Cognitive Infiltration Techniques

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tmosley
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Cognitive Infiltration Techniques

This is a cut and paste of an article on some of the basics of cognitive infiltration techniques.  Strongside asked me to cut and paste it.  Since I'm here, I will also update it with some of my own notes on the subject.  I put it in this forum, because I think that mental preparation is just as important, if not much more so than physical preps.

This is very important, because believe it or not, there ARE people who have gone through the expense of developing software to aid in these practices.  I know, because I caught one while he was doing it.  I was writing a reply, and quickly made an edit because I had revealed more information about myself than I wanted to.  Some 9 hours later, a troll that I had been fighting for a long time jumped all over me for the content that I edited out.  If he really had just happened to catch the comment pre-edit, wouldn't he have waited nine hours to make such a comment.  It is clear that he returned to his terminal, and had a notification of the edit, but failed to realize that there is no way a human could have caught it.

In any event, here is the original article:

COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of an internet forum:

There are several techniques for the control and manipulation of a internet forum no matter what, or who is on it. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that only a minimal number of operatives can be used to eventually and effectively gain a control of a 'uncontrolled forum.'

Technique #1 - 'FORUM SLIDING'

If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum - it can be quickly removed from public view by 'forum sliding.' In this technique a number of unrelated posts are quietly prepositioned on the forum and allowed to 'age.' Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon at will to trigger a 'forum slide.' The second requirement is that several fake accounts exist, which can be called upon, to ensure that this technique is not exposed to the public. To trigger a 'forum slide' and 'flush' the critical post out of public view it is simply a matter of logging into each account both real and fake and then 'replying' to prepositined postings with a simple 1 or 2 line comment. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, and the critical posting 'slides' down the front page, and quickly out of public view. Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the posting it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and unuseful postings. By this means it becomes effective to keep the readers of the forum reading unrelated and non-issue items. 

Technique #2 - 'CONSENSUS CRACKING'

A second highly effective technique (which you can see in operation all the time at http://www.abovetopsecret.com) is 'consensus cracking.' To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used. Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.' Thus the uninformed reader will most like develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'

Technique #3 - 'TOPIC DILUTION'

Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a 'RESOURCE BURN.' By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a 'gossip mode.' In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in. It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education is first determined of the group to determine at what level to 'drive in the wedge.' By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.

Technique #4 - 'INFORMATION COLLECTION'

Information collection is also a very effective method to determine the psychological level of the forum members, and to gather intelligence that can be used against them. In this technique in a light and positive environment a 'show you mine so me yours' posting is initiated. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided much statistical information can be gathered. An example is to post your 'favourite weapon' and then encourage other members of the forum to showcase what they have. In this matter it can be determined by reverse proration what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm, and or a illegal weapon. This same method can be used by posing as one of the form members and posting your favourite 'technique of operation.' From the replies various methods that the group utilizes can be studied and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.

Technique #5 - 'ANGER TROLLING'

Statistically, there is always a percentage of the forum posters who are more inclined to violence. In order to determine who these individuals are, it is a requirement to present a image to the forum to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction. From this the most violent in the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking. To accomplish this only requires posting a link to a video depicting a local police officer massively abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically of the million or so police officers in America there is always one or two being caught abusing there powers and the taping of the activity can be then used for intelligence gathering purposes - without the requirement to 'stage' a fake abuse video. This method is extremely effective, and the more so the more abusive the video can be made to look. Sometimes it is useful to 'lead' the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent, and that you 'do not care what the authorities think!!' inflammation. By doing this and showing no fear it may be more effective in getting the more silent and self-disciplined violent intent members of the forum to slip and post their real intentions. This can be used later in a court of law during prosecution.

Technique #6 - 'GAINING FULL CONTROL' 

It is important to also be harvesting and continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavourable postings - and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms. Depending on the level of control you can obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a 'honey pot' gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from this point be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.

CONCLUSION

Remember these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal precidence to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline. This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.

___

Now, I will add some additional techniques that I have either observed, or heard about.

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 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

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 are 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 kittens"

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.

I think that is a more complete list.  Note that the techniques I listed were off the top of my head.  There may be other names for them elsewhere.  I wouldn't expect to find entries under those exact names anywhere.

Beyond simply recognizing these things as they happen, it helps GREATLY to know how your mind works.  To that ends, I would highly advise reading the core sequences, and then the rest of the sequences here: http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Sequences

Yes, they really, REALLY help. 

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:05
Bollocks
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Good post tmosley

I've become aware of a lot of these trolling tactics myself, but judging by your "additional techniques" section, I think I've been aware of them for a far longer period of time than you have.

I now have serious doubts that any of what you've said there is actually true.

only joking.

surprise

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Flame Warriors

I thought some of you might find this amusing and spot on in some instances.

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/256600#comment-256600

I haven't finished adding to the list yet at the link and I periodically add one or two here and there. I know sometimes it's very hard to ID a troll and they usually ID themselves. Some of them are very smooth and patient just like some of the descriptive qualities that Tmosley has outlined above.

I think one of the hardest to ID is 'the apologist'. 

They are the one's who try to  serve as a buffer and chastise the group at large for even 'going there' by  questioning some people's motives even if some newbs (or long time infrequent posters who just wait for the opportunity)  are blatantly obvious or suspect in their message or their stated mission. Like Dallas Richard yesterday. He actually stated his intent.

