Skip to main content recently had a great article up titled: "The Age of Trolling--How a small band of conservatives generated half of the Democratic Convention’s headlines.". It goes into detail about how online trolling set the pace for generating faux outrage and controversy for headline-fodder.

Whatever lessons the Democrats take from Charlotte, whatever it did for the president or for the ambitious senators and governors who stalked delegate breakfasts and whispered “2016,” this is a fact: The convention was successfully trolled.


Democrats did not expect to spend Wednesday arguing about the capital of Israel and the appearance of the word “God” in their platform. There were, reportedly, 15,000 members of the media in Charlotte, of whom maybe 14,980 could have given a damn about the party platform. On Tuesday night, when the Obama campaign and the DNC released its platform, none of the bigfoot media outlets in town spent time on the text.

No, it took until Wednesday morning for Jeff Dunetz, at the YidWithALid blog, to comment that “Democrats have removed this pro-Israel section from their platform.” (They had removed references to Hamas and references to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.) At 11:26 a.m., Weekly Standard reporter Daniel Halper published a story on the platform, making the same point. (He credited YidWithALid.)

It could have ended there. But within a few hours, CNN and Fox News were browbeating Democrats to ask why they’d changed the platform—why, too, had they removed an old reference to “God-given talents,” and thus deleted YHWH from the text? Democrats gave up. They forced a vote on new platform language, restoring the 2008 lines.

Looks like this flare-up in the Middle East might be someone else with a similar idea.

The movie "Innocence of the Muslims" is a strange tale thus far. And it has 'troll' written all over it.

Clips of the English-language film, some of which have been online since July, attracted attention in Egypt only over the past few days when someone posted a clip that had been dubbed into Arabic, according to the New York Times. Some Egyptian TV hosts began airing the clips over and over, portraying it as a Coptic Christian and American plot to denigrate the prophet. Morris Sadek, a Coptic Christian from Egypt and critic of Islam who now lives in the United States, told AP he recently began promoting the film clips, which might also explain their rise out of obscurity. Florida pastor Terry Jones, best known for burning a copy of Islam's holy book in 2011, has also been publicizing the film.

Though much remains murky about the movie and its origins, the Wall Street Journal tracked down and interviewed a person who claimed to have written and directed the movie, a real estate developer named Sam Bacile. Bacile told the Journal that he made the film to portray Islam as a hateful religion:

    "Islam is a cancer," he said in a telephone interview from his home. "The movie is a political movie. It's not a religious movie."

    Mr. Bacile said he raised $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors, whom he declined to identify. Working with about 60 actors and 45 crew members, he said he made the two-hour movie in three months last year in California.

Bacile told the AP that he is now in hiding, and that his full movie has only been shown once, to a nearly empty theater in Hollywood. But the AP added that anonymous "Israeli officials" said there was no record of a Sam Bacile being a citizen of Israel. Another person involved in the film, Steve Klein, told The Atlantic that he believes Bacile is a pseudonym, and that he doubts his claims that he is Israeli. (Klein said he had never met the person who made the film.) And others have raised questions about Bacile's claim that the movie had a $5 million budget, based on the nearly unwatchable trailer's low quality. The New York Times could not verify whether a full two-hour version of the movie even exists, as Bacile claimed, since only portions of the film have been posted online. The Times also noted that Bacile identified himself as 52 years old in one interview and 56 in another.

The right-wing blogosphere is quick to avoid talk of right-wing religious extremism in America, pointing out that this attack must have been "planned". More wise would be to wait until facts come out before politicizing an event, which is apparently asking a lot of some vultures these days. The attacks could have been Gaddafi loyalists for all the general public may know.

The real problem with trolling? It's usually blatantly wrong in terms of facts, but highly successful in spamming and watering down discussions with puerile idiocy.

It is worth nothing the victims of this tragedy:

Stevens, 52, was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979, when Adolph Dubs, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was gunned down in a kidnapping attempt.

"Throughout the Libyan revolution, [Stevens] selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi," Obama said. "As ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my administration, and deeply saddened by this loss."

Stevens, a California native and U.C.-Berkeley grad, was a 21-year veteran of foreign service, the White House said.

"I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a separate statement. "He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa.
"As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi," Clinton continued. "He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started. Chris was committed to advancing America's values and interests, even when that meant putting himself in danger."
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