September 29, 2008

"You are also a paid astrotroller."

A comment on the "Brokaw's bizarre" post that got me wondering.

I know what an astrotroll/astrotroller is (and it hasn't even got an Urban Dictionary definition, which makes me feel very in-the-know). It's a commenter engaged in astroturfing.

Wikipedia says:
Astroturfing in American English is a neologism for formal public relations campaigns in politics and advertising which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event.
Does anyone really think that some of the commenters here are paid representatives of any political campaign or cause? It seems to me that there are many self-appointed boosters of one candidate or another, willing to put in a lot of effort for no pay. I've seen the comments of the particular individual who was accused of astrotrolling, but I can't believe a campaign would pay someone just to post numerous boring/abusive comments. Wouldn't the campaign hire someone competent who would blend in with the style of the blog comments section, seem like a real person, and slip in strong pithy arguments?

The real AstroTurf™ is green, not orange. The real Althouse astrotroll should be offbeat, funny, and smart -- with a memorable pseudonym and some personal details. Up your game if you're getting paid.

IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O. quotes my questions -- "Wouldn't the campaign hire someone competent who would blend in with the style of the blog comments section, seem like a real person, and slip in strong pithy arguments?" -- and says "You miss Titus, don't you?" Well, let me ask you people:

Do you miss Titus?
Yes! Whatever that dispute was, I wish he'd come back.
I'd like him back, but "miss" is going a bit far.
No! He was off-topic/obscene/a troll/unfunny.
Who's Titus?
  
pollcode.com free polls

144 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Here is my theory. It's based on the fact that you drive certain far-left-leaning people insane.

I really believe that there are leftist sites and blogs out there where people say to each other, "Did you see what that Althouse said? Her! A law professor!" And they bitch about you among each other. Then, random mercenaries come over and post. This theory explains the weird commonalities in the arguments and the language used by people who post once and never get heard from again.

As for the Astrotroller in question, I really don't know. He does copy and paste a lot of stuff into threads that has nothing at all to do with the threads, which annoys me to no end. He's certainly on a mission. He's only been around this election season. On the other hand, I would think that moderates and neutrals would find him comically unconvincing. If he is getting paid, it's money poorly spent (like the Obama ad at nationalreview.com I once saw).

The Drill SGT said...

I frankly don't think your Leftie trolls are good enough to get paid. And if they are being paid, I would hope that whomever was paying them should ask for a refund.

Simon said...

"It seems to me that there are many self-appointed boosters of one candidate or another, willing to put in a lot of effort for no pay."

That's the part of the astroturfing charge that I don't understand. People are (for better and worse) more than willing to sink time and money into defending their candidate or tearing down the other one because they feel that they have skin in the game even if they're not being paid.

I think mainly it's just used as an insult to delegitimize and dismiss the targeted comment as something no sensible person would write unless they were being paid. I think Hanlon's razor applies.

erniecu73 said...

It is possible. Although if sad troll muti-shell account michael is what they can afford, that's pretty sad.

bill said...

Does anyone really think that some of the commenters here are paid representatives of any political campaign or cause?

Wouldn't surprise me (candidates and products) and the ones I'm thinking of are generally update and friendly.

Paddy O. said...

It's not exactly an elite position. Very low level campaign workers walk around handing out flyers, answering phones and such as part of their campaign participation.

Wandering around blogs, handing out the same sorts of campaign statements seems the same level of contribution.

If such a person was witty and creative and clever they'd probably have a better role with more influence.

The goal, as I see it, isn't to convince but to stifle and distract. That takes someone good at being annoying.

Or, maybe, it's just this blog. Obama doesn't respect you Ann, so sends the third string your way.

The Drill SGT said...

agree with 7m

your leftie trolls can't be the astro variety. Their talking points are fairly lame, and not well organized. If I were hiring astrotrolls, I would look for folks with better cognitive and writing skills. You know, like a professional ad agency, The Winner folks.

On the other hand, if I were Obama's folks and had allowed Axelrod to subcontract the work, maybe somebody decided to skim or scrimp and sent the work the ACORN.

Your trolls seem like ACORN material. Loud, obnoxious, not very effective, and cheap.

Seven Machos said...

When the astrotroller extraordinaire in question starts posting in this thread with his disgusting, is that irony?

Brent said...

`

The Democrat Party - making Facscism respectable again!

While you are probably correct, Ann, that a campaign paid troll would be a bit more sophisticated in their methods, it is not hard to believe that the Obama campaign would deliberately seek to use their passionate supporters to wreak as much mayhem as possible on influential blogs that don't fully support Obama.

The "Astrotroll" that you are referring to in the previous post may or may not be paid, but he:

1. does sprout the current Democrat talking points of that day.

2. primarily comments for the purpose of attacking both you and other commenters, not to actually engage in a real issue discussion. The particular troll in question is viscious in his attacks.

