Have a look through this blog and note that ROGS has changed the organized gang stalking dialectic forever,in my descriptions of how the NSA~FVEY~Israel data theft pipeline is used to trickle our private information to complete strangers who have guns and form mobs,who are occulted all along the internet and who work in NGOs,or as DHS, or FBI bloggers and Tweeters, or disguised as military contractors workingfrom hidden troll farms, who then harass targeted speakers, writers, dissidents, journalists, and more with online and offline mobbing, aka OGS.
Now, Bloomberg news covers organized gang stalking, and the offline results and social costs to journalism, protected speech, and free society as a whole.
Journalist Nedim Turfent was reporting on a brutal counterterrorism operation in Turkey’s Kurdish region when he published video of soldiers standing over villagers, who were face down with their hands bound. Soon, odd messages seeking Turfent’s whereabouts began appearing on his Facebook page.
Then, Twitter accounts linked to Turkish counterterrorism units joined in, taunting locals with a single question—“Where is Nedim Turfent?”—as soldiers torched and raided more villages.
The threat was clear: Give him up, or you’re the next target.
That was in the spring of 2016. Within days, Turfent was in the military’s hands, and he was eventually charged with membership in a terrorist organization. An anonymous Twitter account capped off the social media manhunt by tweeting a picture of Turfent in custody, handcuffed and haggard. Then soldiers doused the office of his employer, Dicle News Agency, with gasoline and set it ablaze. Turfent remains behind bars.
Violent Threats in…
Tina Urso went to bed on April 21 pleased with the small protest she helped organize in London around the visit of Malta’s prime minister. She wanted to call attention to the country’s unusual practice of selling passports to foreigners and the money laundering it has engendered. By the time she woke up, her Facebook feed was deluged with threats of violence and misogynist insults, including the false charge that she ran an escort service. Researchers concluded the attacks were coordinated through private Facebook groups administered by government employees and officials of Malta’s ruling Labour Party. Participants would eventually publish her parents’ address, as well as her confidential National ID card number. “My Facebook account was flooded with notifications, people sharing everything about me, manipulating photos taken from my profile,” Urso said. “It was just insane what they were able to do in just a few hours.”
Only a few years after Twitter and Facebook were celebrated as the spark for democratic movements worldwide, states and their proxies are hatching new forms of digitally enabled suppression that were unthinkable before the age of the social media giants, according to evidence collected from computer sleuths, researchers and documents across more than a dozen countries.
Combining virtual hate mobs, surveillance, misinformation, anonymous threats, and the invasion of victims’ privacy, states and political parties around the globe have created an increasingly aggressive online playbook that is difficult for the platforms to detect or counter.
Some regimes use techniques like those Russia deployed to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, while others are riffing in homegrown ways. And an informal but burgeoning industry of bot brokers and trolls-for-hire has sprung up to assist. The efforts have succeeded in many cases, sending journalists into exile or effectively silencing online expression.
In Venezuela, prospective trolls sign up for Twitter and Instagram accounts at government-sanctioned kiosks in town squares and are rewarded for their participation with access to scarce food coupons, according to Venezuelan researcher Marianne Diaz of the group @DerechosDigitales. A self-described former troll in India says he was given a half-dozen Facebook accounts and eight cell phones after he joined a 300-person team that worked to intimidate opponents of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And in Ecuador, contracting documents detail government payments to a public relations company that set up and ran a troll farm used to harass political opponents.
Many of those findings are contained in a report released this week by a global group of researchers that uncovered evidence of state-sponsored trolling in seven countries, and Bloomberg reporters documented additional examples in several others. The report is by the Institute for the Future, a non-partisan, foresight research and public policy group based in Palo Alto, California.
“These campaigns can take on the scale and speed of the modern internet,” the report said. “States are using the same tools they once perceived as a threat to deploy information technology as a means for power consolidation and social control, fueling disinformation operations and disseminating government propaganda at a greater scale than ever before.”
Almost two years in the making, the report grew out of an earlier project commissioned by Google but never published. Researchers for the company’s Jigsaw division, its technology incubator, documented vicious harassment campaigns that were intended to appear spontaneous but in fact had links to various governments. These campaigns often operate “under a high degree of centralized coordination and deploy bots and centrally-managed social media accounts designed to overwhelm victims and drown out their dissent,” according to an unpublished copy of the Google report obtained through an outside researcher.