Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter

By Michael Snyder, End of the American Dream.

Troll Warning - Photo by GilHave you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll?  Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.  If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse.

In the UK, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) is a specialized unit within the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).  If it wasn’t for Edward Snowden, we probably still would never have heard of them.  This particular specialized unit is engaged in some very “questionable” online activities.  The following is an excerpt from a recent piece by Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in “dirty tricks” like deploying sexual “honey traps” designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online.

We are told that JTRIG only uses these techniques to go after the “bad guys”.

But precisely who are the “bad guys”?

It turns out that their definition of who the “bad guys” are is quite broad.  Here is more from Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

JTRIG’s domestic and law enforcement operations are made clear. The report states that the controversial unit “currently collaborates with other agencies” including the Metropolitan police, Security Service (MI5), Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Border Agency, Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and National Public Order and Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The document highlights that key JTRIG objectives include “providing intelligence for judicial outcomes”; monitoring “domestic extremist groups such as the English Defence League by conducting online HUMINT”; “denying, deterring or dissuading” criminals and “hacktivists”; and “deterring, disrupting or degrading online consumerism of stolen data or child porn.”

Particularly disturbing to me is the phrase “domestic extremist groups”.  What does someone have to say or do to be considered an “extremist”?  For example, the English Defence League is a non-violent street protest movement in the UK that is strongly against the spread of radical Islam and sharia law in the UK.  So if they are “extremists”, how many millions upon millions of ordinary citizens in the United States would fit that definition?

When conducting operations against “extremists”, psychology-based influence techniques are among the tools that JTRIG uses to combat them online.  The following comes from one of the documents that was posted by Greenwald and Fishman…

Psychology-Based Influence Techniques

In other words, these government trolls try to mess with people’s minds.

And here is another document that was posted by Greenwald and Fishman that talks about how JTRIG uses YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to accomplish their goals…

Government Trolls

It is very disturbing to think that some of the people that we may be interacting with on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are actually paid government agents that are purposely trying to feed us propaganda and misinformation.

And of course this kind of thing does not just happen in the United Kingdom.  In Canada, it has been publicly admitted that the government uses paid trolls to warp Internet discourse.  The following comes from Natural News

You’ve probably run into them before — those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet “trolls” or “shills,” who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion.

Several years ago, Canada’s CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply “weighing in and correcting” allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police.

You can actually watch a video news report about what is happening up in Canada right here.

Needless to say, the U.S. government is also engaged in this kind of activity as well.  For instance, the U.S. government has actually been caught manipulating discourse on Reddit and editing Wikipedia.  When it comes to spying, there is nobody that is off limits for our spooks.  It just came out recently that we even spied on three French presidents, and they are supposed to be our “friends”.

And just like the UK, the U.S. government has a very broad definition of “extremists”.  This has especially been true since Barack Obama has been in the White House.  If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.

All of this is very disturbing to me.  Why can’t they just leave us alone and let us talk to one another?  Why do they have to spy on everything that we do and purposely try to manipulate public discourse?  Why do they have to be such control freaks?

What do you think?  Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…


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  • bobjonesxvii

    great post

  • Let the tactic used against truth become the revealer of truth. Truth has no need to persuade, being the willingness to extend communication without coercive agenda.
    Jesus met this tactic and set an example worthy of recognizing. For the deceiver operates to delay, deter, disrupt or deny communication taking place. One cannot force communication or make anyone listen, but one can let the situation be one in which to teach. First of all; oneself. Teach who you truly are instead of being baited into reacting in teaching fear and division. Practice makes perfect. Let your willingness be a gift to all involved with no strings attached. The shining of true willingness is the very thing the deception is seeking to deny – but secretly to feed off.
    Schopenhauer noted 28 tactics to ‘win’ an argument that are tricks to delay, deter, disrupt or deny communication taking place, and of course they use the FORM of communication to mask hidden agenda. Many study these to acquire the dark arts as if winning is meaningful and truth meaningless – and so that is what they teach and learn. But one can learn to discern and not choose to use the deceits of false communication ESPECIALLY in our self – and thus be aware of them in others from a clear perspective.
    The core gist of my own writing online is to link the outer reflection or experience with the inner correspondences of our own consciousness; our own often unconscious but no less actively fearful or self invalidating core beliefs or definitions.
    A willingness for truth cannot be a wilfulness to force truths upon others – as if truth is a weapon in a war. Truth is a communication of a Peace. Hence the first casualty of a war-mind is truth itself.
    Self-attack kept secret and false flagged – is a foundation of a war-minded consciousness. A mind at war with itself. I suggest this is at the very root of our human conditioning in ways we would not imagine or expect because our mind was made to look always away. That was its ‘job’. But the disintegration of the masking of deceits and coercive agenda opens a shift to an integrative mind.
    Recognizing and acting in accord with what is true of you rather than being framed into reactive identifiction against a hate, fear or shame, is the very nature of the choice that false choices are designed to hide.

