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COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum. (Trolling 101)
E-Mail and Freepers

Posted on 01/16/2009 12:36:53 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator

Thanks to many FReepers who have sent us this information. Apparently, this is floating around the Internet now. It is a guide to trolling. While it may or may not be fake in its origins, we do see these techniques all the time and felt it would be good to share with everyone.

______________________________________________________ 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 *********) 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 ‘favorite 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 favorite ‘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 unfavorable 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.

CONCLUSION

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 precedence 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.


TOPICS: Announcements; Free Republic; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abuse; definitionoftroll; freerepublic; garbage; howtotroll; pl; trolling; trolling101; trolls; zot
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A few things to note. Just because someone is new, doesn't make them a troll. We have hundreds of new sign-ups each day and very few are trolls.

Remember the abuse button. Please use that as your first option instead of pinging or FReepmailing mods. This gets to us faster.

Please respect the site and her rules like excerpt restrictions, banned sources, etc. Please also try to categorize threads correctly. The less time we have to clean those up, the more time we can go after trolls.

Have fun.

1 posted on 01/16/2009 12:36:54 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator
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To: Sidebar Moderator; Admin Moderator; Jim Robinson

ping


2 posted on 01/16/2009 12:37:10 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator
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To: Sidebar Moderator

IBTZ!


3 posted on 01/16/2009 12:39:08 PM PST by OSHA (I want to meet the man that put the cat IN the bag.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Let's talk about homosexual minority humpback whales...
4 posted on 01/16/2009 12:39:14 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Allegra
You should see the socks I have on today...

L

5 posted on 01/16/2009 12:39:27 PM PST by Lurker ("America is at that awkward stage. " Claire Wolfe, call your office.)
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To: MaggieCarta; indylindy; roamer_1; calcowgirl; djsherin; Sunnyflorida; SoConPubbie; Sybeck1; ...

fyi


6 posted on 01/16/2009 12:40:18 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: Lurker; 2banana

I thought mentioning Forum Sliding would cause us problems. :->


7 posted on 01/16/2009 12:40:33 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Examples can be seen on any 0bama birth certificate thread.


8 posted on 01/16/2009 12:41:05 PM PST by null and void (Hey 0bama, now that you've caught the car, what are you going to do with it, hmmm?)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Oh, hai! What’s going on in this thread? j/k ;)


9 posted on 01/16/2009 12:41:11 PM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear
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To: Sidebar Moderator
I highly recommend..

Hook that big one, first time, every time..

Thanks for the guide.

10 posted on 01/16/2009 12:41:14 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Just nuking the gay whales for Jesus...

L

11 posted on 01/16/2009 12:43:19 PM PST by Lurker ("America is at that awkward stage. " Claire Wolfe, call your office.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

bfltr


12 posted on 01/16/2009 12:43:36 PM PST by mnehring
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To: Sidebar Moderator

I am thinking this should have a sticky category.

Thanks for putting this info together, its time to reorganize America even if it means burning the fields and silos.


13 posted on 01/16/2009 12:43:51 PM PST by Eye of Unk (How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words! SA)
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To: 2banana; LucyT

homosexual minority humpback whales ping


14 posted on 01/16/2009 12:44:40 PM PST by null and void (Hey 0bama, now that you've caught the car, what are you going to do with it, hmmm?)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
GAINING FULL CONTROL’

Shouldn't that be 'GAINING FULL CON-TROLLING'?

15 posted on 01/16/2009 12:46:49 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: Sidebar Moderator

That is a very useful post. Thank you.

I saw obvious (to me) efforts to manipulate this forum during the Republican primaries -— efforts from both the various campaigns themselves and, I believe, from outside interests who desired to damage candidates that would have been more effective than what was ultimately offerred.

All of these methods were used.

Reminds me of the “Rules for Radicals” approaches.


16 posted on 01/16/2009 12:47:20 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Beware Obama's Reichstag fire.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Some newbie posters aren’t familiar with the forum when they first get here. That’s why I’d rather challenge their beliefs and see the reaction before going postal and mentioning they are newbies right off the bat. If they’re up to no good, it will generally show soon enough.