For an organization lie Obama's that seeks to control the conversation by any means necessary - witness the recent use of the police to bear down on people who disagree with Obama in Missouri, and the quarantee of a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine if Obama wins - it is not surprising to find people like your astrotroll here on a forum that actually encourages discussion and insight.

The Democrat Party - making Facscism respectable again!

Meade said...

I hope they ARE being paid. Lots and lots of money.

Seven Machos said...

And another thing. Here's the problem with this astrotroller: by posting a series of asinine paste jobs and off-topic rants, he takes the good momentum out of a thread and turns it to crap, to use the image of the day. It's really very sadly disruptive.

erniecu73 said...

There is also the troll that *wants to be* a paid campaign worker. It is a long shot, they know, but they will still go around posting and trolling in hope that someone high in the campaign ladder will notice their "commendable efforts" and reward him/her...somehow.

And we can't forget the "idealistic" troll, the bored trust-fund baby with an English or generic BA major (no offense to those with same qualifications but different attitude) who desperately wants to give his/her life some kind of "meaning". There is also the lone ugly geek that desperately needs a sense of belonging, and the very sad and bitter one that deep down wants to be within a "movement" that will help them exercise revenge on a world that has been unfair to them, instead of doing something to change the reasons why the world has treated him/her like that.

Brent said...

(Man, my spellcheck is off!)

Seven,

Awesome to see you and Peter confront the guy on the Brokaw thread.

And yes, I do believe that most Democrats do not believe fully in the Fiorst Amendment right of Free Speech.

And I also believe that the Democrats would accept some aspects of Fascism in this country.

Frightening (and true).

MadisonMan said...

I find it humorous that you all seem to think that astrotrollers here are all from the left side of the Political Spectrum.

erniecu73 said...

MadisonMan, show me one who isn't. Good morning to you.

AllenS said...

This is nothing more than the turd in the punchbowl phenomena.

luckoldson = michael

Who on earth would hire this person?

Seven Machos said...

There is also the troll that *wants to be* a paid campaign worker.

I'm certainly waiting to be plucked out of obscurity by National Review. Or Commentary. (Happy Rosh Hashanah if you guys are reading this!)

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- Do you not admit that the freaky weird annoying people virtually all come from the left? There's that anti-Semite Cedarford, of course, but even he is cordial enough to only post occasionally.

erniecu73 said...

Seven Machos said...
I'm certainly waiting to be plucked out of obscurity by National Review. Or Commentary. (Happy Rosh Hashanah if you guys are reading this!)

8:20 AM


L'Shana tova, Seven!

I am myself working for a spot in Reason and/or Bob Barr's campaign. You know, the LP has a lot of money to spare...

Meade said...

I myself need to bid you all a good day and get back to earning my modest living working as the second coming of Chance the gardener. Good day.

Chip Ahoy said...

Althouse, your good nature is a surprising and reliable delight.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Astroturf is to grassroots as merkin is to pubic hair.

Paid trollers will lose any day to the unpaid blog Historian.

MadisonMan said...

ernie, I would say that Peter V. Bella and alex (or is it Alex? -- can't remember) might fit. Neither wastes an opportunity to slam the candidate who is not their chosen one to the point of tedium. Although I recall Peter posting in non-political threads, which to my mind might disqualify him, all though to quote the great John Cleese, he might be astrotrolling in his spare time.

Seven machos, you can claim cedarford is a lefty. I'll have to take your word for it, I never read what he says. Not crisp. Yes, there are plenty of weirdos from the left -- but not exclusively.

erniecu73 said...

Touché, Madison, touché

Seven Machos said...

Sadly, I cannot in good conscience claim that Cedarford is a lefty. I must not have been clear. I'm admitting that there are nutty righties, like Cedarford, but the nutty lefties are far more common.

I usually skip right Cedarford's tomes as well. I do commend him for posting all his thoughts in one piece, though. I also happen to know that, like a good German, he is for national health care. That's just one of the many reasons I excommunicate him from my side. I know you don't want him.

erniecu73 said...

Cedar-who? I am not claiming that one either.

It is very difficult to know with certainty what he stands for. However, let's not forget that, as we say in Spanish, "extremes touch", they share a lot of crap in common, literally.

Concerned Citizen said...

All one needs are a few mosquitoes to drive people inside.

Read an article over the weekend about protesters in Bolivia carrying (waving) sticks of dynamite.

All you need is one or two guys doing that and everybody clears the streets.

At least that's the theory.

Too many jims said...

MadisonMan,

Two things. If the lefty troller in question is not good enough to get paid, then I think it is fair to say some of the righty commenters are so insipid that it is impossible to think they are getting paid.

Also, although some commenters from the right may be mindless and incivil shills they have been accepted into the community of commenters and, therefore, cannot be considered trolls (maybe a new term 'astrocommenter' is needed or a similar term already exists).

Expat(ish) said...

I am not only paid, I am well paid. Did you not see my name in the bailout bill?

-XC

Seven Machos said...

Sticking around here does have a wonderful mellowing effect. It's been great therapy for me, formerly, in the flower of my youth, a political junkie convinced of my rightness.

