Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: On joining the international troll circuit

179 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I do rather feel that they’re basically internet trolls, largely trolling for the money – they showed up charging a large amount of money for something the could have done on any street corner for free, and without the venue issues.

    Ignore them and hope the numbers drop off but reactionary clickbait seems to be an end in itself?

    They deliberately play into that dynamic and social media is the perfect communication technology for them to do that.

    It's possibly worth a reminder at this point that the 'loose change' 9/11 guys deliberately set out to make a 'clickbait' documentary (having failed at their orginal goal of making an accurate one), knowing full well that it was 1) full of inaccuracies, ommissions, and untruths, and 2) that it's OTT sensationalism and 'hidden truths' would make them a lot of money.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I don't expect it to end up in court on those grounds. But while the Canadians, deprived of a paying audience, went on an interview jag, Robertson, not so much an angry manchild as an angry child, was threatening retribution:

    "We're going to go after the venue, we're going to go after the media, we're going to go after all the people who've decided to slander it," he told Newshub.

    What's Caolan Robertson going to do, fly to Auckland for a day just to trash the venue? Here's hoping whoever's providing the dark money for Southern & Molyneux to peddle their snake oil is cutting their losses right now.

    And I've just come back from seeing "Our New President" at the NZIFF, it pretty much confirms my worst suspicions about weaponised disinfo carried out by RT and the Internet Research Agency at the behest of the Putin Regime.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I’ve just finished reading Radzinsky’s biography of Stalin.

    One of the main points I took away from it was that The Big Lie is not intended to deceive, convince or to be believed. It’s intended to provoke. It gives a tactical advantage that’s hard to combat and pointing out it’s a lie can paradoxically make things worse.

    I don’t fully understand the psychological dynamics – one would think that if someone lies and the other person knows it’s a lie then the liar would lose the advantage. But in a public arena it’s more complicated.

    Since Nov 2016 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And I’ve just come back from seeing ”Our New President” at the NZIFF, it pretty much confirms my worst suspicions about weaponised disinfo carried out by RT and the Internet Research Agency at the behest of the Putin Regime.

    It is one thing to say the Russians try to use aysemmetric warfare and disinformation to influence elections – notably Trump’s victory (and Brexit, if you believe the UK’s chattering classes). That contention is probably indisputable. But it is quite another to contend they succeeded, or even had any sort of impact beyond the trivial. The idea that “Russia” was the primary actor behind a black swan event (Trump’s victory) is arrant nonsense, a stab in the back myth that conveniently serves to deflect from the need for the US establishment Democrats to examine their own disasterous choice of Clinton as a candidate, their complete sellout to big money, their corruption and the utter tin ear they’ve displayed towards their supposed base in the US Electorate for decades.

    Like Trump, Southern and Molyneux don’t come from nowhere and they didn’t just make up their constituency. In a dysfunctional and hyper-normalised US political and economic system that makes fakes news a feature of the system they pretend to be the voices of a lower middle class and working class that grew increasingly prosperous in the post WW2 era and whose cultural voice “broke through” to the mainstream consciousness during the Reagan and Thatcher eras, and now finds itself the most affected by the devastating effects of globalisation, neoliberalism and the corrupt co-option of their previous political vehicles into the neoliberal establishment.

    IMHO, Southern and Molyneux are a pair of twits, intellectual lightweights who are cunning enough to know their fawning audience and carve a living from pandering to it. But they have an audience. They didn’t succeed in NZ not because we are a harmonious society with peachy race relations, but because the conditions of economic deprivation, illegal immigration and elite political ossification endemic in the post GFC Anglosphere are not as pronounced or even present here. We must never forget we escaped the GFC practically untouched, which completely alters our political landscape, and we an isolated island nation that doesn’t have to contemplate mass illegal immigration.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    ...saying “You can’t play here because your *Nazi* band sucks,” is discrimination on grounds of political opinion, which is a breach of the Act. Of course, on the face of it, that’s what every other venue in Auckland had already done.

    I don’t expect it to end up in court on those grounds.

