Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bots and trolls exploit divisions that are already there

Earlier today Carole Cadwalladr sent and then deleted a tweet suggesting that asked whether bots and trolls are fabricating antisemitic messages to fan the dispute in the Labour Party.

She pointed out that such forces work by augmenting and amplifying divisions that are already there.

Before we examine this idea, let me first emphasise that Labour does have a problem with antisemitism. Step forward, for instance, the recent mayor of Shrewsbury, Ioan Jones, and his belief that the Rothschilds have "financed both sides of every war since Napoleon".

And it has to be admitted that Carole was foolish to use her tweet to point us to a thread that wandered off into the deep rough of conspiracy theory.

But she was surely on to something. It would be amazing if Moscow were not using Labour's fault line over antisemitism to make mischief.

Certainly, I often come across what look to be pro-Corbyn bot accounts. I assume they will go into overdrive at the next election if Putin decides a Labour victory will do most damage.

And a word of warning to my fellow Remainers.

If I were in charge of Putin's black ops - I've had offers - and wanted to damage Remain's chances in any second referendum, I would pump out the word "gammon" as much as possible.

There is nothing like belittling people to make them unwilling to change their minds and vote for you.

If you don't believe me, take the time to listen to this talk by Steve Reicher.

No comments: