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Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter

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Troll Warning - Photo by GilHave you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll?  Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.  If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse.

In the UK, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) is a specialized unit within the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).  If it wasn’t for Edward Snowden, we probably still would never have heard of them.  This particular specialized unit is engaged in some very “questionable” online activities.  The following is an excerpt from a recent piece by Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in “dirty tricks” like deploying sexual “honey traps” designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online.

We are told that JTRIG only uses these techniques to go after the “bad guys”.

But precisely who are the “bad guys”?

It turns out that their definition of who the “bad guys” are is quite broad.  Here is more from Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

JTRIG’s domestic and law enforcement operations are made clear. The report states that the controversial unit “currently collaborates with other agencies” including the Metropolitan police, Security Service (MI5), Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Border Agency, Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and National Public Order and Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The document highlights that key JTRIG objectives include “providing intelligence for judicial outcomes”; monitoring “domestic extremist groups such as the English Defence League by conducting online HUMINT”; “denying, deterring or dissuading” criminals and “hacktivists”; and “deterring, disrupting or degrading online consumerism of stolen data or child porn.”

Particularly disturbing to me is the phrase “domestic extremist groups”.  What does someone have to say or do to be considered an “extremist”?  For example, the English Defence League is a non-violent street protest movement in the UK that is strongly against the spread of radical Islam and sharia law in the UK.  So if they are “extremists”, how many millions upon millions of ordinary citizens in the United States would fit that definition?

When conducting operations against “extremists”, psychology-based influence techniques are among the tools that JTRIG uses to combat them online.  The following comes from one of the documents that was posted by Greenwald and Fishman…

Psychology-Based Influence Techniques

In other words, these government trolls try to mess with people’s minds.

And here is another document that was posted by Greenwald and Fishman that talks about how JTRIG uses YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to accomplish their goals…

Government Trolls

It is very disturbing to think that some of the people that we may be interacting with on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are actually paid government agents that are purposely trying to feed us propaganda and misinformation.

And of course this kind of thing does not just happen in the United Kingdom.  In Canada, it has been publicly admitted that the government uses paid trolls to warp Internet discourse.  The following comes from Natural News

You’ve probably run into them before — those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet “trolls” or “shills,” who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion.

Several years ago, Canada’s CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply “weighing in and correcting” allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police.

You can actually watch a video news report about what is happening up in Canada right here.

Needless to say, the U.S. government is also engaged in this kind of activity as well.  For instance, the U.S. government has actually been caught manipulating discourse on Reddit and editing Wikipedia.  When it comes to spying, there is nobody that is off limits for our spooks.  It just came out recently that we even spied on three French presidents, and they are supposed to be our “friends”.

And just like the UK, the U.S. government has a very broad definition of “extremists”.  This has especially been true since Barack Obama has been in the White House.  If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.

All of this is very disturbing to me.  Why can’t they just leave us alone and let us talk to one another?  Why do they have to spy on everything that we do and purposely try to manipulate public discourse?  Why do they have to be such control freaks?

What do you think?  Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

  • K

    Michael, they are on your sights too. But understand, that is a badge of honor.

  • However, Snowden itself is a reverse Psy-Op Propaganda on people.

    He hasn’t admitted to anything worthwhile but plays on as an opposition to what the government line is in main stream.

    List of things Snowden…never talks about..

    1. 911..Infact, he believes Osama bin laden exist and US army conducted the raid in Pakistan and killed Osama…LOL…He actually believes in al qaeda…..some intelligence guy he is

    2. Fluoride in water

    3. Chem trials

    4. HAARP

    5. Weather manipulation

    6. Autism

    7. Vaccination

    8. Illuminati

    9. Freemason

    10. Currency manipulation

    11. S4, Area 51, Anti Matter Tech, Time Travel Tech, Contact with Aliens etc etc etc….

    12. 100’s of false flags every other week..

    and the list goes on and on….Infact…he never really talked about anything that really matters….He seems to create a lot of BUZZ in the main stream.

    He is a good Spy for main stream but not for Conspiracy, Truther movement..

