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Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:07 PM

MAGA Troll

Last edited Sat Feb 13, 2021, 03:04 PM - Edit history (1)

This definition probably belongs in the Urban Dictionary, but I'll propose it here.

MAGA Troll

A MAGA Troll is someone who engages in any or all of the following:

1) Pitting two different factions against one another: The MAGA Troll hopes to maximize a manufactured conflict in order to create opportunities to elevate their status. While the MAGA Troll overtly aligns themselves with one side, they are in fact covertly exploiting both sides as pawns.

2) Disrupting productive conversation with unproductive conversation: The MAGA Troll will disrupt intelligent conversations with whataboutisms, pettifogging, distraction, and flooding the zone with shit ala Steve Bannon. Unlike other types of trolling which are more obvious, this is often done under the guise of pseudo-intellectualism.

3) Reverse Psychological Projection: MAGA Trolls often employ the Pee-wee Herman retort of "I know you are but what am I???". Skilled MAGA Trolls will instead proactively accuse their opponents of having their own weaknesses in an effort to deweaponize them. This led to the apt use of the term "psychological projection" to describe this behavior. In an absurd attempt to de-weaponize THAT term, MAGA Trolls now simply accuse the other side of psychologically projecting first (see pseudo-intellectualism above).

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply MAGA Troll (Original post)
Shermann Feb 2021 OP
stillcool Feb 2021 #1
Wounded Bear Feb 2021 #2
AmyStrange Feb 2021 #3
Shermann Feb 2021 #4
AmyStrange Feb 2021 #5
Shermann Feb 2021 #11
AmyStrange Feb 2021 #12
LiberalLovinLug Feb 2021 #6
Shermann Feb 2021 #7
LiberalLovinLug Feb 2021 #8
Initech Feb 2021 #9
Laura PourMeADrink Feb 2021 #10
live love laugh Feb 2021 #13
Kingofalldems Feb 2021 #14
Celerity Feb 2021 #15

Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:11 PM

1. Thanks...I needed that

instead of this

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:11 PM

2. Had one show up very recently on another board I frequent...

Lots of gaslighting, whataboutism, tons of conspiracy bullshit that sounds like it came out of one of those random conspiracy generators. You know, type in a name and a subject and it'll spew out a random conspiracy to use for gaslighting purposes.

I ended up putting him on ignore.

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:11 PM

3. With your permission...

 

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I'd like to add that (w/credit) to my official (unofficial) DU dictionary and glossary...

http://dug.amystrange.org/
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Response to AmyStrange (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:20 PM

4. Permission granted! nt

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Response to Shermann (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:43 PM

5. Here's the link...

 

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http://dug.amystrange.org/index.html#magatroll

and thank you.
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Response to AmyStrange (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 03:41 PM

11. Cool, I had a typo "on side" which should be "one side" nt

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Response to Shermann (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 03:44 PM

12. Will fix it...

 

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Thank you.
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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 01:46 PM

6. "MAGA Trolls now simply accuse the other side of psychologically projecting first "

This is the next level that I have seen too

We all now are well aware of the Right's penchant for using the defense of projecting any crime they have been caught red handed at onto Democrats and liberals in general, with a "whataboutism" argument.

The second level of that is when they project onto Democrats, even before they are caught themselves. Its even more insidious. "The election will be rigged" (If I lose). As then then do everything in their power to actually rig it. It works for them because there are no consequences. Trump used the same tactic for both elections. If he'd have lost the first one, he'd have said "See? I told you it was rigged...STOP THE STEAL!" But he won, so he simply morphed it into the false claim that he also won the popular vote if it had not been stolen from him. But this last election, he lost, so it works on his base at least, to come out looking like he predicted exactly what the evil Democrats would do.

But this is the third level now. I now see comments in places like YouTube (I don't use Twitter or FB) such as...."Its a known fact that Democrats project their own crimes onto Republicans!". Setting up the warped belief and a conditioning in their cult that every accusation made against R's from D's is confirmation that the D's are the ones guilty of said crime. Layers upon layers of deceit.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 02:14 PM

7. Yeah I slipped a new definition in there just for that one! nt

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Response to Shermann (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 02:22 PM

8. cheers

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 02:25 PM

9. I've already whacked two MAGA trolls this morning.

My policy is to not engage because you never win in these situations and it gives more fuel to the MAGA trolls. Instead, I just block, hit the report button, and move on.

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Response to Initech (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 02:28 PM

10. Me too. But it feels good to engage! Not allowing them to shut me up.

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 11:29 PM

13. MAGAts are fascists. Some descriptors of fascists

With Fascist Republican MAGAts Expect:

⚠️ propaganda
⚠️ hatred and racism
⚠️ divisiveness
⚠️ the absence of facts, critical thought
⚠️ antigovernment traitorous actions
⚠️ lies
⚠️ inhumanity, lack of decency

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 07:33 PM

14. Kick and rec for Trump's secret pals.

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 11:01 PM

15. Confessions of a Trump Troll

“I like chaos. I thrive in it”: a Georgia lawyer with too much time on his hands and ties to the G.O.P. describes how he used twenty fake Twitter accounts to disseminate political disinformation.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/31/confessions-of-a-trump-troll

A middle-aged lawyer recently sat down at a poké restaurant in a North Georgia town. He was sniffling and dabbing his eyes with a napkin. “Don’t think it’s corona,” he said, pulling up a Web site on his phone with statistics on diagnoses worldwide. Then he looked at Twitter and began talking about a different sort of virus. “When Donald Trump first announced his Presidential bid, I told my wife, immediately, ‘He’s going to be the President,’ ” he said. The lawyer welcomed the candidacy. “How to put this and not sound fifteen?” he said. “I like chaos. I thrive in it.” For years, the lawyer, who asked not to be identified, worked in Washington, D.C., for the Republican Party. He moved his family south a few years ago, having realized, he said, that “D.C. is just Hollywood for ugly people.” He found that he had time on his hands. “I’d never been interested in social media,” he said. “I can’t stand Facebook.” But he became intrigued by the power of Twitter. “Really repulsive meme-ing, the stuff that makes you laugh, makes you remember,” he said. The right, he went on, “is great at it instinctively. Whether it’s a 4chan board or basement neckbeards, they nail it. They can distill a huge talking paragraph into a cat picture.”

He considers Trump’s digital facility “absolutely genius,” and believes that his frequent Twitter misspellings (“Barrack Obama,” “covfefe”) are intentional. In 2015, while the lawyer’s young children napped, he began trolling. “I’d have a glass of wine, talk to my wife, watch Netflix, and see what kinds of things we could do,” he said. He would sometimes pass four or five hours a day this way. The lawyer is not a mainstream Republican; he likes Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders. He was also unbothered by the recent Senate report on Russia’s election meddling. (“If you’re not interfering with elections,” he said, “you’re not doing it right.”) Out of curiosity, he attended a far-right gathering, where he found the younger attendees to be “maybe a little misguided, but well intended.” He began creating fake Twitter accounts, he said, to see “whether I could get more interactions, more retweets, by being a little more radical.” The Confederate flag was often his avatar, or the Bonnie Blue, a lesser-known Confederate banner. For his handles, he made up acronyms with a nationalistic tinge, such as FFK: Faith Folk and Kin. He fashioned the accounts’ ersatz users as boomers or gun-rights activists. The latter, he said, were easy: “Just follow Dana Loesch and interact with those crazy girls who stay up all night tweeting Second Amendment stuff.” He added, “I’d get them to retweet me and then my following would blow up.” By the time the 2016 race was under way, he had about twenty accounts, each with a few thousand followers.

His fake alt-right accounts amplified Trump’s messaging and distorted Hillary Clinton’s. (“Something about her makes me nervous,” he said.) His fake Antifa ones spread what he called “disinformation and false stories” to benefit Trump. He pulled up an old account with the handle Ruthless Lessruth. “This was supposed to be a girl who was married to an alt-right guy,” he said. He explained how he’d used the account to trick an Antifa group into protesting an alt-right rally that didn’t exist: “I P.M.’d the head of the Atlanta Antifa and told him that my ‘husband’ was alt-right and that I was repulsed by it.” Then, in the guise of the wife, he directed the Atlanta Antifa group to a would-be rally at a Marriott Marquis. A bunch of people showed up. “That was hard to do, to pose as a girl with political views that I’m not familiar with.” Some of his Antifa accounts also pushed veganism. “You have to find some community to exploit,” he said. “I’d find an approved vegan account with Antifa leanings and interact with them a bit. It was really tedious. But I’m a lawyer—I get into the minutiae.” Manning accounts on both sides of the political spectrum had its risks. “There was always the fear of tweeting something out of the wrong account,” he said. “Like praising immigration to my alt-right followers or something.”

