Skip to comments.Who really invented ‘Moby’ trolling? Alinsky
Posted on 05/25/2012 1:06:59 PM PDT by mnehring
In blogosphere slang, a Moby is a particular kind of troll, namely a left-winger who posts right-wing extremist material on right-wing sites in order to discredit them. (This is somewhat distinct from a concern troll, who seeks to sow dissension by posing as a concerned supporter.)
The Moby species of troll is named after the eponymous electronic music producer, who in February 2004 proposed this tactic and is supposed to have invented it.
James Taranto, however, reminds us the tactic is anything but original.
Food for thought comes from this passage from a Saul Alinsky biography, quoted by David Horowitz:
College student activists in the 1960s and 1970s sought out Alinsky for advice about tactics and strategy. On one such occasion in the spring of 1972 at Tulane Universitys annual week-long series of events featuring leading public figures, students asked Alinsky to help plan a protest of a scheduled speech by George Bush, then U.S. representative to the United Nations, a speech likely to be a defense of the Nixon Administrations Vietnam War policies The students told Alinsky that they were thinking about picketing or disrupting Bushs address. Thats the wrong approach, he rejoinednot very creative and besides, causing a disruption might get them thrown out of school.
He told them, instead, to go hear the speech dressed up as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and whenever Bush said something in defense of the Vietnam War, they should cheer and wave placards, reading The K.K.K. supports Bush. And that is what the students did with very successful, attention-getting results.
Keep that in mind if you see/hear/read reports of racial slurs and calls for violence on the part of alleged Tea Partiers. Verily, there is nothing new under the sun.
An insidious and specialized type of left-wing troll who visits blogs and impersonates a conservative for the purpose of either spreading false rumors intended to sow dissension among conservative voters, or who purposely posts inflammatory and offensive comments for the purpose of discrediting the blog in question.
The term is derived from the name of the liberal musician Moby, who famously suggested in February of 2004 that left-wing activists engage in this type of subterfuge: For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say youre an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion. Then you go to an anti-immigration Web site chat room and ask, Whats all this about George Bush proposing amnesty for illegal aliens?
The strategy has been frequently attempted on conservative blogs, but has not been nearly as effective as Moby envisioned, since false rumors are easily debunked by fact-checking minions, and cartoonishly extreme commenters often get immediately identified as mobys and banned.
"While I agree that it is vital to monitor incoming international phone calls from terrorists, President Bush has gone too far.
By secret executive order, he has instructed the NSA to place hidden cameras in the girls' locker rooms of Washington D.C. (Dirt bag City) Islamic schools. His desire to find out 'what is under all those burqas' is beyond the pale.
Maybe the Dhimmicrats are right. If he would do this, what else is he capable of? Let your voice be heard! I for one will never send the RNC money ever again. And, no, I am not a moby."
The various types of leftist trolls are so common that many posters in FR automatically check to see when one such subscribed to FR, then checks their other posts to see if they have made a habit of being offensive.
After that, it is a simple matter of clicking on the report abuse link beneath posts, and the mods will do that hoodoo that they do so well.
Ironically, leftists are far more sensitive to this than are conservatives, though they are far more likely to ban more moderate opinions than more radical ones.
Already had a perfectly good phrase. Agent Provocateur. I do agree with you though, and question some really over the top types. One who constantly refers to George Zimmerman as Captain Zimmerman comes to mind. Just strikes me as a contrived caricature of a conservative.
Got a good one for you.
I’ve noted the use of this tactic for several years; it certainly was around way before Moby (whoever he is) suggested it in Feb, 2004. But it’s nice to have a name to call the tactic now.
I call it by the name used in the spy/espionage world...”active measures”.
Excellent post - there are a LOT of Mobys on Free Republic.
And while we're on the subject, here's a picture of two of the most famous and effective anti-conservative Mobys of all time, who fundamentally misrepresented conservatism to an entire generation of Americans (the same generation who are now in power in government):
I thought a Moby was just a specific kind of dick.
(Click the pic!)
I paused “Ancient Aliens” for *that*?!?
And Enoch was apparently an alien liaison.
To which Nicholas Cage replied ...
When Zeus “threw Hephaestus to earth” it was actually an alien [the man who fell to earth?] who landed and taught humans to make “magical steel swords”.
Joan of Arc had one and Excalibur was actually made of *light*.
The amazing things I’m learning tonight.
And Leif Eriksson [the explorer, not the pop singer] encountered Bigfoot on his voyages who was, you guessed it, an alien.
[apparently Merlin was a “wild humanoid” alien thing, too]
Everything is ancient aliens...including Nick’s hair.
[OMG...these people are insane]
And we haven’t found Bigfoot because they live in the vast underground cave systems and people who encounter them report a “sulfurous smell”, therefore, the fire and brimstone associated with the devil of the Bible actually means that “hell” is the caves and Bigfoot is the devil.
Article and good comments.
Let’s not forget the cast, crew and, especially, the writers of MASH from that same time frame.
I can’t write my name for them lest I be banned for profanity.
A sub of the Moby is when four or five of them post together at the top of a thread trying to create a feeling of ‘consensus’ encouraging other to be pulled in to an extremist position.
Hell, there are some here who try to do the same thing.
A statistical check of posters who tend to post at the top of a thread - together - would show those working out of dem war rooms... Also threads with ‘heads’ that run like advertisements for dems and are bumped by the same folks - especially with evenly spaced vacuous comments. Just guessing... One thing I’m NOT guessing about is dems use our phrases and ways of speaking to make the fake letters they send out sound more authentic.
One of the things that scares me about these people is they don’t understand the basic concept that a person who will ask you to lie for them - will also lie against you. The fakers aren’t safe.