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Tags internet incidents , internet issues , John Synott , madeleine mccann , manfromatlan , trolling

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Old 15th April 2017, 01:31 PM   #81
Planigale
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Quote:
...anti-McCann users framed their comments as a plea for justice for Madeleine, though this appeared to be little more than a means to justify the ongoing perpetuation of abuse toward the McCanns.
Synnott 2017

I have nothing but sympathy for the McCanns and perhaps I didn't spot the abusive comments Synott did. However, if the McCanns have raised £2m in fundraising to find Madeleine and it has, say, been all spent in litigating for damages, then IMV I cannot see that it is not 'fair comment' for someone to ask about.

Money raised for charity should be transparent.

I worked for a charity where the directors of the commercial arm decided to line their pockets with other people's donations, and calling it a year end 'bonus'.

I asked questions.
If you had read the reference you gave it specifically says that the money was not raised for charity. Can I advise that when posting a reference you check what it says.

Taking some quotes given by Synnott 2017

'“Paedophile? Kiddie killer? Lonely? Join Team #McCann and find a sympathetic ear. FREE REIGN - They’ll excuse anything”
“I said, SAVING HER OWN ARSE DOESNT COUNT. There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO reason a desperate mum would not cooperate"
“it takes INTENT. Wee M DISGUSTED k8 Why? Was she a wee Slut flirting w all the men? Stealing K8 beauty?"

K8 references Kate McCann the mother of the missing child.
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Old 15th April 2017, 01:41 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
If you had read the reference you gave it specifically says that the money was not raised for charity. Can I advise that when posting a reference you check what it says.

Taking some quotes given by Synnott 2017

'“Paedophile? Kiddie killer? Lonely? Join Team #McCann and find a sympathetic ear. FREE REIGN - They’ll excuse anything”
“I said, SAVING HER OWN ARSE DOESNT COUNT. There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO reason a desperate mum would not cooperate"
“it takes INTENT. Wee M DISGUSTED k8 Why? Was she a wee Slut flirting w all the men? Stealing K8 beauty?"

K8 references Kate McCann the mother of the missing child.
That is pretty disgusting. However, you can't hold reasonable rational critics responsible for the drunken inane babblings of a few, who probably send abusive messages to numerous sources, not just the McCanns.
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Old 15th April 2017, 01:44 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Is the name Sweepyface a cutesy version of Sleepyface, or is it really about broom sweeping?
AIUI it was her self-chosen twitter user name.
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Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 15th April 2017, 01:51 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
Some times trolls come together when they collectively engage in cyber bullying or dog piling. This makes it harder for the one being targeted
simply because they are outnumbered. Now trolls may be solitary by nature but the irony is that trolling itself is far more effective the greater
the number that engage in it because it is essentially a form of psychological attrition. But what makes trolling truly effective though is not so
much how many do it but for how long they do it.
Because like its meat space equivalent of stalking it tends to have greater impact over time
I think you are correct here. The number continuing to 'troll' are few, but the duration is exhausting for the target, Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007,
Edited by Agatha:  Removed material pertaining to another thread in defiance of modbox instruction

Last edited by Agatha; 15th April 2017 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 15th April 2017, 01:59 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
That is pretty disgusting. However, you can't hold reasonable rational critics responsible for the drunken inane babblings of a few, who probably send abusive messages to numerous sources, not just the McCanns.
I do not think the reasonable rational critics are held responsible, nor are they the ones displaying sadistic traits. However people may not always recognise when their behaviour ceases to be rational and becomes obsessive. When their comments stray from being fair into being e.g. slut shaming. There comes a point when one needs to dissociate oneself from comments such as given above, and the moderators / administrators of sites where such comments are posted need to make clear that e.g. threats of violence are not acceptable.
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Old 15th April 2017, 02:09 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I do not think the reasonable rational critics are held responsible, nor are they the ones displaying sadistic traits. However people may not always recognise when their behaviour ceases to be rational and becomes obsessive. <snip>There comes a point when one needs to dissociate oneself from comments such as given above, and the moderators / administrators of sites where such comments are posted need to make clear that e.g. threats of violence are not acceptable.

I've just had a look at the 'sweepyface' issue and it appears she wrote >4K tweets re the McCanns over four years. A thousand a year is hardly eyebrow raising, especially if she was engaging in conversation.

She uses a swear word just four times and her language isn't abusive.

I still have no idea what website you are talking about.
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And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 15th April 2017, 02:15 PM   #87
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Despite our differences, this thread should have been opened a long time ago. Thank you Vixen.
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Old 15th April 2017, 02:57 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I've just had a look at the 'sweepyface' issue and it appears she wrote >4K tweets re the McCanns over four years. A thousand a year is hardly eyebrow raising, especially if she was engaging in conversation.

She uses a swear word just four times and her language isn't abusive.

I still have no idea what website you are talking about.
I am not sure what 'sweepyface' has to do with the paper being discussed.
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Old 15th April 2017, 03:05 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Planigale
However people may not always recognise when their behaviour ceases to be rational and becomes obsessive
The ubiquity of social media and the internet in general can make it rather difficult to reference obsession. For it never
closes down. It literally operates 24 / 7 and is so common that obsession from a comparative perspective would have
to be very extreme indeed. But a good indicator is when it starts to be prioritised over other more important aspects
of ones life. And it is possible to become addicted to the internet just like it is to any addictive practice or substance
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Old 15th April 2017, 03:12 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I am not sure what 'sweepyface' has to do with the paper being discussed.
Sweepyface. You just want to pinch the cheeks and give a smooch. My Sweepyface baby. I love you.
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Old 15th April 2017, 03:32 PM   #91
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Relevant to the present discussion is the article by Cracker and March 2016 'The dark side of Facebook®: The Dark Tetrad, negative social potency, and trolling behaviours' Personality and Individual Differences 102, p79–84.

They concluded

Quote:
...the current findings suggest that individuals that engage in trolling behaviours on Facebook® are characterised by a lack of empathy, callousness, and enjoyment of others distress (as indicated by high levels of sadism and psychopathy), and are driven by gaining negative power and influence over others (as indicated by high levels of negative social potency).
So Synnott's conclusion about Trolls is not outside of the published literature on personality disorder and trolling.

