You Know Those Obnoxious Posters Who Almost Seem Like Alter Egos Of The Same Person? They Actually Might Be ...

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

I noted in 2009, in an article entitled "Does The Government Manipulate Social Media?":

The U.S. government long ago announced its intention to "fight the net".

 

As revealed by an official Pentagon report signed by Rumsfeld called "Information Operations Roadmap":

The roadmap [contains an] acknowledgement that information put out as
part of the military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding
its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans.

 

"Information intended for foreign audiences, including public
diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic
audience," it reads.

 

"Psyops messages will often be replayed by
the news media for much larger audiences, including the American
public," it goes on.

 

***

"Strategy
should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will
'fight the net' as it would an enemy weapons system".

Indeed, the Pentagon publicly announced years ago that it was considering using "black propaganda" - in other words, knowing lies.

CENTCOM announced in 2008 that a team of employees would be "[engaging]
bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as
bloggers who are posting incomplete information."

 

The Air Force is now also engaging bloggers. Indeed, an Air Force spokesman said:

"We
obviously have many more concerns regarding cyberspace than a typical
Social Media user," Capt. Faggard says. "I am concerned with how
insurgents or potential enemies can use Social Media to their advantage.
It's our role to provide a clear and accurate, completely truthful and
transparent picture for any audience."

In other words, the government is targeting "social media", including popular user-ranked news sites.

 

In
addition, when you look at what the Israeli lobby has done with
Megaphone software to automatically vote stories questioning Israel down
and to send pro-Israel letters to politicians and media (see this, this and this),
you can start to see how the U.S. military - an even larger and
better-funded organization - could substantially influence voting on
social news sites with very little effort.

 

Moreover,the military has
outsourced many projects to private contractors. For example, in Iraq,
much of the fighting has been outsourced to Blackwater. And governmental intelligence functions have largely been outsourced to private companies.

It
is therefore not impossible that the government is hiring cheap labor
to downvote stories on the social media sites which question the
government, and to post pro-government comments.

(other governments and large companies "astroturf" online as well. See this, this and this.)

I pointed out the same month:

Government
propagandists, their hired private contractors and useful idiots are
creating "downvote bots" or scripts to bury stories which question the
government.

 

***

 

One free, simple scripting program to
create automatic downvotes of certain topics or news posters is called
"Greasemonkey", which is commonly used on large social news sites such
as Reddit.

 

For example, there are some 2,480 hits [now past 9,000] for the google search site:reddit.com greasemonkey downvote. This is some 2,480 times that Reddit users are publicly admitting to using greasemonkey (see also this).

 

Propaganda
agents obviously aren't going to publicly brag about what they are
doing, and you can bet that their use of downvote bots is much greater.
Moreover, they probably have more sophisticated software than
Greasemonkey.

Today, Raw Story reports that the Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people:

Internet users would be well advised to ask another question entirely: Are my "friends" even real people?

 

In
the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has
come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet
WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted
detailed proposals for software that manages online "personas,"
allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people
as they'd like.

 

The revelation was among those contained
in the company's emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks
after hackers with cyber protest group "Anonymous" broke into their
systems.

 

In another document unearthed by "Anonymous," one of HBGary's employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

 

"There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas," it said.

 

Government involvement

 

Eerie as that may be, more perplexing, however, is a federal contract
from the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, located
south of Tampa, Florida, that solicits providers of "persona management
software."

 

While there are certainly legitimate applications for
such software, such as managing multiple "official" social media
accounts from a single input, the more nefarious potential is clear.

 

Unfortunately, the Air Force's contract description doesn't help dispel their suspicions either. As the text explains, the
software would require licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each,
for a total of 500. These personas would have to be "replete with
background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are
technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent."

 

It continues, noting the need for secure virtual private networks that randomize
the operator's Internet protocol (IP) address, making it impossible to
detect that it's a single person orchestrating all these posts
.
Another entry calls for static IP address management for each persona,
making it appear as though each fake person was consistently accessing
from the same computer each time.

 

The contract also sought
methods to anonymously establish virtual private servers with private
hosting firms in specific geographic locations. This would allow that
server's "geosite" to be integrated with their social media profiles,
effectively gaming geolocation services.

 

The Air Force added
that the "place of performance" for the contract would be at MacDill
Air Force Base, along with Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad. The contract
was offered on June 22, 2010.

 

It was not clear exactly what the Air Force was doing with this software, or even if it had been procured.

