Strong Cities Networks' Weak, Shitty Diatribe: Espousing Digital "Threats" As A Way To Instill Fear & Set A Narrative Where They Hope For Relevance.

in #informationwar23 days ago


I am no fan of think tanks and consider 2020's sudden excessive proliferation of them into the digital domain as a personal threat to my safety and sanity. Their shady narrative-setting diatribes against perceived threats that are allegedly cropping up at an alarmingly panties-shitting pace really grinds my gears. Tying this phenomena into being an unforeseen side-effect of Covid-19 is the line of reasoning one could expect from an utterly clueless, blathering idiot.

Any half-wit can see how blatantly self-serving the Strong Cities' propaganda is: propelled into cyberspace & #MSM global networks for the surreptitious intent of ushering in greater societal controls and promoting the 2020 culture of fear. I have had enough of it!

In response I will take it upon myself to become a vocal objector to nearly all their patently false "experts;'" reporting & propaganda; especially on the spuriously defined subjects of Online Extremism, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) & Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). I, as a literal nobody, am announcing a new anagram to face the growing overreach of Non Governmental Institutions aggressively propagandizing agendas for the implementation of further systems of control being introduced:

Presenting: C.T.T.E = Countering Think Tank Elitism.

Let me be unequivocally clear: I do not take issue at work done with good intent as long as it has the wholly commendable purpose of preventing violent extremism as a priority. Saving lives is important and so intervening in online spaces where many vested interests vie for the next young and budding terrorist victim to groom into acting out violently. Infact, I already support some individuals and a project that fulfills such a role successfully so spare me your ideologically driven academic clap-trap, think tank... I don't need to be educated on a subject you obviously need re-education on...

But I do take issue over the introduction of new terminology being introduced as a harbinger of doom. Doom and Terror defined in ways which bear no preponderance towards the Think Tanks' stated goals: it's a bait & switch tactic that's extremely ineffective due to how obsolete such techniques are online. Information can move faster than any think tank or NGO in the #informationwar attempts to yet the agenda rolls on impervious towards us with its thundering lockstep march. This leveraging of #msm apparatchik networks will be treated as an act of war, #informationwar to be precise and I will act with extreme prejudice to defend my fellow man against your ignoble, psychic terror.

This article dated 26th September 2020 is a stellar example of how clumsy an academic approach is towards establishing the author & publisher as an Authoritative News Source. It's author is Karolin Schwarz, who is also a journalist, fact checker and trainer which means nothing as I proceed to rebut each falsehood and/or conflation published by her. The Strong Cities Network & Institute of Strategic Dialogue partnership as a global digital apparatchik is a serious threat to our liberties and therefore is to be eroded away.

Let us begin.

Thousands of Conspiracy Theorists marched in Berlin. The city wasn’t prepared.
Posted on 26 September 2020 by Strong Cities Network link screenshot link

This article is part of a series in which leading experts reflect on emerging trends for cities seeking to address hate, polarisation and extremism.

Which leading experts? What's the significance of an NGO like Strong Cities Network specifically mentioning "polarisation" as a target? This sort of polarisation?

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the German parliament in Berlin on the last Sunday in August, many of them following a woman with blonde dreadlocks. “We’re going to go up there and take back our house today, here and now!” she screamed from a stage in front of the crowd. Moments later, hundreds of people rushed up the stairs leading to the entrance. Some of them waved the black, white and red flag of the German Empire. Today’s neo-Nazis use it as a distinctive sign among anti-democrats; unlike the swastika flag, it is not prohibited. Images of the scene travelled around the world.

No source provided. The author is painting a picture that she wants me to see from the video she saw. A poor attempt already at being credible. I have heard reports which provide a compelling counter-narrative to the scene being painted in the introduction of this article; agitators instigated the storming (probably paid to do so) & there was a persistent interruption to all devices that were live-streaming trying to broadcast onto the web. Interruption of mobile phone signals from streaming is a counter-narrative supported by the uncharacteristically poor quality of video footage provided to the The Guardian who then uploaded it to their youtube channel.

I also note the thumbnail for the video appears to a be staged, the fellow with the flag draped across his shoulders is centered dramatically in front of the Reichstag making a pretty picture indeed.

Less than a handful of police officers secured the entrance to the building with, reinforcements to follow. The scene marked the end of a demonstration that laid bare the dangerous dynamic that conspiracy theories can elicit – especially when their followers come together in thousands.

A handful is less than ten? The entrance required securing? What reinforcements followed? None of this is substantiated by the author, reason being is that is sounds more dramatic when you don't allude to the events factually & rationally. I also am affronted by the boldened dangerous dynamic that conspiracy theories can elicit. We are only two paragraphs in and the author is concocting the basis for her CVE & PVE narrative already.

Berlin is no stranger to demonstrations. In 2018 there were 4,771 demonstrations, the number increased to 5,350 in 2019, which averaged 15 demonstrations per day. Berliners have developed a certain routine and so have the police. Fundamentalists and extremists also frequent the streets of Berlin, including Neo-Nazis marching several times a year. Demonstrations of Christian fundamentalist anti-abortionists and the anti-Semitic and anti-American Al-Quds march take place annually.

That's fairly specific information cited, odd attempt to cite an alleged 12% increase in demonstrations in Berlin this way. I wonder what the population size & demographic was for these demonstrations, a pertinent query considering the annual total of demonstrations averages out to 15 per day?