I guess the question Vixen wants answered is whether it is reasonable to associate 'guilter' behaviour with trolling. Certainly like all characteristics in people there will be a range, between those with a passing interest and those with a more sinister agenda. Certainly not all people expressing an opinion are sadists. Those who harass particular individuals in an attempt to deliver informal justice I think are on the psychopathy end of the spectrum. In my view where the behaviour becomes harmful to an individual it is moving to being sadistic.
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Old 15th April 2017, 03:48 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Sweepyface. You just want to pinch the cheeks and give a smooch. My Sweepyface baby. I love you.
I always thought the user name came from this character here, called 'Sweep'.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sweep.jpg (12.1 KB, 133 views)
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O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 15th April 2017, 03:56 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I am not sure what 'sweepyface' has to do with the paper being discussed.
Apparently the McCanns allegedly complained to Sky Reporter Martin Brunt about 'sweepyface's tweets. He confronted her with a tv camera. She booked into a hotel and ended it all, as she was publicly labelled a 'troll' by the McCanns via /sky news - AIUI.

No doubt, Dr Synott has decided that 'sweepyface' really was a disturbed individual harassing the McCanns and that rather than people being concerned about the safety of Madeleine - after all the press was urging everybody to look for her - they were all malicious trolls out to get the McCanns, and he was going to do a study to prove it.

You can see his clear unscientific bias in labelling them 'Anti-McCann trolls' when he should have been impartial.
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3. So long Thy pow’r has blest me, sure it still
Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 15th April 2017, 04:01 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Relevant to the present discussion is the article by Cracker and March 2016 'The dark side of Facebook®: The Dark Tetrad, negative social potency, and trolling behaviours' Personality and Individual Differences 102, p79–84.

They concluded



So Synnott's conclusion about Trolls is not outside of the published literature on personality disorder and trolling.

I guess the question Vixen wants answered is whether it is reasonable to associate 'guilter' behaviour with trolling. Certainly like all characteristics in people there will be a range, between those with a passing interest and those with a more sinister agenda. Certainly not all people expressing an opinion are sadists. Those who harass particular individuals in an attempt to deliver informal justice I think are on the psychopathy end of the spectrum. In my view where the behaviour becomes harmful to an individual it is moving to being sadistic.

I don't know anybody who's used Facebook for malicious reasons, but then again I only ever mix with respectable people.

People need to realise FB is not private. People can tag you and share your details.

From what I know FB is used for cyberbullying by jealous teenagers and jilted boyfriends circulating naughty pics of their exes in revenge.

Not sure what this has to do with McCann Trolls.

Yes, there are lots of nasty people around. However, they are not exclusive to the 'anti-McCann trolls' as highlighted by Dr Synott.
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3. So long Thy pow’r has blest me, sure it still
Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 15th April 2017, 04:26 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I don't know anybody who's used Facebook for malicious reasons, but then again I only ever mix with respectable people.

People need to realise FB is not private. People can tag you and share your details.
So if something isn't private that makes trolling and cyberbullying ok? Not sure what your point is here.

Quote:
From what I know FB is used for cyberbullying by jealous teenagers and jilted boyfriends circulating naughty pics of their exes in revenge.

Not sure what this has to do with McCann Trolls.
I think the point is these type of traits associated with personality disorders are ubiquitous across internet trolls whether they harass people on facebook, twitter, internet forums, whatever. It doesn't matter whether the topic is the McCanns, Knox, or something else.

Quote:
Yes, there are lots of nasty people around. However, they are not exclusive to the 'anti-McCann trolls' as highlighted by Dr Synott.
I think that was the entire point of planigale's post -- trolls aren't exclusive to this whole McCann thing.
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Old 15th April 2017, 04:58 PM   #96
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I feel a far tighter definition of terms is required here to frame this whole discussion.

The "traditional"* definition of internet trolling really has very little indeed to do with the sort of online harassment and accusation that has taken place within the online debate on the McCann case (and other notable cases). The traditional definition is simply of a person who, for want of a better term, "wades in" to any particular online discussion with the sole aim of disrupting that discussion and/or irritating/angering the other, sincere, participants in that discussion. The troll, in other words, has no sincere interest in the underlying matter under discussion/debate; rather, his/her aim to gain "enjoyment" and "fulfilment" out of disrupting the discussion/debate.

I think that the mass media, and indeed the team behind this academic study, have twisted the terms "troll" and "trolling" to define something very different indeed from the "traditional" definition (though the academics may deliberately be employing the definition that has been used in such an inflammatory way within the mass media).

Perhaps a far more appropriate term for the sort of behaviour examined in this study is "online vigilantism", coupled with "online victim crusading". What one sees in the online debate about the McCann case (and other cases) is a cadre of individuals who have decided that they are "fighting for justice for the victim" in a case where they have also pre-decided that "justice" has not been done. And in order to seek "justice" for the victim, they embark upon a campaign of vilification, accusation, and (often) pretty vicious and sustained hate against those whom they have decided are the "culprits" who need to be brought to justice.

In the McCann case, there appears to be a small but vociferous group of individuals (and of course groupthink within their own discussion groups only serves to reinforce and validate their beliefs) who believe that the McCann parents were either directly or indirectly responsible for their daughter's disappearance (and presumed murder). And the strong, zealous psychological incentives and validations set up by the notion that they are "fighting for justice for Madeleine", coupled with the righteous anger that the McCann parents have "escaped justice", mean that they feel fully justified and "morally correct" in hounding the McCann parents online and writing the most disgusting and unsupported things about them.

I think that the McCann case shows very vividly that there is a new type of psychiatric behaviour disorder that has been greatly enabled by the internet (particularly "Web 2.0", with online forums/messageboards and other social media allowing anyone to broadcast his/her views to, effectively, the whole world). And I think that disorder should be most accurately described as "online vigilantism", where individuals decide to crusade for justice on behalf of a victim of crime, when they have decided that "justice" (in their own minds) has not been properly done. This gives them all the moral superiority and righteous anger to pursue those whom they deem to have "evaded justice", giving them (in their own minds) the total and perfect right to write abusive, vitriolic and often hate-filled accusations about those "justice evaders". The basis for those accusations is almost always flimsy at best, and non-existent at worst - what usually happens is that the community of like-minded believers builds a narrative of rationalisations, misinterpretations, pure suppositions, improper inferences, ignorant misinterpretations (especially of scientific matters pertaining to the case) and flat-out lies. And from that toxic mixture, a "support" for their beliefs is formed, which serves as a doctrine to be followed dogmatically. Of course it also serves, in a circular-thinking logical fallacy, as further support for their beliefs.