    How come NBC, Guardian lame stream papers can get hold of him, but the biggest bad a**s mtherf**ker on the planet CIA never could ..LOL…

    Common, he is one of them…He never left Langley ..Mainstream loves him for a reason…WAKE UP

    • Gay Veteran

      “…How come NBC, Guardian lame stream papers can get hold of him, but the biggest bad a**s mtherf**ker on the planet CIA never could ..LOL…”

      you do understand that Snowden lives in Russia?

      • Semper Fido

        Lame stream? Surely, you can do better than quote Sarah Palin.

        • Gay Veteran

          uh, I was quoting lavista4u

          • Semper Fido

            Mea Culpa.

          • Gay Veteran

            no problem, innocent mistake

          • ì bring ìn 85 dollars hourly workíng online at home. my good buddy ís makìng ten thousand dollars each month by working this job although í never believed that it was possìble and she showed me how, Get more details by looking at link on my profìle

          • Semper Fido

            My bad. :-)

    • Crystal7852

      If you are in need for extra payment in the range of $50 to $300 on daily basis for doing an online job on your computer from home for few h every day then check this out…

    • Quetzol-43

      You disagree with me, hence you must be a paid governement agent spreading disinformation.

  • VigilanteCaregiver

    So Gay Veteran is most likely a PAID troll!

    I wanna get paid for debating him. That was some good #$%& I used – really well researched stuff – and he’s getting paid to respond like a 12 year old!

    Seriously, I want a check. That was a lot of hard work!

    • guest

      You did an excellent job to be sure.

    • Gay Veteran

      uh, no, I totally agree with this article.
      The U.S. governments SPIES on everyone!
      is that a characteristic of a democratic republic? or of a fascist state? [fascism is the merger of state and corporate powers]
      btw, if you were paid for what you are worth then you would be giving up money because your arguments are so pathetic

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        Dude. Have you read your stuff?

        • Gay Veteran

          Dude. Have you taken your meds?

          • GetReal4U2

            September approaches quickly…

          • Gay Veteran

            August approached quickly

          • that_guy

            The men in the white coats approach you quickly.

        • Semper Fido

          I have, and it makes total sense to me.

      • Semper Fido

        Ooh Rah! I got your back, Bro.

    • Michael Simpson

      Read the article, my first thought was “Gay Veteran”

      • Gay Veteran

        I’m sure it was your first thought.

        • Michael Simpson

          If it walks like a troll, and yacks like a troll, it’s probably a troll.

          • Gay Veteran

            yes, you are a troll

          • Michael Simpson

            Carrie, you up voted an anonymous coward? Gay evidently likes to run around stirring the pot. He’s angry about something. My guess, angry drunk. But government troll looks entirely possible.

            Carrie, look at his Discus history. Just click his name and look at the endless vomit that spills out of his keyboard. He has yet to contribute one iota of wisdom to this preparer board or any other Discus forum. It’s not directed at anyone in particular. He’s just a troll. A looser!

            7472 comments and not ONE coherent, valuable post. Well, you are successful and one thing, trolling.

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Well done! :)

          • Gay Veteran

            thank you for contributing to the discussion about what our government is up to

          • Michael Simpson

            The topic of this article is “Government installed trolls. I think I am being on point. If you click on your Disqus history and read what you have writen, one thing becomes apparent, you hate Christians. You mock and troll them. I even see some psychological aspects to your attacks. One of your posts was a real low blow designed to instill doubt and fear. You even threw the, “that’s not very Christian like” at me. I think you have the idea the every Christian will turn the other cheek. Sorry, but there are nuances to Christianity just like anything. I’m a cowboy Christian. We don’t turn the other cheek and we don’t like bullies. We also pride ourselves on being self reliant. Go to a rodeo if you want to get a view of the cowboy way, God, county and life.

            I have no problem with you being gay. That is between you and God.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…you hate Christians….”

            nope, just the ayatollah wannabes

          • Michael Simpson


          • Semper Fido

            I misspoke. I don’t hate Christians. I hate Evangelicals, who can’t shut up about their beliefs, and have to interject it into every conversation. That’s who I meant. It just seems they are getting larger and larger as a percentage.

