We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

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We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

Post by Abd » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:49 pm

"Our side" may be a simple general opinion, often some kind of hatred, formed from believing oft-repeated lies that will appeal, by design or otherwise, to knee-jerk impressions. The creators of "fake news" -- the real fake news, not professional journalism -- know this, and so do certain internet trolls, who, being anonymous (most of them) have hidden agendas and promote them with either (1) massive sock puppetry, hiding identity, or even (2) a single long-term single person who jealously guards identity.

Wikipedia Sucks and so do its critics, and most of this can be traced to anonymity, which frees people to be utterly, totally offensive, blatant liars or trolls, with no personal consequences. Years ago, I confronted a hater on Wikipediocracy, and was banned for my trouble. In spite of some claims, I violated no rules, except an unwritten one. I was not warned that I would be banned, it happened without warning.

There were probably two real reasons behind the ban. (1) I "wrote too much" -- but there was no admin warning -- and (2) I was confronting their Favorite Troll, "entertaining," and way too many people love to watch "flame wars." At the same time, they are contemptuous of anyone who defends themselves, they are "lolcows." Contempt is an aspect of hatred, and it infects the audience.

There is another group, then, beyond and possibly larger than the first two: (3) the fellow-travellers, those who buy and spread and promote deception, repeating lies and misleading information as fact. In genuine fake news with major political impact, it is this group that causes fake news to cause real damage.

It is probably human instinct to believe what is often repeated. In pre-internet society, information came with the reputation and affect and presence and personal history of the one conveying it. The internet, for the first time, allowed massive, widespread communication without those safeguards. It can seem like "everybody" is saying something, and that, therefore, it must be true.

And there goes the community, down the tubes. This is all obvious and is not personal. It's just what happens. Is this harmful? Harmful to what? After all, if the targets are "shitheels," what's the harm? So maybe there are some exaggerations. So what?

Lies create disconnect between opinion and reality. They cause deep harm to our ability to form sane collective judgments. It doesn't matter what "side" they are on, because reality is not a "side," and basing decisions on other than reality can lead to spectacular doom, even with "good intentions."

Recent events on Wikipediocracy and Reddit have demonstrated the power of massive sock puppetry and trolling, if it goes after consistent targets. Much of it sticks with a general audience.

The audience tends to believe that "both sides" are to blame. Why don't they just get along? If someone is being attacked by hundreds of socks -- and a few non-socks -- they surely must be doing something wrong!

So admins may tend to block both sides, even if research would show that all the disruption is coming from one person or a narrow faction. If they do that, the anonymous throwaway side has obtained exactly the result they were aiming for, so they continue the behavior. The non-socks didn't really care about that forum, etc.

I first saw this phenomenon in the 1980s, with the early "conferencing" systems. For the first time, the entire record of discussions was available and it could be seen how conflict arose. And nobody cared to look. It was too much work, besides, "we saw it all, we were following, so our opinions must be right, we don't need to look at actual history. I had, however, done extensive transcription of meetings In real life, and knew that memory unreliable. We remember, not what was actually said, but how we interpreted it, with emphasis on emotional interpretation, good, bad, angry, etc.

I found that if I did the research, and pointed to how a conflict had started, people would conclude that I was on one side, had cherry-picked what I quoted, to make the other side look bad, even though I had no such motive. I was really interested in what happened and in the origins of conflict. Basically, many people believe that their knee-jerk impressions are reality. This, while disabling, is normal.

Reddit shows this, clearly, in r/WikiInAction. There are a few observers who actually know the history and the evidence. Their comments are buried in massive avalanches of throwaway accounts (mostly from the Smith brothers, my conclusion), and then a huge number of posts (over 350) from the Vilignat from Wikipediocracy, also engaged in the same campaign on WO itself, and, what surprised me, the "evil twin" of Genderdesk joined in the claque. All of them repeating deceptions and lies as if fact.

