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Phorum Phunnies and Tasty Phorum Phoods

Those of you that have not spent many years posting in political forums or have spent most of your time in the very friendly confines of the various RP supporter forums may not be familiar w/ a tactic/phenomena known as a "sock puppet" or have less experience identifying them. "Sock Puppets" are created as extra screen names by one or more people to use for things like posting instant support or posting fake opposing arguments that are easily torn apart. "Sock Puppets" are quite common in forums w/ many people in strong political opposition, unlike the DP where we are generally and strongly on the same page.

A recent post alleging "Hypocrisy" of the DP's moderators, now closed for comments:


has some strong indicators that the poster is a sock puppet.

1. Its timing and relationship to another posters thread

2. Its reaching allegations, little to no basis in fact and even if the event did occur the known, more likely and less divisive/controversial explanations were ignored. Damage control-wagging the dog.

3. The funniest indicator is what, if true, the sock puppet controller likely considered a brilliant and creative cover for the sock puppet persona-Not a native English speaker.

The post contained the following passages both "written" by the English as a second language poster, the Eastern European native.

Please compare, contrast the essentially perfect English text alternating w/ the struggling broken English:

First passage:

"HERE IS WHAT IS TRULY SICKENING, SELF SERVING, AND HYPOCRITICAL ABOUT THIS THING. This person was discussing legitimate issues about how the campaign moves forward. Not everyone liked what he had to say and that's the nature of things, so yes fine. But the people running this site let BIRTHERS, 9/11 NUTS, AND ALL OTHER MANNER OF WEIRDOS (NO OFFENSE) POST HERE."

Second passage:

...free market of idea, and all these thing.

I guess freedom is OK if it is yours, if it is freedom to talk about such key thing as how to write phony legal brief for "admirable court jurisdictions" or topic that make us look crazy. But there is no freedom for someone who actually wish to discuss how to improve movement, just because it hurt the feeling of some?



For someone who has the apparent difficulties w/ written English demonstrated in the second passage the first passage is pretty damned impressive. Perhaps it is a rare case of IEEBES- Intermittent Eastern European Broken English Syndrome or it is just a funny example of a sock puppet.

Wasn't "Stavro" the first name of the Blofeld character in the Bond movie Goldfinger?

If I am wrong about this instance I am sincerely sorry. If I have wrongly suspected the totally innocent I hope it is some consolation that an opportunity was provided to warn our number of one of many dirty tricks in Political Forum Land.

Sock puppets do exist out there and even here on the Daily Paul. Forewarned is forearmed.

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J and J

There was a sticky thread that was up for a long time explaining dirty tricks used to disrupt/control net forums. I do not recall the name and it seems like it was taken down. I thought it provided good info for all of us to keep in mind. Do either of you remember that thread?

The reason I mention that is I have considered for some time putting up a thread about all the dirty tactics/signs of suspicious behavior I have seen in forums and a list of those that exhibit suspicious behavior. I realize a posters of interest list could be abused and the mere proposal controversial.

While I would not want to start witch hunts I think any who are truly motivated by a desire to destroy our movement would be constrained in their attempts to disrupt us more than the GOOD would be harmed. Being on the list would not be permanent, unless someone is beyond all shadow of doubt guilty.

Any thoughts on this?

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

gmason~Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control

Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum.

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

Thanks again Liberty_Belle

you should start charging for the very helpful and responsive service you provide. Send me a bill.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

I do remember a thread like that.

I don't remember the name right off the top of my head and I don't know if it still exists or not. Unfortunately, despite good info, more often than not, people use threads like that spitefully and carelessly.

As such, I doubt a 'poster of interest' list would be an effective deterrent because no one would take it seriously with all the accusations that would fly, not to mention the hassle Michael or the mods would face being inundated with ~tips~ if he were to implement something like that.

It would also run the likely risk of turning the place into a breeding ground for suspicion with a witch hunt ensuing, as you described. Gossip is intoxicating. Also, things are not always what they appear to be.

Besides, there are few instances where things can actually be proven and even when people are banned, they still come back under other names...or maneuver through multiple names.

Even though some banning is justified, not sure that the gain of such a list like what you are describing would be worth the hassle or the risk.

Sometimes things have a way of coming to light, as with the example of Stavro/WCU. I think there is definitely value in discussing tactics of disrupters, but having some kind of ongoing thread or list to 'monitor' potential situations might be a big mistake.

Suspicion is a very delicate area. Hence, discussions on threads dealing with what you referred to regarding dirty tricks used to disrupt forums don't usually turn out too well. Hopefully it is clear to anyone looking at this thread that we are trying to discuss this maturely and with care.

Very thoughtful

reply Jiminy and you are probably absolutely correct. Such a thing would understandably be seen as provocative if introduced and cause more trouble than it remedies. I still believe providing some deterrent against deliberate attacks is worthwhile but I am at a loss on how to accomplish that. I am not concerned or talking about deterring the occasional urinating or ego contest among those that share the same goals as the movement but rather from those coming here to defeat us. Perhaps all that can be done is encourage people to be aware that such things do occur and to become familiar with the methods used.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

Good catch, gmason. It looks like you were right.

Yesterday our friend Stavro/Libertopian was having quite a bit of difficulty with English, not just in what you posted, but in his comment on WCU's thread, also.

Main poster cannot reply
On November 2nd, 2009 Libertopian says:

I get email just now from WCU4Paul. He is block from site. No one can even contact him private. This is truly sick thing.

He is making attempt to improve movement, even if you disagree with his idea. Many of you who disagree respond with idea that freedom of ideas is key. Very well then if you believe this his freedom of idea is important to yes?