I don't want to have a hugfest, though. Never forget, lefties: your candidate sucks more than mine does.

erniecu73 said...

Amen, 7m, amen...LOL

Beth said...

Does anyone really think that some of the commenters here are paid representatives of any political campaign or cause?

No.

I do believe that this is just another version of "hey there's a leftie here! TROLL!"

Beth said...

Does anyone really think that some of the commenters here are paid representatives of any political campaign or cause?

No.

I do believe that this is just another version of "hey there's a leftie here! TROLL!"

AllenS said...

If anybody wants to pay me for the crap I post, let me know, I can always use more money.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, Beth. There's an infinite chasm between you and the commenter(s) at issue. Sure, you're woefully wrong. But you are witty. Your stay on topic. Your posts have depth and layers. You'll post about fried chicken.

I know you can tell the difference. Why pretend otherwise?

Henry said...

Since Pat Buchanan isn't running for President, I don't know who would be paying for Cedarford.

* * *

Astrotroller, as a word, looks odd. For a minute I thought Ann was questioning the invasion of her comments sections by paid Astrologers (she did just dis' them).

But even correcting for that, astrotroller shimmers on the page like a little piece of op art. The word shape is confusing. One second it looks like astrotroller. The next it looks like astrostroller, the Jetson's perambulator.

Say it aloud and twists on the tongue, the "tro-tro" stuttering in the middle like a fragment of onamatapoeia. It is the sound of the slop bucket dumped over the side of the fishing boat.

LarsPorsena said...

If you are allied with a campaign,
would you rather 'troll for truth' or
canvass door-to-door?

I think astro-turfing would be my preference.

peter hoh said...

Meade @ 8:27 I myself need to bid you all a good day and get back to earning my modest living working as the second coming of Chance the gardener. Good day.

Hey, outta my turf!

AJ Lynch said...

Beth posted twice - is that how you get paid double time? Heh.

TMink said...

"Does anyone really think that some of the commenters here are paid representatives of any political campaign or cause?"

Yes, I do. Some people we had never seen before started posting a lot two weeks ago. They started with the typical "I am a (insert right leaning sub group here) and I have voted Republican all my life but the (insert typical conservative issues here) has me voting for Obama." Then they just stick to putting talking points into their posts ad nauseum.

MadisonMan is a regular, and while consistelntly liberal, will post things that are not political because he is a member of our community.

I am not sure if AlphaLiberal ever posts off politics, but he too has been here for ever. Beth (or Elizabeth depending on the day) is a real human being as well.

The astroturfers are not so hard to spot, and I have never seen a conservative astroturfer or never recognized one here.

Trey

Windbag said...

IMAO had a post about the trolls a week or so ago. I'm not conspiratorial enough to think that it's a concerted effort to disrupt the political process. Obama's strategy is much higher up in that regard. I think it's just a case of maturity. Lefties are children, easily ruffled. Righties laugh it off, and head off to work, hunt, or some other productive venture.

The first amendment violators are consistently lefties, so it is reasonable to assume that they will extend their fascism to discussion boards on the Internet.

Palladian said...

Come on, Beth. You know the difference between a lefty commenter and a troll. There are plenty of people who post silly lefty and silly righty and silly non-partisan ideas here that aren't trolls and never get called trolls. Yet you keep pretending, ever since I first called this troll a troll, that it's used as a tactic here to shut disagreement down. Trollery is not an issue of ideology, it's an issue of style.

peter hoh said...

Were a campaign to ask me for advice regarding astrotrolling, I would suggest that they hire from the ranks of those who currently comment on a site.

Getting Beth or myself to start plugging Obama would be cheap, but ineffective. To work, a campaign ought to hire someone who has usually supported the other side.

Imagine how effective it would be if Simon were to suddenly have serious doubts about Palin's fitness to serve, and then used that to question McCain's judgment?

Paddy O. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Burgess said...

No, the astrotrollers (hate the word) here are not paid operatives. They're the lame ones who pick up the talking points provided by the real paid operatives.

Somebody will drop a juicy talking point over at DU or Huffington that suddenly makes it all clear to the troll. That troll then wittingly (but for free) goes and drops turds in blogs perceived to be, if not conservative, then non-left.

They are what the astroturfers are paid to produce: human bots that spam the Internet.

Seven Machos said...

Palladian is 100 percent correct. Trooper York gets on here and starts talking about the New York Giants and ginormous bras for crying out loud. And people love him for it.

Trolling is a style. Big parts of that style are utter humorlessness and this odd, deadened soullessness.

Seven Machos said...

human bots that spam the Internet

Yes. Exactly. This is what pisses me off about the pasting of off-topic crap.

Doyle said...

Satisfaction is my only reward.

blogging cockroach said...

madison man,
how crisp do you want yer comments...
i mean, mine are pretty well toasted
altho they can get soggy just like mom's
english muffins when they fall behind
the stove yum

anyway i try to be offbeat, etc
and i do have to confess that i've been
employed by a campaign
yes, i was the cambridge, mass
chair insect of cockroaches for hillary
but now it's over and i have no axes to grind

i don't even think too badly of sarah palin
she's definitely smarter than alice
who lives under the sink
but alice only has 960 brain cells
so i'm wondering what is mrs palin's excuse

UWS guy said...