* Given the relatively young age of the internet and online discussion forums, I use the term "traditional" in context and advisedly.........
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Old 16th April 2017, 01:16 AM   #97
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1. They can't be said to troll the McCanns when it's been reported they don't have social media accounts.

2. The McCanns used funds donated by the public to search for Madeleine to sue Portuguese Detective Goncalo Amaral instead. The Portuguese Supreme Court recently ruled his absolute right of freedom to express his opinion, especially as it was based on the police files. Would he also be labelled a troll by some here?

3. A Birmingham mother who started a GoFundMe page to assist in his legal defense was called a "troll" by the UK media. Is that acceptable language and did Synnot tailor his findings to jump on the media bandwagon?

4. His researcher never revealed to her subjects she was conducting a survey.

5. Note, they didn't set up a charity but an LLC for the Maddie Fund. Still, the public has a right to ask what happened to the funds they donated. Was the whole purpose of calling them trolls designed to suppress dissent? Using their media friends to ambush 'SweepyFace' (her name was Brenda Leyland)? Given their propensity for vexatious litigation and libel chill, it appears to be so.
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Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 16th April 2017, 02:56 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I don't know anybody who's used Facebook for malicious reasons, but then again I only ever mix with respectable people.

People need to realise FB is not private. People can tag you and share your details.

From what I know FB is used for cyberbullying by jealous teenagers and jilted boyfriends circulating naughty pics of their exes in revenge.

Not sure what this has to do with McCann Trolls.

Yes, there are lots of nasty people around. However, they are not exclusive to the 'anti-McCann trolls' as highlighted by Dr Synott.
Synnott 2017 says in his introduction,

Quote:
The primary aim of this research is to provide a case study analysis of a group of alleged Twitter trolls commonly referred to as the anti-McCanns. Operating predominately under pseudonyms, the group are responsible for posting abusive and antagonistic messages on Twitter levelled at both Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of abducted child Madeleine McCann. The anti-McCanns are also known to engage in verbal attacks against anyone who takes to Twitter to support the McCanns, particularly those who identify as pro-McCann and are therefore perceived to represent an opposing group of sorts. Despite nearly 10 years having passed since Madeleine’s abduction, there are still estimated to be over 100 tweets posted using the McCann hashtag every hour, making this a significant community to investigate in terms of the sheer volume of activity they generate.
So he is utilising a predefined term, he did not create the term anti-McCann. I would use the term 'guilter' to include a more wide spread phenomena, involving as LJ has suggested a degree of Vigilantism, predominantly it seems to me aimed at females who have been seen to have 'got away with it' often involving an element of transgressive behaviour e.g. around motherhood. Perhaps the first example was the case of JonBenet Ramsey still with active posters twenty years on. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ine-detectives
So we have the comment,
Quote:
The sharp divisions among the camps, coupled with the anonymity of online chatter, produced some hellacious flame wars, as well as chronic and persistent vilification of just about anybody associated with the case. "What Patsy and I have lived through might go down in history as the first cyberspace lynching," John Ramsey wrote in the couple's book, The Death of Innocence. But the Ramseys weren't the only targets.
http://www.westword.com/news/jonbene...ulture-6052444

My guess is that unless there is a clear solution to the MCann case the online anti-McCann community will be present in another ten years. Even if there was a conviction of a third person in the McCann case parallels suggest this may not convince die hard posters who have considerable emotional investment and will look to any weakness to justify continued vilification of the parents.

One can identify a paradigm for this type of behaviour; a murder involving an 'innocent', a media flurry often with a salacious element, suspicion falling on a couple with the female partner becoming the target of opprobrium. A self identifying internet community forms possibly around a web site e.g.
http://truthformadeleine.com but I am sure that other web sites could be identified.

Posters justify their behaviour as 'citizen detectives' and as a 'search for justice'. However, the anonymity of the internet allows some to make extreme comments;

“These 2 should burn in hell”; “I will supply the petrol”; “I’ll supply the lighter – happily”.

Referencing 'sweepyface' that Vixen mentioned this seems to have been something that arose in 2014, the research for this paper was carried out in summer of 2015, so is unrelated to 'sweepyface' nor the police investigation of the 'anti-McCanns' in 2013/4.
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Old 16th April 2017, 05:55 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
1. They can't be said to troll the McCanns when it's been reported they don't have social media accounts.

2. The McCanns used funds donated by the public to search for Madeleine to sue Portuguese Detective Goncalo Amaral instead. The Portuguese Supreme Court recently ruled his absolute right of freedom to express his opinion, especially as it was based on the police files. Would he also be labelled a troll by some here?

3. A Birmingham mother who started a GoFundMe page to assist in his legal defense was called a "troll" by the UK media. Is that acceptable language and did Synnot tailor his findings to jump on the media bandwagon?

4. His researcher never revealed to her subjects she was conducting a survey.

5. Note, they didn't set up a charity but an LLC for the Maddie Fund. Still, the public has a right to ask what happened to the funds they donated. Was the whole purpose of calling them trolls designed to suppress dissent? Using their media friends to ambush 'SweepyFace' (her name was Brenda Leyland)? Given their propensity for vexatious litigation and libel chill, it appears to be so.
One can be nitpicking about whether a person trolls the McCanns or about the McCanns. The examples of comments given go beyond fair comment. That the McCanns do not have social media accounts is probably a consequence of the trolling. The mere fact that they are driven to this shows the harm that the trolling causes.

With reference to the detective, if he repetitively posted on the internet the sort of comments posted by some, ignored facts and rational arguments and declared experts shills so that their opinions could be ignored then yes I think he would be a troll.

Re point 3 I do not know the details of the individuals posting history so can not comment.