The lawyer’s trolling dropped off in 2017. He’d become disillusioned by Trump. “He hasn’t done anything he said he was going to do,” the lawyer said. “But I’d vote for him over Biden. No one is excited about Biden.” (“I would have pulled for Bernie,” he said.) He recently opened a new Twitter account. “I just dicked around on it,” he said. “I watched some of the trending tags. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. There’s nothing I think is being hidden from us that I care a lot about.” He sighed. “Maybe I’ve just gotten old.” ♦

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MAGA-nificent Change of Heart: Former Troll David Weissman

https://demcastusa.com/2020/10/30/maga-troll-to-biden-supporter/



Until early 2018, David Weissman was an online MAGA troll. A self-avowed one too. The kind you should just either report or block on Twitter. Engage with them and soon enough you’ll wonder why. But the Weissman who once tweeted comparing Hillary Clinton and Satan is far in the past. David Weissman 2.0 just cast his first vote as a Democrat — for Biden in Florida. So, if this former troll can support Biden, couldn’t anyone? Weissman’s change of heart started with the outspoken, irreverent comedian Sarah Silverman, who responded to this tweet:



Weissman recalls how it felt to have a “Hollywood elitist” listen to his words and ask him what he actually liked about Trump. Not expressing anger or frustration, Silverman’s voice was able to cut through all the noise. Like other Republicans who had consumed a steady diet of right-wing media, Weissman had spent years — both of Obama’s terms, to be precise — feeling unheard and forgotten. Right-wing thinking taught that Democrats, in their desire to help others, particularly immigrants, had abandoned white Americans. But Silverman’s tweet response, complete with a heart, pierced the conservative talking points. Falling back on the traditions of his Jewish faith, Weissman started asking questions. Lots of questions about his system of beliefs. And also questions about the other side. “Why do liberals do the things they do?” he wondered. At the time, he had no expectation of leaving MAGA or the Republican Party or rejecting Trump. To find satisfactory answers, Weissman had to move beyond the right-wing media bubble. He talked more with Silverman and with other liberals and people on Twitter.

Change did not happen overnight, but his curiosity led to an entirely new worldview, with each discovery building upon the one before it. Like when he queried Silverman about Democrats taking away Americans’ rights. Her answer startled him: “No, I don’t want to take your guns.” This was a wow moment. “Sort of like an intervention,” he said. Another eye-opener was discovering that Hillary Clinton had actually done some “wonderful things” in New York; she didn’t just hide her emails or engineer the attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi. Little by little, everything Weissman had believed was proved wrong. Once he accepted this truth, he began to dig deeper into other issues, like police brutality and racism, which led to what he called, a “holy crap moment.” Weissman came to view Trump as a draft dodger, a failure in business, even Putin’s puppet after the two leaders met in Helsinki. (He “couldn’t believe how Hillary Clinton was right.”) He quickly realized that Trump was a liar, that he’d lied to get voters. That’s when “liberal values really got into my heart,” he remembers. So if someone as once-objectionable as Weissman could make this leap from MAGA to Biden, what prevents others from doing the same? Trump supporters live in their own bubble, he says. They believe America presents one way of life and opportunities to everyone, regardless of a person’s background or the colour of their skin. They can’t see the reality of society “outside of their box.” Unlike Weissman, they don’t have a Sarah Silverman to break through.

And just like other large groups of voters, they are diverse. “MAGA is like an onion,” explains Weissman. There are many different kinds: single-issue voters, isolationists, the white supremacists, the hardcore base. Of course, one of the first things that people want to know from Weissman is how to deprogram their family, friends, neighbours and loved ones. Show them compassion and empathy, Weissman counsels. Trump represents an ideal, and his supporters defend him because of it. Also, while Trump supporters always seem ready to reject facts with their alternate version of reality, Weissman believes there are a few places where we can still reach them. The Constitution offers one of the biggest opportunities. Weissman suggests pointing out that Trump violated the Constitution with the Ukraine call, in which he threatened to withhold aid in return for digging up dirt on Biden, or by urging NFL team owners to fire players who took a knee, in violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Similarly, trot out the president’s track record to prove to his supporters that he is not a conservative. Trump does not stand for the values that Republicans have always said mattered to them.

Until he left the MAGA bubble, Army veteran Weissman had no idea that Trump had ever downplayed PTSD or used vets as props. With the election coming up, Weissman also wants to remind them they can remain Republicans and still support Biden. They don’t have to tell anyone who they voted for. They can even lie about it. But he readily admits he has not succeeded in turning any of his former MAGA troll buddies. “I am an outcast,” he says. “They shun me.” That doesn’t mean he has no impact. He inspires people daily on social media. He has connected with a number of former Trump supporters and started a Facebook group to give people a safe space so they don’t get treated the way he was. And he continues to look for the “cracks” — the moderate Republicans who might offer a way in. “It is crazy how we go from Obama to Trump,” Weissman muses. But that’s what happened. Now we just have to go forward and stay the course. He is continuing to spread his message and fighting to elect more Democratic lawmakers. Republicans will retaliate “big-time” if Biden wins, he believes. They will try to have Biden investigated and impeached — basically, what Democrats did with Trump — except without good reason. At the least, Republicans will make it extremely difficult to get anything done. And there is a lot to fix in a post-Trump era: climate crisis, gun violence, white supremacy that “came out of nowhere,” but Weissman is here for all of it.

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