Ok, I fess up. I am an astrotroller for....


The McCain campaign! They are paying me to pretend to be an Obama supporter. They only ask that I call everyone racist and make fun of the Mavericks time as a POW in order to rile up his base to turn out on election day.

My comments a few weeks ago about Sara Palin's baby was part and parcel to this strategy, I must have driven at least a few undecided into the republican camp with those inflamatory comments.

PogoПОССУМ said...

Да, I am paid fully by OGPU for these comment. Already this year have I earned enough for the nuggets of chicken at Max Donalds.

Not just chicken but with картофель фри fries of the France. Double plus good.

Oh, and Down With Капитализм Capitalism! **spit**
(That just made me ten cents American.)

erniecu73 said...

Doyle said...
Satisfaction is my only reward.

9:38 AM


Which comes to prove exactly what I said earlier about bitter sad ugly trolls.

Rich B said...

John Burgess-

I notice when Michael, for example, is touting some new revelation, a search for his source usually turns up pages of LW blogs all repeating variations of the story. Usually, few have links to the original source, which is sometimes difficult to track down. When I do track the source down, there is usually a misquote, misinterpretation or outright falsehood at the beginning.

BTW, I agree that Michael seems a lot like Lucky Old Son. Same surliness and serial postings.

UWS guy said...

Everyone else might as well delete your comments now, we got a blogging cockroach and Althouse is gonna give him the tag and put him on the front page.

Woe be to thee!
You're humorous post and witty rejoinder
is wasted herein!
Save your brain for a post without
an althousian comment celebrity.

erniecu73 said...

It is "your" not "you're" since it is impossible for someone to be his/her own humorous comment. Ugh

Kirk Parker said...

Seven,

Re MM, his why-only-on-the-left question, and C4: don't forget I've been flogging the idea that C4 is a leftist plant since, well, forever. :-)

Also, your original comment is spot on, except I'd replace the word "mercenary" with "volunteer" as I don't think there is any actual pay involved.

madawaskan said...

Seriously-


What UWS guy said.

J'accuse Michel a un troll pour le camp de McCain uh?

Ca fait plus de sense-si tu connais que je dit.

Man I refuse to talk about this guy dans le mode anglais, OK?

Alors quand je fais mon accusation le troll respondes-

rien.

Interestment-no?

Aussi-

Beth, Beth, Beth?

Uhhh quand le troll est un troll est un troll.

Comment tu ne veus pas-parce que le troll est drapeau dans une coleur que tu aimes?

UWS guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

God I'm coming back as Fluer de Peu a la Maison des Autres-

And I'ma going to spay it both ways-

be warned.

UWS guy said...

Clearly replacing one homophone with another is proof positive that someone doesn't no the difference between the too.

It's early where I am and I have not had any coffee yet. But thanks for the grammar tip.

madawaskan said...

Eh, that should be *spray* it both ways.

En guard!

Pogo said...

I apologize for my cousin.

Distant cousin.

madawaskan said...

Merde my vowels travel all over the place sans moi.

Youy know speaking of the ironies-

Dame Maison des Autres dit tout le monde-

Ignore le Michel est maintenant-

Two post a dedicated a le fair Michel...

eh, mon ste crapo.

Beau said...

Wouldn't the campaign hire someone competent who would blend in with the style of the blog comments section, seem like a real person, and slip in strong pithy arguments?

Careful, you might send him away and your traffic will drop off sharply. There is a huge contingent of regulars that spend their entire day frenetically responding. They'd only have each other to agree with and sadly that tends to make blogs boring.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

It wasn't the Buchananite "side" of the Republican Party that has nearly destroyed it and virtually ensured the election of Obama and a long-time Democrat majority in Congress.

It was the Bushies, corporatists, theocrats, and Neocons that did that.

Enjoy!

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"People don't love me. They just tolerate a little foolishness now and again."

Oh, I love you. Manfully love you...

Cedarford said...

"Astrotroller" is just another label like "racist!", "anti-Semite!", "Chinese-hater!", "sexist" used to de-legitimize people that have open questions about the wisdom of various policies.

Maybe "astrotrolling" HAD to arise because Godwin's Law and eyerolling is now being evoked by the public whenever they hear the old 60-40 year-old smears being used at almost every occasion to attack positions they disagree with.

It logically follows the "modern" trend to de-legitimize by accusing the opposition being "in the pay of George Soros" or "anti-Algore scientists are in the employ of Big Oil".

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erniecu73 said...

Titus? I might have read some of his comments before I started commenting myself, but I can't really say I remember any or him.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Ann Althouse-

Jeez, allo?

I am of the opinion that you deleted the real Titus.

I'm just sayin'.

Trooper York said...

Titus is the funniest person to ever post here. Bar none.

Not to slight Bissage who of course is the gayest.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

erniecu73 said...

Trooper York said...
Ernie, I think you made him pinch off a loaf when he read that.

10:29 AM


I hope it came out with "solid stability"...

Anthony said...

Last week I was accused of being an astroturfer.

But my real goal is to have Olbermann call me the "Worst Person in the Word", though that is the kind of award for which it is an honor merely to be considered. I have a long way to go on this.

Beth said...

madisonman - I agree, Alex is a troll. Peter V. Bella, not so sure. Certainly a party-line purveyor, but I don't know if he does it on anyone's payroll.

Palladian, I'll defer to your absolute moral authority on troll spotting! (well, probably not.) And really, it's not you I mean when I complain about how loosely the term is used here. If I recall, the troll thread you're referring to turned into a major league bitchfest, so it stands out in memory. But there are times the word is thrown around to mean "stop disagreeing with us. We're having a wonderful echo party and you're screwing it up."

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Trooper des Yorkies-

Have you seen the September issue of-

Men's Vogue?

My gawd your guy went the full Brady-could be a jinx.

Oy.

Men's Vogue

Beth said...

trooper - you may notice the Saints won big yesterday, with Schlockley on the sidelines, nursing his groin. Sorry, too early in the morning for that image.

Trooper York said...

Told you so. That guy is a cancer. You need to cut him now before he cause any more trouble.

One of my best friends Tony is a hard core Saints fan and we always go to Giants staduim when the Saints are in town. So I think I have seen more Saints games live than any other team other than the Giants.

All I can say is that Danny Abramowicz was a hell of a player.

erniecu73 said...

Beth said...
[...] But there are times the word is thrown around to mean "stop disagreeing with us. We're having a wonderful echo party and you're screwing it up."

10:33 AM


I have never really seen that, not from the people to whom you are attributing it at least. I have seen irate and/or sarcastic reactions to non-sensical hyper-partisan offensive and intentionally hurtful comments, however. Please do correct me if I am wrong, and I would appreciate an example or two.

Trooper York said...

The only guy I ever saw with softer hands was Fred Biletnikoff.
Raymond Berry was great too, but those two guys really stood out in my book.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Trooper: You are wrong. You are beloved. My girls love ya, too.

Windbag said...

Trooper's command of pop culture and artful timing in placing pertinent lyrics and dialogue definitely win him a place in the top 5 posters here.

Titus was a puzzle. Entertaining, annoyingly so, and impossible to figure out how serious to take him. Was he real or a fantasy someone created? Pure entertainment. I haven't been very active lately, but noticed that he's been missing.

I doubt that anyone in here will be swayed by anything said in here. We use this place to spar with each other. It's one of the only places where somewhat civil discourse unfolds. The trolls, both flavors, annoy both sides.

Trooper York said...

They only like me because I got them in the right bra.

Those perky little devils.

Windbag said...

The only guy I ever saw with softer hands...

Titus could have written that...

Trooper York said...

Strangely enough my all time favorite reciever is Otis Taylor of the old Kansas City Chiefs. I don't really know why but there it is. I just thought he was great.

Trooper York said...

You should only listen to Titus when he talks about tight ends.

Ann Althouse said...

I realize now that there was only one Titus, but his style changed (and became unfunny) so I thought it was a fake. He did not appreciate my attempt at protecting his brand and went away in a huff.

Anyway, sorry the "no" answer has a different text when you click for results. The text at the point where you answer is obviously the relevant one. Pollcode was not functioning properly today and it kept dropping an answer. I was trying to have both answers possible.

blogging cockroach said...

hey don't be jealous
i'm not a comment celeb
any more than a lot of you

i mean, what about trooper york
not to mention the funniest person
on the planet
and that would be...

ta da

--bissage--

yay

now don't go thinking i am he
not one little bit
and i do wish titus would come back
which proves i am not bissage
not one little bit
'cause i like -both-titus and bissage
go figure

but then again i generally like everybody
except dreary bores
you know who you are
and people with cans of--shudder--
raid in their hand

i even like McCain
because of his war injury and all
he can't go around holding
a sprayer, either

now, i ask you
were my arguments for sen clinton
strong and pithy...

which reminds me
there's that orange slice from last week
under the counter i've got to go visit

madawaskan said...

Ann Althouse-

Man, don't you remember how he first came in here?

Ugh.

Look weird little secret-I collect umm, my big interest in blogs is group psychology.

I mostly read to see how people try to control the threads or control the blog owner.

Weird dynamic about most bloggers is that those are the personality types that they seem to pay the most attention to.

There's lots of different styles-it's interesting.

madawaskan said...

Humor is a mask.

Anyways hope you get what I am saying.

I gotta pull up and outta here,

Get some work done.

Windbag said...

I gotta pull up and outta here...

Titus quotes are abundant today.

Joe said...

Imagine how effective it would be if Simon were to suddenly have serious doubts about Palin's fitness to serve, and then used that to question McCain's judgment?

