
tulipsandroses Nov 2019 #4
Igel Nov 2019 #8
renate Nov 2019 #6
Beakybird Nov 2019 #9

Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 11:58 AM

1. people who troll for Putin are not going to change, IMHO n/t

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:02 PM

2. The real Russian trolls are being paid and struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Life sucks in Russia, and the government, media, and church don't teach moral behavior. The ends justify the means - always. The standard of living is very low. I think that most of the trolls consider their work like Americans working for the tobacco industry or people working for the Sackler family. Plus, in a sick way, their being paid to be creative and innovative. I think that some of the trolls burn out and move on. But in Russia, it's an industry with most of the trolls being paid to influence Russians and trolls in all European languages to ratfuck every single European democracy.

I think the key is to engage in a platform that is adept at identifying trolls through algorithms and astute users and administrators.

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Response to Beakybird (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:37 PM

5. You are absolutely right about their standard of living

Here are a few stats I looked up to compare Russia with a couple other countries.


Italy
population: 60,550,075
GDP: 2,073,901.99

Canada
population: 37,411,047
GDP: 1,712,510.03

Russia
population: 148,872,256
GDP: 1,657,553.77


You do the math.

If Russia could just put a little of the trolling effort into improving their own lot, they could raise their standard of living. But, of course, their oligarchs might have to do with smaller dachas and fewer tacky gold plated toilets while they watch the peasants starve and freeze to death, so they won't. It's so much easier and more fun to tear down others than to work to improve themselves.


Sources:

GDP
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?most_recent_value_desc=true

Population
https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

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Response to Leith (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:49 PM

7. They're behind.

But purchasing parity power is more useful.

Take when I was in the Czech Republic. Salaries were really low. The few hundred dollars I took with me for a month was able to go a long way, and at the end I pitched in $40 for my host family and stocked their fridge with meat, veggies, and their pantry with food for a couple of weeks. I could get a decent meal in the local pivnice for just over a dollar US, with beer; food costs for a day were well under $2, without being reduced to beans and rice.

It's similar for a lot of Russia. Housing and food prices are less. Public transport fills in some cracks. In the big cities, the wages are substantially higher. So they're behind and have a markedly lower standard of living (esp. out of the main cities), but it's not as bad as it would seem just from the GDP.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:15 PM

3. Avoid losing any votes for Dems and you'll spite Putin

Once we get Trump and his Republicans out of office, we need to severely punish Putin. Every cent he, his friends, or his family has should be confiscated.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:16 PM

4. I plan to do nothing. Not a damn thing

I don't engage in ridiculousness. Whether its Russian trolls, or garden variety shit stirrers. Its quite obvious to me when people are shit stirring. I choose to put them on ignore.

Its clear when someone wants to promote an idea/propaganda rather than engage/exchange thoughts and ideas.

No one on the inter webs is going to turn Russian Trolls against Putin. I choose to channel my energy in real time into the things that matter to me that are at risk due to this administration.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:56 PM

8. I ignore their troll status.

If they're saying something I think is wrong, I'll rebut it. Do I care that they don't engage? No. I try to make my posts self-contained, so even when I go back and see responses I often have nothing to add. Sometimes I learn things, sometimes I find the response(s) trollish or ill-informed, sometimes I find that my argument doesn't hold water when addition things are pointed out. (And sometimes they're just misunderstood, for all the self-containedness.)

Sometimes I don't. Just went past a post that sharply misrepresented what somebody in office had said, with the usual pile on confirming the misrepresentation because it let complainers complain. I can't tell the difference, often, between an artful troll and an unartful non-troll.

The reason for the rebuttal often isn't because I think I'll change the mind of the poster, whatever the post may appear to be. It's to point out to others what I think is the problem with a post. Because people like to think quick and easy and are all too willing to pile on an unpopular bit of truthy floss, or condemn an unpopular bit of teeth-cleaning truth.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 12:44 PM

6. I don't understand why anybody responds to any troll anywhere

Itís the definition of pointless. And itís falling into their trap.

I feel like an idiot for even taking the time to downvote them on Reddit, but at least Iím not wasting my time arguing with someone whoís being paid to get me to argue with them. Why give them exactly what they want?

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 01:40 PM

9. Russia is a completely amoral society where alcoholism is rampant.

Think of Jeffrey Epstein times a hundred. People who play fair and speak the truth get fucked and people who play dirty and speak lies rise to the top.
One of the purposes of the trolls is to drive sensitive, considerate, and intelligent people away from online political discussion by creating an unsavory and unpleasant environment.
You can't engage them. You can only report them.

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