    Nor do I, and it's a shame it won't end up in court. It's nice that NZ is hostile to far-right opinion-peddlers, but we just set a very unfortunate precedent for successful, consequence-free discrimination on the grounds of political opinion. The people celebrating could usefully reflect on what that precedent might mean for their own ability to see their political views represented in future.

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Tim Darlington,

    I don't think this is a dangerous precedent, if this is politics it's weaponised and the weapons are in the hands of monkeys. This is a reaction against bigotry not politics. It's worth noting that it wasn't just 'city hall' that said fuck this; it was the free market too. It restores my faith in human nature.

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The idea that “Russia” was the primary actor behind a black swan event (Trump’s victory) is arrant nonsense, a stab in the back myth that conveniently serves to deflect from the need for the US establishment Democrats to examine their own disasterous choice of Clinton as a candidate,

    The Democrats are not claiming that Putin was primarily responsible for Trump’s win. It’s a straw man argument put out by alt world haters of Clinton.

    The Dems recognise that such factors as voter suppression played a far greater role.

    The issue is that Putin did collude with Trump, the GRU hacked the DNC and with Assange and the alt world set our to destroy Clinton’s campaign. Irrespective of how effective that was that was what happened. And if it had only a small effect it wasn’t for want of trying.

    But the lie the Dems blame Putin exclusively for the defeat and that they are obsessed with Putin to the exclusion of other issues is still being pushed very hard by the alt world. So it’s something important to those people to continue to push – and even harder as the evidence of Putin’a actions becomes more unassailable.

    Since Nov 2016 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to william blake,

    It restores my faith in human nature.

    Ditto. They got their free speech and most NZers neither wanted to hear it, nor host it. It's a precedent I'm happy with. I hope this is how it goes for any similar acts who want to come here. We do not tolerate preaching intolerance, and sure, that's a paradox. It's a much better paradox than the alternative, that ending violence often takes more extreme violence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to martinb,

    Thanks Martin, I appreciate that. I don't really want to add more to the forest of commentary though, especially as Southern and Molyneux have now gone, and (almost) all NZ media have moved on, at last.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    There is another event coming up which explores some of this with Dr Cornel West and someone called Douglas Murray whom I’ve never heard of.

    I would rather hear just West talking about his work ( on class and race) plus his musical work with Bootsy Collins, Prince and others but this event does look like it provides a more considered format / forum for some of what has been discussed in this post. Event is presented by AUT and Loop.

    Cornel West

    Also that earlier comment comment up the thread nails the dilemma here. Thanks Neil.

    "pointing out it’s a lie can paradoxically make things worse."

    I read “Once Upon a Time in Russia” by Ben Mezrich a few years ago and that also provides some context to the background forces at work.

    P.S below Freedumb (feat: Dr. Cornel West)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    It is one thing to say the Russians try to use aysemmetric warfare and disinformation to influence elections – notably Trump’s victory (and Brexit, if you believe the UK’s chattering classes). That contention is probably indisputable. But it is quite another to contend they succeeded, or even had any sort of impact beyond the trivial.

    I'm thinking Russia's recent appointment of Steven Seagal as Special Envoy to the USofA also isn't one of their table-slamming 'Checkmate!!' moves either...
    ...I also note the story is in the 'Entertainment' section rather than the 'World' or 'Politics' sections.
    But they are used to playing a 'long game'...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I'm thinking Russia's recent appointment of Steven Seagal as Special Envoy to the USofA also isn't one of their table-slamming 'Checkmate!!' moves either...

    Fat Bastard works for Dr. Evil. Fancy that.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Tim Watkin has a good point at The Pundit: it would have been great if a marae had offered to host them.

    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/good-is-a-conversation-what-nzs-weekend-of-division-should-teach-us

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Tim Watkin has a good point at The Pundit: it would have been great if a marae had offered to host them.

    Tim and I had some perfectly civil Twitter back and forth (and of course, nobody has crowned me Queen of The Maori Borg so marae will do whatever the hell they please) but REALLY?

