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Bunbury's guide to community disruptors part 4

(328 Posts)
BarbaraStrozzi Fri 13-Sep-19 08:33:03

Thought it was time for another of these. I'll just cut-and-paste the opening of the last thread:

The useful Bunbury Guide to Spotting Community Disruptors is constantly evolving.

The best research and advice is not to engage with community disruptors and trolls. As ever, if you suspect troll activity, report it to MNHQ.

This is a continuation of the first Public Service Announcement thread:

Thread 3 was deleted with this note from MNHQ; We're sure there will be a Bunbury 4 around soon, but we'd be grateful if we could draw a line under the issues raised in this thread if there's to be a new one.

If and when you see threads plopped into FWR, especially a curious repeat of well worn topics, maybe check for poster history before engaging.

There are a number of posts/posters/threads that are reproduced on Twitter or Facebook to foment controversy using screen shots & flagging to either MNHQ to have threads or posters deleted. Sometimes, it’s used to approach commissioning editors with ideas for articles. It’s a tiresome tactic that we’ve had several community disruptor posters who themselves post the comments that they then highlight elsewhere as purported evidence of racism, religious intolerance, anti-men sentiments, or transphobia.

Some helpful links can be found in the first posts on thread 2 (linked above) but in essence FermatsTheorem recommended “that in the absence of a block/hide poster button, I suggest the following strategy (given that you're talking to the lurkers).

Do not name check the sealion. Instead, respond to a depersonalised paraphrase:

"It is sometimes erroneously suggested that blah. Blah is wrong for the following reasons (short and pithy). If you need more information re. debunking blah, here's a link."

Then (this next step is important to combat derailment) go back up thread to the last useful contribution to the discussion, make sure you do name check that contributor, and pick up the discussion from that point.”

Datun Fri 13-Sep-19 15:31:49

Gish gallop. That's interesting.

I'm guessing that, during an argument for being pro stripping, is where the accusation of middle management came in 😆

birdsdestiny Fri 13-Sep-19 15:32:43

In some ways I find the fact that people are keeping an eye on the prostitution/porn threads more worrying than the monitoring by TRAs.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 13-Sep-19 15:34:43

Or if you can't wade back far enough to find the last relevant post, you can sometimes find more in the OP to explore.

BarbaraStrozzi Fri 13-Sep-19 15:38:16

Yes, birds. I read the MRA-sympathisers that pop up on threads about industrialised sexual abuse of women as really quite sinister (and they do monitor and send out the bat signal).

I work in an area of science that is prone to become highly politicised, so we see enormous amounts of paid astroturfing when we do public outreach efforts. You start to recognise the hallmarks of a paid astroturfer quite readily (they pop up on here before elections too, then mysteriously disappear immediately afterwards).

The pro-rape lobby always come across to me as paid astroturfers; the TRAs I think genuinely believe what they spout (and of course are highly invested in it, because without the rest of us to indulge the delusion, their world really does come crashing down).

So while I disagree vehemently with the TRAs, and see them as doing untold damage to women's rights, they are like religious zealots. They actually believe. The MRA astroturfers on the other hand are doing it because their profits might get eaten into.

Grimbles Fri 13-Sep-19 15:50:11

Whenever a disruptor arrives, or is suspected, it's always best to think what would Bunbury do (WWBD) before engaging.

Although I cant claim to be an expert, I suspect Prof. Bunbury would find such transparent attempts at disrupting beneath making an effort to respond.

birdsdestiny Fri 13-Sep-19 15:50:35

You articulated my unease perfectly Barbara, thanks.

Inebriati Fri 13-Sep-19 15:55:34

<punches card>

BazzleJet Fri 13-Sep-19 17:29:45

What's astroturfing? I'm getting my head round a lot of the lingo bit by bit from Lurkers' Corner, but I can't remember this one. I think I've just cracked sealioning having seen it in action recently. Thanks 😁

GrinitchSpinach Fri 13-Sep-19 17:37:42

industrialised sexual abuse of women
Such a perfect, succinct way to describe it, Barbara. Wow. Will save for future arguments.

Bazzle, astroturfing is when people are paid to pretend online to be actual grassroots supporters of a cause. This shady tactic has been used in a number of political areas.

BazzleJet Fri 13-Sep-19 17:44:17

Thank you Grinitch

Weezol Fri 13-Sep-19 17:48:03

<puts kettle on and gets out the 6 pint tea pot >

WrathoSWhlttIeKIop Fri 13-Sep-19 17:59:43

Thanks Barbara.
This a good way to start the day.

BarbaraStrozzi Fri 13-Sep-19 18:06:11

If you want an insight into astroturfing, Bazzle, Merchants of Doubt is a fascinating book (primarily on big tobacco and big oil using various underhand tactics including astroturfing, setting up supposedly "independent" think tanks, funding research, sneaking op-ed pieces into newspapers, weaponising media outlets' committment to "balanced reporting" to make sure that they had someone on every programme, all in order to cast doubt on smoking causing cancer and anthropogenic climate change, respectively).

Also germane to Brexit, the last American election, in fact pretty much any issue in the public eye.

Ereshkigal Fri 13-Sep-19 19:21:08

This article is very long but a good article about astroturfing in trans politics.*@sue*.donym1984/inauthentic-selves-the-modern-lgbtq-movement-is-run-by-philanthropic-astroturf-and-based-on-junk-d08eb6aa1a4b

Melroses Fri 13-Sep-19 20:40:16

Erishkigal - that is the same author who wrote The Elephant in the Room - a fine piece of work that answered so many questions for me.

I need a latte now but it is too close to bedtime sad

BazzleJet Fri 13-Sep-19 21:45:50

Good heavens! Lots of reading. Thanks very much

GirlDownUnder Sat 14-Sep-19 06:32:04

brew morning all

MN has been making me ‘mad at the internet’ what with random deletions and banning and gagging orders, then we lost MB and we seem to have new zealous monitors. But you know what - going dark doesn’t help us, it let’s oppressors win.

I’ll try and stay in the light.

BernardBlacksWineIceLolly Sat 14-Sep-19 08:48:59

I'm on my second cafetiere this morning

fuelled by caffeine and rage against the machine, and checking in

birdsdestiny Sat 14-Sep-19 09:11:26

My first reaction was to leave, beyond furious, but it gives them what they want.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Sat 14-Sep-19 09:15:34

Morning, lovely non disruptors! Just popping in before presumably being hit with the "go well" of bloody hell why won't she just do what she's told. I see that the attempts to disrupt, distract, and generally make using the board too much of a nuisance to bother with continue, and would like to reiterate that grey rocks are useful things.

Datun Sat 14-Sep-19 09:18:15

Wotcha prod. Good to see you.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Sat 14-Sep-19 09:37:49

I'm on my second cafetiere this morning

Currently consuming the croissant and cream cheese of irritation.

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Sat 14-Sep-19 20:18:01

I've been out all day and just had a look what's going on.

It's like the embarrassing uncle had turned up uninvited.

TinselAngel Sat 14-Sep-19 22:13:22


People who come on here seemingly randomly with accusations of transphobia are probably trying to distract you from discussing the topic that the thread is about.

BarbaraStrozzi Sat 14-Sep-19 22:16:52

You don't say, Tinsel. grin

But you're right: a timely reminder to ignore and namecheck the last positive contribution.

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