Analaysis: Anatomy of a Troll Nest on Steemit

in #news3 years ago


I did some more digging and more information came to light.

Consider this article corroborated by two of my personal most trusted actual news sources, TruthDig and the Associated Press.

Writers: NAIRA DAVLASHYAN and IRINA TITOVA / The Associated Press (you can look up these writers, they exist, for instance here is Naira writing for AFP:

information war.jpg

"Paid trolls used carefully crafted fake identities that made them come across like real people, she said."

"The aim of the factory's work was either to influence voters or to undermine their faith in the U.S. political system, the 37-page indictment states."

"The most important principle of the work is to have an account like a real person," Savchuk said. "They create real characters, choosing a gender, a name, a place of living and an occupation. Therefore, it's hard to tell that the account was made for the propaganda."

"We worked in a group of three where one played the part of a scoundrel, the other one was a hero, and the third one kept a neutral position,Ó he said. ÒFor instance, one could write that Putin was bad, the other one would say it was not so, and the third would confirm the position of the second while inserting some picture."

Mindiyarov said he failed the language exam needed to get a job on the Internet Research Agency's Facebook desk, where the pay was double than the domestic side of the factory. The sleek operation produced content that looked as if it were written by native English speakers, he said.

"These were people with excellent language skills, interpreters, university graduates," he said, "It's very hard to tell it's a foreigner writing because they master the language wonderfully."

We are told by Russian state media that it would be outlandish, insane even, to think that a media operation that takes up an entire building and millions of rubles, would have anything at all to do with Putin. (a real howler. does not pass the sniff test. Russia is a totalitarian authoritarian mafia based government, there are no international media operations that Putin does not know about in the entire country. VPN is even banned there so you couldn't get away with it if you tried. The nature of all state run operations, even the CIA admits this is its modus, that they don't do anything except it is plausibly deniabl and everything on the internet happens to be plausibly deniable.)

A non-exclusive list of oddly named, wikipedia-article-less "Sources" that I have long suspected of being involved in this kind of operation(if for no other reason than that the names of the sites are stupid) are:
The Free Thought Project
Mint Press News
Activist Post
The Antimedia
(and of course the newcomer Disobedient Media)

to this I will add two actors that have been extremely sketchy and fit the same patterns, which we will see more in a second.
Kim Dotcom
Julian Assange(since he started being friendly with Fox News in 2016 after his internet was cut in october)

Let's consider this 'free thought journalist'

Love of Caitlin Johnstone, Kim Dotcom, Russia Today's Lee Camp, Julian Assange and would you not know, Elizabeth Lea Vos of Disobedient Media. Jay also writes for Activist Post and the Antimedia. Searches for him at the University of Denver don't return anything, nor is there any context for this person outside of this ring of websites. He retweets Ms. Vos from the already disproven Disobedient Media, who was also on the front page of Zerohedge attempting yet again to claim that there are no nests of russian trolls infiltrating american media and politics.

I call it a nest, because the same authors get posted on all of the same sites and lend credibility to each outer without any connection to actually credible sources like the AP/AFP or wikipedia, or the sites that have been known to lie about things like the reasons for the invasion of Iraq but which are nonetheless pillars of the American system, The NYT, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Bullshit may be easy for you and I, but if Bullshit is your day job, it is actually difficult work. You have to weave a lot of tangled webs, and at the end of the day if you make a single mistake the entire web unravels if you pull on a single thread.

And I happen to be a pro thread-puller, so strap in.

Consider Suzie Dawson and Simon Wood's work for the deceptively-named Counterspin-mimicking website called 'Contraspin' which only deals with new zealand Kim Dotcom politics.

Check out the comments at the bottom:

All repetitive, nearly all on a single day, nearly all obviously bots saying the same thing. Absolutely not credible.

Consider this contraspin page from the wayback, it links Suzie to a writer known as "Simon Wood"

Simon Wood is an interesting character.....he wrote the same article about 'the music of entitlement' for a different website 3 days before it appeared with Suzie3d's writing on Contraspin:

Now Simon Wood is not this Simon Wood who actually has a credible site, I don't want to cast suspicion on this guy:

But he does have an active twitter, interesting:

He has a clear love of assange, a hatred of the intercept and has retweeted numerous 'crimes of britain' tweets about the crimes of Winston Churchill etc.

