Thursday, June 15, 2006

Deception in the Blogosphere

Many bloggers have noted my comments about unusual readers of this blog and in particular my three recent blogs:

Now I'm REALLY freaking out!
How a Public Relations Firm Helped Start the War
Am I Crazy Paranoid . . . ?

I'm not sure, however, how many readers realize that the expression "tongue-in-cheek" applies to much of what I write, even though the underlying facts may be very true.

Be that as it may, it is interesting that in parallel to my blogs about organizations like THE RENDON GROUP and visits from the DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY to my blog, there is a lot of discussion out there about entities that pay trolls to impact public opinion on blogs with their comments or votes.

Here's some really interesting reading on this topic, and in particular a company called NetVocates which is a "blog intelligence and advocacy service."

NetVocates recruits activists and consumers who share the client’s views in order to reinforce those key messages on targeted blogs – and rebut misinformation. At least that's what NetVocates claims. So here we are; paid activists pretending to be ordinary people. If you'd like to read more about this phenomenon, check out these sites:

Cybersoc has three posts (click on each word, and you should, this is really interesting stuff!)

And here's more:
wAitiNG foR doROthY
Watch Me Sleep
Blanton's and Ashton's - Article. II. Section. 4.
Village Blog

Read and weep and stop believing that just ordinary people reply to blogs . . .


Anonymous said...

Dr. Rost,

Thank you for telling us that your "Now I'm Really Freaking Out" post was somewhat tongue in cheek. As you might remember, I was the first poster to your post at The Huffington Post, and sincerely advised you to make a FOIA request of DHS. I will be honest with you; at various moments yesterday, I was truly afraid for your safety and wondered if you were safe.

Now that I know that, although the facts were real, you were having a joke on us, I feel duped by your tactics. To feign a paranoia for reasons of having your tongue in your cheek cheapens everything you write, substantive or otherwise. You used your position to perpetrate a lie; much like you accuse the administration of doing.

I shall no longer read anything written by you on The Huffington Post, and this will be my one and only visit to this site.


Scott Candage

Peter Rost said...

Perhaps the fact that I used the word "hilarious" in the last paragraph should have tipped you off . . . c'mon lighten up.

Anonymous said...

No, sir, you wanted sympathy. I actually gave you some. I came back here today to actually see if you were safe. What an ass I am.

These were your words.

"If this is my last blog you know that something happened. And that's the reason I got this blog out today.

Oh, and one more thought. What is most hilarious is that both the super secret RENDON GROUP and HOMELAND SECURITY, are not smart enough to use software to hide their identity and IP address."

Your implication was that it was hilarious that Rendon and DHS wouldn't try to cover their tracks by anomymous IP adresses, not that your feigned cries into the blogosphere for support was parody.

But, I see by your "lighten up" comment that you are a truly callous person. You cried wolf and I fell for it. Do you often mock those who wish you to be safe? At which medical school do they teach such callousness? I guess "do no harm" doesn't cross over into your writing.

Just as no one in the town would believe the boy after he cried "wolf," I shall believe nothing coming from you.

Erasing the previous respect from the previous post,

Scott Candage

Peter Rost said...

I'm truly sorry you feel that way. You need to read more carefully what I write. The post and every sentence was very factual, including the fact that I felt uncomfortable. It was also correct that if this was my last blog you should know that something happened. I didn't qualify what I thought the likeliehood for that was.

You apparently assigned a higher probability to the possibility that I would disappear, in your mind, than I did in my mind. You may be right (there's a day tomorrow, too), but I hope, for my sake, that you're wrong.

I believe it is inappropriate for you to be upset that I was less worried about my own fate than you were.

But I do value your concern. For continuation of story read my last post today. And don't stop reading!

Thank you.

DBK said...

Oh, great. And now you fingered me. We're all screwed now.

Do they let you bring your own pillow to Gitmo? Because I really can't sleep on those foam pillows.

Anonymous said...

I got banned again minutes after posting the following at via and other blog entries there (incredible censorship still going on as mentioned prior):

JINSA/PNAC Neocon Richard Perle: Why Did Bush Blink on Iran?:

Anonymous said...

I got banned again minutes after posting the following at via and other blog entries there (incredible censorship still going on as mentioned prior):

JINSA/PNAC Neocon Richard Perle: Why Did Bush Blink on Iran?: