Archive for trolls

When Democrats act like right wing trolls

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rant alert

I'm trying my best to follow Doctor's orders, I really am. I'm staying away from the computer for a good part of the day, I write 90% fewer posts than I used to, and when I do write, I concentrate on more upbeat news stories.

However.

For months-- no, make that years-- it's been impossible to escape from the tea party style, trolly behavior of many so-called "Democrats" on Twitter, in TPC Comments, and on Facebook. And yes, many of these people are really, truly left leaning, not conservatives in blue sheep's clothing.

Let's start with this old chestnut: Over the years, I've been called an "EmoProg," which is supposed to be some kind of terrible, poison dart insult, the ultimate slur that can be hurled at you by a fellow Dem. My pal over at FreakOutNation, @Anomaly100, and I have mocked this lunacy by calling our selves MEmos ( adding "me" to "emo" to fake-narcisstically own our apparent evil EmoProgitude).

I've never been quite sure what EmoProg means, but per Urban Dictionary, in part:

Emo Progressive (or "emoprog") is a self-described liberal or progressive, often with libertarian leanings, whose political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation at any given time, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly or forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents.

Emoprogs are ideological purists who disdain compromise and incremental change, which they see as "selling out" liberal ideas like full employment, an end to all wars, state secrets, and liberal social policy...

Emoprogs have a strong affinity for 3rd party politics as a way to punish Democratic presidents. They are especially hostile to President Obama and deem anyone who expresses a lack of ill will toward him to be "Obamabots" and enemies of liberalism.

I've also been called an "Obamabot," which as you can see is the opposite of an EmoProg, so go figure. That's how utterly inane and infantile these labels are. They're also destructive, damaging to party unity, toxic, and resolve nothing. In fact, for those who claim to be so "inclusive," this kind of name-calling is sure a funny way of displaying their "tolerance" of others.

There can be disagreement within a party without resorting to this kind of immaturity. We share the same goals, ultimately, so zinging hostile labels at political allies, alienating them instead of working together whenever possible, is at best self-defeating.

Next, and I'm putting this in all caps because I want to scream this loudly, and a few words on a page won't suffice:

PLEASE STOP USING THE WORD "RETARD" AND STOP USING "TARD" AS A SUFFIX.

Again, so-called "inclusive" Dems using that word as a slur is utterly counterproductive, very offensive, and plain stupid. Or ignorant. Or both. Even readers/followers I adore use it. Most stop when I explain what I'm about to write next:

I worked with special ed students for years when I taught high school theater classes. I challenge anyone who uses the R Word or suffix to look any of those dear, innocent kids in the eye and say that directly to them or within earshot of them, and then not feel like a total ass as they see the hurt and bewilderment on the sweet faces that stare back.

Are "liberal" vocabularies so limited that no other words are accessible? Words that don't sting? Words that don't devalue people with real feelings who matter and take things to heart just as you and I do? Really?

And finally, there's this: Yesterday I had a very pleasant Twitter exchange with a *gasp!* Republican TV and print commentator who shall remain nameless. In fact, I have a few far right followers who I get along with, but who I never ever discuss politics with. Our conversations are strictly goofy or personal or about movies, TV, dogs, vacations, that kind of thing. But not politics. Our mutual heads would explode if we did that.

In fact, I detest their politics at worst, and strongly disagree with them at best. But we get along, and one extremely conservative pundit in particular was the very first to "be there" for me (privately in Direct Messages) when my dad first became ill and then supported me all the way through to my father's death. I value that in a person, no matter what their beliefs or politics.

After my quippy back and forth with Mr. GOP Commentator, a follower (who I am happy to say I never followed back) called me "self-righteous" and "muted" me because I dared to engage someone who he (and I) vehemently disagreed with about the Affordable Care Act.