          • Gay Veteran

            but the poor things are being persecuted! LOL

          • Annie8749

            If you are in need for extra income from $50 to $300 each day for doing an online job on your computer from home for several hours daily then read more here…

          • Semper Fido

            hey, I hate Christians as well. Well, except my Mom and two others. ya know why? They think they own the rights to God. They claim the earth is 6,000 years old, even though the Hindu text goes back almost 8,000 years. They claim the Bible is the unbshakable word of God. How do they know? Why, the Bible tells them! That should be good enough for everyone! If they stopped being so arrogant, and claiming persecution where none exists, I might start liking them. That’s why I like Catholics. They don’t care what I think, and they don’t proselytize. They just ask me to stay out of their business, and they’ll do the same. I can respect that. If you guys would quit thinking the Lord tells you to get in other’s faces, we could get along. Til then, yeah. I can’t stand the whole lot.

          • Michael Simpson

            I don’t care who you like or hate. I too have Christian friends who think the world is 6000 years old. The only problem is that would make God a trickster. Educated people know it’s 4.5 billion years old.

            I’m not crazy about them coming to my door to evangelize. I consider it an invasion of my privacy. So when JW was coming to my door, I’d answer in my underwear. They don’t come back.

            I agree with you. You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. That is the way it is supposed to work. On the whole, I don’t hate people. Well, I hate ISIS but other than that, I’m okay with people pursuing their dreams.

            I even support John Hinson’s quest to be a simpleton.

          • Semper Fido

            I once answered buck naked with a full on erection. My wife thought it was hysterical. That’ll keep the pukes off the door. True story.

          • Zack Dryer

            Lol I’m an agnostic and even I know catholics are christian. Lol, for hating someone you sure don’t know much about them.

          • Semper Fido

            I know plenty. That I mention “Christians”, I misspoke. I meant evangelicals. Mea Culpa.

          • Semper Fido

            I don’t count on Christians turning the other cheek. In fact, if you’re an Evangelical asshole, who thinks he owns the rights the the Lord, I’m spoiling for a fight.

          • John Higson

            ‘Looser’ than what? Halfwit!

          • Michael Simpson

            John, when YOU read, your mouth moves as the words form in your head. So let’s try this. Let your lips form the word phonetically. It’s okay, we’ll wait.

            I meant the o’s to be drawn out you simpleton.

          • John Higson

            That is simply and comically a lie! You made an unintelligent,uneducated mistake.

            If your contention was in fact the truth of the matter you would’ve drawn out the o’s for 4 or 5 more characters. I reiterate my statement. You sir are a halfwit!

          • Michael Simpson

            So to be fair, I clicked on your name to see what other gems you have written. It’s what I thought. Lots of incorrect punctuation, punctuated with run on and incomplete sentences. Sprinkling spurious commas and exclamation marks around your text doesn’t make it right. You might want to check your own stuff for the realities of your poor writing before you critique the fantasy words in mine.

            Maybe drinking one of those protein shakes will buff up that brain. You babble when you type.

          • Gay Veteran

            grammar na zi

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            And there’s the admission.

          • Gay Veteran


          • that_guy

            says the man in your mirror.

      • Gay Veteran

        your first “thought” was “duhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

    • Nah, “He Who Smelt It, Dealt It”.

      In this case, the first one to say, “hey, don’t look at me, look over there instead!” is the guilty party.

      Frankly, I’d high-five myself because I *just knew* that the dumbest of dumba$$es would point to this board’s bugaboo. But you were soooooo stinkin’ predictable that it hardly deserves a high-five :

      • VigilanteCaregiver


    • that_guy

      Soros doesn’t have an IQ test for his trolls. It’s very apparent, isn’t it?

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        Very true

    • Patricia56988

      If you need extra money averaging 50-300 dollars on daily basis for doing an online job on your computer from home for 3-4 h a day then read more here…

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        I’ve stored enough spam in the ol’ food storage.