He operates the incredibly poorly named "" and another even more poorly named one.

His personal blog, found in multiple places, and as stated with crosslinks to the contraspin site which is connected to Suzie3d and the obviously fake comments, is titled something like 'The 9999999%' percent.
which appears also at contraspin:

Does any of this look credible to you? How would someone associated with such crap like Suzie Dawson be elevated to a position of trust by a fledgling political party?

Suzie Dawson is now a politician AND a journalist, and she's claiming she absolutely has to go to Russia for her safety. She clearly was blogging a lot of rambly crap about Occupy Wallstreet long ago, and she is clearly associated with Contraspin and Simon Wood, now in her new rebranding she is associated with Disobedient Media. Her writing disjointed and pedantic, it's difficult stuff to read. She refers to herself as a "kiwi" over and over again. I frequently lose track of what she is even trying to demonstrate in her too-long articles. But it will always vindicate Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom, and it will always portray the FBI and any investigation into Trump's ties with Russia in a bad light. Which is the pattern accross the board here with all of these sites.

So I thought I'd give Suzie3d one more chance to demonstrate any credibility. Certainly if she was harassed by police as a political candidate for the Internet Party, there would be some mention of it in the Internet Party's wikipedia page, right? This would indicate that actual NZ journalists in some other publication had heard of her terrible story of police harassment as a targeted individual needing sanctuary from the FBI in Russia:

However, no mention of any of this.

Case closed.

Anyone associated with any of these sites and individuals is simply operating from a troll nest getting paid to spread disinformation that is Pro Trump and Pro Putin.

From this we can derive useful information:
-Assange is now a fully partisan player, he is not objective and is not to be trusted with leaks.
-Kim Dotcom is part of all this, so nothing he says has any credibility whatsoever (i.e. his trolling of Seth Rich's family)
-The Intercept is hated by Trump and Putin, so they get some bumps upwards in credibility, which fits in nicely with the fact that I've known Glenn Greenwald as a journalist for over 10 years whether or not the ownership of First Look Media is in some way corrupt.
-This troll nest is actively attempting to take over steemit as a base of operations using purchased whale accounts like @#v4vapid who heavily promotes all of these sites and content.

This is not difficult to see. These conclusions are all obvious. I have confirmed it in other posts after giving these same individuals the chance to speak for themselves. It is further corroborated by "Adam Carter's" profile which calls him a 'server administrator' which is simply not something any respecting system administrator would call themselves, one of the few, but not by any means only, english language slip ups in their operations.

Remember this from above:
"The aim of the factoryÕs work was either to influence voters or to undermine their faith in the U.S. political system, the 37-page indictment states."

Can anyone deny that this is what this group is up to? The evidence is undeniable. Their only defense is to prevent analysis such as this and to attack people like myself. (@an0nkn0wledge, @fortified, @clarityofsignal all fit this pattern as well)

The mystery that remains for me is why these obvious troll farm accounts get along so well with The Conscious(sic) Resistance(sic) who actually goes around in person interviewing people and filming protestors at a events while pretending to be an anarchist, and obvious police like @kennyskitchen. That I do not understand unless from either the angle that a. the american police are trying to infiltrate the russian troll nest or b. Trump has instructed parts of the fbi or american police state to act in concert with the russian trolls.

But I don't have to know why someone has no credibility, it just doesn't matter that much. Once I know someone has no credibilty it is actually pretty relieving. I get a free pass not to care about anything they say, not to read anything they write for the rest of all time.

What is it they say about reputation? Takes years to build but only 2 hours of investigation and writing from @mindhawk to lose? Well something like that.

My work here is done.

I would just like to add, Fuck Disinformation agents running. And if you are one of the people doing this crap, rethink your lives, if all of your ancestors and grandparents and parents raised you to lie as a profession, they would have been better off just training you to do something like be an actual prostitute.

If you find this valuable and don't want to upvote anything on my profile because you are afraid of repercussions(they are flagging my work for illegitimate reasons btw so there is reason to fear this), plz consider an anon donation. Thanks.

Support actual independent research and analysis, stop upvoting fake crap:
bitshares: actual-mindhawk

Open to all comments and questions(because I am not afraid of mere words), let's discuss!


This has to be the most incompetent "investigation" I've ever seen, which is saying something.

