The Rise of the Robo-Trolls

In recent weeks I have become increasingly aware of how common “troll” attacks are when ordinary people come forward to expose corporate corruption. Our experience here at this blog is actually completely normal. I guess it does make a certain amount of sense when you think about it. The kinds of businesses who are most liable to get mired in scandals are the ones most likely to be serial wrong-doers: people probably don’t get caught out the first time they break the law. By the time a scandal ‘breaks’, the dodgy practices have probably been going on for a long while. By extension, the kinds of companies which have been breaking laws for years are probably more likely to be unethical operators in other ways too. If deception and rule-breaking are already your thing, what’s a little trolling and gaslighting against whistle-blowers to try and terrify and shame them in to silence?

A few weeks ago we mentioned a report that Murdoch’s dismal Fox News (the news part is debatable) had employed professional trolls to attack and undermine blogs that were critical or even neutral about the station. It seems the whole Internet is swarming with this sort of thing. A newspaper report has appeared today which accuses BP of the same thing with respect to its Gulf of Mexico disaster. Here’s what there is to know:

BP has been accused of hiring internet “trolls” to purposefully attack, harass, and sometimes threaten people who have been critical of how the oil giant has handled its disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil firm hired the international PR company Ogilvy and Mather to run the BP America Facebook page during the oil disaster, which released at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf in what is to date the single largest environmental disaster in US history.

The page was meant to encourage interaction with BP, but when people posted comments that were critical of how BP was handling the crisis, they were often attacked, bullied, and sometimes directly threatened.

In the case of TBI, they have also used a few easily manipulated “trolls” or “minions” to protect their “TBI Mafia” masters. Colm O’Mahoney has been the most vocal. One month after this blog started he was already trashing us for being “obsessed” with TBI, but now 18 months later he is still attacking anyone who says criticizes TBI on Dave’s ESL Cafe. He claimed to have moved on ages ago but has really just “moved on” to the next troll alias. He has now even broadened his brief. He now belligerently shouts down anyone who even questions the wisdom of working in Indonesia at all. This dubious individual has used more than half a dozen aliases to make his “robo-troll” mouthing off seem to reflect broader public opinion. There is a history to this. As far back as 2009 David Bradbury, the former CELTA trainer, was routinely spruiking the CELTA course posed as a woman with an Indonesian hubby. He called himself / herself “Chezal” and posted 140 times, usually running down EF and praising TBI. David used to come into TBI Kuningan and boast how he had “gotten” TBI enemies on Dave’s ESL Cafe and Chezal’s bio matches that of Bradbury in almost every respect except her gender: worked at TBI Medan, worked for 4 years there, learned Indonesian in Medan, met her / his husband in Medan, had a Physics degree. It was all a perfect match.

Therefore, there is ample evidence TBI is one of these dodgy “Fox News”  / “BP” type companies (on a miniscule scale) who go around silencing dissent or valid criticism with a team of belligerent robo-trolls, spreading lies and misinformation as often as possible. It is part of the sociopathic culture which Preece and his moronic minions have inflicted on the company, ruining its reputation in the process.

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