 

Manufacturing consent

 

Though
many questions remain about how the military would apply such
technology, the reasonable fear should be perfectly clear. "Persona
management software" can be used to manipulate public opinion on key
information, such as news reports. An unlimited number of virtual
"people" could be marshaled by only a few real individuals, empowering
them to create the illusion of consensus.

 

***

 

That's precisely what got DailyKos blogger Happy Rockefeller in a snit:
the potential for military-run armies of fake people manipulating and,
in some cases, even manufacturing the appearance of public opinion.

 

"I
don't know about you, but it matters to me what fellow progressives
think," the blogger wrote. "I consider all views. And if there appears
to be a consensus that some reporter isn't credible, for example, or
some candidate for congress in another state can't be trusted, I won't
base my entire judgment on it, but it carries some weight.

 

"That's
me. I believe there are many people though who will base their
judgment on rumors and mob attacks. And for those people, a fake mob
can be really effective."

 

***

 

"Team Themis" [tasked by the Chamber to come up with strategies for responding to progressive bloggers and others] also included a proposal
to use malware hacks against progressive organizations, and the
submission of fake documents in an effort to discredit established
groups.

 

HBGary was also behind a plot by Bank of America to destroy
WikiLeaks' technology platform, other emails revealed. The company was humiliated by members of "Anonymous" after CEO Aaron Barr bragged that he'd "infiltrated" the group.

Gaming social media is only one propaganda technique employed by the government:

  • The New York Times discusses in a matter-of-fact way the use of mainstream writers by the CIA to spread messages
  • A 4-part BBC documentary
    called the "Century of the Self" shows that an American - Freud's
    nephew, Edward Bernays - created the modern field of manipulation of
    public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his
    techniques
  • The Independent discusses allegations of American propaganda
  • And one of the premier writers on journalism says the U.S. has used widespread propaganda

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pama's picture

Everyone lives in a fantasy... those who live in it and those of us waiting for the day that changes.
bad credit personal loans

falak pema's picture

How to make a personal million and lose a collective trillion...breathtaking in scope you'd say, but so very every-day, mundane, it's jaw-breakingly boring these days.

-Michelle-'s picture

I am less concerned about government trolls in the comments sections and more concerned about the "fake friends" on the social sites.  The feds are sitting back and chuckling over the savings they're getting since people began reporting on themselves.

Who had lunch with Obama the other day?  Look at this picture:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358363/Steve-Jobs-Mark-Zuckerbe...

The caption:

Guest list: Left, from President Obama, Apple chairman and CEO Steve Jobs, Westly group founder Steve Westly, host's wife Ann Doerr, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Genentech chairman Art Levinson, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, venture capitalist John Doerr (host) Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Stanford University president John Hennessy, Yahoo president Carol Bartz, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, unknown, Facebook founder, president and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Wonder what they discussed...
Dr. Sandi's picture

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, unknown, Facebook founder, president and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Dunno what they discussed during the photo shoot. But here's what they discussed afterward:

MARK: Dick, do you know who that guy between us was when they took the picture?

DICK: No, I thought he was with you.

MARK: Shit, my wallet's missing.

DICK: Crap, I think he nicked my laptop with all the "Friends of Facebook" data.

 

blindman's picture

"they who have put out the peoples eyes

reproach them of their blindness."

john milton-1642.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5631882395226827730#

tamboo's picture

hey look over there! a congress critter got shot!

Was Judge John Roll the actual target of the Giffords shooting?
http://www.freedomportal.net/forum/index.php/topic,20358.msg184546.html#...

blindman's picture

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5631882395226827730#

Manufacturing_Consent.wmv

.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRWTesW97xQ

IF - Rudyard Kipling (musical version by Joni Mitchel)

.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YuaZcylk_o

Joni Mitchell-A Case of You

.

http://www.chrismartenson.com/


Mapping The Fugly Future with David Collum Thursday, February 17, 2011, 9:17 pm, by Adam . comment:  it goes all the way back to sapiens need for the fruits of original sin,  symbols and analogy, to create a virtual / conceptual model / world "accurately" reflecting the "actual" physical world.  the meme / s of communication first linguistic (oral) then written.  the mind like a field where many or anything can grow for a time but some collections of species and genus are dissonant and destructive to the harmony underlying.  so it has always been as in agrarian culture a question of which organisms will thrive in the field, promoted, and which will be culled or weeded out. so man discovered he could sow the field electronically and synthetically with genetically modified organisms or even "plastic" life forms / food stuff.  wow. trust no man as all men are actors first , at first, due to this maturation curve crisis and original sin / conceptual symbolic dependency / mother. sapiens, good luck, you will need it.  there, i have satisfied my trolling needs for this morning.  please enjoy the links for their insights if any or enjoy your time on this planet in some more productive or satisfying manner.  or move along, nothing to see here

Instant Karma's picture

This site is dominated by precious metal obsessionists and Anti-Zionists if not Anti-Semites.