So group (1) is the Smith brothers, (2) is here represented by the ViliGnat, and (3) is Genderdesk. All anonymous. There are possibly some additional people, likely factionally allied (i.e, the so-called rational skeptics, who were clearly allied with the Smith brothers on Wikipedia and RationalWiki). An example of a possible additional person would be HorseshoeTheBat. I have collected the throwaway accounts, and those since January 1, 2020 are on this blog page. Collecting data like this reveals patterns, it goes far deeper than simply allowing impressions to accumulate. Still, when I mentioned to Dysklyver that one account seemed different, he immediately knew which one. Of course, Dysklyver is also under attack by the same trolls. (I have a suspicion as to other accounts of that user, and I have means of investigating this. But it's work, and does it matter?)

Anyone who confronts the haters and trolls will be attacked, and that does not mean mere disagreement. It means massive socking, pure ad-hominem argument and defamation, and doxxing if possible, emails to family and employers, sometimes defamatory articles and pages.

And there can be people who believe those attacks. It's just the way it is. This will not change in my lifetime, I expect.

Is this a situation, though, to be tolerated? I think not, but I can do little alone. Who is interesting in standing for reality, against lies and deception -- or even simple misinterpretation? Is there a difference between fact and opinion?

There is a difference, in practice, it's clear, to those who study this.

We will always form opinions, it's human and even necessary, but when opinion comes to drive what we see as fact, we have set up a vicious cycle that could even take humanity into extinction. We need to hew to reality so that opinion may be live, may continuously adjust as informed by reality.

The trolls and haters have hated, most of all, simple documentation of what they were doing, with minimal opinion.

"If they are not shooting at you, you are not doing anything worth wasting bullets on."

Being shot at is obviously no proof of "correctness." It does mean that someone really doesn't like what you are doing.

"You know you are over the target when the flak gets heaviest." It might not even be the original target, but flak is expensive. Somebody obviously is intensely interested in protecting that target. Again, that doesn't prove that the target is bad or wrong, but it is surely interesting!

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Re: We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

Post by Kumioko » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:34 am

I pretty much stopped reading after, "We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."
#BbbGate

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Re: We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

Post by Abd » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:18 pm

We should care what you read and did not read? What did you think that meant? Who is "we"?
This post, as was predictable,attracted the attention of the Vilignat. -- with his usual deceptions, that incorporate, as if fact, his twisted hatred and contempt. It varies in the depth of the deception. In general, the Gnat reports, as if fact, his contemptuous imagination.

1. I have not "enabled" pedophiles. Not ever. On WikiInAction, Nathan Larson appeared, a long term troll who has, at the least, convinced the world that he is a pedophile. I did not invite him (as the trolls claimed -- they invited him, in effect, by mentioning him over and over) and I did not "partner with him," in any way. He did parody people who were attacking me, but I did not invite this and did not "enable" it. He has been "suspended" by Reddit, absolutely no surprise, but it appears to me that he came right back, and he's being significantly upvoted. So are all those people "enabling" a pedophile?

2. Nathan Larson is not a "pedophile" as defined by Wikipedia. He talks about it a lot and, very arguably, he has "enabled pedophiles" -- to share their experience on web sites, but he has no sex offender convictions.

There are offenses that he might possibly have committed, but one does not need to be a pedophile to commit such. For example, if you view child porn on your computer out of curiosity or by accident --- or for "research into that disgusting shit" -- or because of a prurient interest, and your reasons don't legally matter unless you have a necessity -- do you know that you are committing a very serious federal offense? Pedophilia is a Mirkin Phase I topic, simply discussing it can be grounds for massive disapproval and accusations -- and sanctions. Simply reporting scientific research -- without taking any advocacy position -- can be considered proof of being a "pedophile apologist." Larson is not a "child rapist," as the Gnat has claimed. There is not only no evidence for that, it's implausible. Neverhtheless, because of what he has said and written, I would not allow him extended unsupervised time with children. That's a no-brainer. tThere could be a first time.

3. I did not get my "ass packed" on WikiInAction. I can still post there, there have been no warnings or restrictions. The standard advice is DNFTT, and so, as an experiment, I backed way off on what I was doing -- which could always be done later. I expect I'll be doing more today, I refine what I do.

4. Trolls will always claim that reporting fact and sober analysis is "having a good, hard cry" or "sobbing." The post here is not compIaining, it is reporting the human condition. Whining and complaining will show up in tone of voice, in person. With writing, it must be inferred, which reveals the state of the interpreter.