If they’re up to no good, they’ll be outed. If they’re here to mingle and learn, we won’t have run them off without cause.

I’ve seen people mention a person is a newbie for just about no cause at all. I think that’s unfortunate when I see it take place.

We want new blood here.


17 posted on 01/16/2009 12:47:51 PM PST by DoughtyOne (I see that Kenya's favorite son has a new weekly Saturday morning radio show.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Funny how few know what the term "Trolling" refers to anymore. It's probably the most misunderstood and misused term online these days.

As a public service reminder...

troll: v.,n.
1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See also YHBT.
2. An individual who chronically trolls in sense 1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that the have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, "Oh, ignore him, he's just a troll."
3. [Berkeley] Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS students. Duties include helping newbies and ensuring that lab policies are followed. Probably so-called because it involves lurking in dark cavelike corners.

Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also Troll-O-Meter.
Jargon File, version 4.2.0, 31 JAN 2000



trolling To post a purposely facetious, flippant, or aggressively dumb article. Its purpose is to dupe the gullible or the self-important into responding with follow-ups that make them look foolish. --Useful Usenet Jargon, Copyright © 1995-2008 Paul McFedries and Logophilia Limited

18 posted on 01/16/2009 12:48:17 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Buck Perry?


19 posted on 01/16/2009 12:48:17 PM PST by fortunate sun (Tagline written in lemon juice.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Interesting!


20 posted on 01/16/2009 12:48:46 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Thank you for the tips.


21 posted on 01/16/2009 12:49:10 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: rabscuttle385
Understanding the thrust of trolling


22 posted on 01/16/2009 12:51:07 PM PST by egannacht
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To: DoughtyOne
We want new blood here.

Exactly, if it is obvious that a newbie is not a troll, we encourage members to help them along and give them a warm welcome. We are getting a lot of new sign ups and a whole new generation of FReepers thanks to FreeRepublic pages on sites like Facebook that other FReepers have made.

23 posted on 01/16/2009 12:51:07 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: 2banana

I will if u will talk about the one-eyed claustrophobic tree-legged, fiscally challenged, quarter horses, raised on Humpback Hill that has 2 sheep as girlfriends??


24 posted on 01/16/2009 12:51:38 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: NormsRevenge

Glad some folks know the origin of the term! :-)


25 posted on 01/16/2009 12:52:54 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Technique #2 - ‘CONSENSUS CRACKING’

While I agree that trolling occurs, I don't think this document accurately reflects the mindset of the troll.

I suspect this document is bogus.

26 posted on 01/16/2009 12:54:52 PM PST by DouglasKC (See? An example of "Consensus Cracking".)
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: All

oops..sorry ‘bout the wordwrap


28 posted on 01/16/2009 12:56:07 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Admin Moderator
I propose....


29 posted on 01/16/2009 12:58:31 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Gondring

Let’s try to help you with that formatting:
_________________________________________

Anyone remember this one, too?

The Flamer’s Bible

Revision 1: Dec. 2, 1987 by Joe Talmadge

In the time I have been posting to net, I have encountered flame wars of epic proportions (Brahms Gang vs. Tim Maroney), and flame wars of a more modest nature (MIT vs. CIT). Flaming has evolved into a highly-stylized art form, complete with unwritten rules and guidelines.

Here, I have attempted to document the Art of Flaming, in such a way as it will be interesting to old hands (flame masters) and novices (virgins) alike. Without a further ado, then, I present:

The Twelve Commandments of Flaming

1. Make things up about your opponent: It’s important to make your lies sound true. Preface your argument with the word “clearly.” “Clearly, Fred Flooney is a liar, and a dirtball to boot.”

2. Be an armchair psychologist: You’re a smart person. You’ve heard of Freud. You took a psychology course in college. Clearly, you’re qualified to psychoanalyze your opponent. “Polly Purebread, by using the word ‘zucchini’ in her posting, shows she has a bad case of penis envy.”