  • diogenes

    As a list of topics said to be raised by commenters said to be potential covert operative trolls, ” illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine” is rather peculiar. Are we to regard these issues as beyond discussion or as indicative of “extremist” tendencies? Something smells strange here.

  • david t. krall

    I;m not sure But I suspect I was on the “receiving line” of such “behavior” about 3 weeks ago, in attempting to discuss what I perceived the odd-ball, contradictory and conflicting discrepancies regarding the public narrative of the (supposed) bicycle accident that resulted in a (supposed) broken femur.of John Kerry…My attempt to analyze what took place was based solly and completely on the public narrative and the way it was explained to the press. This attempt by me resulted in my view that what we were told was not true, since we (you and I) were never told anything by anybody and no media was ever near Mr. Kerry for several days, and even now, his “visual” on the news is very limited, and no (media ) was really ever seen near or close to him…I brought this light via several posts somewhere else and the individual who attempted to engage in the discussion with me made erroneous statements about Mr. Kerry’s known rank in the US gov. succession and chain of command, mocked my insights,to the point where I felt I was being “baited” or “pushed” to say something inappropriate. But alas I kept my cool, and respectful demeanor even to the point of me noting a few times pointing that I was not part of any discussion regarding some of her comments, ergo, since no information was known (or still known) to respond to or about., since no pubic reports or official statements were ever made this person knowledge and statements of what happened that were made, presumed to know the extent of Mr. Kerry’s injuries, even tho that was impossible to know, and / but never really responded to any questions I asked or even specifically addressed what I believed was being actually said and “not” said…which was based solly on the public narrative…this person behaved like a provocative troll, a school-yard “bully” aka a web-site bully…a gov. troll? who knows?…I sure sensed a cleaver poly to “bait” me…I wouldn’t be surprised…certainly a troll either way…

    • gamesjon

      +david t. krall One thing that kinda sucks about the
      net is the the rampant trolling that occurs non-government related makes
      it all the more difficult determine if it was related to a government.
      I’ve had a times something similar has happened to me, but I always feel
      as though when that happens it helps our side more than theirs
      (assuming of course people don’t start insulting them or anything and
      just stays calm and courteous). Most regular people from what I’ve seen
      are somewhat good at identifying the side if it alone is constantly
      ignoring what is being said, is just insulting and rude, etc.. if they
      don’t just see 1 side of the issues like what we get in/on American
      media outlets.

      I know that this article more than almost any other is not the best one
      to take issue with any points made due to the subject matter :P. That
      being said, “English Defence League is a non-violent street protest
      movement in the
      UK that is strongly against the spread of radical Islam and sharia law
      in the UK” seriously?

      Granted I definitely don’t believe that
      every single member is involved in extremist activities, but even the
      founder left EDL citing it had become too extreme. I mean I know that
      many (if not all) the leaders or spokespeople always emphasize it is
      targeted towards Islamic extremists and it is non-violent, but a number
      of rank-and-file members are pretty anti-anything Islamic with violent
      tendencies. I don’t know enough to make claims about what the original
      intent truly was or anything, but even assuming that it was created with
      the intent they claim organizations are defined by the behavior of its
      members not the intent on its creators. Unfortunately, even if only a
      few people do things that stick in people’s memories their behavior will
      become the group’s behavior unless that group is vigilant in condemning
      its members’ who do such things and have at least the appearance of
      trying to prevent these types of people from becoming members instead of
      just seeming to react to negative press after the fact. Like +binra
      said “truth has no need to persuade” and it is even more important for
      people, of the type that come to sites like this, to not discredit
      themselves or others by even the smallest embellishment or glossing over
      of facts.

