Posts Tagged ‘‘Mobying’’

Hillary Clinton, Laura Kuenssberg and ‘Mobying’

May 11, 2016

Kuenssberg Trollface

Laura Kuenssberg and Trollface: Have her supporters been posting misogynist remarks as her opponents, in order to get them silenced?

Yesterday, Mike over at Vox Political reported that the internet petition to get the BBC to sack their political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, for her egregious Conservative bias, had been taken down. It was removed by the man, who had put it up, who did so out of his strong distaste for misogynist comments put their by trolls. The former politics editor at the Independent also mentioned the sexist comments put up on the petition in an interview published in the Guardian. The comments were supposed to have been put up there by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. Mike was sceptical about this, pointing out that it’s very easy for opponents of the petition to post disgusting comments on it, and then complain to the internet hosts or the petition organisers about its content.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign stop in McAllen, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign stop in McAllen, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

I share Mike’s scepticism, as this seems to be exactly what Hillary Clinton did in her campaign against her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Saunders. First of all she accused Sanders’ supporters of sexism, because some of them threw money at her in protest of her taking funds from Wall Street. And then about 12 or 25 pro-Bernie Sanders newsgroups and forums were removed from the web in a single evening by the net hosts, because of complaints about disgusting misogynist comments on them. To some, like Kyle Kulinski on Secular Talk, it looked very much like Shrillary and her supporters had been engaging in cyber-sabotage, as the sheer numbers of the groups taken down in such a short space of time makes it highly unlikely that it was an accident.

And Shrillary does have previous in this. She was caught hiring an internet firm, Correct the Record, to go on-line and argue with Sanders’ supporters. Correct the Record is a purely commercial firm, and this was a straightforward business transaction. They were paid to argue with Sanders’ supporters under the guise of Shrillary supporters, despite the fact that they were nothing of the sort, just a company of internet mercenaries carrying out a contract.

According to a website that Is Best Not Mentioned, the tactic of going onto someone else’s political site and posting unpleasant and inflammatory material there in the guise of being that site’s supporters, is known as ‘mobying’. It’s a term from the Conservative part of the Net, used on sites like Little Green Footballs, Red State and Free Republic. The terms supposed to come from the following Moby quote about wrecking George Bush’s chances with his supporters.

No one’s talking about how to keep the other side home on Election Day. It’s a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t cost that much. This election can be won by 200,000 votes. You target (Bush’s) natural constituencies. For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion.

The site Best Not Mentioned seems to believe that it’s a purely Right-wing phenomenon used by various Conservative groups against each other in the Republican party’s own internal feuds. But looking at the highly suspicious behaviour of Shrillary’s paid trolls on the Net, it looks like it could be used by professed American liberals, and Kuenssberg’s defenders over on this side of the Pond too.

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