Much of Mr. Obama’s vaunted online strategy involved utilizing “Internet trolls” to invade enemy lines under false names and trying to derail discussion. In the real world, that’s called “vandalism.” But in a political movement that embraces “graffiti” as avant-garde art , that’s business as usual. It relishes the ability to destroy other people’s property in pursuit of electoral victory.
Hugh Hewitt’s popular site shut off its comments section because of the success of these obnoxious invaders. Breitbart.com polices nonpartisan newswire stories for such obviously coordinated attacks. Other right-leaning sites such as Instapundit and National Review Online refuse to allow comments, knowing better than to flirt with the online activist left.
Speaking as a site moderator for a popular conservative website, this is not actually hyperbole. I’m not entirely in agreement with how effective the tactic is – the average practitioner is hampered by both a fundamental lack of empathy for his (it’s usually his) targets, and an overestimation of his IQ by an average of about 20 points* – and I’m not sure that it’s quite that formally organized. A perusal of, say, the average YouTube comments section** indicates that there’s no shortage of people willing to sound like any flavor of lunatic that you’d care for; so it may simply be that the general idea resonates in a certain type of puerile mind. But it does happen; in fact, somebody reading this post right now is doing so with the smug awareness that he’s managed to get away with it without the vaunted (rolling eyes) Moe Lane catching him at it.All that being said, if you want to do counter-programming on this I suggest that a good use of your time would be for you to organize, camp out at Wikipedia, and start hacking away at some of the nonsense that gets insinuated into the narrative there. And keep at it. They have some real obsessive-compulsives over at that site.
*There’s also the factor that the practice tends to reveal what seems to be a vast insecurity in his beliefs on the part of the faker, but I’m not really qualified to offer even pop psychology answers on the issue.
**Which is probably doing more to make the practice useless than any kind of comment enforcement, frankly. Once people get it in their head that online comments sections aren’t really representative of anything, well…
Crossposted at Moe Lane.