Uh, no effect at all?

Come on folks. There's a few dozen of us that post consistently and argue about the same damn things over and over. We've all made up our minds. At most we'd vote write-in before voting for the other guy. (Had McCain picked Huckabee, I was planning on doing exactly that. Then again, I live in Utah where it doesn't freaking matter.)

Simon said...

peter hoh said...
"Imagine how effective it would be if Simon were to suddenly have serious doubts about Palin's fitness to serve, and then used that to question McCain's judgment?"

I think that you overestimate people's opinion of my opinion, but do so in a most complimentary way for which I thank you. :)

walter neff said...

Very perceptive of you madawaskan.

walter neff said...

It is almost as if you have a clue.

Simon said...

madawaskan said...
"my big interest in blogs is group psychology. I mostly read to see how people try to control the threads or control the blog owner."

And what are your conclusions about the Althouse blog and its commentariat?

Lawgiver said...

Beth,

I have met lefties and have puzzled at their predilection for socialism. You my dear are no troll but you are a hater. You and Trooper are just Cowboy haters and that's why people don't like either of you. Well, the Cowboys lost so enjoy your little hate fest for now but come the new year there will be a new super team and their leader will be named Tony. But I do admire Drew Brees, a good Texas boy, who was shunned by The University of Texas and the Chargers and made it big anyway.

Greatest two wideouts from my youth, Otis Taylor and Paul Warfield. Abramowitz was the best player on lousy Saints teams during a period when they were incredibly bad but he wasn't in their class


And Vince Young will quit football within 3 years.

Trooper York said...

I never liked Paul Warfield after I saw him in Sounder. He was much too wimpy.

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

Simon wants to control Althouse by her ears.

Michael_H said...

Ann - Your third choice on the poll atop this thread is:

No! He was off-topic/obscene/a troll/unfunny.

However, the third choice on the click-through after voting is:

No! He'd switched to politics and wasn't funny anymore

Voting for one thing actually is a vote for the other.

Is ACORN handling the voting for you?

Trooper York said...

The toughest person to deal with on the Jetson’s was actually Astro. I mean the fact that George was a sex addict was disturbing enough. We had to hush up a lot things he used to do. He used his celebrity to bang his way through cartoon Hollywood. I mean George did Wilma and Betty in a three way, Betty Boop and Penelope Pittstop. He knocked up Velma and had to pay for her abortion. But Astro was even more of a problem. He loved to make obscene phone calls and wrote terrible nasty letters to various political leaders. He was lucky to avoid getting arrested for all the shit he pulled. Of course now he spends all of his time posting on the internet as a troll. In fact they named a type of troll after him. It’s the only thing that keeps him busy other than the job Karl Rove hired him to do for President Bush. He sits just out of the camera’s range and whenever Bush says something stupid he says “Ruh-roh, Reorge.”
(Joseph Barbera and William Hanna, The E True Hollywood Story of the Jetsons)

John Lynch said...

Actually, spamming works. Simply posting something factual or mildly interesting once in a while will not have the impact of posting the same thing 1000 times. That's the nature of human beings and the internet.

Just the fact we're talking about this person proves that. The trouble with the internet is that it rewards sheer volume more than almost anything else. The best bloggers not only put out good posts, but lots of posts as well.

People want something to read, and will sacrifice quality for quantity more than for other mediums.

blogging cockroach said...

you know if you say something nice about
another commenter, people think you're a sockpuppet

but how could i be a socketpuppet
with an exoskeleton and all
so i want to say something nice about another
commenter who is low key and unsung but funny
and that's meade
who i'd like to see more of
especially when he and bissage do garden talk
you guys should have a radio show
everybody's sick of cars anyway

now about haters
i'm afraid e v e r y b o d y here is a hater
as far as i'm concerned
you see, i'm a massachusetts cockroach
and a pats fan
everybody hates the pats
--sniffle--

MadisonMan said...

What you need in the masthead: Come back Titus! All is forgiven!

Simon said...

peter hoe said: "To work, a campaign ought to hire someone who has usually supported the other side. Imagine how effective it would be if Simon were to suddenly have serious doubts about Palin's fitness to serve, and then used that to question McCain's judgment?"

Now that you mention it, maybe Palin is pretty much a bimbo and McCain pretty much a mad bomber. I've always been a super-Republican from my head down to my toenails, but I'm beginning to rethink my unexamined assumptions as a result of this election campaign and all the atrocious mistakes made by this administration over the last 8 years.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

First appearance of Titus: here.

Third (showing his original theme, which was breasts): here.

Palladian said...

I think Simon's right. I've been a staunch independent for all of my voting life but as the days go by it's more and more clear that Obama has what it takes to lead America through hope straight into change, and change is where we all need to be. McCain's candidacy can only lead us to years of strife and toil and with the influence of Sarah Palin, the most evil Christianist to be nominated to a major party ticket since the last election (national, state or local, it's up to you), McCain will also lead us further down the corridor toward theocracy since the last Republican did that. It took a lot of soul-searching to come to realize that Barack Obama is the one I've been waiting for, and its taken a lot of courage to write it here, but I endorse Barack Obama in the upcoming election.