Call me EmoProg-- or is it Obamabot?-- but I am able to compartmentalize and remain friendly with people who are kind to me, who enjoy tweet talk now and then, who have a sense of humor, and who give me no reason to block them. If I eventually find them to be offensive or distasteful, I unfollow or block, that is my choice.

But come on, "Dems" or "liberals" or "Progressives" or "Obama supporters" or whoever you are, grow up. Throwing insults out of the blue, initiating convos only to be rude because I occasionally chat with someone whose point of view we both find objectionable is not exactly true to our Big D Democratic values.

In fact, it's more tea party than it is Dem. And that kind of behavior is intolerable.

words matter

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'Tis the season to be hateful... to liberals

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troll cartoon

Heads up: Some adult content is included in this post. Hide the kids.

It's become a tradition here at The Political Carnival to provide anyone who has a worthy product or service with free promotion opportunities via our daily holiday posts. Whether it's a book, art work, soaps, charitable groups, good causes, you name it, we're more than happy to help you get more exposure every holiday season.

'Tis the giving season, after all, and Progressives are generally very giving people.

Most readers find our endeavors to share your endeavors to be a positive thing, something worth celebrating, something that benefits everyone involved.

Key word: "Most."

Below is a comment that I deleted under one of those recurring posts, Send In Your Suggestions For Cool Things 2013! Please note the political leanings of the author (who has since been banned from any future attempts to leave a comment). I may be wrong, but I don't recall liberals being this vile. I don't see tree-hugging, commie French gay Kenyan Marxist socialist Muslim liberal peaceniks spreading such violent hatred and vividly foul outbursts at conservative sites.

This kind of desperate, needy cry for attention is, sadly, not uncommon among extreme right wing commenters, both here at TPC and in my Twitter stream. Here's what this particular bottom-feeder felt obligated to dislodge from deep within his decaying bowels:

Could we get t-Shirts with the following photos:

Martin Bashir being beheaded.
Rachel Maddow in a rape room in Libya.
Obama giving Reggie Love head.
Mooshelle selling tickets to the deflowering of Sasha and Malia by Harry Reid.
Hildabeast being eaten by Huma while she corn holes Nancy Pelosi.

These thinks would sell like hot cakes at the next democratic convention.

"These thinks" were apparently so irresistible in the vacuum that place-holds for this cretin's cesspool of a brain that he couldn't wait to find just the right post at TPC to deposit them.

Imagine what his/her home life is like. Imagine how he/she must have been raised.

I usually just delete and ban (again, I did), but in this case, I admit I felt compelled to respond. Maybe it's because I'm more stressed out and less patient than usual, as you can read about here; or maybe it's because I've simply had enough and occasionally feel the need to follow the advice of "Network's" Howard Beale and scream, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

And that's essentially what I did in my response:

"Lessthantolerant" is apparently compensating for his shortcomings, which appear to be plentiful. I'm sure the warden will return him to his cell shortly. Meantime, he's banned from our place. He can jack off to his sick little, self-entertaining musings somewhere else until what's left of his brain disintegrates along with his psyche and tiny penis.

Yeah, I went there. So sue me. Sometimes enough is enough.

Happy holidays.

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Welcome to my world: "#WhyRepublicansNeedToGo -- Whoever created this ignorant hashtag is on food stamps."

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chart militia groups southern poverty law center

Every now and then on Twitter, I get a notification of an impending "Twitter bomb." That means that at a specified time, as many people as possible organize to tweet a certain hashtag (#) so that a message will be sent out in large numbers, simultaneously, get a lot of attention, and hopefully trend.

Last night I got word that #WhyRepublicansNeedToGo would be the hashtag du jour. I decided to jump in for the heck of it and posted a couple of tweets like (if I remember correctly): "#WhyRepublicansNeedToGo Two words: Eric Cantor. Two more: Paul Ryan" and "#WhyRepublicansNeedToGo Gay rights, civil rights, women's rights, voting rights, and that's just for starters."

