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| Not a news piece but I was thinking, what can be done to stop Russian and other trollfarm operations? Ether to shut them down or cut them off?

I love freedom, not having book bannings or people being hate crimed by the state so the firehose of falsehood and misinformation is a big concern of mine plus I feel our governments are not doing enough to combat this with politicians even eating up up misinfo if it helps their election chances.

| This stuff is seriously damaging free soceities and has been a major problem since the mid 2010s with nobody really giving a fuck about it beyond "Yeah its a thing I guess but what can ya do?"

Its outright cyber warfare against peoples minds when you really think about it.

| And as we've seen with the gaza mess, misinformation is like chocolate its tastey and easy to consume. We are emotional creatures and will share anything that boosts our confirmation bias without stopping to think.

Humans like the path of least resistence.

| My country started a government project whos purpose is to identify misinformation and correct it, and to educate the population —both domestic and EU— about the practice and how to recognise it. They have since merged with Harvard University's Misinformation Review.

Instead our government created a new agency called something akin to The Agency for Psychological Defence but they only deal with misinformation targeted at our nation.

| A government can make domestic troll farms illegal which makes it harder for them to recruit from the targeted population.

The best thing for us to do is to not engage, or at least engage with mininal effort. Also, any site that values open discussion should ban people who seek to hinder and/or destroy such discussions.

| Here are some tricks our resident trolls like to use:

• They go on the attack. Vicious personal attacks don't win arguments, but they can make them so unpleasant that the opponent doesn't want to participate next time. In this way, the trolls gradually change the playing field.

The sedondary purpose of this practice is to hinder sites from growing or maintaining a positive vibe.

| • They like labels. By dismissing their opponents with a label that has no factual basis, trolls try to invalidate them as debaters. Nicknames such as "cultural Marxists", "PK elite" and "leftists" can work that way.

| • They "imply" things. For example, when a troll writes about unaccompanied refugee children in quotation marks – "the children" – they know exactly how it is perceived by the audience, while at the same time not explicitly claiming that the children are lying about their age. The point is made without there being any statement to refute.

| • They like fake sources. If a troll spouts out false numbers, fabricated sources, and links to false information, it becomes a hopeless task to check and dismiss every claim. The technique is sometimes referred to as "Gish-gallop", and aims to lend a shimmer of credibility to outright lies.

>https://misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu/ and even snopes.com often check fake sources if they get shared enough times

| • They try to switch your focus to something else. Already in the sandbox, we learn to counter with: "What about you?" In the same way, trolls often respond "You're doing the same thing" when their opponents make an accusation, whether it's espionage or activist violence. The goal is to falsely portray the opponent as a hypocrite.

| The troll often intends to provoke and create frustration. A common approach is therefore to not give the troll the attention it wants, "don't feed the troll" is a well-known saying.

But there are also those who say that one of the most effective responses is to ask questions. Instead of constantly responding to and responding to the troll's argumentation and letting the troll set the agenda for the discussion, you should ask questions.

| By asking questions, you take over the baton in the conversation, you are not in a position where you have to defend and argue, but force the troll to present his perspective. The troll thus does not get the reaction he wants, namely frustration and upset, and is instead forced to contribute more and more himself.

| By asking questions, you also don't have to think about whether the person you're discussing with is a troll or not.

If you ask questions to someone who is not a troll, you give the person an opportunity to clarify themselves and in the end, hopefully, get an answer to their question. Non-trolls often want to try to resolve any confrontations in a good way, even if they are angry and upset. They will answer your questions honestly.

| You can basically ask any questions you want, as long as you avoid being defensive or frustrated. Try to focus on the troll as much as possible: "Why do you think so?" "How did you come up with that?" "What do you think about that?"

Trolls avoid answering questions or respond with more provocative arguments, or their own counter-questions. It's best not to engage with anyone who acts this way. Don't be a feeder.

Total number of posts: 14, last modified on: Fri Jan 1 00:00:00 1699024760

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