MA suggested sometime ago that there were disinformation and trolling bots created to influence websites known to have high traffic. The print run of the Guardian in the UK is minute - IIRC 150,000 copies a day, less than our local papers even. The online site has huge traffic however.
For a British newspaper - 210 in the world, and pretty amazingly 170 in the USA, (compared to most popular The Daily Mail 141 and 102, and compared to the other quality press at The Daily Telegraph 357 and 398).
The Guardian's commentariat seem to have caught onto trolling bots (this is the first time I have seen this in a political context).
07 July 2013 11:28pm
LASpectator, I notice, along with 4 or 5 other posters only post negatively on NSA-related topics and have only appeared on CiF since the story was broken by the Guardian.
LA has posted 125 comments since 28th June, when s/he joined - all NSA related: 42 on one Snowden/Assange thread and 52 on an Ecuador thread. This does seem rather a coincidence.
Do moderators notice trolls, as their posts do tend to sidetrack discussion - subtly or not so subtly - from the main issue: mass surveillance and spying by the NSA. I believe in free speech [not paid speech!]
A few posts later
08 July 2013 12:21am
I just checked that out too. Someone joined only 12 days ago, has sent in a pile of comments, all on one subject. I am on holiday and do not have that much time to send in so many comments.
These people who work for NSA or CIA or are put up to it, by US intellegence or military are not the most clever people around. You would think they could at least send in a comment on flower arranging, or the Stones concert. All on ONE topic, sheesh.
Naturally, they may not all be bots, but humans put up to the job of trolling. I would think an automated trolling program would be reasonably hard to write (but there may be very clever people involved.) If someone (whistleblower or otherwise) could demonstrate these bots/humans originate from the NSA it would be truly fascinating - enough even to put Trevino in the shade. They may not have covered their tracks too well (low down hierarchical stuff). It leads one to think that these might have other applications - finance, or buildup to a war.