I mentioned nothing about Rand Paul (who delivered the ninth longest filibuster in U.S. history), other than to retweet breaking news updates. I didn't say whether I agreed or disagreed with him or with the speaking filibuster or with his efforts to block John Brennan's confirmation. I offered no opinion one way or the other.

However, had anyone bothered to ask, which nobody did, I would have said that I support a speaking filibuster (and oppose incessant GOP obstruction), I am not thrilled with Brennan, I am against the use of drones to target Americans, I am for major oversight of the use of drones by any president, I am for due process, getting a fair trial in a U.S. (civilian) court of law, and against assassinating Americans and denying them the option to give themselves up.

That said, I got an onslaught of trolls, all of them Rand Paul devotees, sending inane, nasty, baiting, and/or stupid tweets last night shortly after Twitter Bomb Thirty.

I'm sharing a few of them with you because 1) I've been meaning to do expose you to some of the extreme comments I get for awhile now to show you what many of us deal with on a daily basis, and 2) to point out the mentality of most of the tweets I get from Republicans and Libertarians. They always initiate these direct "conversations," I never do.

What concerns me is not so much the infantile nature of the tweets, because that's easy enough to ignore, but that so many people (or perhaps bots, accounts created solely for this purpose) have such hostility, anger, misinformation, ignorance, and feel the necessity to repeatedly direct it at those with whom they disagree. Even after I inform trolls that they are being blocked, they continue to obliviously tweet me as if I can see their tweets (there are ways to see them, which is how I know they do this).

Their irrationality and rage infects nearly every tweet.

Republicans, be careful what and whom you rile up, incite, and embrace. As the Southern Poverty Law Center is warning, this is fast becoming another Oklahoma City bombing waiting to happen:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Below are a few samples of what I was bombarded with last night. Notably, a recurring theme is that, after they enter my stream with intentionally provocative tweets and/or misinformation and I choose to block, they default to phony outrage. They get huffy and whiny over being deprived of their First Amendment rights, which of course, pertain to government censorship, not Twitter's option to block tweets:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Welcome to my world:

@CreepySteveEnt (Bio: "game dev hobbyist"):

Keep drinking the blue Kool-aid. If this was a Democrat in 2006, your panties would have been wet.

if you were a dude, I'd have replaced that last part about with "jerking off." Not everything that references sex is sexist

but, I guess its easier to just yell "sexist" than try to understand why people think you are an idiot.

Not every mention of skin color is racist. Not every reference to vaginas is sexist. Get over yourself

 u r fucking braindamaged. "You'd be jerking off about a Democrat doing the same in 2006" wouldn't be called sexist

But, because I was referencing a girl... Completely different. Typical liberal victim syndrome.

People don't say mean things 2 u because of ur sex. They say mean things 2 u because you have your head up ur ass.

 @GOPMommy:

I didn't know that I lacked rights as a woman. Are you referring to little women in the womb? (I remember commenting about how developed the fetus must be if she's referring to it as a little woman)

Another liberal that hates free speech if it means having a different opinion: @GottaLaff who blocks people she's too ignorant to debate.

@JustinYoung30 (who apparently thinks teachers are worthy of disdain):

@GottaLaff no shit you're not a republican. That's your problem. I'm gonna guess you're a teacher or leaching the system 

@goodolick (3 followers, and please note the spelling of "you're" from the account who called me stupid.):

@GottaLaff your a special kind of stupid aren't you?

@ItsTheGrumpyCat ::

#WhyRepublicansNeedToGo Whoever created this ignorant hashtag is on food stamps. 

@KicheMalko (Bio: hard and raw with no regard for the law): 

@GottaLaff "civil rights" like letting illegal immigrants live have welfare and food stamps? "voting rights" like let illegals vote?

@GottaLaff i dont know how im being rude but i think you need to be a little more educated on something called the constitution (I believe I reminded Malko that civil rights are indeed constitutional and that nobody has ever suggested that anyone should be allowed to vote illegally.)

