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I do have to wonder how much these asshats are just spoiling the water in their own little pools, barely aware of how little the online chat environment in which they thrive actually matters.

Or, conversely, if their true impact amongst "the youths" is simply not understood by old fuddy-duddies like me.

"Creating chaos and disruption, so that (the far-Right) is seen as the only one able to bring order" is a rather familiar strategy, historically speaking, but one has to wonder if this particular strategy can work when the majority of the politically active demographics will never see any of the "chaos" wreaked by this sort of online activism.

Then again, Trump.

by Zwackus on Wed Jan 25th, 2017 at 02:15:59 AM EST
I think the Israeli government has been doing this sort of thing - paying trolls - quite effectively over the years.  I used to blog on the Times website but got a huge amount of abuse there include posted threats ("we know where you live") when I posted pro-Palestinian or anti-zionist comments. Some bloggers won't touch the topic in consequence. That's partly why I moved to ET... Come to think of it, it is a long time since I blogged on the issue questing the viability of the "two state" solution.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 25th, 2017 at 09:39:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this has been an art form / science for years, professionalized by the state since 2004, affectionately called the 五毛:

Chinese Vocabulary: Internet Commentators Or Wu Mao (网络评论员 或 五毛党)

Chinese Vocabulary: Internet Commentators Or Wu Mao (网络评论员 或 五毛党, in English 50-cent, 5-cent, 5 cent party, 50 cent party, "Wumao Dang", etc. )

In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MOA) and Communist Youth League jointly issued a guideline on internet censorship. The guideline, addressing all Chinese universities, required them to "recruit more than enough number of internet commentators with trustworthy political backgrounds, abundant knowledge on the internet." The purpose was to have them "write and publish posts on hot issues to attract student internet users' viewing or responding, so that the internet discussion would be well guided."

Very soon the guideline was implemented. Henan Province, for instance, issued a notice to all its local universities, further requiring the universities to train the recruited internet commentators for their job and--in order to have them do a good job--to reward them according to their performance. When the notice reached the local universities, the university authorities added more creative ways to keep the quality of such work. Henan Shangzhuan (a local college in Henan) added that the Party secretaries of its various departments, branches and divisions had to hear reports from them regularly, and these Party secretaries would be evaluated based on their work of guiding internet discusssion.

...

For some of them, the volume of their posts is the key to the payment. Taking Hunan Province as an example, it established a system to connect the number of the posts with their payments. The internet commentators in Hunan are each paid a fixed salary of 600 RMB (less than 100 Dollars), plus a bonus of 0.5 RMB (Wu Mao in mandarin, roughly equals to 7 cents) per post----this is why Chinese netizens call the internet commentators as "Wu Mao Dang" (0.5 RMB Party)--or in brief "Wu Mao."

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Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Wed Jan 25th, 2017 at 09:53:13 AM EST
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