Among those cheering on the hate-trollers were Roger Stone, Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec, Cassandra Fairbanks, and conspiracist-in-chief, Alex Jones.
This overshadows the cadre of people who INITIATE & coordinate the flow of info & how their narratives, built over time, influence how we see politics, ourselves, and the world around us.
It gives order to the deluge of info we see.
Around it, bot armies and human amplification networks can be organized, wiped out, reconstituted, and armed for attack.
Terrorism: "the unlawful use of violence, intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims"
So if the foo shits...
This cadre has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media who will amplify their views even after they are kicked off the platforms for threats and rules violations.
The cadre coalesced and sharpened its edge here before throwing in with then-candidate Trump.
It has promoted toxic conspiracies like Pizzagate & QAnon & was ever-present around movements from Unite the Right to #/releasethememo.
GOAL? Discredit/silence her using the same tactics they have deployed to discredit and silence others over the past few years.
Ultimately, the followers—who are real people, not bots—are cultivated and activated: They don’t need be told to threaten or harass whoever the new enemy is because they already know their part in the play.
The feedback within this network is a form of radicalization and extremism.
It was a magnet for other fringe elements, incl white nationalists, anti-feminists, Nazis & dude-bros who use terms like "shit-posting" as a compliment.
His celebrity had just reached its peak, and he swaggered into the Cleveland GOP Convention continually reassuring people he wasn't a white nationalist. He wore his twitter exile as a badge of honor.
2013, she was an Occupy/anti-rape activist
2015, she spent months in Ferguson w BLM
She got the attn of Russian Sputnik, for which she became a writer in 2015.
2016, just before Cleveland, she was all about DT, using her platform to convince other Bernie supporters to come with her
Fairbanks was the perfect "horseshoe"—bridging left & right anti-govt sentiments & aligning them behind DT
The story published in the wake of Johnson's efforts became the pretext for the FBI's access to Weiner's computer—🙄
Summer 2016, a central group of actors was fueling conspiracies to attack HC & these were amplified by GRU information ops targeting America.
But—his followers believed it & rallied at the WH after Jones renounced it
That the mass arrest is coming any day now, when people will be rounded up in the abandoned Walmarts or maybe GITMO or whatever; and that Mueller is in on it, because the Russia investigation is just cover for the investigation of the sex traffickers...
May 2018, Infowars and the others in the Stone cadre started urgently denouncing QAnon, saying it had been "hijacked" by the deep-state.
A small number of important actors can drive the system as long as they have the right content to distribute—content that triggers the right *emotional response*
Rape isn't a myth for them if you are a Democrat.
Stone helped deflect DT assault allegations by bringing Clinton's accusers to a debate.
▪demonize the opponent
▪activate the base around emotional rather than rational concepts
▪build a narrative that can be used to normalize marginal/radical political views
Alex Jones made a joke of the whole thing, with Infowars saying Blasey Ford is a "leftist" whose accusations were a "political ploy."
Stone: "This is a woman looking for her Anita Hill moment."
And ICYMI, #MarkJudge, has a long history of interaction with this core network.
Judge may seem marginal—but their role in building these networks is important when suddenly worlds they come from are involved in events like the accusations DrFord has leveled in the midst of SCOTUS confirm battle
Its gist: mistaken id of perpetrator
Whelan transformed it into a bonkers Twitterverse conspiracy theory.
Everybody wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves
Everybody wants someone to tell them what to do so that things will turn out OK.
Conspiracy theories aren't something that stupid or uneducated people fall for—*they are something that people who want to believe in something latch on to.*
We are beginning to see the cost of this—but now the question is:
Who will pay?
But what about domestic forces that use the same tools and tactics?