On a side note, I got very thirsty while typing this so I was glad that when I went to the fridge, I had a bottle of Perrier water to wet my palate with its blend of refreshing purity and subtle carbonation.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickenlittle said...

"Astrotrollers" are the political cousins of "pumpers" and "bashers" on stock market message boards like Yahoo. Who knows if pumpers and bashers are paid. I think many are just daytraders.
Althouse is right-a real astrotroller would try hard to look genuine, and thus more convincing, while feeding opinion.

I doubt the accused poster on the Brokaw thread is an "astroturfer". I stopped taking him seriously weeks ago after Revenant called his bluff late one night. Others have also done so.

Palladian said...

Hmm, Coke... Sprite... Pepto-Bismol... United Airlines... Steve Guttenberg...

Hoosier Daddy said...

What you need in the masthead: Come back Titus! All is forgiven!

Don't speak for me please. I for one don't miss his tales of hog love, bowel movement status and who he shot his wad on the night before.

Palladian said...

"What you need in the masthead: Come back Titus! All is forgiven!"


Hmm, that's not what the voters seem to want...

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think Simon's right. I've been a staunch independent for all of my voting life but as the days go by it's more and more clear that Obama has what it takes to lead America through hope straight into change, and change is where we all need to be.

Great. First Simon and now you are becoming pod people.

What's next, locusts? Zombies?

UWS guy said...

What if all the comments by all posters were really just sockpuppets of Althouse...A "Being John Malcovich" of the blogosphere.

Except you of course...you the lone commenter weaving your way through Ann Althouse's pshychotropic dream...

What id would it require for ann to be both Titus and Vspurs...

Is Althouse brilliant enough to be both Cederford and AlphaLiberal? Sir Archy and blogging cockroach?

Cruel neutrality indeed.

You the lone reader of this this blog, sucked into the cyclopean Althousean vortex of Ann's subconscious strata.

She posts on the main page as her outword words, but the comment section are where the demon of her mind take the form of astroturf characters of her internal conflicts.

Paddy O. said...

I'm like the anti-Troll. I deleted my comment not long after making it thinking it was diverting the focus, only to see it got picked up and highlighted, earning me a place among the Tagged.

Ann Althouse said...

1. I've never used a fake name here. I do have the screen name "Alizaria" on Metafilter, where I occasionally post, and years ago, I used to post on AOL as Alizaria. Other than that, I've never written under a pseudonym anywhere.

2. Titus is losing in that poll, but who among you would like to see yourself voted on? Which commenters here would stand the test?

UWS guy said...

I was also gonna ad, "Simon, Seven Machos and Palladian", but everyone already knows they're the same person.

UWS guy said...

I knew that it was the real Titus that posted in that thread and I said so therein as well.

I really enjoyed his comments.

Pogo said...

"Which commenters here would stand the test?"

I can't even stand my comments myself. Effin' bastard. I vote myself off the Althouse island every few days, but I never can seem to take the hint. I even pantsed myself once, but a clue? I didn't have one.

So I just don't even talk to myself anymore, and look away to avoid my eye contact.

UWS guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UWS guy said...

What if there were real trolls that lived under the overpasses of the internets' highways; Devourers of posters who take too little care where they type.

Mostly I think blogs have jousting jabberwockies wonkishly jabbering through the tulgey wood,
and burbling as they come.

And so the Bloggeress with a vorpal stroke snicks and snacks with the delete key to keep her slithy tove safe.

blake said...

While I'm against astrotrolling, I'm for us all having sponsors.


Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

blake said...

I doubt that anyone in here will be swayed by anything said in here. We use this place to spar with each other. It's one of the only places where somewhat civil discourse unfolds. The trolls, both flavors, annoy both sides.

I have been. That's right, you've all been performing for me.


Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

blake said...

Actually, spamming works. Simply posting something factual or mildly interesting once in a while will not have the impact of posting the same thing 1000 times. That's the nature of human beings and the internet.

This is true. This is the whole basis of the Anthropomorphic Global Warming "argument". Even as the world gets cooler. Just repeat that it's getting hotter and hotter and it's all man's fault, and people will believe.



Brought to you by Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr.: "Fuck you. I'm eating."

blake said...

Titus is losing in that poll, but who among you would like to see yourself voted on? Which commenters here would stand the test?

I think for some it would be a perverse pleasure to see themselves reviled in an Althouse poll. Any self-respecting troll wants to be hated.

And remember, since we're all wingnuts here, being popular would mean you wereen't hating hard enough.




Brought to you by Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr.: Would you like to make that JUMBO?

blake said...

Also, after reading the last 50,000 comments, I've decided to support Obama.




Brought to you by Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr.: Try our new "Bacon & Arugula Star"

erniecu73 said...

Ann, you could add my name to it. It would be funny...