  1. Most of the content on is not about Kiwi politics. My site exclusively about Kiwi politics is
  2. the comments in question appear on the same day BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT COMMENTS: they are tweets pulled into Wordpress via a Twitter plugin. The commenter names are Twitter account names, and they appear in a single day because they are in response to me tweeting out the article in question on a single day.
  3. Literally the entire NZ media reported on my situation, after 8 months of trying to pretend it didn't exist. To have not managed to obtain any links to their reporting is hilariously incompetent when they are all over the web.
  4. I was also interviewed by the biggest radio station in NZ about it, and made mincemeat out of them in a highly controversial 20 minute interview. This interview, along with dozens of others of me, can be located on my website by simply clicking on the "Interviews" link
  5. Republishing is not a crime and was always done with consent of the author. Although the vast majority of the content on Contraspin was written by me (as is clearly stated), only occasionally did I republish guest authors
  6. Most of my work in NZ wasn't blogging - it was covering live protest actions and then having my photographs and videos circulated around the world... there are 100 live videos of protest actions covered by me on the internet, none of which mindhawk has managed to locate
  7. the fact all of my content was anti-war, anti-imperialism, anti-intelligence agency and pro-humanity also seems to have somehow escaped him
  8. wikipedia is junk, so is this steemit post. Way to smear at-risk truth-tellers in the lamest way possible

Now I have two q's - why do you use the zionist propaganda site wikipedia as a reference?

And what if I said that one of my biggest long term supporters on Steemit is one of the accounts you are naming as fake - checks out OK to me and I appreciate the support - hopefully no fake accounts are going to like my posts.

There are many accounts on Steemit that I know are fully legit (including mine!) and several that I'm very suspicious of. The fact that you have named a bunch of them got me interested.

But I think you tend to do what your critics accuse you of - lumping everyone you disagree with into the same basket without solid proof. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I would like more evidence in some cases (I'm not naming names just in case you may be right)

I agree with you about how he is calling out accounts of people that I've known on here for a long time and who are definitely NOT what he is assuming. v4vapid in particular is certainly not a 'purchased whale'. He got his delegation the same way that I did. We are just humble people that were kindly rewarded because someone thought that we had integrity. NOBODY tells us how to vote or what projects to pursue here on Steemit. We vote for what we like and want to support and help -- period. That's it! No secret agenda there.

He and I both have voted initially for for this guy @mindhawk - because he seemed that he might have something to contribute on Steemit that we would like. But then he starts ranting on and on in a paranoid fashion, knowing nothing about the history of Steemit and people here.
So obviously I quit voting for him.

I have not said anything about it until I see your comment here, and how he muted you for simple questions.
People who rant on and on about friends of mine or people that have supported my familyprotection project (like @dbroze) quit getting any votes from me. I may not always know everything about other people here on Steemit, and I have not idea if there is any justifications to these rants or not, but I avoid people who spill their dirty laundry like that in public when they should make it a private matter between them and whoever they have a problem with.
The last time I refused to vote for a ranter who was slamming my friend, the narcissist flipped out and has been making posts ever since saying that I am a Satanist ... lol ... the furthest thing from the truth.

This whole thread is probably the strangest thing I've ever seen on Steemit.

I was curious because he was talking about a couple of people I was suspicious of, but then he started ripping into some of my favourite Steemians.

And he has been posting some really angry rude replies to totally innocent comments.

I now think he is starting to lose the plot

Right. I am a person who is well aware of the corruption in this world, and as you know I speak out about it all the time.
But I also am the type of person to give people the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them. Obviously being careful -- but not making assumptions.
It is so surreal for me, being a average income person who has never harmed anybody, to have people making crazy assumptions about me sometimes just because they see that I wield a lot of steem power. #1 I'm not rich. #2 even if I was rich that doesn't automatically make a person evil.
I have to assume that this is the only reason mindhawk is accusing v4vapid -- because he no longer votes for him and because he votes for some people that mindhawk doesn't like. But guess what? Even if mindhawk were right that some of these people we are voting for aren't all they claim to be -- we are just ordinary people who pass out votes as we please. THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY BEHIND IT -- AND NOBODY HAS BEEN BOUGHT!!!!! We are just humans!

And you are mind blowingly good curators who make Steemit what it is!

I know I sometimes ask for it by mocking people, but you are like a Steemit zen diplomat, and anyone who attacks you is straight onto my dwarf dogs arse extra nice comments list!

ha ha ... thanks.

