Another one of those ideas that struck me (that I am sure most folks already knew), but the Internet Troll Brigades out there (specifically the Foreign Actors and belligerent cusses) are simply using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tricks to insight their brand of silliness. Indeed SEO leads to Trolls doing naughty things online.
Think about the basics of SEO:
No one will listen if you just come on and say, “Buy my new widget,” you need to build up your credibility out there.
- You need to build up a good reputation (reddit->karma, Facebook/Twitter->followers, etc.,) so you start by doing the standard tricks:
- Comment on web sites, posts. That was one of the cornerstones of SEO
- Post lots of content or information so people get to know who you are and want to follow you
- If you have a web site Advertise like mad, to get your name out there.
- Help build up Karma of other folks (in this case other nasty Trolls) by pumping up their ideas and concepts (remember they are using multiple identities to do this).
If you are creating a new site, you want to Advertise on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or anywhere you can to get your name out there. The same is true for Trolls. They simply create fake websites and then advertise their malaise news.
The concept of #Fakenews is accurate. It is just ironic that Trolls adopted it as one of their action attacks on real news. Advertising on Facebook and other players makes it easy to put eyes on misinformation.
Money is the easiest way to build up your SEO, but it is also easy for Trolls.
Once you have a reputation, your influence and credibility will drive customers to your site. You want your name to become synonymous with the product or area you are in. In my case, I try to be mentioned when Canadian Personal Finance is mentioned.
In the Troll’s case, they want to cause people to take their opinions as being “good” (or “bad” depending on how they want to manipulate you).
Other Troll Tricks
Trolls also have their arsenal of tricks:
- They want you to think everyone on-line that disagrees with you is a Troll. If you are assuming this is the case, they have won.
- They have deep pockets if they are foreign government based, so they can buy a lot of advertising, unfortunately.
- Trolls typically have AI based tools to create comments on thematic premises as well. That is a lot more than most SEO folks have (wish I had that). The AI can now create relatively grammatically correct commentary, so are you sure you are arguing with a human? They are leveraging chatbot technologies.