Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bots and Paid Trolls Didn't Just Help Steal the Election for Trump. They Are Still Out There Trying to Harm Television Shows Like Doctor Who


I have a theory without any supporting evidence aside from the circumstantial kind. I'd like to share it with my few readers here.

Consider that everywhere around the world we are witnessing a massive and sustained culture war. On one side are the nationalists, fascists, and conservatives. They are really the same entity these days, so I'll just refer to them from now on as fascists. They are anti-diversity, anti-women, anti-progress, anti-government, anti-decency, anti-life. They represent the very worst of the human species.

Recently they stole the American presidency for Donald Trump, criminal and despot, with Russia's direct involvement. Russia supplied the trolls and bots and disinformation, and hacked computer systems in the US in order to damage, perhaps destroy, our democracy. They very likely may have succeeded.

At one time, if I'm not mistaken, something like one in three comments on Twitter were from paid trolls or automated bots, one in five on YouTube. It was an act of war that should have us, the United States, turning Moscow into a parking lot as we speak; but they succeeded in getting Trump in, and Trump is a bloated stooge of the Russian state, and so is devoted to handing the keys over to them. These are facts as clearly as I can recollect them here; they are not theory.

Here is my theory. Those bots and paid trolls are still around, probably today in greater numbers than they were during the election. Except instead of trying to influence just politics, they have branched out into things like popular culture.

The video above, introducing the thirteenth Doctor on Doctor Who, currently has almost three million views. Over thirty-four thousand of them are downvotes; and the comment string is bursting with hate.

The same thing happened with both recent Star Wars releases. Why? Women were featured as leads, just as with Doctor Who. Diversity. Progress. Decency. Courage. Life.

Both Kye and I have noticed the same with other offerings, including Wonder Woman, Zootopia, and Moana, and the television series Once Upon a Time. We have noticed it with various big-name female celebrities like Beyonce and Madonna as well, among others. We have seen it with tennis star Venus Williams and other athletes.

I'm certain if a study is made of literature of all types, we'd find the same phenomenon taking place: fake, damning reviews, a concerted effort to destroy the book in question, threats against authors, etc. And it's ubiquitous with anything LGBTQ+, as it would be. In every case there is a concerted effort to damn the biggest, most visible, most popular of these people and their work.

It's too obvious, in my opinion. It's too blatant.

Surely there is plenty of hate in this world, and so my theory may be false. But I don't think so. In my experience, hateful people are slothful. They don't pack around looking for big cultural movements and spectacles in order to attack ones they disagree with. It takes coordination and, most importantly, money. Hateful people don't do things for free. They want to profit from their hate.

I fully admit that I could be wrong. But I don't think so.

My hope is that this phenomenon is being investigated and that soon the light of truth will be brought to bear on these malicious fucks. It's also my hope that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are brought into full accountability for their continued part in allowing and even encouraging hate. For hate garners clicks at a far greater rate than love and acceptance, and they know that, and are profiting enormously from it.

And no, that isn't a theory.

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