WikiInAction is, in effect, an unmoderated sub, and has been inundated with Smith brothers troll posting, and a little from Mikemikev parodying Oliver Smith, and then with a barrage of comment trolling from the ViliGnat, over 350 comments since the end of December that most Reddit moderators would ban for. Without a moderator, it's up to Reddit admins, and they are very slow to act. Just the way it is, and if it was making me cry to read and participate on Reddit, I'd simply stop. Years ago, I was active on soc.religion.islam, as a moderator. alt.religion.islam was unmoderated and not worth the time it took to sort through the shitposting, so I rarely looked at it.

5. On Reddit, if one has a problem with a sub, the standard solution is Make Your Own Damn Sub. These will almost always start with low membership, and the Gnat has lied about my subs. Only the newest have only one member (me). Yes, they are safe spaces. He calls them "hugboxes." Something wrong with safety and "hugging"? Only to a troll, who loves flaming and attempting to harass and defame. He's only actually banned from one or two of them. I'm fascinated: the Smith brothers comment on my blog, they are not banned, Oliver posts openly and I respond to him. It's the ViliGnat who hides in his own safe space, made safe for him by people who are willing to support hatred, which he freely expresses there.

6. My writing has always appealed to a minority audience, rarely do I write polemic designed for broad appeal. Trolls, of course, will always attack "wall of text" that they don't like, but responding to lies always take more words than the trolling. Nevertheless, on Reddit, my responses to the ViliGnat, after the first six dozen shitposts, became one word, a Reply, posted elsewhere (eventually using my user sub -- which any user may create) to moot the lies about "honey pot." The main thing that response does is offer to respond to questions, if people are actually concerned about it and then it links, indirectly, to the pages where the trolling is documented. It appears that very few believe the trolling. There have been no requests

Most of the negative response to me on Reddit comes from those who see the massive trollsocking and assume it's a "flame war" caused by my alleged attacks on the others. And so they blame "both sides." And that's how people can be banned from some fora with no misbehavior. And so what? I don't write for them, I write for myself and for those who have questions and want answers.

From my point of view, I'm winning. To be sure, my definition of winning has to do with my relationship with reality. Malcolm X won, Mahatma Gandhi won, etc. I could literally die today or tomorrow, and that will be a victory, over all the reasons we have to remain silent about abuse we see, a victory over fear, and, by the way, over hatred as well. I'm having fun.

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Re: We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

Post by boredbird » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:13 am

Abd wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:18 pm
Pedophilia is a Mirkin Phase I topic, simply discussing it can be grounds for massive disapproval and accusations -- and sanctions.
So what's Mirkin Phase II?

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Re: We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

Post by ericbarbour » Sun May 03, 2020 8:01 pm

boredbird wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:13 am
So what's Mirkin Phase II?
Doxxing assholes, I would think. (Nailed any more lately?)

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Re: We don't mind liars, as long as they are "on our side."

Post by Abd » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:03 pm

Mirkin phases are about taboo topics. In Phase 1, a topic cannot be discussed in polite company. He gives historical examples. One of them, transition to phases 2 and 3 I witnessed: homosexuality.

In phase 2, it becomes possible to discuss.

In phase 1, bringing up the topic or commenting about it with neutral fact and failing to express extreme disgust will cause person to be attacked.

To note a topic as phase 1 is not advocacy or prediction. Pedophilia is phase 1. There are many facts about this and related topics that cannot be mentioned without the very fact that one knows the fact being considered some kind of proof that one is a pedophile or “pedophile apologist”.

In phase 2, it becomes possible to discuss issues.

This is my first post here since I experienced an ischemic stroke. When I wrote the above, I was already experiencing early stroke symptoms. My doctor did not recognize them but I think the post above was the last one I wrote before I went to bed that night and I woke up in the middle of the night half paralyzed. So I was in a hospital, and I’m now in a rehab, with only an iPhone to use. So my writing is difficult and painstaking. I am making regular progress. At first I had no use at all of my left arm and left leg— they were totally flaccid. I am now able to stand and manage certain self-care procedures but I’m still dependent upon 24 hour nursing care.

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