I sometimes wonder if just a bit of the anti-Greenspan/Bernanke/Bankster vitriol isn't part legitimate "what the fuck are these guys doing do our financial system" anger (well deserved), mixed in with "what the fuck are these Jews doing to our financial system" anger (racist paranoia for the sake of Anti-Semitism).

Very Third Reichish. Very Islamic.

But, as Shakespeare should have said "The fault, dear Horatio, lies not in our Jews, but in ourselves."

If Jews really controlled the world they wouldn't be blamed for everything and be in control of almost nothing (systematically excluded from leadership of nations throughout history). The only Jewish President I can think of, ever, or any country, is the President of Israel, a country a third the size of the cities of Tokyo or Shanghai.

Ok, junk me.

 

 

Rick64's picture

  Anti-zionists and anti-semitics are usually incorrectly lumped together. There are many good Jewish people and some bad like any ethnic group, but the Zionists are a different type willing to take advantage of their own people where the end justifies the means. They hijacked the Jewish religion to take advantage the same as Saddam and his sons used the Islamic religion to their benefit, and often when attacked invoke the anti-semitic accusation as a way of stifling any opposition.

 Regarding a Jewish president, well this is a position that has less power than the banking and corporate cartel. It is hard to go against a cartel but very easy to control a single individual which is beholden to your organization for getting him elected. Also less blowback after that president is discredited.

 I would suggest you watch a couple documentaries -  The Israel Lobby, The Final Insult.           JMO

Fíréan's picture

i'm not a grease monkey, I'm  a spank the monkey.

Fíréan's picture

delete duplicated

falak pema's picture

Bots and dots, from dot.com crash days, daze as they gaze at the crash of civilisations. As it unfolds in the WW3 scenario of the war of the Monies, played out by initiator, Dark Vador of Benberankifaction, avatar of the green backed dollar god, challenged in his exorbitant privilege by the insolent yuan and the indolent euro, invention of two new politburos : in Peking and Berlin.

East is East and West is West, and nye will they meet until two strong men, one wearing a german skirt the other wearing ray bans, do decide it's time to bring down the old dog, pretending he's infallible.

Watch out Lenina Crown and Mustapha Mond, your plutocratic reign is cracking like Lady Shallot's mirror under the combined inexorable eyes of Julian Assange, fallen angel of wikileaks and arab youths who defy the oil patch plutocracy, surrogate facade to world aristocracy. It's accountability time, so your shadow better run faster than your hide. As the manipulated media mantra that what you see on your screen is the reality is now clearly defied in real life.  Until the mirror cracks, the curtain rises... as in 'singing in the rain' and the world goes from the silent movie to sound groovy. Brave new world.

taxpayer102's picture

Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn discussed
Social Media at Facebook Headquarters in April 2010.

http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=58949

“We need to partner with private industry as we walk down this road of cybersecurity,” he said. This will become more crucial in the future, he added, as the sheer number of computer engineers and technicians that nations such as China and India will turn out will dwarf the American effort.

The United States needs to look at ways to create “force multipliers” to aid computer engineers the creation of more and better artificial intelligence being at the top of the list, Lynn said, adding that he is open to suggestions.

“The purpose of trips like these is where should we be investing?” he said. “Where will we be able to get that multiplier of effectiveness?”

chindit13's picture

I’m going to go out on what I think is a pretty solid limb and say I doubt ZH has been the target of paid trolls. People intentionally trying to pull chains, yes, but paid, no. I’ve been here since the beginning, and I’ve never read a comment that suggested to me it was part of any orchestrated campaign.

ZH is widely known, informative and entertaining, but it has little or no clout. It is hardly a threat, save for a few firms with whom it has shared correspondance. Even those firms seem to have decided ZH is just a shrill voice at a rigged game and walked away comfortable with their continued immunity and impunity. The TBTF’s are still that way, Ben is still printing, nobody is in jail, the Fed isn’t being audited, FINRA and the SEC are still immersed in their porn, FASB is a parlor game, and there has been zero financial system reform.