What is the cause of all their anger? Why do they feel so afraid? Is it our African American president? Is it that whites are becoming a minority? Is it that they have an unhealthy reliance on firearms and solving problems with violence, so they feel common sense gun safety measures are a threat? Is it the "civil war" within their own party that makes them uneasy? They're feeling powerless, so they have to dominate in inappropriate and dangerous ways?

Whatever it is, it is not good for this country, and they need to start listening more, agree to disagree, grow up, read and become aware of facts instead of relying solely on sources like Fox for their talking points, educate themselves, research, become more willing to hear opposing views, try using some civility, empathize, and realize we're all in this together.

troll

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I've had it

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rant alert

As most of you know, I tweet our TPC posts on Twitter all day, so I am exposed to many, many wonderful people, but also a whole lot of truly deranged types. After awhile it adds up. Then I compound that by making the mistake of watching the Sunday Talkers, and bam! I occasionally gotta vent.

This is one of those times. So forgive me for this extended Moment of Negative, but my poor head is about to explode. Feel free to jump in any time with your own "had-its." I'm certain I forgot a few and may add more later. And with that...

I've had it with:

Stupid people.

Rape jokes.

Extremists.

Liars.

Fear-mongers.

Bullies.

Needless misunderstandings.

BP ads boasting about awesome Gulf coast vacation spots that are even better now that they've killed everything off with their deadly oil pollution.

Sunday talk show hosts.

Sunday talk show guests.

Sunday talk shows.

Conservative pundits.

Loud overtalking/constant interrupting.

Trolls.

Nasty trolls.

Nasty stupid trolls.

Rude, insecure putzes.

Stupid people.

Very stupid people.

Smart, seemingly highly educated, informed political people on the Tee Vee Machine with poor verbal skills saying knowingly stupid things.

Lack of foresight.

Lack of hindsight.

Gun zealots.

Religious zealots.

Right wing zealots.

Judgmental righties.

Judgmental lefties.

Phonies.

Self-righteous right wing nut jobs.

Self-righteous Dems.

Self-righteous know-it-alls.

Stupid self-righteous know-it-alls.

Did I mention stupid people?

Dishonesty.

War on Women.

War on Voters.

War on LGBT.

War.

Hypocrisy.

Bigots.

Racists.

People who don't listen.

People who judge blog posts and articles solely by their titles without reading the post itself.

People who judge blog posts and articles solely by their titles without reading the post itself, then comment inappropriately.

People who comment on posts without having followed the links in the post that would answer any questions they have.

People on Twitter who assume all retweets are endorsements, as opposed to realizing that sometimes a retweet is simply to point out an interesting, different, or controversial p.o.v.

People on Twitter who consistently confuse "lose" and "loose," "it's" and "its," "your" and "you're" (not typos).

People on Twitter WHO INSIST ON USING ALL CAPS.

People on Twitter who don't provide context to their tweets-- sometimes threads are not traceable or visible-- who tweet things like, "Me too!" or "When?" or "How can you say that?!"

Republicans who can't see beyond their own donors.

Republicans who can't see beyond their own power grabs.

Republicans who can't see beyond their own ideology.

Climate change deniers.

People with no sense of humor.

People who think they have a sense of humor, but don't.

Condescending windbags.

Incompetence.

Willful ignorance.

Birthers.

RyanCantorTrumpMcCainPalinBreitbartWestBachmannMcConnellRandPaul [insert more names here].

Fox.

Whew! Thanks. I needed that.

whew dog

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For whom the shills troll

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Link

The tweet you see above is pretty typical of the responses I get from conservative troll accounts on Twitter, ones that usually have no followers, or at most a handful, like this one:

However, others belong to authentic right wing accounts, often ones that include words like "freedom," "Blessed by the Almighty Creator of the Universe," and "Small Government" in their profile bios. They initiate the exchanges (such as they are), appearing suddenly, uninvited, and seem to swarm when they feel threatened by good Obama news, or when they feel the need to defend the latest gibberish from the GOP.