I try to refrain from labeling anyone at this point (usually) but instead watch and listen to the flow of conversation before gently chiming in. Whether they know it or not, and while I'm cognizant of the fact that someone or some people will inevitably read this, I just did that right now.

So...if you took offense, you know who I'm talking about. If you're not then the thought probably shouldn't have entered your mind. Why would it?

All in all, I think out of courtesy to TF first and foremost and the community at large, I'll stick to just watching and letting the 'trolls' (whether they realize they might be one or not)  out themselves. Some trolls merely see themselves as righters of wrongs and surf the internet looking for "injustices" to correct all the while disturbing the site and doing exactly what they state they are against. It's a twisted irony that's lost on them as it is on most 'projectionists".

One of the many things I've observed during my time on this site (and online in general)  is that the clever/patient  one's think they're so clever is that they eventually become transparent in their obviousness at some point just by virtue of their relentless style or theme. They can't help themselves.

Just my outlook at this point.

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http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/170246#comment-170246

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my comments

my comments on tmosley's list, if anyone cares:

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/298154#comment-298154

tmosley
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That was clearly meant to be

That was clearly meant to be informative.  It was not addressed to you.

Also, your opinion, as that of a hapless sheep, means very little.  Might want to try to become something other than a sheep, before you are gobbled up, bones and all, by those who come here with malicious intent.

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Some other techniques

Aggressive trolls who insults posters in interesting and funny ways.

Majority of people's ego's cant handle being insulted or made fun off, so in my experience they seem to stay away from arguing with the bully and/or end up taking some of their positions.

The trolls that work best against me are the ones that say they follow the majority of my positions and say it was formed in a similar history in making my positions then comes up with a statement that contradicts one of my positions. I give much more weight to the opinions of these people.  My only defense is their history of postings so I can track their accuracy but that is a lot of effort.

Trolls best weapon is knowing that majority of their prey are inherently lazy to fact check what they are saying.

Also trolls as part of their arsenal will call out other people as being trolls. 

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tmosley wrote:That was

tmosley wrote:

That was clearly meant to be informative.  It was not addressed to you.

When you posted it in the original, on main, it was addressed to me: my name was in the subject line.

I guess I'm not surprised that you don't have any reply to what I wrote. You had no reply to what I wrote originally, either. But, as I say, it's all OK.

Oh yes, I did have one further remark: I agreed with your number 6, about "gaining full control". However, I neglected to mention that I agreed in a different context. Your context was, for lack of a better word, conspiriological. You are looking at the takeover of a  forum as, say, something done by COINTELPRO, or something like that. Well, maybe that does happen, occasionally; I don't know. I doubt if I have ever witnessed it. I have witnessed many internet groups being torpedoed in various ways by stupid or mean moderators. But I think it is  far-fetched to imagine that any of those moderators  are/were employed by the Evil Empire.  I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Remember Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice [or: malicious conspiracy] that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

I'm not saying the Evil Empire (or COINTELPRO) does not exist; only that it does not fool around with most of these rinky-dink internet fora. The idea that it does is a conceit of the participants, I'm afraid.

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"...rinky dink internet forum" ???

Alan...I'm pretty sure this site is ranked pretty high due to it's traffic among it's peers.

But hey....we all have our outlooks.  Apparently were conceited also.....unless I misread your words.

Interesting.

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http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/170246#comment-170246

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This was a very fun forum to read.

Even though some of us have “issues” with each other, I suspect that it is the nature of this website.

As far as a troll intentionally misleading a thread, I find that that cannot happen here for very long, because there is just too much  “outside news sources” brought into the conversation.

This particular website has in fact formed subcommunities of like-minded thinkers. Although I do not  the “ignore user” option, I do tend to ignore a lot of what is written.

Whether true or not, I'm quite guilty of  crying “ troll”, simply for being called off topic.

Actually, in  certain context, sometimes I am off topic.

Since I come here to learn, and occasionally share my opinion, is to be expected that there will be those who disagree.

That is not trolling, that is just having a difference of opinion.

I've been aware of  tmosley's list for years, and it's almost impossible to have a difference of opinion without falling into at least one of those categories.

I think the list all by itself could undermine the cohesiveness of a community.

Just my thoughts. 

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@ alan2102

If you would like to find moderators with “malicious intent”, just go to MarketWatch.com.

If you spend some time in the comments section, and try to express the truth as you know it,

you will be deleted.

If you persist, your account will be scrubbed.

It does happen.

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alan2102
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Mr. Fix wrote: I've been

Mr. Fix wrote:

I've been aware of  tmosley's list for years, and it's almost impossible to have a difference of opinion without falling into at least one of those categories.

I think the list all by itself could undermine the cohesiveness of a community.

Your critique uses an admirable economy of words, and besides, is much better than my (verbose) one in terms of cutting to more important matters of substance.

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DrkPurpleHaze

DrkPurpleHaze wrote:

Alan...I'm pretty sure this site is ranked pretty high due to it's traffic among it's peers.

But hey....we all have our outlooks.  Apparently were conceited also.....unless I misread your words.

Interesting.

DPH: Hey, it's easy to be conceited! I do it all the time.

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