<B>Internet Trolls for Bernie: Explaining the Online Invasions of Election 2016 and Why It's Going to Happen Again</B> is the ultimate (and long overdue) soup-to-nuts guide aimed at <B>non-technical users and progressive voters</B> who want the big picture view of how right-wing trolls took over the internet, how to fight back, and why Bernie Sanders represents the last best hope for saving America from suffering, as Chalmers Johnson termed it, "the sorrows of empire."
Internet trolling by right-wing provocateurs has become the pastime of millions of Americans, but it is also a business for some. Even before Donald Trump's election win, insiders knew things were out of control. in July of 2016, Pew Research Center conducted a large-scale canvassing of technology experts, scholars, corporate practitioners and government leaders. They were asked, "In the next decade, will public discourse online become more or less shaped by bad actors, harassment, trolls, and an overall tone of griping, distrust, and disgust?" All but 19% of the respondents said they expect the online atmosphere will be the same or worse in the future. Trepidation isn't felt only by the pros, however; according to an October 20, 2014 Omnibus poll, 45% of people who read comments in chat rooms like Reddit reported seeing malicious trolling behavior once a week or more. Not far behind are social media sites (39%), and blogs (39%). The only solution that's been considered workable is instituting a system of roving artificial intelligence (AI) bots to maintain order, a dangerous idea in that a) AI can only detect keywords, not nuance, and b) it opens the door for manipulation by corporate and political actors.
Until now, no tech-savvy "white hat troll" veteran has given this issue a thorough, impartial analysis with technical and tactical terms fully explained. The problem is in fact an undiagnosed case of future shock which will not be fixed by AI but by a future technology which is in its infancy. While we wait for this technology to develop (within the next 10-20 years), the only workable stopgap solution is to teach Americans how to counter the regressive false majority in a peaceful (and safe) manner while respecting conservative citizens.
The book uses a combination of deep research, humor and jargon-free language to reassemble the societal time-bomb that finally exploded in 2016 and explain how and why right-wing sentiment still dominates social media and the comment sections of news sites. The end result is a comprehensive entry-level guide meant to arm everyday internet users with the facts of how everything went wrong, what's ahead, and how they can help counter right-wing propaganda spread by trolls and bots.
The questions addressed in the book are diverse but related, for example: • Were "Trump's trolls" only based in Russia, or have the mainstream media and our government intelligence agencies underestimated the significant domestic troll forces led by Milo Yiannopoulos, the Young Republicans and the NRA? • Why can't the problems of trolling and "fake news" be solved by current technology? • What are the driving forces behind the marked increase in racist trolling? • Is there really a "Deep State?" What is the "redpill" movement? Who is Jordan Peterson? • How do trolls hide their identity? Can they be traced?
The book begins by demystifying the basics, such as describing how "bots" are made and deployed, then moves into deeper territory, describing the main troll groups that supported Trump, providing a neutral look at the societal divides that made us vulnerable to a right-wing takeover of the internet, and finally encouraging a truce between the various factions taking part in the Millennials' culture war.
Coming September 5th from Hothouse Books.