Today they came out in droves, several in the space of only a few minutes, right after some of us tweeted replies to the president's Twitter Q and A, using the hashtag #My2K. Following that was the Republican counter offer to the President Obama's tax plan, the one he's been campaigning on for the past couple of years. Details of that are here: GOP waaahmbulance alert: President Obama’s bully pulpit is no fair! GOP has “fiscal cliff” counter offer.

Note to trolls, from @MiltShook: Social Security and Medicare are NOT part of the general fund, have NOTHING to do with "fiscal cliff."

But enough about reality.

Here are some of the talking points, er, Twitter responses that I wanted to share with you, because 1) I found them amusing, and 2) their tone and content are what many of us have become accustomed to day in and day out. And yes, I blocked them all:

 

 

***

 

***

 

***

Note: This one from the same account wasn't tweeted to me, but I noticed it in her stream:

***

@gottalaff  top 10% pay 70% of tax burden. How much do you want them to pay? We need taxpayers not more taxes.

@gottalaff President also wants ability to raise debt limit w/out Congress. OVERREACH.

@gottalaff "working people" have seen increase in gas, food, utilities. less take home pay. You are being sold a bill of goods.

-- Jean Hall  (@JeanHalljgh) December 3, 2012

This account's stream included a tweet to President Obama with a "you're a nincompoop" message. That's what they're reduced to:

@gottalaff @richardtrumka Yeah Mr. President, shift the costs of your social programs to the non-working, non- income, non-producing people

— Dennis Miller (@millerpost) December 3, 2012

***

@bgilson1212 @gottalaff @richardtrumka Will ya look at that. #My2K has the union clowns jumping on the train to raise taxes & cut nothing.

— Wilbs999 (@Wilbs999) December 3, 2012

But then along comes someone like this to compensate for all the insanity:

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Hatred, trolls, and politics

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Ever since Wisconsin Still-Gov. Scott Walker managed to survive the recall election last night, from the minute the results were announced, I started getting tweet after tweet by troll after troll spewing (mostly misspelled) nastiness, gloating, and insults.

Sidebar: A brief Twitter lesson on trolling... A "troll" is someone who enters a Twitter stream, usually uninvited, and initiates a conversation in the most inflammatory way possible. Sometimes, but not usually, it starts out more subtly, then quickly escalates into full-on offensive content. The idea is to provoke, bait, disrupt, and eventually get an emotional response. One motivation is to acquire more followers and/or get a posse to pile on. They often appear to be illiterate, bigoted, racist, uninformed, misinformed, and very angry. And yes, that description also fits commenters at this blog, as well as the very definition of Fox News [sic] devotees... and believe it or not, even some fellow Dems.

Just as things were settling down, I was deluged again because Michael Moore retweeted the same tweet of mine that the Maddow Blog posted on their site (scroll), and all the Moore haters swooped in.

These people don't want to debate for the most part, nor do they care about having a civil discussion. They go directly to rude, hostile blather and harassment, and I go directly to the block option, although I do sometimes succumb to a couple of rounds of Whack a Troll when I'm feeling feisty.

But why is this happening? Why is there so much blatant rancor? The political climate is so heated, so hateful, that, just as Congress is more divided than ever, so are the rest of us.  And because people can hide behind their computers, feel removed, knowing there's a distance between them and who they choose to attack, even bully, knowing they are likely impossible to track and identify, they take full advantage.

How can our representatives govern properly if one side openly announces that its primary goal is to boot out the president instead of passing laws that will improve life for fellow U.S. citizens? How can those who are governed by clashing Congress members achieve their own peace if tea party enthusiasts, Breitbart followers, right wing extremists, and religious fanatics condemn and assault anyone they see as the enemy?

What's worse, and ironic, is that those we think are dead wrong about so many things feel the very same way about us. Their concern is that we'll win elections and power, and we're worried that they will. Fear can be a powerful motivator.