Re point 5 you seem to be straying from commenting on posters about the McCann case to denigrating the parents of a missing almost certainly murdered child. Do you think it is appropriate to criticise the parents of a murdered child?
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Old 16th April 2017, 07:38 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Vixen
His researcher never revealed to her subjects she was conducting a survey
This was disingenuous but if they freely volunteered information does it matter
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Old 16th April 2017, 07:52 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Vixen
You can see his clear unscientific bias in labelling them Anti McCann trolls when he should have been impartial
It is possible that the evidence suggested they were trolls and labelling them as such would be him being impartial
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Old 16th April 2017, 09:51 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
One can identify a paradigm for this type of behaviour; a murder involving an 'innocent', a media flurry often with a salacious element, suspicion falling on a couple with the female partner becoming the target of opprobrium.
Going by your username, I'm guessing a fellow Aussie...

This highlighted section immediately made me think about what was done to the Chamberlains, and I was wondering if you had that in mind too?

I can only imagine how bad that would have been if it occurred during the time of social media.

I can remember the rumours and lies being passed around by word-of-mouth, and how anyone who doubted gems like: "The baby's name means `sacrifice in the wilderness' " was treated like dirt by all and sundry.

I think this behaviour of attacking women for being not pure enough, and therefore nearby a crime, may go all the way back to the witch hunts.
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Old 16th April 2017, 10:47 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by novaphile
I think this behaviour of attacking women for being not pure enough and therefore nearby a crime may go all the way back to the witch hunts
I think you are being incredibly generous if you think it only goes back that far because I think it has existed for at least as long as civilisation has
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Old 16th April 2017, 10:51 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Going by your username, I'm guessing a fellow Aussie...

This highlighted section immediately made me think about what was done to the Chamberlains, and I was wondering if you had that in mind too?

I can only imagine how bad that would have been if it occurred during the time of social media.

I can remember the rumours and lies being passed around by word-of-mouth, and how anyone who doubted gems like: "The baby's name means `sacrifice in the wilderness' " was treated like dirt by all and sundry.

I think this behaviour of attacking women for being not pure enough, and therefore nearby a crime, may go all the way back to the witch hunts.
Yes, this would be a good example. The mods are quite strict that this paper can only be discussed in relation to the McCanns so we cannot go any further.
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Old 17th April 2017, 04:03 AM   #105
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Old 17th April 2017, 04:05 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
I feel a far tighter definition of terms is required here to frame this whole discussion.

I agree.

Quote:

The "traditional"* definition of internet trolling really has very little indeed to do with the sort of online harassment and accusation that has taken place within the online debate on the McCann case (and other notable cases). The traditional definition is simply of a person who, for want of a better term, "wades in" to any particular online discussion with the sole aim of disrupting that discussion and/or irritating/angering the other, sincere, participants in that discussion. The troll, in other words, has no sincere interest in the underlying matter under discussion/debate; rather, his/her aim to gain "enjoyment" and "fulfilment" out of disrupting the discussion/debate.

I think that the mass media, and indeed the team behind this academic study, have twisted the terms "troll" and "trolling" to define something very different indeed from the "traditional" definition (though the academics may deliberately be employing the definition that has been used in such an inflammatory way within the mass media).

<snip>


* Given the relatively young age of the internet and online discussion forums, I use the term "traditional" in context and advisedly.........

Probably a good idea.

Within the context of the Internet it might be appropriate to consider the original coinage of the term as it applies to message boards, and why it was coined.

It goes back to Usenet newsgroups, which in the early days were accessed primarily from university servers. The denizens were, not surprisingly, largely from a university community background and there was a certain shared sense of camaraderie based on this.

Each new school year a new crop of students gained access to the sundry universities' servers and from there to the Usenet newsgroups. ("Newbie" is another term that found its earliest Internet usage in the newsgroups.)

It was not uncommon for old-timers in certain newsgroups to temp some of the newcomers into a little bit of (mostly) harmlessly meant hazing .

From The Jargon File (which evolved into The Hacker's Dictionary);
Quote:
troll
1. v.,n. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase “trolling for newbies” which in turn comes from mainstream “trolling”, a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See also YHBT.


The way this was frequently done was to offer posts which would get the newbie to respond with statements that were obviously uninformed, generally about topics which had long been well hashed out and mostly settled among the newsgroup regulars.

Over time this developed into somewhat of an art form, with certain regular posters gaining minor reputations and maybe even a certain amount of approbation within some groups for their ability to elicit responses from new posters that made them look silly, or at the very least unprepared.

For the most part it wasn't meant to be mean, at least not any more than any other sort of light-hearted, non-physical hazing usually is. More of an initiation of sorts.

It was educational in some ways. It taught newcomers to read a newsgroup's F.A.Q., and stay quiet and learn a little about what was going on in a newsgroup before they jumped in with both feet in their mouth.

Also there was some hope that it would minimize irritation to the regulars from the flood of newbies that appeared every fall. Moderating their excesses until they learned some basic newsgroup etiquette.

Obviously this has mutated since those early days, and often trolling is much more vicious and ill-intended, but as you can see, the "traditional usage was not quite,

Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
simply of a person who, for want of a better term, "wades in" to any particular online discussion with the sole aim of disrupting that discussion and/or irritating/angering the other, sincere, participants in that discussion.

I think that is more than a bit limited.

I disagree that a troll necessarily,

Quote:
... has no sincere interest in the underlying matter under discussion/debate; rather, his/her aim to gain "enjoyment" and "fulfilment" out of disrupting the discussion/debate.
although this can certainly be true at times. But just as easily the person can quite sincerely believe what they are saying.

Even within more recent usages of the term it is the approach and style which are inflammatory, but not necessarily the sincerity or the intent.


There is a certain amount of prejudgement involved in assigning intent to someone's posts, and it is often too convenient to assume malicious intent and insincerity as part of a desire to dismiss that someone's comments.

It isn't "the mass media" or any other particular group that "... have twisted the terms "troll" and "trolling" to define something very different indeed from the "traditional" definition ....". The term has gradually morphed into an all-purpose pejorative which is often aimed by fervent advocates of some viewpoint at anyone insistent on disagreeing with them.

Along with all of its other past usages and accumulated meanings.

