U.S. special operations forces, elite commandos engaged in high-risk operations around the world, are adding a new focus to their portfolio of activities: social media and other unconventional information warfare threats.
“Social media is another component of unconventional strategies, and the security environment in general, that is playing a central role in recruiting individuals to causes,” Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, said Wednesday in prepared testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.
In one of the slides provided at The Intercept, we see the methods utilized by these government agencies in order manipulate the information flow, shown below.
He warned that the “most disturbing confirmation provided in the newly publicized intelligence documents is that spy agencies in Western nations with free speech guarantees have been given carte blanche authority from political leadership to target private individuals and organizations deemed uncooperative with the will of the state with ruthless online reputation-destruction efforts.”
HOW TO SPOT A PAID SHILL, GOVERNTMENT TROLL
While there will always be people that simply disagree with a point of view of a post on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms, or in the comment sections of Alternative News websites or YouTube, which is a good thing because it brings about debate, opens up the discussion and no one wants a bunch of puppets that cannot think for themselves, there are clear indicators of a "troll" or "shill" and those paid by the government to disrupt, distract or otherwise manipulate a thread.
Trolls/shills will usually be the first person to comment on a thread with a direct attack without contributing anything to the discussion or addressing the main topic. They will attack the original poster and/or writer, they will attack others commenting, they will attack the subject itself... they do this in order to attempt to stop others from reading, discussing, or debating the issue and to derail the conversation.
Government trolls/shills will rarely provide any links that address the material provided, they will avoid any and all data presented at all costs.
The trolls/shills will lie, name call and ridicule anybody that is addressing the article/post material in order to harrass them into no longer commenting, therefore shutting down the debate, the discussion and the thread.
Another clear indicator of a troll/shill are repetitive key phrases, such as "fear porn," or labeling those discussing the actual issues as "conspiracy theorist," or telling them to go get a "tin foil hat," again without ever address the person's comment or the material provided.
HOW TO SHUT DOWN A PAID GOVERNMENT TROLL/SHILL
Many reading this might have heard the expression "don't feed the trolls," but that is not always the best way to go. Calling them out by forcing them to address the issue, pointing out their obvious avoidance of the issue itself and/or insisting, as ANP does, on civility on a thread, often shuts them down and forces them to crawl away with their tails between their legs after screaming you are against free speech.
The number one way to shut down a government paid troll/shill is information, linking to supporting evidence, continue discussing the issue itself and to not allow them to distract, manipulate or otherwise derail the discussion.