Yea! We got our first blog troll. As Holmes, my writing partner says, “You’re not legit until you have at least a dozen trolls.” I’d say we’re well on the way, though, with one, because this wasn’t just any old troll. This was a Fifty-Center.
Actual photo of Fifty-Center from webrulon.com
What the heck is that? Do let us explain.
The communist junta in China has a time-honored practice of shutting down and/or arresting anyone who publishes articles that the government thinks don’t follow whatever the party line might be that day. With the advent of blogging, though, anyone around the world can now publish. The Chinese authorities can’t keep up with dissenters using only their traditional means, and they certainly have no authority to apply their strong arm outside of their own country. As a result, the Chinese government has developed a strategy for dealing with the millions of people who are beyond their reach. It’s called the Fifty Cent Party.
Why the Fifty Cent Party? The Chinese government’s control strategy began in 2004 in Changsha, China, when the Changsha Publicity Department began paying people a pittance for commenting on blogs if they were able to turn the tides of conversations in favor of China and her interests. They could also score a coin if they succeeded in diverting the conversation away from China. Now, China actively recruits people from its educational institutions and trains them for the purpose of disseminating information and views favorable to the Chinese party line of the moment.
We were already drafting this article when, as fortune would have it, we got our very own visit from one of these professional trolls. You may recall the informative piece that Holmes wrote on Pakistan (The Push Me Pull You Beast of the East, Part V), and the fact that the Chinese are currently building an expansion in the Gwadar harbor? Sixty percent of China’s energy supply passes through the Arabian Sea, so that little harbor is very, very important to China. That means Pakistan is very important to China.
As a result, the day that post ran, I found a most offensive comment left by a “Pakistani” jihadi. It started out with jeers about the Patriot Act, the money we spent tracking down Bin Laden, and how the TSA is molesting Americans. It contained language we would not use in front of our spouses, let alone the rest of you, and then it got to the dead giveaway.
“in soviet era ISI got nukes in US era ISI got Hi Fi gear and most importantly a victorious islamic force of mujahadeens.
thank you now we will bring war to ur lands.”
Holmes has experience in intelligence and covert operations. According to him and his friends, the idea that Pakistan got nukes from the Soviets is a distinctly Chinese misinformation strategy, and the Pakistanis know better. To make a long story short, between the ideas, the sentence structure, and the word choices, Holmes and his friends pegged this commenter as a Fifty-Center living somewhere north of the Yangtze River.
Pathetic, you say? The idea of paying people to pump China and Chinese policies worldwide on little old blogs like ours? Well, the Chinese aren’t the only ones.
Recently, President Obama established a special White House position for the purpose of promoting himself and his policies on the Internet. Jesse C. Lee is the first Director of Progressive Media and Online Response. His taxpayer-funded job? To promote Obama and his policies on social media as he prepares for the election. For reals. Here’s Mr. Lee’s Twitter page: @jesseclee. In his tweet stream, you’ll find mundane chatter interspersed with loads of pro-Obama links and positive comments about the president and his policies. Our taxpayer dollars at work.
One key difference between the White House propaganda efforts and the Fifty Cent Party is that at least the White House does not pretend to be a neutral observer of events. They admit that Jesse C. Lee is in the employ of the government. Keep in mind that Mr. Lee’s position is a White House post. He is employed by all of the American people, not just President Obama and his supporters. Lest you mistake us for being anti-Democrat by pointing this out, we have no doubt the position will continue when a Republican is in the White House, too. What politician of any flavor wouldn’t want their own publicly paid, social media-pumping Yes Man?
image from amazon.com
Frankly, we here at Bayard & Holmes are tired of politicians cluttering up the Internet with their agendas, from the Fifty-Cent trolls to the White House propaganda department. That’s why, as part of our Peace Initiative, we hope you will join with us in forming the Two Cent Party.
Here at the Two Cent Party, we throw in our two cents’ worth whenever our absurdity detectors go off around government policies and behavior. Regulating school bake sales at the federal level? Two Cents. TSA groping our privates without even kissing us first? Two Cents. Presidents using our money to pay for their private political agendas? Two Cents.
There are a lot of lies being tossed around out there, but you have the power to sniff them out. Holmes and I are counting on you to help push this nation toward the straight and narrow. Every time someone tries to feed you nonsense, stand up and put in your Two Cents. Make the most of your freedom of speech and the fact that we do not live in a country where we are killed, beaten, imprisoned, or forced to listen to Rebecca Black’s Friday Song (Holmes said Alanis Morrisett) for expressing opinions that disagree with government policies and goals. . . . Yet.
image from lasvegasblog.harrahs.com
Will you join us in the Two Cent Party? What’s your Two Cents about the new taxpayer-funded Director of Progressive Media and Online Response?
Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse
Holmes–Student of Sex, C4, and Hollow Points