When is a troll not a troll?

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

When it is a Tracey, obviously! The Hon Tracey Martin, has royally shot herself in the foot with her last pronouncement about the evils of social media and those who inhabit that world. At a recent Netsafe event, she told the 40 attendees a terrible tale: Quote.

New Zealand First MP and Cabinet Minister Tracey Martin says she personally witnessed a National Party MP instructing online “trolls” to attack a political opponent.

Martin will not name the MP, but says she watched him direct a group of supporters on Facebook to personally attack then-Labour leader Andrew Little while they were sharing a domestic flight during the election campaign.

The Internal Affairs Minister recalled the story at an event hosted by Netsafe in Auckland yesterday, saying that she was concerned about the role of social media in manipulating politics here and overseas. Addressing an audience of about 40 people, she said she had never spoken about it publicly.

“During the 2017 election I was on a plane and there was another Member of Parliament sitting in front of me.”

She said she stood up and witnessed the incident.

Police artist’s impression of the troll witnessed by Tracey Martin
Photoshopped image credit: SadbutTrue

“… I watched this person in front of me, who was running a group of 15 trolls on Facebook, give them the messages that they needed to start bombarding the other party that they were trying to have an effect on.

End quote.
Tracey Martin

So let me get this straight. You are on a plane, sitting behind someone else and you stand up, read over their shoulder long enough for you to establish that they are on Facebook, are talking to 15 separate people, and that the message you are reading over someone else’s shoulder is that they should start bombarding some third person/party. Have I understood you correctly Tracey?

Has the concept of privacy ever occurred to you? Exactly how long were you reading over this unnamed person’s shoulder? Quote.

“The messages they sent changed the outcome of the election. It wasn’t the outcome they were hoping for, but that was what they were attempting to do.

“They personalised the messages to try and get one individual to feel so uncomfortable about their position that they removed themselves from it.” End quote.

A Newspaper

Proof? On her say so, we are expected to believe that 15 people got the message out to Facebook and changed the outcome of the election? Really?

Are you sure it wasn’t the Russians bots, Tracey?

Unless they were targeting Winston Peters I don’t think anyone changed the outcome of the election other than him.

But moving on. David Farrar has dug into his email history and found this: Quote.

If Tracey is really worried about MPs manipulating media, I?d love to know what she thinks about this e-mail sent out in 2011:

Would you like to be part of the New Zealand First Talkback Army?
A select group of New Zealand First members will be continually updated by email with policy positions and topical information that they can use to keep the Radio Listening public of New Zealand well informed.

Play your part in the 2011 Election Campaign.
Join our Talkback Army

Organising an army of what she calls trolls (I call them supporters) to manipulate radio listeners seems to be what she is railing against.

So who was the 2011 organiser of this Talkback Army:

Contact person: Tracey Martin

I wonder if they are related?


End quote.
Oh dear, oh dear.

“Stones, houses, glass, throw.” Please have your trolls rearrange these words to suit the situation.