3. Cross-post your flames: Everyone on the net is just waiting for the next literary masterpiece to leave your terminal. From rec.arts.wobegon to alt.gourmand, they’re all holding their breaths until your next flame. Therefore, post everywhere.

4. Conspiracies abound: If everyone’s against you, the reason can’t *possibly* be that you’re a ********. There’s obviously a conspiracy against you, and you will be doing the entire net a favor by exposing it.

5. Lawsuit threats: This is the reverse of Rule #4 (sort of like the Yin & Yang of flaming). Threatening a lawsuit is always considered to be in good form. “By saying that I’ve posted to the wrong group, Bertha has libeled me, slandered me, and sodomized me. See you in court, Bertha.”

6. Force them to document their claims: Even if Harry Hoinkus states outright that he likes tomato sauce on his pasta, you should demand documentation. If Newsweek hasn’t written an article on Harry’s pasta preferences, then Harry’s obviously lying.

7. Use foreign phrases: French is good, but Latin is the lingua franca of flaming. You should use the words “ad hominem” at least three times per article. Other favorite Latin phrases are “ad nauseum,” “vini, vidi, vici,” and “fettuccini alfredo.”

8. Tell ‘em how smart you are: Why use intelligent arguments to convince them you’re smart when all you have to do is tell them? State that you’re a member of Mensa or Mega or Dorks of America. Tell them the scores you received on every exam since high school. “I got an 800 on my SATs, LSATs, GREs, MCATs, and I can also spell the word ‘premeiotic’.”

9. Accuse your opponent of censorship. It is your right as an American citizen to post whatever the hell you want to the net (as guaranteed by the 37th Amendment, I think). Anyone who tries to limit your cross-posting or move a flame war to email is either a communist, a fascist, or both.

10. Doubt their existence: You’ve never actually seen your opponent, have you? And since you’re the center of the universe, you should have seen them by now, shouldn’t you? Therefore, THEY DON’T EXIST! This is the beauty of flamers’ logic.

11. Lie, cheat, steal, leave the toilet seat up.

12. When in doubt, insult: If you forget the other 11 rules, remember this one. At some point during your wonderful career as a flamer you will undoubtedly end up in a flame war with someone who is better than you. This person will expose your lies, tear apart your arguments, make you look generally like a bozo. At this point, there’s only one thing to do: insult the dirtbag!!! “Oh yeah? Well, your mother does strange things with vegetables.”


The Golden Rule of Flaming

My flames will be witty, insulting, interesting, funny, caustic, or sarcastic, but never, ever, will they be boring.

Here endeth the scriptures.


30 posted on 01/16/2009 12:59:25 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Sidebar Moderator
This is almost as good as Friday Troll luncheon. Thanks. We do like a captive troll to poke at sometimes.... Just saying....

/johnny

31 posted on 01/16/2009 1:00:01 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Good point! Being new doesn’t make someone a troll. It’s disagreeing with me that does. ;-)


32 posted on 01/16/2009 1:01:05 PM PST by Mogwai ("I trust no-one, not even myself." - Stalin)
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To: null and void

Please add me to the homosexual minority humpback whales list.

Thanks!


33 posted on 01/16/2009 1:04:29 PM PST by frithguild (Can I drill your head now?)
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Bookmarking. ;-)

Newbies? We've got a few long term members that everything they post seems to fall into one or more of these categories.

34 posted on 01/16/2009 1:05:57 PM PST by Dead Corpse (What would a free man do?)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about...


35 posted on 01/16/2009 1:07:13 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Sidebar Moderator; SouthTexas; glock rocks; B4Ranch; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; calcowgirl

Ping... FYI


36 posted on 01/16/2009 1:07:17 PM PST by tubebender ( If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.)
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To: frithguild

Done.


37 posted on 01/16/2009 1:08:43 PM PST by null and void (Hey 0bama, now that you've caught the car, what are you going to do with it, hmmm?)
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To: null and void

Anger/Insult sliding - see any fairtax thread.


