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Thread: Internet Security/Malware/Spam

Author Image Gerry Patterson. The world's most humble blogger
I don't live today. --- Jimi Hendrix

Trolling For Global Rage

Chronogical Blog Entries:

Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 22:21:42 +1000

Recent outrage about a video trailer for a film titled "Innocence Of Muslims" (or the alternate title "Life of Muhammad"), has triggered violent protests in some countries. Yesterday (Saturday) in the Sydney CBD, there was a noisy protest which resulted in arrests and injury to police officers.

There are many symptoms about this event which indicate that it is a classic example of an "Internet Troll".

Troll (noun): A person who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

-- Urban Dictionary

These days however, with entities like Youtube and Facebook, things have grown a little larger than dinky little message boards and newsgroups ... We now have the potential for Global Trolling.

It is probably true, as some commentators suggested, that many of the protesters who voiced their disapproval so loudly would not have actually seen the video. And the comments aired by some of them indicate that they (the protesters) don't know (or care) about trolls or their modus operandi ... And it is too bad they didn't take the time to find out .. Because this troll, who in fact derives considerable delight in their outrage, has exhibited classic trolling behaviour:

Despite such lack of subtlety and patently obvious trolling tactics, some Muslims have responded in a manner which your humble blogger can only refer to as slavishly pavlovian ... And which must surely warm the cockles of the troll's little heart. The outrage and hysteria that has been generated probably far exceeds even his fantasies of pulling off an exceptional global Internet trolling triumph.

Although, this particular troll may be playing a more serious game than your average Internet troll he has exhibited classic trolling technique ... Islamic fanatics have used the demonstrations as cover for their own deadly designs and right wing groups may now be excited about the prospect of more Islamic hysteria ... Perhaps fantasising about the opportunity to deploy some lethal force of their own.

While many of the participants may be using the Internet to organise and respond it is too bad that some of them don't google for the meaning of the noun (and the verb to) troll. (Definition above paraphrased from the urban dictionary) ... If they did they might realise that trolls derive a peculiar smug pleasure from the consternation and strife that they provoke ... The more extreme the outrage, the more pleased the troll feels with his handiwork.

As to be expected, the mainstream media has magnified the event ... And now that some of the ugly protests (overseas) have resulted in fatalities, may have an impact on US foreign policy ... It may even have an effect on the US election ... And might become one of the greatest trolls of the decade ... Or the century (so far).

Of course there is a way to defend one self from trolls ... And that is to examine online content carefully to see if it contains deliberately provocative material and ... To behave and respond with more common sense and civility than many of participants in this current debacle have shown ... (Yes dear reader, the only effective defense is for the intended audience to NOT become enraged).

Instead this Internet troll has played them all ... Like a fiddle!

Google Search Strings

And only slightly off topic ... Your blogger may have to eat some humble pie. It seems that the work of obscuring search strings on websites is mainly occurring in the browser internals.

Apparently, Internet users are becoming a little more concerned about security and privacy, and some of them are using the "Private Browsing" modes which are now being advertised by the leading browser manufacturers, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft ... And these are the main reason why the search strings are being stripped from inbound queries to websites.

Gradually search strings are disappearing from web logs ... Brian Robson, who runs the Bondi Beach website estimates that in the period of Jan to August this year, the number of referrals with obscured search queries have grown from 3% to 25%. The increase has been slow and steady ... Holding at roughly 3% per month in an almost linear fashion. If it continues to grow at the current rate, search strings may have disappeared altogether from web logs by mid 2014.

Your humble blogger expects a few changes in the SEO industry ...

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