More than a little bit of that can be seen in this thread, where at least two participants are both accusing each other of "trolling".

Quote:
Perhaps a far more appropriate term for the sort of behaviour examined in this study is "online vigilantism", coupled with "online victim crusading". What one sees in the online debate about the McCann case (and other cases) is a cadre of individuals who have decided that they are "fighting for justice for the victim" in a case where they have also pre-decided that "justice" has not been done. And in order to seek "justice" for the victim, they embark upon a campaign of vilification, accusation, and (often) pretty vicious and sustained hate against those whom they have decided are the "culprits" who need to be brought to justice.

I tend to agree that the extremes of hostility and behavior being considered here are deserving of a different, more specific name, if only because I think "troll' tends to trivialize that behavior, and it should not be trivialized.


Quote:
I think that the McCann case shows very vividly that there is a new type of psychiatric behaviour disorder that has been greatly enabled by the internet (particularly "Web 2.0", with online forums/messageboards and other social media allowing anyone to broadcast his/her views to, effectively, the whole world). And I think that disorder should be most accurately described as "online vigilantism", where individuals decide to crusade for justice on behalf of a victim of crime, when they have decided that "justice" (in their own minds) has not been properly done.
I agree that a different term is in order, and I'm not uncomfortable with "online vigilantism". But I don't see it as anything particularly new, which is why "vigilantism" is appropriate. It's the same behavior. Taking place in a different venue doesn't make it qualitatively different.

It is mob mentality, which may help with the confusion some here are having with the idea of 'loners' and 'anarchists' working in concert. Vigilantes, lynch mobs, witch hunts, etc. aren't necessarily filled with people who hang out together all the time, just people who are hating the same thing at that particular moment.
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Old 17th April 2017, 06:13 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
I feel a far tighter definition of terms is required here to frame this whole discussion.

The "traditional"* definition of internet trolling really has very little indeed to do with the sort of online harassment and accusation that has taken place within the online debate on the McCann case (and other notable cases). The traditional definition is simply of a person who, for want of a better term, "wades in" to any particular online discussion with the sole aim of disrupting that discussion and/or irritating/angering the other, sincere, participants in that discussion. The troll, in other words, has no sincere interest in the underlying matter under discussion/debate; rather, his/her aim to gain "enjoyment" and "fulfilment" out of disrupting the discussion/debate.

I think that the mass media, and indeed the team behind this academic study, have twisted the terms "troll" and "trolling" to define something very different indeed from the "traditional" definition (though the academics may deliberately be employing the definition that has been used in such an inflammatory way within the mass media).

Perhaps a far more appropriate term for the sort of behaviour examined in this study is "online vigilantism", coupled with "online victim crusading". What one sees in the online debate about the McCann case (and other cases) is a cadre of individuals who have decided that they are "fighting for justice for the victim" in a case where they have also pre-decided that "justice" has not been done. And in order to seek "justice" for the victim, they embark upon a campaign of vilification, accusation, and (often) pretty vicious and sustained hate against those whom they have decided are the "culprits" who need to be brought to justice.

In the McCann case, there appears to be a small but vociferous group of individuals (and of course groupthink within their own discussion groups only serves to reinforce and validate their beliefs) who believe that the McCann parents were either directly or indirectly responsible for their daughter's disappearance (and presumed murder). And the strong, zealous psychological incentives and validations set up by the notion that they are "fighting for justice for Madeleine", coupled with the righteous anger that the McCann parents have "escaped justice", mean that they feel fully justified and "morally correct" in hounding the McCann parents online and writing the most disgusting and unsupported things about them.

I think that the McCann case shows very vividly that there is a new type of psychiatric behaviour disorder that has been greatly enabled by the internet (particularly "Web 2.0", with online forums/messageboards and other social media allowing anyone to broadcast his/her views to, effectively, the whole world). And I think that disorder should be most accurately described as "online vigilantism", where individuals decide to crusade for justice on behalf of a victim of crime, when they have decided that "justice" (in their own minds) has not been properly done. This gives them all the moral superiority and righteous anger to pursue those whom they deem to have "evaded justice", giving them (in their own minds) the total and perfect right to write abusive, vitriolic and often hate-filled accusations about those "justice evaders". The basis for those accusations is almost always flimsy at best, and non-existent at worst - what usually happens is that the community of like-minded believers builds a narrative of rationalisations, misinterpretations, pure suppositions, improper inferences, ignorant misinterpretations (especially of scientific matters pertaining to the case) and flat-out lies. And from that toxic mixture, a "support" for their beliefs is formed, which serves as a doctrine to be followed dogmatically. Of course it also serves, in a circular-thinking logical fallacy, as further support for their beliefs.


* Given the relatively young age of the internet and online discussion forums, I use the term "traditional" in context and advisedly.........

There might be some 'vigilantism' behaviour in those of an unhinged personality, which is true of any demographic, be it politics, religion, crime, celebrity fandom, which are not representative of the online community.

Social media in a way is an extension of 'chatting over the garden fence', meeting down the pub over a drink or joining a special interest group.

I can't see that the people who have a special interest in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are any different from any other group.

I do think that the McCanns' heavy-handed attempts to censor any discussion of the issue has not helped as, let's face it, it is a free country and Brits are stubbornly resistant to being told they are not allowed to express an opinion on something, should they wish (cf the Iraq war and Dr. Kelly).
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Old 17th April 2017, 06:31 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
It is possible that the evidence suggested they were trolls and labelling them as such would be him being impartial
That might be true, but more likely it is simply a knee jerk response to any suggestion that something other than 'an abduction' happened. The police believe from intricate forensic investigation Maddie died at the holiday appartment and that the 'abduction' was staged.

Since then the McCanns have gone to great lengths to censor any discussion of an alternative explanation to that of 'abduction by person/s unknown'.

This study was almost certainly designed to continue the view that anybody who was sceptical about the issues surrounding this mysterious case and who discussed these was a rampant personality disordered reprobate out to harass the parents. Whilst this undoubtedly will be true for a small handful, it hardly describes the Maddie community as a whole.