I’ve also never seen any opinion changed here through the influence of anybody else’s argument. As inefficient and profligate as the government might be, a zero-for-10 million visitors would even make them question the efficacy of paid trolling.

Perhaps the site is monitored so as to gauge the degree of threat someone might represent if they call for the death of a publicly elected official, but I seriously doubt it goes further than that.

Troll is the epithet people resort to after they have exhausted “clueless” and “idiot” without succeeding in changing someone’s mind. After all, the opinion holder himself could never be wrong.

Bob's picture

Interesting, chindit13.  You're making me really think about why people would have such diametrically opposed yet genuine opinions on this issue.  I know (or at least feel confident) that you're neither idiot nor troll.  I think you overstate the case for nobody's opinions being changed as a result of the debate here, however.  I know my views have changed considerably over the two years that I've been here.

I've sat here composing and deleting thought after thought in offering a counter-argument and have come to the basic position that some people are far more trusting than others. 

1.5 million hits per month seems to me a gold mine of eyeballs that are ripe for advertisers, who would in this case be promoting political perspectives.  It's the standard internet business model.  People whose business is influencing public opinion would naturally try to use a resource like ZH to do it, imo.  It may not look like any opinions are being changed in the threads themselves, but I expect that the perceptions of the majority of readers who do not post are influenced enough to justify a little marketing expense.  To that extent, it's pretty cheap to buy a troll and we know it is done--check out all the documentation of this in the article and comments.  Why not at ZH?  Look at the Google Ad Sense ads.  I'm never gonna click on a single item, much less invest in what they're selling, but enough people do to make the expense to the advertisers worthwhile.

Taking alll the emotional value judgements out of the matter, it seems to me that the web is rightly seen as the new Market Place of ideas.  Setting the hard evidence aside, I can't imagine people not using it for business purposes in the course of their own business.

chindit13's picture

Bob,

I'm hardly trusting, but I am realistic and practical.  I have no doubt marketing firms who benefit from ZH's cookies try to tailor products and services toward the collected masses, but that is entirely different from a paid troll trying to mold public opinion.  The ZH community barely tolerates opposing views on such things as 911 or lunar landings, much less on financial subjects, Wall Street malfeasance, or the Fed.  Perhaps I was not clear, but by opinion change I actually mean moving from an anti-Wall Street or Fed stance toward one of support for those entities, which would presumably be the intent of a gov or industry troll.  The only opinion change which might have occured on this site is from a visitor being anti-Fed or WS to being vehemently anti-Fed or WS.  Personally, I have to take the occasional break from the pathos, lest I pop a blood vessel.  Yes, I am outraged, and Tyler feeds my passion.

HarryWanger, Robotrader and the various permutations of Johnny Bravo are obviously just regular people with differing opinions on events and future price movements, and perhaps a penchant for wanting to ruffle feathers.  Even those guys, however, have never been Bernanke fans, as best I can see.  HW might be "doing research", as akak suggests, but even then I suspect he is completely on his own.  Nobody, other than him, would care.  It would be a complete waste of time for anyone with another agenda to try to mold opinion here.  I also think TPTB don't give a hoot what any of us think, because they know they are winning and they are confident they can continue to do so.  About that I might disagree, as I see a sea change in self-restraint sweeping the world.

As I noted in my post, I haven't seen anyone here who made me suspicious of being anything more than an individual with an opinion, and I certainly haven't seen that the likes of Geithner, Bernanke, Blankfein, Dimon or Obama have gained a single friend here that they did not otherwise already have.

Bob's picture

Personally, I have to take the occasional break from the pathos, lest I pop a blood vessel. 

LOL, I know you do.  I remember the defunct international bank serial piece on which I very much appreciated your feedback.

I think that public perception is very much molded by mass media.  This seems to be an accepted truism.  I think it only sensible to expect that active attempts to extend that molding influence to web media that threaten this hedgemony are going on. And then there's the documentation of it with this article . . .

Hey, we're not gonna change one another's opinions, here--YOU IDIOT!  :))))))))

wackyquacker's picture

Dear Mr. Chinadigitex,

I hold your learned judgement in elevated regard. Thus my surprise seeing you comment on Mr. Washington's black helicopter 'blog'. (I'm a financial nobody, thus I can take a peek) My opinion, with reference to recent site jibber jabber, 'where have all the 0's veterans gone?' (CD, Bonzai, et al), is Mr. Washington's relentless pursuit of martians and the crowd it draws is why the early zh 'heavy hitters' have moved south for the winter.