      • david t. krall

        to/reply to gamesjon

        Great points…Thank you, and thanks for the insights/perspectives…
        The quote you mentioned above is awesome, “truth has no need to persuade.”
        I really like that !!! Kind of like “having the last word…” I learned and realized a longtime ago, where your’re “talking” WITH (not AT ot to, but WITH) another person,

        Thanks for the insights ! Enjoy your day…

  • (1975) CIA Admits Using News To Manipulate the USA

    This is an old clip showing admittance of the CIA that they use the mainstream media to manipulate the thoughts and ideas of American citizens in the USA. This has not changed obviously and is good to know it happened in the past due to our reality today.

    • david t. krall

      Awesome ! Good stuff…Don’t you just love it when Colby is asked about DIRECT use and influence of US intelligence Agencies on U.S. news and U.S. news outlets?,,,,And he has to look over to his CIA council / lawyer sitting next to him, and ask in a whisper, to make sure he can tell the truth and “how to say it”…and in response to a simple/basic question with “…I think we’re getting into areas that should be discussed or addressed in Executive Session”. (my para-phrase). I can assume, such a reply to those 2 questions, spoke for itself and was an
      oblique and “veiled” YES….I suggest a “Face The Nation ” show/episode from the Summer of 1975 ( or perhaps 1976?) when Sen. Frank Church appeared and with a very clear look of caution, apprehension, and some measured remorse..made a chilling NOTICE…& warned the American People about the danger, intrusion and destruction of privacy AND democracy when he stated & all but admitted that he became aware, thru his investigations, hearings and his position of the capabilities and its growing “temptations: of a US police state from what he “saw, read and heard” via testimony and reports. He seemed very, very concerned that the American people would never be free of this surveillance and its power “once it was loose”…and this was 40 years ago !!!
      I don’t know if this is on you tube….but I need to look and see…

      • david t. krall

        FYI as a follow-up/more data here: …
        also check out any videos and books by John Stockwell…a former heavily experienced covert ops specialist….he called this level of surveillance and domestic spying “The Beast”…Sen Church may have alluded to this “name” or moniker if not directly stating it, on the above referenced “FACE THE NATION” show or another news show (perhaps on NBC’s “Meet The Press”, ABC’s “Issues And Answers”, etc.)…
        David T. Krall

      • Leo News

        Who’s Pushing the Gay Marriage Agenda & Why?
        …just sharing.

  • Libertybelle

    If governments were not such fascist mobsters themselves they wouldn’t have to be looking over their shoulders. They are guilty and they know it and that is why they turn the people into the enemy. But the governemnts are the enemy of the people. That is why they are paranoid of the people.

    • david t. krall

      SO true !!! Good point ! it does not always start that way, BUT IT SURELY ALWAYS ENDS THAT WAY, right? ….either by a revolution, major/mega exposures (“wake-up calls”) or when the bad guys really take it to the highest level and an overt dictatorship becomes apparent and then “visible” before it is too late for a population to realize and fight back…this is the way or ways of the world since the beginning !

      • Libertybelle


        • david t. krall

          Years ago, there was an awesome radio talk host named Irv Homer, who was neither “left” nor “right:…he questioned Everybody’s agenda…and used common sense..e.g. today he’d (probably) be BOTH Hillary’s and Jeb’s “case” and ripping them both apart and would probably say “why is it, (?) as if, “in stone” that Hillary and Jeb already won their nominations? That’s an insult to all of us…hard to vote’m out if “somebodies” already “got them in”. He’d probably voice the feeling that Hillary would be easier to “watch”, since it’s hard to watch somebody when their always starting wars, scaring you and spying on you. ALL at the same !- which is what the nuts behind Jeb, his brother (“43”) and his Father (“41”) wanted and did…I remember him “joking” in a subtle way about the Invasion of Panama by “41” and “yelling” on the radio…”don’t drink the water Manny !”…in reference to former Panama Pres. Manuel Noriega who was jailed after Bush had Panama invaded and Noriega was jailed under some BS “excuse” . Noriega did indeed, soon have “health problems”! . Noriega just happened to also be the major pipeline (but not the only one) and conduit for the drug/cocaine “exchange” aka a BIGGER pipeline to and from US intelligence agencies, the Latin America Drug Cartels and exiled Nicaraguan extremists “freedom fighters”. Noriega was soon dropping “hints” in the press about this deep “arrangement” and “understanding” (a similar and pre-ISIS like theater/scenario of tension and duplicity, just like another pre-ISIS “template” or overlay involving even a MUCH larger (our own) “Jihad” against Castro/Cuba involving huge/massive US CIA/DoD operations like “Mongoose” and JM/Wave, and it’s “recruitment”, blowback and disposal “problems” in Latin America–sound familiar???) Irv said many times we, in the US and all people around the world who love freedom everywhere are being ‘slowly cooked” (lied, deceived, manipulated) like a dog or frog, where the water isn’t hot at first but cool, comfortable, then warm, slowly getting hotter and hotter, where the dog or frog NEVER jumps out, and then its “too late”… to “jump out”
          That is a good analogy to what has been happening in this nation for a long time !!!