Disagreements are fine, but bombarding or beating up on political opponents doesn't resolve disputes or change minds, it solidifies positions, and can even radicalize the other side.  Launching attacks without provocation expressly to evoke a knee-jerk response or to start a fight to get attention is self-serving, destructive and unnecessary.

And it's no way to improve the nation's collective state of mind, or for that matter, the state of the union.

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Trolls and other objectionable Commenters, the sequel

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By GottaLaff

Sometime we at TPC get nasty, vicious comments on our posts, and you'll see that we've deleted most of them. We often get asked why we're allowed to have our opinions, but "stifle free speech, the First Amendment" of others.

First, about the First: Read the Constitution. That's about preventing the government from stomping on your rights, not about your fellow citizens (who host blogs) from insisting that you treat each others (and us) with respect. It's about style, not substance. If you're a regular reader, that's pretty obvious.

Second: This is an opinion site. That's what we do. We snark, we opine, we snipe, we joke, we analyze, we are a little idiosyncratic, and we're allowed. Oh, and we're Progressive. If you disagree with us, fine. If you don't like our p.o.v. feel free to go elsewhere. In fact, start your own blog, and say whatever you'd like, that's your prerogative.

You are welcome to visit and schmooze as long as you engage in basic common courtesy.

In a previous post I laid out some guidelines:

As of January 1, 2009, I decided to make every attempt to delete troll comments if they are:
  • Uncivil
  • Pointlessly rambling
  • Serve no other purpose other than to attempt to provoke a fight
  • Redundant (ie: posting the same comment in several threads)
  • Argumentative, simply spewing lies, without providing substance/facts
  • Excessive in length (that goes for sympathetic Comments, too)
  • Random, uncalled-for, irrelevant snottiness without regard to the content of that particular post

If I left anything out, please feel free to add to the list.

There are exceptions to all of these, of course. If a comment is longer than usual, but it's from a Commenter who adheres to protocol 99.9% of the time, we tend to be lenient. If a Comment is relatively innocuous, but simply annoying, that's no biggie either.

Freedom of speech is one thing. Spewing gratuitous hostilities in an otherwise congenial setting is another. That's superfluous and destructive.

Setting standards for an environment that nurtures friendly, respectful, and spirited conversation is paramount. Anything that crosses the line will hereby be deleted.

I'm adding one more: No spam. It gets deleted, so don't even go there.

So, what have we learned? Baiting and insults are no-nos. Not a difficult concept. My YouTube site has garnered the most vile comments I've ever seen, especially when I post videos of President Obama. The consensus is that YouTube is a stomping ground for the "barely literate, bio-hazardous scum" (a quote from a fellow YouTuber). I've had to stop allowing comments on some posts.

That segues me into a relevant article that a Twitter pal of mine, Plutoniumpage, linked me to. Here are random excerpts from an interview with Stephen Fry. Please go read the whole piece:

  • "Of all the stinking, sliding, scuttling, weird, entomological creatures that inhabit the floor of the internet those comments on blogs are the most unbearable, almost beyond imagining..."
  • "Their resentment, their desire to be heard at the most vituperative level, at the most unpleasant and malevolent, genuinely ill-willed malevolent, level is terrifying..."
  • "There is something faintly disgusting in someone who merely wants to have sycophantic voices cooing in his ear and licking his inner thigh... but on the other hand it is a bit much that somehow people almost feel they have a right to be heard in their insulting of me. If I don't want to hear people being unpleasant about me I should have the right to turn it off."
  • "...[S]ocial networking sites are making people more isolated as they turn to their computer screens rather than meeting people in real life."
  • "The idea that the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. If people are more informed then they become more engaged and if they are more engaged then they can become more empathetic."

And-- to quote a very civil, very wise, very brilliant man-- that's the way it is. But here at TPC at least, we try to keep it pleasant.

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