Moonbat - the paid bullies are out to get me
These astroturf libertarians are the real threat to internet democracy | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
As I see in threads on my articles, the online sabotaging of intelligent debate seems organised. We must fight to save this precious gift
Reading comment threads on the Guardian's sites and elsewhere on the web, two patterns jump out at me. The first is that discussions of issues in which there's little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions: such as climate change, public health and corporate tax avoidance. These are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption....
The second pattern is the strong association between this tactic and a certain set of views: pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Both traditional conservatives and traditional progressives tend to be more willing to discuss an issue than these rightwing libertarians, many of whom seek to shut down debate.
So what's going on? I'm not suggesting that most of the people trying to derail these discussions are paid to do so, though I would be surprised if none were. I'm suggesting that some of the efforts to prevent intelligence from blooming seem to be organised, and that neither website hosts nor other commenters know how to respond....
A group that trains rightwing libertarians to distort online democratic processes was...., set up with funding from a person or company with a very large wallet.
The internet is a remarkable gift, which has granted us one of the greatest democratic opportunities since universal suffrage. We're in danger of losing this global commons as it comes under assault from an army of trolls and flacks, many of them covertly organised or trained. The question for all of us – the Guardian, other websites, and everyone who benefits from this resource – is what we intend to do about it. It's time we fought back and reclaimed the internet for what it does best: exploring issues, testing ideas, opening the debate.
Open the debate but control who contributes to it, now that sounds like a plan. Though whoever is controlling the libertarian bloggers must be a genius who has missed his true vocation of running a display team of cat herding and so maybe it would easier for George to just control what views are expressed on the internet.
P.S. Of course I'm just a highly paid puppet of an evil overlord because I wrote this.
P.P.S Note to evil overlord - the promised cheque still hasn't arrived.