          • david t. krall

            Regardless what ones’ (mine, your’s or others’) views / opinions are of Donald Trump and just like “looking down and and over” a situation as it is playing out, it’s dynamic, it’s unfolding and present circumstances, and potentials & possibilities, and as a keen student of history.. if events continue in this consistent path & Donald Trump continues to gain even wider support and popularity, in polls and wins, or comes in a strong second in either or 1, 2 or even 3 of the first 3 MAJOR political contest of 2016 for the Republican nomination, I would say the Bush/neo-con network has a ” lot of work” to do and totally underestimated Mr. Trump, his name and “branding”, his voice and independent streak and most importantly his independent wealth (BIG BIG $$$’s) coupled with his candidacy…This is a BIG deal and a major HEADACHE for the crazed and VERY (!) well connected neo-con crowd around and behind Jeb Bush, as these guys play hard,( REAL HARD) when pushed and are cleaver/devious enough to know when, where and how to hit “below the belt”, “near” it, or deeply above it, as part of their play-book, skill-set, and strategy to destroy, belittle, marginalize, discredit or “remove” their rivals and enemies. If anyone doubts or does not believe these “things” happen in or within the politics of any nation, culture or civilization, PAST, PRESENT or FUTURE they are living in a dream world, and are extremely delusional and suffer from or lacking in cognitive skills, mental clarity, faculty use and no knowledge of history. Even recent history. IF–IF this “headache” gets “worse” I can only ponder if Mr. Trump, should consider NOT “walking thru any kitchen pantries” or “riding or standing in any open cars”….Consider the odd comment a few days ago, without (intentional) elaboration or specific references by Chuck Todd (NBC/MSNBC) about “Mr Trump’s subscribing to every possible conspiracy theory on the internet”…What was Todd referring to? He didn’t say….and I find it interesting that today, in the very opening of his speech in Las Vegas, he, Trump “tipped his his hat” and saluted Rand Paul, a fellow candidate and rival. Rand Paul, and it must be known to, and NOT lost on, Mr. Trump, Rand Paul is a SEVERE, CAUSTIC critic of the neo-con agenda and their “thirst” and ‘hunger” war and surveillance …He even mentioned that they have golfed together… and recently, Ted Cruz, another rival saluted Trump. THIS IS NOT LOST ON THE BUSH CAMPAIGN, NOR THEIR SPONSORS, BACKERS AND ASSOCIATES, as to where things and events might (very well) be headed…..This unforeseen and unanticipated “headache” does appear to be “growing”…Mr. Trump is carrying out a strategy that appears to be taking immediate short term risk and heat and “eating up the clock” and with sheer bravado and very intentional “self-congratulatory” remarks in taking a “Mohammed-Ali style” approach of making his main rival, Jeb (& his neo-con backers) think about — HIM- ! THis is all part of his “mix”, with his sincere and serious opinions, to separate himself from the rest of the heard or pack…
            Think and remember Mohammed Ali early on and later against Joe Frazier…
            Intentionally mixing bravado with sincerity, frankness and total confidence, even to the point of APPEARING (only appearing) crazy and yet knowing and calculating as to when, where and how in “pushing buttons” on and against his MAIN rival… It’s a very calculated effort, part of which is to “throw off” his main rival and “get in his face”…actually it’s very cleaver, once you “see it”….and it takes a certain personality to carry it out,,,either at the top of sports or politics….
            David T. Krall

          • Libertybelle

            They are so utterly corrupt. It really is unbelievable.