38 posted on 01/16/2009 1:09:45 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: Sidebar Moderator

Noob's could just buy my new book and save lots of heartache.

39 posted on 01/16/2009 1:10:56 PM PST by MarineBrat (The New York Times is a Communist Kamikaze.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Yes - I’m a Noob still :) Maybe we could assign FReeper “Elders” as mentors!


40 posted on 01/16/2009 1:11:29 PM PST by Lilpug15 (Obama: "They Need More Arabic Translators in Afghanistan...")
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To: Sidebar Moderator
Technique #3 - ‘TOPIC DILUTION’

Not trolling, I just have a short attention span and my mind wanders a bit.
41 posted on 01/16/2009 1:11:40 PM PST by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: null and void; Calpernia; Fred Nerks; pissant; george76; PhilDragoo; Candor7; MeekOneGOP; ...
Thanks, nully. homosexual minority humpback whales ping?

Okey dokey.

Ping to the article and #30.

42 posted on 01/16/2009 1:11:56 PM PST by LucyT ("Sleep is for people who can't handle caffeine." ...Slings and Arrows)
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To: Sidebar Moderator; 1 Olgoat; 103198; 10Ring; 11Bush; 1stbn27; 2ndClassCitizen; ...

D.C. Chapter Master Ping List

Some very, very interesting and informative reading.

Actually I’m pinging you all so next time the MODs get upset with me, they’ll think I’m their friend and go easy on me by only suspending my account for 24 hours.

[Mr] T


43 posted on 01/16/2009 1:15:40 PM PST by trooprally (Never Give Up - Never Give In - Remember Our Troops)
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To: Sidebar Moderator; All

TECHNIQUE #7 — Thread Trashing (made famous on FR)

Again involves fake accounts and a small cadre of rabid, but “arms length posters” who post angry and usually mild profanity filled towards the original poster, or worse yet, gang up on any “loyal opposition” postings. These escalate with the intent of getting the thread moved first to chat, then smokey backroom, and finally pulled by the mods, just to make sure no one see that the original post flew in from the “lunatic fringe”.


44 posted on 01/16/2009 1:15:58 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: Mogwai; Sidebar Moderator

Mogwai said — “Good point! Being new doesn’t make someone a troll. It’s disagreeing with me that does. ;-)”

Hoo boy...! Being “old” doesn’t make one a troll either... :-)

But, you’re right, disagreeing with someone on a “hot topic issue” will get you to be called a troll *real fast* — uggghh...

I wonder, sometimes if actually being a Christian and posting things of the Bible (which I think are the *absolute foundation* of being conservative) — will eventually be considered trollish...

But, aside from that, certainly disagreeing with some posters about the Obama qualifications issue is one thing that surely will get you called all sorts of names, from idiot, to stupid to troll, to Obot, to... (I forgot all the names... )...

[ posting here to mark this thread for future reference; good material... ]


45 posted on 01/16/2009 1:16:36 PM PST by Star Traveler
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To: Dead Corpse
We've got a few long term members that everything they post seems to fall into one or more of these categories.

I defy you to look at all of my 451 threads and 76,349 replies and find any evidence of that...

46 posted on 01/16/2009 1:16:38 PM PST by null and void (Hey 0bama, now that you've caught the car, what are you going to do with it, hmmm?)
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To: null and void

Does that harken back to the “nuke a gay whale for Jesus” movement from the late 1980s?


47 posted on 01/16/2009 1:18:30 PM PST by Velveeta
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To: Velveeta

harken s/b hearken


48 posted on 01/16/2009 1:19:24 PM PST by Velveeta
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To: Velveeta

Yes. Do you want me to upgrade your membership?


49 posted on 01/16/2009 1:19:34 PM PST by null and void (Hey 0bama, now that you've caught the car, what are you going to do with it, hmmm?)
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To: null and void

What are the upgrade advantages?


50 posted on 01/16/2009 1:20:24 PM PST by Velveeta
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