Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Wish I Had Said This: More On Goons and Thugs
HERE). He left a comment on Parsley's Pics that I posted a few days ago (HERE). I think it's good enough to bring out of the closet and display before the Blogosphere.
This isn't surprising. Radical right types don't take losing elections and being out of power graciously. They're overbearing bullies when in power, vindictive and vicious when trying to get power back.
Note, too, though, the possibility some of these creeps have a moneymaking interest in putting up a whole bunch of blogs with stolen material and photos, icons or avatars that link to commercial sites. They're looking for clicks that bring them money, so if they can dupe people into clicking what they think leads to another blog or story, but go to a commercial site instead, they get credit for the click through.
Spawning lots of different sites could be deviously useful for several things. One is generating buzz. When bots report back to wherever that there's a lot of buzz about this topic, that person or what have you, bloggers and reporters start looking into it. If it then winds up as blog posts and news stories, the system has been successfully manipulated. You get a megaphone effect going, IOW.
Another reason for setting up a string of blogs is to facilitate spam operations, including comment spam, and/or denial of service attacks, where a blog or Web site gets flooded with so much crap that legitimate visitors can't get to it. For the spam operation or for combating trolls, many blogs and e-mail programs require a visitor to give an e-mail address and/or Web site URL. Anti-spam utilities such as Spam Karma and Akismet check to see if the given site exists. If it does, an e-mail is more likely to go to your inbox or a blog comment is more likely to be approved as legitimate, and so on.
Years back I would sometimes visit a site called Blogs for Bush that was completely Astroturf. It existed to launch ugly diatribes against Bush administration critics and to tout the White House and GOP party line. This paid-for blog always had a bunch of sock-puppet commenters. From the writing style and British or Canadian spelling of some words, one staffer was obviously masquerading as at least three different regular commenters. The camouflage was so transparent as to be laughable. Every post would have 12-30 comments, and after awhile you could discern patterns to them.
Back when Technorati had pages of scrolling just-published posts for blogs of various kinds, including politics, it was obvious that a large number of right-wing bloggers had figured out a way to game the system. I could publish a post, ping Technorati and wait hours for it to appear on Technorati's new-posts page, if it ever appeared at all. Breitbart would publish a post and it would appear on Technorati quickly, and then show up again and again, even when it was no longer a new post. Same for posts by Michelle "Beware, She Bites" Malkin, Pamela Gellar and a long list of others.