The persons targetted by Synott and his team, (who could be called 'trolls' themselves as their aim was to provoke the so-called 'anti-McCann trolls' [Synott's own label]) have formally complained to the BPS and Nature magazine, amongst others:

See details of complalnt and rebuttal here.


[extract]

Quote:
"15 A formal apology should be made via the #McCann hashtag in respect of the misinformation she introduced on that hashtag, namely falsely accusing McCann-doubters of *‘rejecting science’.

I am not a member of this 'community'. However, I would guess the science revolves around Synott's 'trolls' sending them tweets supposedly proving that cadaver dogs are not a reliable indicator of the presence of a cadaver.

In fact, AFAICS, the most damning evidence showed that they were wrong 20% of the time. IOW in the harshest studies, designed to particularly confound the dogs still showed them to be accurate 80% of the time.

In correlation statistics in psychology a correlation of 0.7 is considered not bad. (And in that case, the true correlation is just 49% - [0.7 x 0.7].)
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Old 17th April 2017, 06:37 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by NotEvenWrong View Post
Absolutely not trolling! At least not in and of itself.

Having an intellectually honest, truthful discussion with an honest attempt at getting the facts right, being willing to admit when you're wrong, changing your view when proven wrong -- this is all fine and if you start with a different view from the mass media (and science and the legal courts) no big deal. Heck, even if you REFUSE to change your mind when presented with irrefutable proof the other side is right, that still isn't trolling.

However, when a poster lies, tries to spread misinformation, posts antagonizing comments to try to disrupt discussion, presents themselves as a martyr, tries to get other people reprimanded and/or banned by the mods by baiting them (posting known falsehoods, subtle insults after being proven wrong, posting the *same thing* over and over and over again 100x over the course of almost a decade that has been refuted a hundred times over by actual published, scientific studies, etc), now THAT is trolling.

If you read some of these communities it is clear something is wrong. They don't get together to have legitimate discussion and get at the truth. They get together to attack and mob their target and their target's supporters. And they take it to the next level -- they try to target the victim's supporters in real life and there is at least one confirmed example of them trying to get the person fired from their job. They issue death threats to their target. No one in the community is opposed to any of this behavior.

So you have to understand when these kinds of people flood other forums (well, used to flood... not many of them left) under the guise of having an honest opinion that just so happens to differ from the mass media, and claim they are totally open to intellectual, honest discussion on the matter, people who are familiar with the situation are a bit skeptical. Then when they immediately start with the lies that have been disproven over and over again, it's pretty clear what is going on. They don't want discussion, they want attention. When other people get banned or reprimanded in some other way when they provoke and antagonize it makes them feel powerful that they have that kind of control. They don't come to forums, blogs, online articles, etc. to contribute to discussion and add value. They come to disrupt and create chaos. THAT is the *definition* of trolling.

So no, as to your original question, having a different opinion from the mass media is not trolling. How one goes about interacting with those who hold the opposing view determines whether it is trolling or not.

Side note: a huge red flag would be someone who is framing it as "mass media's" opinion, rather than the opinion of the legal courts and countless scientific publications on the matter. Empirical evidence and science based reasoning is considerably stronger than "mass media opinion". And if the individuals in question start saying the scientists were paid off by PR campaigns or Donald Trump (or whatever), well then you have a huge red flag for "trolling" rather than "just a different opinion, man".

Hope that helps clear up the distinction. Good thread though!
No person who does not have clear and full knowledge of what happened to the girl has any business publically posting about the case as all they have to offer is their uninformed opinion. Which is worth nothing. This applies to another case too. Possibly more. It is distressing/annoying/incompetence when people not where what happened happened, not directly involved in the investigation(s) and having no specific interactions with those involved directly in the case act/post/tweet as if they did.

I suspect that any psychologists/psychiatrists, unless directly working with persons involved in the case, have any reason other than looking for self-aggrandizement/publicity to comment on same!!!!!
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Old 17th April 2017, 08:06 AM   #110
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Mod WarningThe topic of this thread is not the actual disappearance but the reaction on line to it. Keep to that topic. You are of course free to start a thread about the disappearance itself.
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Old 17th April 2017, 08:34 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
That might be true, but more likely it is simply a knee jerk response to any suggestion that something other than 'an abduction' happened. The police believe from intricate forensic investigation Maddie died at the holiday appartment and that the 'abduction' was staged.

Since then the McCanns have gone to great lengths to censor any discussion of an alternative explanation to that of 'abduction by person/s unknown'.

This study was almost certainly designed to continue the view that anybody who was sceptical about the issues surrounding this mysterious case and who discussed these was a rampant personality disordered reprobate out to harass the parents. Whilst this undoubtedly will be true for a small handful, it hardly describes the Maddie community as a whole.

The persons targetted by Synott and his team, (who could be called 'trolls' themselves as their aim was to provoke the so-called 'anti-McCann trolls' [Synott's own label]) have formally complained to the BPS and Nature magazine, amongst others:

See details of complalnt and rebuttal here.


[extract]




I am not a member of this 'community'. However, I would guess the science revolves around Synott's 'trolls' sending them tweets supposedly proving that cadaver dogs are not a reliable indicator of the presence of a cadaver.

In fact, AFAICS, the most damning evidence showed that they were wrong 20% of the time. IOW in the harshest studies, designed to particularly confound the dogs still showed them to be accurate 80% of the time.

In correlation statistics in psychology a correlation of 0.7 is considered not bad. (And in that case, the true correlation is just 49% - [0.7 x 0.7].)
I think I can spot a problem with this web site.

The main poster uses a name 'Get'emGonçalo' referencing the detective who tried to commercialise the case by selling a book based on his work whilst he was in the police. In most police forces there is a duty of confidentiality concerning on-going investigations. (This does not cease on leaving the police.) The poster also has the tag line 'I'm not saying Gerry McCann is obsessed with what comes out in the media but Kim Jong-un thinks he needs to lighten up a bit.'

Now I think Madeleine McCann is dead, but if she was my child I would keep hope alive, there have been rare cases of abducted children being kept for many years. I do not think that having a throw away comment about the father of an abducted child comparing him to a dictator is fair comment on the case. <SNIP>

I note that they have a thread linking Gerry McCann to people involved in the Pizzagate Paedophile ring.