    • Quetzol-43

      “He dared have an other opinion than mine, I tell you! He must be a paid governement troll!” -)

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        The guy actually does work for the USDA and trolls this site. Sorry

        • Gay Veteran

          and yet I never write anything pro-government

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Still doesn’t mean you’re trustworthy.

          • Gay Veteran

            that’s funny coming from you

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            My stuff is backed up. Look in my posting history. I caught you in several lies. Deal with it!

          • Gay Veteran

            you’re delusional as ever, get back on your meds

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Try erasing your posting history before making such claims.

          • Gay Veteran

            try reading your own lies

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Prove I’m lying. For once.

          • Gay Veteran

            AGAIN: try reading your own lies

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Again, I’m consistent and backed by evidence. Again: you left a paper trail in your posting history – not smart.

          • Gay Veteran

            why in the world would I delete my posts???

            btw, Einstein: YOU left a paper trail in your posting history – not smart.

  • guest

    Michael, I have noticed of late that commenters on your sites are increasingly ignoring those comments that are obviously intended to disrupt and offend. Sometimes the trolls are childish beyond belief. Remember the ” trolls ” who showed up at Tea Party events trying to blend in while carrying racist signs? Remember the publishing company that bought the house next to Sarah Palin’s then hired a troll to move in and dig up any so called dirt he could. The best he could do was cite an “anonymous” source who claimed Sarah Palin slept with a… GASP …black guy 20 years earlier. This reflected the view of a laughable, paranoid, racist, self anointed ” elite in their own minds ” activist left. They were convinced that all of those ” racist, uneducated , white racist ” Palin supporters would dump her as soon as they made the accusation ” Then other anonymous sources who claimed to know their troll said he was sleeping with black guys first The so called psychological techniques being used by these trolls both on line and off are a transparent joke. They typically reflect the ignorant, racist, stereotyping views of the trolls and their employers and little else.

    • Quetzol-43

      It is truly amazing how petty and pathetic the Palin Haters can be.

  • Gay Veteran

    “…Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks….”

    hasn’t your other website TheEconomicCollapse been attacked?

  • JB

    That’s because they’re Jesuits at the NSA. This kind of thing has been going on for centuries. At one point they were banned in 81 countries and have been affectionately labeled as ” the Engineer Corps of Hell.”

  • GetReal4U2

    The abc news web site definitely has paid government trolls…

  • DJohn1

    This has been going on since the UFO business after the bombs dropped in Japan. Nuclear weapons was the reason why something or somebody took a sudden interest in Earth.
    We have in government pay master psychiatrists who have studied our nation and what makes it tick. They decided to ridicule anyone that has seen a UFO. It basically worked.
    Corporate America has had its own experts in this area. The American Tobacco Industry used all kinds of psychology to promote the American Public being hooked on cigarettes. It worked! We still are plagued with people hooked on cigarettes to this day. The seed for this was planted in them around the 7th grade of school by grandmotherly ladies from local churches telling them not to smoke. It was sponsored by the tobacco industry. That is when people are most vulnerable.
    The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard is an ancient book from the 50s or early 60s that exposes the lot of them.
    We elect presidents on their name value and the subliminal messages they produce on television. Very few people actually know what they stand for before they vote.
    Some people vote a straight Republican Ticket not even knowing how the people voted in the Congress before the last election because they represent the “christian” ethic.
    Others vote a straight Democrat ticket because they represent “Union Labor” when it is anything but true.
    Many buy “American” meaning GM, FORD, and CHRYSLER cars and trucks because they think those big three support American Labor. Nothing further could be true. They have less American parts in them than Honda and Toyota. But they are Union. They also have the worst records of repairs in the business.
    All of these Hidden Persuaders are coming from corporate and government sources from Master PR people.
    So the trolls are part of this system. Any one person out there can be one of those trolls paid by the government to influence how we think. Now that is scary.