Apparent it is very clear double standard here, and that is disturbing. As someone who comes here and is naturalized citizen from eastern Europe (current Ukraine) it is really just same story different boss. Only approved messages get in.



Compare that with his post in August:

Making us look nuts
On August 23rd, 2009 Libertopian says:

I respect your right to play around with the law and the system, but the fact that you're posting this here (and bumping it yourself, against the rules) is detrimental to our cause.

The purpose of this site is to promote liberty-minded candidates. If your particular battle is filing (what I, and 99.9% of the population believe to be) frivolous, goofy legal attacks, have at it. But have at it somewhere else. Don't wave the Ron Paul banner over your fringe, off-topic objectives. When you do so, you make us all look like weirdos. You hurt our reputations, our chances of success, and make it harder for us to bring new people on board.


~Stavro's~ English in that post looks dramatically different from what it did yesterday.

...It also looks like it could've been written by WCU4Paul. The content, the style, the word choice, the M.O.

Unfortunately, that person also writes suspiciously like another who was banned and had the same agenda.

I know sometimes people create another username to come back, and that has not been a bad thing in some cases. But when multiple usernames are created in advance and used in the way you described and in ways that it appears we are witnessing, as in a coordinated effort to divide the movement, well...that orchestration and premeditation sends a chill up my spine.


Somebody get caught with pants down,no?
"Stavros" DEFINITELY has a case of the "IEEBES" or whatever diagnosis Gmason gave yesterday. LOL

I would never show myself around here again if I was caught doing something stupid like this. I don't know why this kind of thing gets under my skin so much.

You know how we've been talking about job hunting JC? Not much gets past you. You are quite the investigator. Nice work. and good job pulling up the poo thread. I tried to yesterday, unsuccessfully.
It almost seems appropriate to post again.

I think it would be cool if you could get into some kind of interesting research job, as you are good at it.

Nice call as well Gmason...

It probably gets under our skin...

...because we don't like being deceived and manipulated.

In an instance like this where one person appears to be passing himself off as numerous people hellbent on dividing the movement by taking a pet peeve that some have and using it to pit people against each other, it is hard to tell if the motive is personal or if it represents a more sinister agenda.

After we've already had someone here inadvertently expose himself when his computer log spammed the forum and revealed his DHS connections, I don't rule out the latter possibility.

However, given some of the things that WCU/Parkman have demonstrated, I can't rule out the possibility of it being personal motivation, either.

Look at their posts. We all can get obsessive about things sometimes, but the superiority complex/touch of narcissism, the peculiar hostility including WCU's repeated reference to some as "cancer", and, of course, Parkman's keeping of watch-lists of forum members on his computer monitor make me wonder if we might even be seeing an element of madness.

At any rate, there are real people behind these computer screens...people with real emotions who don't want to be played for fools by those who would deceive and manipulate us with impostering and sock puppet games.

I lost a friend a few months ago and something of this nature was involved. Not sure if you understand what I'm referring to, but you probably know who I'm talking about. If so, please don't say the name.

It really got to me and that's why I wasn't able to give a more "at length" reply to your email back then. Thank you for understanding.

Jefferson, you were the only one who made a comforting gesture when all that came down. Thank you.

As for seeking an investigative job, without formal training and credentials, I'd be pretty limited at this point, but it isn't something I haven't thought about and it's not something I'm ruling out exploring. I admit there is a bit of a spark. I could get lost in it, though, as I have some obsessive tendencies at times myself. :P

Funny you should say that, though. I recently told my daughter that if I pursued something different than my current background, something of an investigative nature could be appealing.

Thanks for taking the time to

look at this Jiminy and adding to the body of evidence. I do not know how to determine w/ certainty whether any suspected instance of not "Cricket"(pun intended) activity is or is not but sadly it is necessary to remain watchful.

I agree that in most cases, I am aware of, where someone banned comes back under a different name is not harmful and probably was/is a benefit.
OTOH, sock puppet activity is always Bad.

As more of us become aware that this type activity does occur and what to look for I hope its negative impact can be kept at a bare minimum.

Thanks again for being alert for possible shenanigans.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

funny thread

Thanks for the laugh.

You have a keen eye, my friend.

I have never heard that term before. I have actually made a post once about "sock puppets", as you call them, here on the DP. I have had a couple of suspects in mind for some time now.

After a second look at that ridiculous post, I would have to take a risk and agree.with you. That was not only weak, but pathetic.

Occasionally someone can walk by and toss a bee in the DP bonnet, and the whole place goes crazy. (myself included)

Someone did this when MN was on vacation, and the whole place erupted into chaos.
I even tried to make a warning post so that everyone wouldn't be so reactionary, but with no success.
I think it was titled "Beware of flaming bags of poo", or something like that. I couldn't find it with a search.


Funny stuff man....

BTW, don't worry about the self bumps. About 40% of the folks here do it anyway. One or two wont hurt, as long as it's good material. Sometimes things get missed. Me? I just throw it against the wall, and see if it sticks.


Thanks for your

comment. Glad that I have something to show for years/hours in political forums.

Thank you for your vigilance in this area. The greater our success the greater the likelihood we will attract deliberate attempts to disrupt our progress.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

You could be onto something. It wouldn't be the first time...

...people have had multiple identities here.

I'm hesitant to make an accusation regarding Stavro without more info, but I, too, noticed the good English/bad English.

Thanks for the heads up about the "sock puppet" thing. I didn't know what you meant when I saw your comment earlier.

It is creepy to think that people do things like this to give themselves instant support or create fake arguments. :(