Techniques to control an Internet forum

Submitted by Freedomman on Sat, 07/11/2009 - 14:21

There are several techniques that can be effectively used to control and manipulate an Internet forum no matter who or what are on it. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that only a minimal number of operatives can be used to eventually and effectively gain control over an uncontrolled forum.

Technique #1 - FORUM SLIDING

If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum - it can be quickly removed from public view by forum sliding. In this technique a number of unrelated posts are quietly pre-positioned on the forum and allowed to “age.” Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon at will to trigger a forum slide.

The second requirement is that several fake accounts exist, which can be called upon to ensure that this technique is not exposed to the public. Triggering a forum slide and “flushing” the critical post out of public view is simply a matter of logging into each account, both the real and the fake, and then “replying” to pre-positioned postings with a simple one- or two-line comment. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, and the critical posting slides down the front page and quickly out of public view. Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the posting, it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and useless postings. By this means it becomes effective to keep the readers of the forum reading unrelated and non-issue items.

Technique #2 - CONSENSUS CRACKING

A second highly effective technique is consensus cracking. To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used. Under the guise of a fake account, a posting is made that looks legitimate and appears to be truthful, but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done, then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favor is slowly introduced over the life of the posting.

It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made, the stronger “evidence” or disinformation in your favor is slowly “seeded in.” Thus the uninformed reader will most like develop the same position as you, and if his or her position is against you, their opposition to your posting will most likely be dropped. However, in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can “abort" the consensus cracking by initiating a “forum slide.”

Technique #3 - TOPIC DILUTION

Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding, it is also very useful in keeping forum readers focused on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a “RESOURCE BURN.” By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (i.e. trolling) the forum readers, they are more effectively stopped from learning anything meaningful.

If the intensity of gradual dilution is enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a “gossip mode.” In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts and towards uninformed conjecture and opinion.

The less informed they are, the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group, focusing it in the direction in which you desire the group to go.

It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education of the group must first be determined, in order to establish at what level to “drive in the wedge.” Being too far off topic too quickly may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.

Technique #4 - INFORMATION COLLECTION

Information collection is a very effective method of determining the psychological level of the forum members and gathering intelligence that can be used against them. Using this technique in a light and positive environment, a “show you mine so show me yours” posting is initiated. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided, much statistical information can be gathered.

For example, post your “favorite weapon” and then encourage other members of the forum to showcase what they have. In this manner it can be determined by reverse proration what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm and/or illegal weapon.

This same method can be used by posting as one of the forum members, your favorite “technique of operation.” From the replies, various methods that the group utilizes can be studied and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.

Technique #5 - ANGER TROLLING

Statistically, there is always a percentage of forum posters more inclined toward violence. In order to determine the identities of these individuals, you must present an image to the forum designed to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction. From this the most violent in the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking.

To accomplish this only requires posting a link to a video depicting a local police officer massively abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically, of the million or so police officers in America there are always one or two caught abusing their powers, the taping of which can then be used for intelligence gathering purposes, without the requirement to stage a fake abuse video.

This method is extremely effective, even more so when the video shows the official acted even more abusively. Sometimes it is useful to “lead” the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent, stating that you “do not care what the authorities think!” Doing this while showing no fear may be more effective in getting the silent and self-disciplined violent-intent forum members to slip up and post their real intentions. This can be used later during prosecution in a court of law.

Technique #6 - GAINING FULL CONTROL

It is important to also harvest and continually maneuver for a forum moderator position. Once in this position, the forum can be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavorable postings, and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public.

This is the ultimate victory, since the forum is no longer participated in by the general public and therefore no longer useful in helping them to maintain their freedoms. Depending on the level of control you obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and/or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum if it can be converted into a “honey pot” gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from that point be exclusively used to support your agenda.

CONCLUSION

Remember, these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of them, these techniques can and often will completely fail, and the forum thereafter becomes uncontrollable. When that happens other avenues must be considered, such as initiating a false legal precedence to simply shut down the forum and take it offline.

This is not desirable, since it then leaves enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts to control them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by an individual; as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.