    As I pointed out to Tim, "Grace, generosity and robust debate" is all well and good. But let's get really real about who gets landed with the burden of carrying those conversations and spread the load more evenly. Why the hell should Maori or Pasifika be exhorted to (in this case literally) give room to people who couldn't make their utter contempt and disrespect for them more clear?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Yeah I couldn't enthuse about the idea of telling other people they missed an opportunity to invite a snake into their house, let alone telling people that snake is almost certain to bite, to do so. Tim could have interviewed them himself, just to get the idea out of his system.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Also, it reduces hospitality to a tactical move. Which is a different thing altogether from a welcome, and ultimately gets treated as such.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Except that Watkin’s article didn’t tell anyone to do anything:
    (i) it cited a colleague’s tweeted suggestion, and enthused on how it might have trapped them; and
    (ii) it was published after the snakes had got on a plane.

    But I agree that hosting abhorrent views isn’t something that anyone should be required or expected to take on.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Yeah, per linger "it would have been great if" is not even slightly the same things as "we should have forced", especially when done after the event. I don't recall any effort to persuade a marae to host, put it that way.

    To me it's more of a moderately amusing thought experiment after the fact. And it's not my place to suggest that stuff especially since my only experience of being a "minority" is living in a suburb that's mostly muslim, but doing that in a country that is overtly anti-muslim means that it's the sort of technical minority status I also get from being male.

    In a somewhat rare turn of events, a local TV station interviewed one of them in Lakemba (that bit is unsurprising) ... but when she said something blatantly untrue and stupid, the interviewer pulled her up on it. The clip is circulating right now because it does very effectively make the point that the nazi is also a very stable genius. "there's no pub in Lakemba" ... "the Lakemba Hotel is just over there" {mic drop}.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    BTW, in Australia it should be a very different debate. As I said in response to one "oh noes, the racists are coming" blog post:

    We have people on the ABC and almost every media outlet defending concentration camps, we have secret courts using secret evidence to imprison Australians without letting them defend themselves*, we have widespread public agreement that sending the Australian military in to take aboriginal children away from their parents is a good idea, we send refugees back to their country of origin where they “disappear”… and you’re worried about foreign fascists?

    I think you need to very clearly explain how their views differ from those of our Prime Minister and why only foreigners should be no-platformed.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Honiss, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    100% agree why should Maori have to do the heavy lifting when this is Pakeha issue to resolve, those people didn't come here to speak to Maori probably just about them. No, Pakeha were the intended audience, Pakeha have the responsiblity to rebut their vile message.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Simon Honiss,

    100% agree why should Maori have to do the heavy lifting

    Leaving it to someone else has historically not worked out well with this particular politics. Maori can of course sit back and say "not our problem", but I think there's an argument to be made that in fact nazis want to make themselves a problem for Maori.

    It might be better to work together to minimise the damage.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Moz,

    Leaving it to someone else has historically not worked out well with this particular politics.

    Examples? Consider He Taua's decisive action to rid NZ once and for all of the abomination of racist 'haka parties'. In that case those affected acted directly where decades of polite overtures had been met with contempt, and we're a better country for their having done so.

    The outpouring of preening pomposity from the likes of Garner, Trotter and Watkin in response to a pair of cynical provocateurs bait-wrapping their racist schtick as "freedom of speech" has been a weird thing to behold.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Sacha,

    Mr Ikilei is the Deputy Leader of the tiny "New Conservative" microparty, which only received 0.2% (6253 votes) at the September 2017 New Zealand election. That makes it the eighth largest New Zealand political party: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2017/

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    That said, a pro-demagogue Auckland rally only attracted 100 or so sycophants, compared to several hundred supporters of multiculturalism and diversity in that city.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Joe, I don't understand your point. You ask for examples of leaving it to someone else not working, the provide an example of direct action working. Or do you mean that the great majority of people left it to someone else and got a good outcome anyway?

    The obvious example I was thinking of was "peace in our time", but you can also see it in Yemen, Palestine and Turkey right now. Or Australia, the US and France if you want to look at concentration camps rather than genocides. Sitting here saying "well, in general we don't approve of genocide, but there would be little benefit to mentioning that and significant cost so we're just going to ignore it". Hence the arrival of kiwis deported from Australia after a certain amount of inhospitality... That Nice Mr Key barely raised a whimper.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.