Yes, it is an ego boost either way ;)

erniecu73 said...

I'm sorry, I always refer to you as Professor Althouse. I need a nap...

Beth said...

Lawgiver, I am no hater. I am a Lover.

Each Sunday, I love two teams most: the Saints, and whoever is kicking the Cowboys' ass.

I am full of love.

LoafingOaf said...

The only one here actually paid to push partisan spin (in this case, anti-Obama stuff, such as Althouse pushing the right-wing blogosphere's propaganda on Obama's bracelet yesterday) is Althouse, who is paid in a steady flow of links from high-traffic web sites such as InstaPundit.

In the comments of the bracelet story Althouse demands an apology from AlphaLiberal, claiming that her link is to a site providing a range of opinions regarding the bracelet story from across the political spectrum. This is not true at all. Her link takes people exclusively to the right-wing blogosphere's spin on the story. Which turned out to be a lie.

Crap like that raises eyebrows of people who thought this was trying to be a non-partisan site, and it makes the right-wing commenters feel this is their home and anyone else is a troll. It also ensures more Instalanches in the future, which for Althouse is more money in her pocket.

jdeeripper said...

Maxine Weiss was funny. Titus was disgusting.

Michael/AlphaLiberal/UWS are insufferable.

I don't think any of them are paid anything.

Ann Althouse said...

Loafing Oaf, you don't seem to understand Memeorandum, which I linked to for the bracelet story. It collects links on a much-discussed story in an automatic and nonpartisan way. Linking to that was the most neutral possible way to set up a post to discuss that story, so you are flat wrong and you owe me an apology. The only reason all the links go to right-wing sites is that no left wing sites of sufficient stature are talking about the subject. There's nothing else to like to. Get it?

LonewackoDotCom said...

I doubt whether Althouse has seen the way things are done at Digg. It basically consists of a smear from HuffPost or similar being posted, and then a series of mindless "jokes" and the like are posted in comments. Those are dugg up. And, those who come in and point out that falsity of the article are dugg down so people have to click a link to see them. That helps the smear spread: if there are any contrary arguments on the first page many people don't see them.

I'm not saying these people are getting paid, but digg.com/users/IrishJoe, digg.com/users/psy333che, and their friends seem to spend an awful lot of time in support of BHO.

Something similar happens at the WaPo blogs and Politico: an endless stream of pro-BHO/anti-McCain comments that drown out the rest.

There's also this, this, and this. As described at the first, BHO's chief strategist owns a company that engages in such behavior.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"The only reason all the links go to right-wing sites is that no left wing sites of sufficient stature are talking about the subject."

That's something I find fascinating watcing memeorandum - usually, there will be a top-level story with a list of either left or right blogs talking about it. Sometimes, you'll see a top-level story with two or three second-level stories, each that have blogs from one side linking to it. It seems most unusual to see left and right blogs linking to the same story, or even to different iterations of the same story. The two blogospheres move on almost entirely different tracks - it's not that they start from the same point and reach different conclusions, they each talk about entirely different stuff.

Simon said...

UWS guy said...
"I was also gonna ad, 'Simon, Seven Machos and Palladian', but everyone already knows they're the same person."

That has to be one of the stranger things I've read this week.

UWS guy said...

just kidding!

Everyone knows Simon is actually Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

LoafingOaf said...

it collects links on a much-discussed story in an automatic and nonpartisan way. Linking to that was the most neutral possible way to set up a post to discuss that story, so you are flat wrong and you owe me an apology. The only reason all the links go to right-wing sites is that no left wing sites of sufficient stature are talking about the subject. There's nothing else to like to. Get it?

No, I don't get it. For example, DailyKos had a main page post on the story last night written by Kos himself - not sufficient enough stature?

I don't know Memeorandum, but my guess would be that all the right wing blogs linked to the highly biased, unfair Newsbusters story and thus got compiled. The blogs that responded to that "scandal" in defense of Obama probably didn't wanna link to Newsbusters.

Whatever the case, linking to Memeorandum in that instance didn't work to serve your neutrality, only served to help circulate an unfair attack on Obama, and you should've corrected for that with an update as the real facts emerged.

Meade said...

re comment at 12:59,

Note to self: Try to be a little kinder to cockroaches. Is it their fault that they are one of the most commonly noted household pest insects, feeding on human and pet food and leaving an offensive odor? Sure they can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in environments such as hospitals. So what that cockroach infestations have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans and that one of these allergens has also been found to be linked with asthma? Is it their fault that some of the earliest writings with regards to cockroaches encouraged their use as medicine, that Pedanius Dioscorides (1st century), Kamal al-Din al-Damiri and Abu Hanifa ad-Dainuri (9th century) all offered medicines that suggested either grinding them up with oil or boiling them and that the list of ailments to be treated included earaches, open wounds and "gynecological disorders?" No. Maybe they ARE the scum of the earth. So what? Someone has to be. Is that their fault? Some are fans of the New England Patriots? Well, okay, but it isn't their fault that they are insects.