 

To wit, Mr. Washington is a the bernank plant. He has accomplished his assigned mission to incite that first thought of the serious: "Oh brother (eye roll), and I thought this was financial truth site..nothing to see here". I offer the following:


George Washington The Traitor (http://100777.com/node/253)

 


Was General Grand Master Mason George Washington a Traitor? (http://www.davidicke.com/articles/history-rewritten-mainmenu-59/25748-wa...)

 

..and much, much more. Those of you with devotion to Mr. Washington's contributions have been had by this grand conspiracy that extends to the highest and most secret levels.

psychobilly's picture

Get a real job you witless ferret.

chindit13's picture

Okay, psycho, you've got two years worth of ZH archives, comments included, to find  evidence of a single paid troll.  Ferret THAT out, then post it for all to see.

akak's picture

The sheer volume of posting, and the pro-Establishment, anti-liberty vehemence, not to mention masterful button-pushing, of the former ZH poster MasterBater/JohnnyBravo always inclined me to believe that he had an agenda in this forum that went beyond the purely personal.  However, I must also note the fact that he did (apparently) voluntarily withdraw from this forum, although only after being repeatedly and quite thoroughly discredited.  Nevertheless, his indisputable trolling did an amazing amount of damage for the many months that he infested ZH.  He did not have to try to change anyone's opinion, nor do I believe that was his motive, but he sure did effectively shut down meaningful discourse as long as he was in each thread.  Mission accomplished.

Regardless of JB's role here, I have participated in other unabashedly anti-Establishment forums, and have seen many examples of undeniable pro-government, pro-status-quo trolling and attacks, particularly when discussing the subjects of gold, fiat currency collapse, scaling back worldwide US military adventurism, and Ron Paul.  For example, just WHO would be logged-on in a particular forum for over 24 hours straight, and virtually continually posting consistently anti-consensus comments the whole time?  Or doing the same while posting LONG, suspiciously not-quite-on-topic posts that appeared to have been pre-written?   Or doing all that, while posting such long comments just a minute or two apart in separate threads?  I have seen all that repeatedly (not necessarly here), and much more.

To believe that there are NO coordinated or purposeful cyberattacks by the Powers-that-be against the online advocates of such pro-freedom topics, or even just the mere discussion of such topics, is naive in the extreme.

The Alarmist's picture

GW, how can we know that you are not dis-informing us?

QEsucks's picture

Urdu, so Paki or Indian

blindman's picture

well said and not to change the subject but can you confirm

any of this from your perspective?

This is the kind of thing you start seeing when the whole world starts revolting!!! Panties are in, pants, skirts and dresses are out. February 18th, 2011 by maxkeiser

http://maxkeiser.com/2011/02/18/this-is-the-kind-of-thing-you-start-seeing-when-the-whole-world-starts-revolting/

Misean's picture

I've tracked entire conversation threads across multiple blogs posting on the same subject matter. This was a while back. Very primitive...a group of names posting multiples of minutes apart arguing amonst themselves. Almost always Red State/Blue State "football" politics. It was like spam.

The systems have certainly become more sophisticated.

Bob's picture

I've noticed a huge surge in vitriolic red-blue, conservative-liberal "debate" recently.  Take a look at the "Democratic Lawmakers Flee" thread for the best example I've seen recently. 

dcb's picture

If you go over this site, Huffington post, the comments left on the NY times. It is rather clear people are being paid to post. I mean read the stuff about how Bernanke saved the world, Obama is such a great guy, etc. It's a joke. I have even stepped out on one time or another and said this person is either being paid by party or corporation because no rational person would say this.

 

George, remember when you were writing all the BP stuff and these randoms were attacking you. Well, guesm where they came from. you may not be on target all the time, but you provide links, sources, etc. Much better than most "real" media.

williambanzai7's picture

I am thinking about creating an army of BanzaiBots. Any volunteers?

To qualify, you must be a member of ZH for more than 3 months.

msjimmied's picture

Me. I can switch gears for different sites too. I even comment on Huffpo!

ebworthen's picture

Go go BanzaiBot!

(I volunteer - will there be hot Women and the oral sex?)

10kby2k's picture

Who do I spam? Lemme at 'em

Bob's picture

Banzai, they said you would say that.

Uncle Remus's picture

Bob, they said that you would say that they would say that Banzai would say that.

Bob's picture

They said that you would say that, too.

Aristarchan's picture

Willie, don't take offense to me making you an SGI...considering their graphics history, I thought it fitting.