Has there been a response to the anti-McCann complaints? This bears certain similarities to the behaviour of some posters in another case where academics who had the temerity to publish on errors in the investigation had a series of complaints made about them to various authorities in an attempt to silence them. For all the talk about free speech the complaints to publishers, professional bodies and university employers seems intended to discourage opposing views to the anti-McCann view point.

Edited by Locknar:  Edited, breach of rule 12.

Last edited by Locknar; 18th April 2017 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 17th April 2017, 10:07 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Edited by Locknar:  Moderated content removed.

Completely untrue.


The parents do not believe she is a 'murdered child'.


For the avoidance of doubt, I think it is perfectly fair to discuss the case, contrary to the views of Synott and his team.
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Old 17th April 2017, 01:56 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Completely untrue.


The parents do not believe she is a 'murdered child'.


For the avoidance of doubt, I think it is perfectly fair to discuss the case, contrary to the views of Synott and his team.
But you do?

Edited to add.

In the hypothetical instance that Madeleine McCann is dead (as I believe is likely), do you think that harassing and insulting the parents of a murdered child is acceptable?

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Old 17th April 2017, 04:42 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
But you do?

Edited to add.

In the hypothetical instance that Madeleine McCann is dead (as I believe is likely), do you think that harassing and insulting the parents of a murdered child is acceptable?
Are you asking me, 'When did you stop beating your wife?'

Your question is a singularly stupid one.

I have already informed you I do not answer hypothetical questions.
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Old 17th April 2017, 05:18 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
But you do?

Edited to add.

In the hypothetical instance that Madeleine McCann is dead (as I believe is likely), do you think that harassing and insulting the parents of a murdered child is acceptable?

But of course those who are engaged in this nasty "online vigilantism" behaviour directed at the McCann parents believe that the McCann parents themselves bear significant responsibility (either directly, or indirectly including a cover-up) for what happened to their daughter. So from the (warped and totally unsubstantiated) perspective of such individuals/groups, it probably is acceptable for them to be harassing and insulting the McCann parents.

This in fact speaks to the very essence of the problem/phenomenon/disorder, in my opinion. IMO, in the minds of the individuals who are conducting these "crusades for justice" (on behalf of the victim, onto whom they so often project their own personal issues, shortcomings, bitterness, anger at the world, feelings of helplessness and underappreciation, and desires for vengeance....), they have arrived at the (almost without exception) misguided, unsupported and unfair belief that a) they have identified the "real" perpetrator(s), and b) these "real" perpetrator(s) have so far "evaded justice". And this, in and of itself, gives such individuals - and the groups into which they often coalesce (which in turn serve as echo chambers which reinforce and validate their belief system) - all the moral and ethical justification they need to make the most vile, nasty and persistent (and utterly unsupported and unjustified) accusations against those who they've decided "really did it".

It's a (not so) clever mental sleight-of-hand, where the individuals and/or groups can on the one hand pretend to be acting as responsible, professional investigative citizen-journalists (where (in their own minds) their dogged, persistent never-give-up-despite-the-powerful-forces-of-evil-set-out-against-them approach is admirable and fair; while on the other hand they can (in their own minds, again) tell themselves they are fighting a crusade on behalf of a victim who may no longer be able to speak up for himself/herself - again while (in their own minds, once again) battling constant attempts to thwart and attack their righteous crusade from these nebulous "powerful forces" who for one reason or another (in their own minds.....) are "protecting" the "real perpetrator(s)".

I have, for an extremely long time, stated (on many occasions, and within this forum) that the sort of sociological/psychiatric phenomenon I'm describing here - and the one which is studied in the paper at the heart of this thread - is both fascinating and disturbing, and that it's one which is worthy of serious academic and/or medical study. I'm interested to see that the first such studies have now started to happen, and I strongly suspect that there will be a lot more work done in this area by academic and psychiatric/psychological researchers.

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Old 18th April 2017, 12:14 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Are you asking me, 'When did you stop beating your wife?'

Your question is a singularly stupid one.

I have already informed you I do not answer hypothetical questions.
For someone who started this thread you seem reluctant to discuss the ideas in this thread.

You refuse to condemn the specific harassing of the parents in the McCann case on the grounds that they hope their child is alive, though I am not sure that harassing the parents of an abducted child is morally different. You refuse to condemn the general instance in this thread.

You defend the practice of posters to label those who present opposing facts as shills without evidence. Something that appears to be a cognitive defence so that facts contrary to their beliefs can be ignored. You appear to believe that the McCanns run a massive PR campaign that can cause the research in this paper to be carried out, thus making the authors shills.

You defend the right of the anti-McCann posters to freedom of speech, but do not condemn their attempts to silence those with opposing views.

I guess that in answer to the question you posed in this thread is that you do not recognise the behaviour of the anti-McCanns as what is defined in Synnott's paper as 'trolling' therefore you do not agree with the conclusions of this paper.
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Old 18th April 2017, 12:24 AM   #117
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The web site that Vixen previously pointed to,

Today has a post including this statement'

"Kate was willing to commit murder by killing the twins and gerry before killing herself so they could all be together again with Maddie.
This would be only possible if she knew Maddie was dead otherwise she commits murder-suicide and leaves Maddie an orphan."

"Maddie is dead at their hands.
They concealed her body.
They filed a false police report.
The fund is fraudulent since it is based on their claim Maddie is alive when they have told us often that Maddie is dead.
They perjured themselves in the Leveson Inquiry.
They were not cleared of involvement by the PJ in relation to Maddie's 'disappearance'
Sexual abuse is likely to have occurred based on the mccanns own language which would explain why they could not allow an autopsy to take place."

This is an unsolved crime so to some extent all views are hypothetical, but the certainty of these posts and the targeting of the parents is an example of what I think fits with Synnott's use of troll.
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Old 18th April 2017, 03:44 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
But of course those who are engaged in this nasty "online vigilantism" behaviour directed at the McCann parents believe that the McCann parents themselves bear significant responsibility (either directly, or indirectly including a cover-up) for what happened to their daughter. So from the (warped and totally unsubstantiated) perspective of such individuals/groups, it probably is acceptable for them to be harassing and insulting the McCann parents.

