Troll of the year: Putin offers to release transcript of Trump's meeting with Russian diplomats

Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, can vouch for Donald Trump's claim that no significant intelligence information was leaked to his foreign minister. This is because he has his own transcript of their meeting, of course, which he's happy to provide to America.

"If the US administration finds it necessary, we are ready to provide the record of the conversation between Trump and Lavrov to the Senate and Congress," Putin said.

The intervention by Putin could turn up the pressure on the White House to provide its own transcript of the meeting. The Senate intelligence committee has already demanded a briefing on what was said at the meeting from members of the Trump administration who were present. The episode is the latest woe for Trump, whose administration is engulfed in a series of scandals linked to Russia. His meeting with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak came a day after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, the man leading an investigation into contentious links between members of the President's campaign team and Russia.

Putin offers transcript of Trump meeting with Lavrov [CNN] Read the rest

Troll Cakes turns nasty comments into delivered pastry

Talk about just desserts! Troll Cakes will turn a hater's online comment into a tasty cake and mail it to said hater. Above, one they made of a classic Trump troll. Read the rest

No, the meme-slinging alt-right Pepe worshippers didn't win the election for Trump

Despite the widespread belief that meme-warriors won the election through tactical shitposting of photoshopped Pepe the Frogs in Nazi arm-bands, the reality is a lot more complicated. Read the rest

In which Laurie Penny comprehensively proves that she has Yiannopoulos's number

Ever since I read Laurie Penny's scathing, insider account of Milo Yiannopoulos and his schtick, I knew that she had his number like no one else -- and now that Yiannopoulos has been disbarred from his position as the useful idiot of the hard-right, I've been wondering what Penny made of the fall from grace. Read the rest

Get in on this naked Trump vinyl troll doll

Sculptor Chuck Williams is Kickstarting a naked Trump troll doll with uncannily accurate eyes and hair that's enduring a Beaufort 10 gale. As for the remaining anatomical accuracy... Read the rest

Milo Yiannopoulos speech at UC Berkeley canceled after campus protests

Milo as “Ivana Wall,” speaking at Louisiana State University on Sep. 21, 2016. Say the name out loud and you'll get the joke. “Right about now your dick is probably confused,” read one of the slides on stage during the performance. Image: Reddit.

Pro-Trump and extremist right wing/white supremacist personality Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to deliver a speech at U.C. Berkeley, but his appearance was canceled by university officials tonight after big protests on campus that got out of hand with some people setting some objects on fire. No arrests or injuries reported.

Yiannopoulos is doing a speaking tour on college campuses to promote his male "Privilege" scholarship fund.

Read the rest

Amnesty reveals gigantic Mexican Twitter troll-bot mob that threatens journalists, hawks products, and hoaxes trending topics

Amnesty International has published a damning report on the organized networks of Mexican Twitter trolls and botmasters for hire who orchestrate massive harassment campaigns against investigative journalists, including death threats and misinformation/slander; they also hawk products and fake out Twitter's trending topic algorithm, operating with relative impunity -- thanks, in part, to Twitter's underinvestment in Spanish-speaking anti-harassment staff. Read the rest

4chan's trumpist trolls are exploiting the Ghost Ship fire to narc out other DIY venues

A thread on 4chan's trollish /pol/ board has organized trumpist white-supremacist/alt-right types to find unlicensed venues and spaces and narc them out to city authorities in a bid to shut them down, because they serve as "open hotbeds of liberal radicalism and degeneracy...These places hold Black Lives Matter meetings. These places plan protests that disrupt our cities. These places illegally house our enemies." Read the rest

Why Lindy West quit Twitter

Writer Lindy West is done with Twitter. From her essay in The Guardian:

Twitter, for the past five years, has been a machine where I put in unpaid work and tension headaches come out. I write jokes there for free. I post political commentary for free. I answer questions for free. I teach feminism 101 for free. Off Twitter, these are all things by which I make my living – in fact, they comprise the totality of my income. But on Twitter, I do them pro bono and, in return, I am micromanaged in real time by strangers; neo-Nazis mine my personal life for vulnerabilities to exploit; and men enjoy unfettered, direct access to my brain so they can inform me, for the thousandth time, that they would gladly rape me if I weren’t so fat.

Image: Faruk Ateş/Flickr Read the rest

Vintage CB radio trolling from 1969

"What's your handle, creep?" "Don't tell us to move to another channel!" "You sound like you're dying... why don't you go ahead and drop dead!" Trolling was alive and well on CB radios in the 1960s, as these vintage South Philly conversations from 1969 prove. Read the rest

Donald J Trump: "No matter who wins, at least I had fun" (The Onion)

The Onion is apparently struggling to satirize an election that is so absurd it can only be called "self-satirizing," but they scored a hit with their op-ed by Donald J Trump: "No Matter What Happens Tomorrow, At Least I Had Fun." Read the rest

Twitter killing Vine video service makes the internet worse

Brian Feldman explains why Twitter's decision to kill the Vine looping video service makes the internet worse.

The point of Vine was never to generate the next Fellini. It was to have dumb, stupid free play on an internet increasingly hostile to that kind of freedom, whether because of surveillance or heavy-handed advertiser presence or trolls. The lack of adult supervision or corporate culture may have made it somewhat impenetrable, but it also made it feel free in a way no other social network really does.

Vine also had what Silicon Valley types describe as a poor "culture fit."

Vine wasn’t just dominated by teenagers — it was dominated by teenagers of color. Especially black teens, who created a disproportionate number of popular Vines and used the social network to demonstrate wit, intelligence, creativity, and comic timing that was rarely given a spotlight elsewhere.

Twitter's decision to kill it is being felt as deep pain on the web. Twitter itself is worse than unpleasant: it's the oxygen keeping the internet on fire, feeding trolls, harassers and white supremacists. Vine, on the other hand, was adorable, funny, impervious to the hate and great because "there were no brands or grown ups or neonazis to ruin it."

But business is interested in at least two of those three things.

People often wonder why Twitter, more than other major social networks, is having so much difficulty figuring out ways to combat abuse. It is already far from a free-speech environment, after all, offering private intellectual property enforcement and (at least in a few cases) region-specific political censorship. Read the rest

Public universities and even the US Navy have sold hundreds of patents to America's most notorious troll

Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy. Read the rest

Racist trolls moot using "google" as a euphemism for the n-word

Google is downranking websites that use pejorative, racist terms like n*gger, so the awful people of 4chan and /pol/ are replacing that word with "google." Read the rest

Jigsaw: "wildly ambitious" Google spin-out aimed at tackling "surveillance, extremist indoctrination, censorship"

Technologists have a dismal pattern: when it comes to engineering challenges ("build a global-scale comms platform") they rub their hands together with excitement; when it comes to the social challenges implied by the engineering ones ("do something about trolls") they throw their hands up and declare the problem to be too hard to solve. Read the rest

Patent fighters attack the crown jewels of three of America's worst patent trolls

Unified Patents raises money from companies that are the target of patent-trolling and then uses it to challenge the most widely used patents in each of its members' sectors: now it's going for the gold. Read the rest

Surprise: Copyright trolls rip off the rightsholders they supposedly "represent"

The copyright troll business-model: a sleazy lawyer gets copyright holders to one or more films (often, but not always, porn) to deputize them to police those rights; then the lawyer's company uses sloppy investigative techniques to accuse internet users of violating those copyrights; they use deceptive notices to get ISPs to give them contact details for those users (or to get the ISPs to pass notices on to the users); then they send "speculative invoices" to their victims, demanding money not to sue -- usually a sum that's calculated to be less than it would cost to ask a lawyer whether it's worth paying. Read the rest

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