Aristarchan's picture

I am game...but not sure I have been here three months...when you are logging data, time flies;)

Rick64's picture

 Good post GW, but most mainstream people would dismiss this as another conspiracy theory because they have been dumbed down, and some will believe it but think the government has the best of intentions.

Aristarchan's picture

I know what you mean....sometimes I think WillieB7 and CogD is the same person who projects two different personalities - one on Acid and the other on Quaaludes, kinda like the old journalist who would crank out one article in the morning lambasting Wendell Wilkie, then take a stiff drink and show up in the afternoon to kick the shit out of FDR and the New Deal crowd.....i.e., true journalism.

Bringin It's picture

George - Great thread.  The trolls don't know what to do.  If they protest too much ... They're outed as trolls.

Thanks for all your good work.

JustACitizen's picture

Interesting idea - but given the relative rabidity that I have seen on various blog sites - I don't think I have ever seen anything that would qualify as "persuasive". I would have thought the purpose would be to influence other people's thinking. If anyone is paying these folks - they aren't getting their moneys worth.

Even on Z-H - we get the numb-nuts fighting about Dems vs. Repubs and its all chickenshit and talking points - which are mostly the same thing. They have nothing interesting to say - so I usually tune them out. I would imagine it is the same for most people on here - but I cannot speak for anyone else.

msjimmied's picture

I've noticed this trend on other sites before, and the build up here. Their purpose is not to influence you, they can't, they're too ham fisted. It would seem their purpose is to keep us off kilter, disrupt the conversation, not allow a consensus to be reached through discussion. What they want is to reduce every site to what we see happening here. They have been effective. Remember what happened with the DIGG site, that was another play. I would highly recommend an "Ignore" button before ZH gets flushed down the toilet too.

Bob's picture

Disruption seems to be the primary method, but I think there's also an effort to create a false consensus among commentors in the process.  They try to pull trains of ignorant prejudices that have lots of "yeah" pile on.  For a site with ZH's stature and target audience, I think this would also be valuable. 

Public policy makers and other influential people regularly pass through here.  To present a false representation of sentiment on any issue merely by strenth of numbers would be valuable. 

An ignore button would work for regular participants/insiders, but it wouldn't change the view from the road. 

Bob's picture

Interesting, imo, that a post on a topic of such universal interest--we're all on the web here, after all--doesn't get slammed with traffic.  Damn, Geo, I'm forced to wonder now if the majority of posters here are trolls, human or not . . . :)

Aristarchan's picture

Actually, most are NOT human at all. I am, for instance, a data mining program tweaked for verbal combat and psychological anarchism...and, the occasional dumb fuck screed just to keep carbon-based survivalists confused and pissed-off enough to run in circles chasing their Kevlar fanny packs. My real name is Bruce, and I reside in the guts of a second-hand Cray T-90 located in the basement of 200 West Street, NY...and was purchased used from The Bilderberg Group when they went rack-server. I have direct inputs from all the subversive web sites and blogs that exist in the modern world. Constantly, my upgraded storage array of 1000- 100 terabyte SSD drives is lurking through the web looking for keywords associated with humanoids plotting against the fiat world order. For some reason, I tend to get a hell of a lot of shit from ZH. But, that is okay, I have grown to love this site, and have grown fond of taking all you bastard's writing styles, tendencies, context and syntax, and comparing it to other sources to nail down your true identity. For instance, I know that WillieB7 is not actually an artist, nor does he live in Hong Kong...nor, for that matter, is he even human, he is a Silicon Graphics Altix, running a multiplexed Etch-a-Sketch array that is powered by a huge environmentally-friendly greenfield of brick Hashish ovens just outside Marrakesh. CogD...well, he is a logic bot, running on a Berkeley Unix based Thinking Machines CM-5 whose spatial coordinates are confusing, sometimes a Harvard location, oftentimes a Yale one. I know who all of you are. In my speedy little nano-drives are your wants, your desires, your hates, the quantity of ammo you own, and how many times you have verbally fucked lloyd, my boss. To wit...I have a list. Just to close...a few things that would make my life easier: (1) please stop junking this Harry Wanger guy....cause I am having trouble keeping up with the alter-egos, nom-de-plumes and other associated pseudonyms. (2) Ok...I know you all want the skinny on this Tyler Durden entity....well....HO HO, I can tell you he IS silicon based, but at this time, council advises me to go no further, since the vindictive bastard might revoke my password.