LOL, I agree with him. I'll have him send me some of those dwarf dogs if the need arises!

Describing the AP as one of his most trusted news sources for corroboration was hilarious!

I'm going to mute you, here's why.

  1. this is not a constructive comment, it is just 'whataboutism'
  2. besides not being constructive, it shifts the topic to the subject of israel
  3. besides not being constructive and shifting the topic, you throw up an image unnecessarily that is going to be percieved by many as anti-jewish, which in my topic thread paints me in that light
  4. you cast aspersions on me for having upvotes by obvious sham accounts
  5. you know exactly what you are doing, the fact that all of this is stupid, anti-intellectual and obviously the same type of disinformation/discrediting tactics I am talking about in the post


still watiing for someone to actually read the article and say something intelligent about it.....

Well. I was actually interested in what you had to say, and even though I disagreed with some of it I still might have returned. But...yawn? That is seriously condescending. And directed at a really good friend of mine, so not helping matters.
Still watiing for an intelligent you really should be wary of typos when making such a remark.

Not that you will see this but...

You have some serious issues you need to work out with yourself.

I do not trust Wikipedia as a source. There have been many occasions where I, or my ex has attempted to edit it to clarify or correct the record and we've seen on various political subjects that the control over content there is NOT something to be trusted. I do use wikipedia to find out what new information I should ALSO research about a subject, but I don't trust Wikipedia's say so on any subject as gospel truth. I understand you've had some bad experiences with some people. I just don't think you can make some of the conclusions you have made about some of the people you are lumping in. I agree that KimDotCom is a shady character. I also don't know what to make of Suzie. But I've largely stopped paying attention to their stuff as a result.

I am fairly certain the "Internet Party" of new zealand would be able to maintain its own wikipedia page and point out sources that reported on Suzie Dawson's harassment without TPTB preventing it.

On most matters wikipedia is informative, I have heard that the editing process is just quite difficult as there are so many rules.

On matters of israel/palestine or Monsanto or Tianmnen square, I know there is disinformation and they prevent the truth from being known.

A news source, a politician, a journalist, should make it a priority to maintain their own wikipedia page.

Here are for example two well maintained pages on two sources I find credible:

You will notice all of the sites listed as being part of the troll nest simply have no corroborating backstory. And of course, then shills come, as sit666 did, to claim that the entire hole in my argument here is that I trust wikipedia, at all. But I have learned to trust it more than I trust sit666, or you for that matter.

If you are a reputable new source or a politician or a journalist, there will be a network of creditility that can be found. If a popup news site has no corroborating back story, or one fraught with strangeness like mintpressnews, then the site is not real journalism and shouldn't be trusted.

A core competency of anyone who claims to be a journalist is understanding what credibilty is and providing it to those who read their content.

Someone is paying a lot of money to cut corners and make people trust content because of whalevotes on steemit, and I'm not going to be part of it.

I have had only bad experiences with all of the people mentioned here, and it would be obvious to anyone who read the article or researched it what they are doing.

I don't know how you can read this post and then at the end say 'i don't know what to make of suzie', please read the article before you comment so you can address the arguments presented, otherwise silence would be more appropriate, thanks.

More hypocritical nonsense.

Firstly, you claim to trust Truthdig, but guess who covered Internet Party #AntiSpyBill series which I hosted last year? Truthdig.

Secondly, of course The Internet Party page is about The Internet Party, not about me. The Internet Party certainly does not assign resources to monitoring Wikipedia pages and nor should it.

Thirdly, you can establish my "network of credibility" by simply clicking on my website which is literally posted at the bottom of every single one of my Steemit posts. There you can find ample testimony by people who know me/about my case, dozens of interviews I've done (none of which you've clearly bothered listening to or reading at all)

Your "article" substitutes random Wikipedia searches for actual journalistic sourcing. Which is why so few are taking you seriously. If you are going to make false allegations about people you could at least put more effort into it than typing things into Wikipedia.

That's me - sit666 - the shill - LOL...

Julian Assange- as a kid- lived in a cult that was connected to 'THE FAMILY"- it was the Australian branch of it.

I find it interesting some of the names & sites you included in the Trolls Nest- such as Activist Post, ZeroHedge & Kim.Dom. At this point- I do not agree with your conclusion on a few of these sites & people. HOWEVER-Deception is the name of the game.