These last four techniques I saved from the cointelpro techniques misdirection of an internet forum article a few years ago and I thought I would share them since they are relevant and are not in the articles that are seen today.
Cointelpro techniques for dilution, misdirection...Technique #7: The Fake True Scotsman, or "I've been doing what you've been doing, but
for much longer, and now I have doubts".
I see this fairly often, especially on forums populated by less sophisticated (the
legal term of art, this is not a comment on their intellect) members. Generally,
someone will "show up", either as a recently registered member or someone who
registered long ago, but never posted. This person will briefly start talking about
their experience, offering very little detail and will then talk about how he is about
to do whatever he wants the other forum members to do. A variant of this is to say
that he already has. Those that claim to have already done it will talk about how it
profited them. This preys on a basic human instinct--staying with the crowd. It is a
way for the troll to counter the phenomenon that under other circumstances might be
called diffusion of responsibility: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_responsibility
--------> I saved this as a text file and it didn't capture the full URL. [fixed link — Maat
As an example, those who have doubts will hesitate to sell PMs when the price is
falling, but will be much more likely to do so if they SEE others doing it. Sort of
like how a person wouldn't jump over the edge of a waterfall unless they saw someone
else do it and come out fine. In this case, they see a hologram of someone doing it.
Of course, the hologram doesn't get hurt if there are rocks under the water's surface.
Technique #8: Astroturfing or "Repetitive lies are the truth"
This one is well known to those who study government propaganda, but they can work at a
smaller scale as well. A troll will repeat some given lie, over and over, often under
different usernames, until people believe it to be true. If a troll lies about
something someone else said, the other party can claim that it isn't true, or that it
was taken out of context, but repetitive use will over time destroy the context. This
is a handy tool to discredit people, as the person defending against the lies, even
when using good arguments, or the truth, will fit a pattern of someone making excuses,
which is just as if not more damaging than not responding. This is a no win situation,
and I have seen it used many times, quite often against me. This is also a rhetorical
technique used by regular people to discredit others.
Technique #9: Position Switch, or "Duck Season, Rabbit Season"
This is a technique that I haven't yet seen used personally, or if it was used, it was
subtle enough that I didn't notice it. In a heated debate, a seasoned troll will
suddenly change one of their positions to your position, without drawing any attention
to that fact. The person who is angry will not notice and will switch their position
and argue passionately in favor of their new position. This is a trap, a false
dichotomy. There is a whole universe of positions that one can take, but when you are
arguing with a person, it tends to become "either him or me". His switch causes you to
switch, without skipping a beat (unless you are aware of the phenomenon). There have
been academic studies on this that have shown that it does really happen, and the
effect can often be PERMANENT. This is probably the most terrifying glitch in the
human brain I have ever come across.Technique #10: Collective Distancing or "The Klan supports puppies, so I support
I have seen this happen many times, and even had it work on me EVEN THOUGH I WAS AWARE
IT WAS HAPPENING. A particularly nasty troll, at least in a forum with low levels of
moderation can make such a bad name for himself that he can actually control the
positions of almost everyone on the forum, by taking the opposite position, and
insulting anyone who takes the other side. This can be subtle, or it can be blatant.
It is very difficult to be on the same side as this person. If you do manage to
swallow your puke and side with him, other, more subtle trolls (or sock puppets) can
then discredit you by association with the first troll.