This in fact speaks to the very essence of the problem/phenomenon/disorder, in my opinion. IMO, in the minds of the individuals who are conducting these "crusades for justice" (on behalf of the victim, onto whom they so often project their own personal issues, shortcomings, bitterness, anger at the world, feelings of helplessness and underappreciation, and desires for vengeance....), they have arrived at the (almost without exception) misguided, unsupported and unfair belief that a) they have identified the "real" perpetrator(s), and b) these "real" perpetrator(s) have so far "evaded justice". And this, in and of itself, gives such individuals - and the groups into which they often coalesce (which in turn serve as echo chambers which reinforce and validate their belief system) - all the moral and ethical justification they need to make the most vile, nasty and persistent (and utterly unsupported and unjustified) accusations against those who they've decided "really did it".

It's a (not so) clever mental sleight-of-hand, where the individuals and/or groups can on the one hand pretend to be acting as responsible, professional investigative citizen-journalists (where (in their own minds) their dogged, persistent never-give-up-despite-the-powerful-forces-of-evil-set-out-against-them approach is admirable and fair; while on the other hand they can (in their own minds, again) tell themselves they are fighting a crusade on behalf of a victim who may no longer be able to speak up for himself/herself - again while (in their own minds, once again) battling constant attempts to thwart and attack their righteous crusade from these nebulous "powerful forces" who for one reason or another (in their own minds.....) are "protecting" the "real perpetrator(s)".

I have, for an extremely long time, stated (on many occasions, and within this forum) that the sort of sociological/psychiatric phenomenon I'm describing here - and the one which is studied in the paper at the heart of this thread - is both fascinating and disturbing, and that it's one which is worthy of serious academic and/or medical study. I'm interested to see that the first such studies have now started to happen, and I strongly suspect that there will be a lot more work done in this area by academic and psychiatric/psychological researchers.

Is the type of 'vigilanticism' you describe applicable to those who agree with you, or only to those who do not?
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Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834
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Old 18th April 2017, 03:52 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
For someone who started this thread you seem reluctant to discuss the ideas in this thread.

You refuse to condemn the specific harassing of the parents in the McCann case on the grounds that they hope their child is alive, though I am not sure that harassing the parents of an abducted child is morally different. You refuse to condemn the general instance in this thread.

You defend the practice of posters to label those who present opposing facts as shills without evidence. Something that appears to be a cognitive defence so that facts contrary to their beliefs can be ignored. You appear to believe that the McCanns run a massive PR campaign that can cause the research in this paper to be carried out, thus making the authors shills.

You defend the right of the anti-McCann posters to freedom of speech, but do not condemn their attempts to silence those with opposing views.

I guess that in answer to the question you posed in this thread is that you do not recognise the behaviour of the anti-McCanns as what is defined in Synnott's paper as 'trolling' therefore you do not agree with the conclusions of this paper.
Stop putting words in my mouth. I have never condoned harassment of any sort.

However, I have seen no evidence at all that the so-called 'anti-McCann trolls' (as labelled by Dr Synott) are any different from any other demographic.

ISTM they have been labelled trolls because the McCanns do not want the case discussed.

I don't see how they can stop people from talking about it.

AFAIAC a fact is a fact. If this is so, then the fact that someone is a doctor, should not prevent any aforesaid fact from being freely discussed.

Why was it OK to discuss, say Shannon Matthews disappearance, but not the McCanns?
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3. So long Thy pow’r has blest me, sure it still
Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834

Last edited by Vixen; 18th April 2017 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 18th April 2017, 04:17 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
The web site that Vixen previously pointed to,

Today has a post including this statement'

"Kate was willing to commit murder by killing the twins and gerry before killing herself so they could all be together again with Maddie.
This would be only possible if she knew Maddie was dead otherwise she commits murder-suicide and leaves Maddie an orphan."

"Maddie is dead at their hands.
They concealed her body.
They filed a false police report.
The fund is fraudulent since it is based on their claim Maddie is alive when they have told us often that Maddie is dead.
They perjured themselves in the Leveson Inquiry.
They were not cleared of involvement by the PJ in relation to Maddie's 'disappearance'
Sexual abuse is likely to have occurred based on the mccanns own language which would explain why they could not allow an autopsy to take place."

This is an unsolved crime so to some extent all views are hypothetical, but the certainty of these posts and the targeting of the parents is an example of what I think fits with Synnott's use of troll.

The website I pointed to was to refer to a copy of the complaint one of the targetted 'anti-McCann trolls' (as labelled by Dr Synott) has sent to Nature magazine, BPS and others.

In it they set out why they object to Dr Synott's psychology experiment wherein he and his team set up false twitter accounts and targetted the 'trolls' with material claiming cadaver dogs were unreliable and gauging the 'trolls' reactions to this provocation, which by definition is trolling by Dr Synott himself. Having got a rise out of their targets, they then deleted their twitter accounts, failed to disclose their experiment to their targets, together with their findings, and then wrote up a 'scientific study' claiming that 'anti-McCann trolls' were psychopaths and mentally disturbed.

As this breaches the BPS own code of ethics (think about it: should you entice people you believe to be mentally unhinged criminals to engage in such acts you want to accuse them of? Look what happened to the 'Secret Sheik' hack who tried to entice popstar Tulisa's bodyguard to buy cocaine, had her arrested and then wrote a shame and tell article for NOTW - he was jailed for perverting the course of justice, and the trial against Tulisa dropped), then I would argue, Dr Synott's studies are little more than Dr Synott's personal opinion, rather than anything scientific.

In psychology, you are supposed to have controls. Did he run a control group, for example, are the people discussing the McCanns statistically different from those, say, discussing the Steven Avery case?

This isn't really about whether you are prejudiced against people with Portuguese names ('Goncalo Amaral'), presumably you would be OK if it said 'Go John Smith'.

ISTM you have picked out selective quotes from people expressing an opinion on a forum or as 'comments', but even the DAILY MAIL and the GUARDIAN attract 'off the wall' 'comments' after their articles.
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3. So long Thy pow’r has blest me, sure it still
Wilt lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. ~ John Newman 1834

Last edited by Vixen; 18th April 2017 at 04:31 AM.
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