          • david t. krall

            Yes they are !!! This crap (at least the “tipping point” I use for a “modern” reference) is during, the near the end of, and the post WW2 world. That’s when all of the “chips” and pieces “fell into place” and were “put in place”,,,by a conglomerate and amalgamation in inter-locking interests of VERY well inter- and intra-connected banksters, lawyers, intelligence and military officials, some defense/aerospace/oil/steel/utility/pharmaceutical executives and contractors and further forming deep and “under the surface”, aka “under the table of” of public awareness and WITHOUT in some/most cases total or nec executive and/or congressional knowledge. These “alliances” with the “worst of the worst” and known and recognized as as totally evil, slimey, abbhorant and “malignant” would be used as “allies”, assets, extensions and “proxies” for many post WW2 operations and programs…like Operation Underworld, Operation Ohio,The LARGE Ratline (the full dimensions of which were kept from Pres. Truman) Operation Gladio & The P-2, Operation Mongoose and it’s “sister” JM/Wave,
            Operation 40, The 54/12 committee, Operation Phoenix (one of many in Vietnam), Operation Condor, and the proposed Operation Northwoods (did “somebody” possibly- “dust that off” appx 38/39 years later?)…These “below the surface deals” involving the “recruitment”, funding and utilization of Crime lords, Fascists (in Europe, The Middle East,
            The Far East) and similar “elements”–MONSTERS !– right before the end of WW2 and then-after as assets, proxies, militias, cadres, goon squads, etc. under the totally false banner as “freedom fighters has not stopped…The contras, death squads in Central and South America…later the same in SW Asia vs. the USSR which is where the ‘wave” of operations in the Middle East really started….ISIS and Syria are NO (!) different than the op Mongoose, JM/WAVE programs by CIA/DoD sectors and our (prior”)-“Jihaad” against Castro’s Cuba or also in SE Asia (, especially after JFK’s death-he stood in their way).

  • Leo News

    How Feminist leader Gloria Steinem deceived three generations of women!

  • Edward Snowden is a limited hangout…a kind of troll and shill, himself…so citing him as your reference and authority on tolls and shills was very ironic to say the least. I am not a troll but I would like to know if anyone out there could tell me why the Jewish Star of David is on the American dollar bill? Anyone out there who isn’t a troll?

    • John

      Because Zionist Jews control our money. They lend to both sides of a war to reap the benefits. Any place that does not have a Zionist owned bank gets attacked until they do.

  • david t. krall

    Not sure about the reference to Snowden here, and his being a “limited hangout” since The US congress, lap-dogs to the very people that they’re supposed to be monitoring and overseeing, was NOT aware of many things BEFORE he made some exposures about US-NSA/CIA/Homeland abusive surveillance. But that is an interesting point about him, as I am sure that Daniel Ellsberg (re:the Pentagon Papers) may have had, and probably did have many contacts and sources within and without of the US Gov. regarding his exposure to THAT “war”. The 30 or 4o volumes of that (the Pentagon Papers) and numerous other works and reports from the Defense Dept and CIA are available on well as many other reports, e.g. all the Church Committee Reports from the 1970’s and as well as all the accompanying testimonies which I have read and added to my research….I’m not sure how or why regarding the Founding Fathers and The Star of David…but whatever the reason, or supposed reason was it was probably for good PR and a specific reason…that is a good question…

  • Dominic

    How far up the chuff does one’s head have to be to suggest that the English Defence League are a “NON-VIOLENT” protest group?!

  • Sill Stugglin

    It’s because they fear us. We the people are greatest in number. If too many of us are clued in to what the fuck is really going on, how many people are going to stand for every last one of their rights and beliefs being violated for nothing but the profit of the state, and none of that profit goes to us? They want to remain in control. If everyone decided that the government was bad, they would simply stop obeying. People do what is on their minds and in their hearts. They want to dominate both aspects of humanity within their reach so they can create their own world. They don’t care about us. I can’t imagine what would drive them to do such things other than fear. And fear of what?

    Fear of being powerless. I’m sure there’s more. I”m just one person. But that’s all I can see.

  • Great post. I also believe the are doing that. But at recent years they have to do that as today Facebook twitter and other social median have covered a maximum area