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PM for users of online forums/fora/social media

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PM. Not private message. Preventive medicine. Think of what follows as inoculation against forum and related maladies.

In this age of trolls, paid internet shills, sophisticated data mining, agents in chat rooms, unacknowledged psychological testing by FB, cyber stalking, disinformation and worse from multiple sources, the best defense is awareness. Of understanding what's being done, why it's being done and, by learning to spot it, thwart it, all or in part.

If there's good news here, it's that generally our BFC Forums don't usually go into areas which would attract unwanted attention, but I have seen concern expressed here that our frequent grog discussions about ordnance and weapon effects might already have some of us as items of interest to security organs. I think, too, given the diverse geographic and other backgrounds of our Members, that may also factor in, especially if governments see things online they don't like while we're simply having our customary wide ranging discussions.

As I say, the issues raised are more applicable to online situations not here, yet who among us doesn't operate in other online venues and/or social media--or have loved ones in the same boat? More and more people who lived wildly and posted their pics, vids and personal stuff online are coming to rue their lack of restraint, doubtless fueled at the time by alcohol and other drugs. What we leave online can now affect things like who gets hired, who gets promoted, who gets fired if something scandalous from one's online past surfaces, who gets let go if the company downsizes. What we say, do and present to the world online can have similar effects on those around us. Guilt by association. An innocent blurt can haunt the utterer decades into the future, too.

With the above in mind, I present a link to an array of resources on how our own online venues and other means are being used against us for governmental, commercial reasons and private reasons. Am very glad someone sent me this.


And I speak as someone who's seen the hostile techniques discussed at the link used to cause everything from mere annoyance to so disrupting a site it ceases to function as an online gathering place for like minds, having been jammed, if you will, to the point where online interpersonal exchanges become effectively impossible. I've seen such activities drive once vocal posters into intimidated silence and others, unable to take online savaging anymore, publicly announce they're leaving that particular forum. Some of that intimidation has, for personal reasons/excuses/justifications of some, happened here in CM Landâ„¢, with the result that we permanently lost a few to bans and others are on, to use the wonderful "Animal House" term, double triple secret probation.

People have been driven to kill themselves as a result of merciless cyber bullying and, though I don't recall offhand, I believe there've also been various crimes committed after being incited online.

The overall issue is quite serious, and if we don't get on the ball soon, it will only continue to worsen. Here is your personal countermeasure system.


John Kettler

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