  • V Tiffany Seidel

    How can I apply to be a paid lackey for the federal gov’t? I would be a secret double agent secretly working for the red states while pretending to be a lackey for the lying obama administration. I would get the skinny on obama’s NWO agenda where he pretends to care about border security but really is working for the Marxist Alinsky crowd where he really is trying to overload the system by allowing as many illegals and criminals and terrorist thru the southern borders and find out how he’s going to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons without the American people’s knowledge and then get in with the far leftist crowd where obama gives orders to his riot and his race baiting army on how to make non racist people look like Racist “book” and it’s prolly called “Dreams from my Marxist, muslim brotherhood, hate America real father, Frank Marshall Davis. Then I will infiltrate George Soros group and get the hidden documents that prove once and for all Soros did in fact rig the electronic voting machines and then I would black mail obammy and his cohorts by rigging all electronic voter machine to only accept republican nominees and then if oBananaHead or his socialist regime threaten me then I will release his Real birth certificate and then I would release his ” College Records ” and if he orders me to Stand Down or else then I will produce his real Social Security number which is not the one he is currently using but that which belongs to a 120 year old man but I digress. Anyway, back to my original question, how can I apply to be a paid lackey for Conrad Barry? I could use a part time job as my hours were cut shortly after the ACA became the law of the land. Speaking of obamacare, I was denied subsidies for ObamaDontCare yet I didn’t make enough last year to be taxed for not being able to afford it, maybe I could pretend to be muslim and say the ACA is against my religion and I will be exempt from it like the rest of Ayatollah obama’s muslim friends are, I’m just sayin, or I could pretend to be an illegal immigrant and get the damn thing for free!

    • Gay Veteran

      “…find out how he’s going to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons….”

      so what

  • GetReal4U2

    everything you do and post is recorded…freaky times indeed…

  • Joe Jones

    These gu’mint Bozos are the same people who try to keep the Sandy Hook LIE alive, tell you that the Boston Marathon bombing was real, and pooh-pooh anyone who sees through the gu’mint B.S.

  • margaret Bartley

    I remember back in the old usenet days, before comments were browser-based, and anyone could post. I belonged to several groups that were being severly trolled. Someone posted a first-person story about a kid who was blackmailed into being a troll, stuck in an ugly emply motel room 16 hours a day,

    It was a real problem, but in a way, it was more easily handled, because the users were more sophisticated. One time, someone listed the posting times of one obnoxious troll, and we could see him taking his lunch break, and going home for dinner each night! It was East Coast time. Pretty funny. After that, it became more random.

    The fight for freedom is never-ending. As soon as enough people see a hole to get through, the overlords fill it in. Such as it always was.

  • Jaded

    Anyone have a link to “their” job board? I mean to ask, is one recruited or does one apply to be a troll? If it pays well, I might look into it. Or are these personal attacks to my comments, generated by an AI? That would sure keep costs down, allow for rules-based AI review of messages and creation of effective psychologically formulated responses. I could apply as a programmer for that too? I think only a troll or a toady would be allowed entry, then he/she could report back on the inner-workings. I’m not sure if a troll is higher than a toady or if both have a corresponding GS level. So, in closing, for any AI listener, please send link to job board. Thanks.

    • Quetzol-43

      You just have to disagree with someone on the internet, that automatically makes you a paid governement troll and a morbidly overweight neckbeard living in the darkness of his mother´s basement.

  • John Higson

    Just cop it mate, you’re not doing yourself any favours……..

    • Michael Simpson

      Internet tough guy. Got it.

  • With Fortitude

    Michael , I hate it when I come to a good article of yours 10 days late.
    But, what happened here; Everyone’s attacking each other and no ones debating or talking about your article. Its a shame because the fact that our government fits the criteria of something out of the twilight zone; is troubling to say the least. We better find an answer that fixes Washington fast. Because, once the internet becomes fully regulated the proverbial lights will be out.

  • timetorun

    It would be one thing if government chose to align itself with God and His laws of righteousness. but its become increasingly obvious that our government is adopting an anti-God, anti-Christ worldview. this nation was once a blessing for righteousness, but has become an enemy of the Lord.

  • just say no TO COPS

    They’re also called ‘seed media’, and like govt trolls, they’re paid. Best to not even reply to them, most of them are sock puppets, you can tell who they are. That the governments are even resorting to this type of sneaky behavior tells you something, doesn’t it?