But Berlin was not prepared for thousands of conspiracy theorists. The first large demonstration, with about 20,000 participants, took place a few weeks earlier. The second one grew to about 38,000..

Berlin handled 15 demonstrations per day prior to this so 1000's of "conspiracy theorists" (why don't you just call them protestors?) doesn't seem like much work to prepare for, even if it was a crowd of 38,000... Why not mention the millions of EUR worth of property damage caused during the G20 Hamburg riots of 2017 and how the German authorities ran a lack-lustre operation after those riots to locate & apprehend the "Black Bloc" rioters responsible? The author could have mentioned this example of dangerous, violent rioting but didn't for some reason.

image source: Deutsche Welle

More than a third of Germans are inclined to believe conspiracy stories, according to a study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The pandemic and its deniers have activated this potential, and in some cases have radicalized it considerably. QAnon has won numerous followers in Germany in 2020, among whom anti-Semitism and violent fantasies were being presented in a far from subtle way. A vegan chef, who by 2020 has spread every imaginable conspiracy theory, spoke publicly this summer about how he envisions the execution of a prominent green politician. So far this has not resulted in any consequences.

This is very poor journalism; no academic rigor is applied which gives the author an air of slovenly laziness. When the intended propaganda's merits are so threadbare as to not be addressed or evidenced, the author makes an extremely poor choice by reverting to emotional pleading (thus spoiling any perceived credibility to any alert reader).

Here is an article by Deutsche Welle news published 6th September 2020, the likely source of the author's 1/3rd of Germans having an inclination to believe conspiracy stories statistic. I note the introduction is written in demeaning language that smacks of online hate:

One-third of people in Germany believe in conspiracy theories: poll.

Lower levels of education and voting for the far-right AfD make people more prone to supporting conspiracy theories, a new poll shows. About one-third of people in Germany believe that "secret powers" control the world. Some 11% of respondents said it was "definitely true" that secret powers control the world, while 19% said it was probably true.

Of those who thought the world is controlled by a secret elite, 13% said the shadowy groups included commercial enterprises, banks or "the financial capital."

Very rude article I think! Prime example of online hate against lower educated and far-right AfD voters, possibly qualifying as an example of Extremism too! I also make mention of a factual inconsistency here;

the survey was compiled by Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation and carried out by Infratest dimap, which polled 3,250 people by phone between October 2019 and February 2020, before coronavirus restrictions.

Author stated that the the Friedrich Ebert Foundation did the dumb people and right wing people are conspiracy theorists study. Who is correct? 🤷 Who knows? Furthermore, the commentary by this clueless author regarding Qanon gaining "numerous followers in Germany" falls flat on its face especially with a provocative statement of Qanon being both Anti-semitic and full of violent fantasies. Where is an example of the same provided to the reader?

A vegan chef, who by 2020 has spread every imaginable conspiracy theory, spoke publicly this summer about how he envisions the execution of a prominent green politician.

Could the author be referring to Chef Pete Evans? I wasn't aware of any visions of capital punishment the Australian Vegan Chef had regarding a prominent green politician? I would appreciate Karolin Schwarz explaining this to me and showing me the offending comments by the unnamed vegan chef, because it just sounds like a rumour to me.

In late August, the Berlin state government’s strategy consisted mainly of trying to ban the demonstration while requesting additional police support from other German states. The ban failed and the police strategy did not work. The numerous live streams of right-wing extremist and conspiracy theorist online personalities repeatedly showed huge crowds of people without police escort. In front of the Reichstag building, police were simply taken by surprise.

You have completely neglected to mention the protest seeking and gaining consent from the courts to proceed (as well as being ruled exempt from the need of wearing face masks during the protest). Your spun narrative failed and the Berlin police were upset at not having the court order granting permission for the protest to proceed communicated to them in a timely manner.
Yet again, invisible evidence cited as the basis for the author's emotive diatribe: numerous live streams referred to of which you have not linked a single example of. I am taken by surprise at the author's lack of citations when it should be very easy to provide them.

This video by The Vital Redpill does an exemplary job at presenting the known information, including identified rumours without bias:

Policing conspiracy theorists’ protests needs new approaches. Absurd claims can lead to aggressive action or even mass panic, with the potential to sow distrust for weeks following. It’s a dangerous and difficult mixture: some people bring their children, others bring guns. Both were present at the demonstration in late August.

Pure hyperbolic hysterical conflation. Even if children and guns were taken to this protest, no children were shot by guns. Presumably no guns were fired and no children were hurt regardless. Sowing distrust within the populace is your job and one you are doing very, very poorly I might add. Maybe next time you can arrange for some babies, guns and babies with guns AND conspiracy theories to arrive at the Reichstag so your ludicrous attempt at unbridled fear-mongering (I mean journalism) doesn't come out like some Extreme Left Wing Violent Fantasy.

There is no reason to assume that this demonstration was the last of its kind in Berlin, making it all the more important to find long-term strategies. This includes finding a way to deal with conspiracy theories and rumours that emerge during and after the events that can become dangerous – either for those who believe them or for those whom they target or denounce Official communications sources must anticipate the real possibility that their messages will be written off as lies.

There is no reason for another demonstration occurring in Berlin being an occaision to find a long-term strategy to the lack of injuries and terror occurring between babies and guns at the protest. I am keen to be educated on any conspiracy theories or rumours that emerged during or after the event so I can ascertain if they are dangerous. However you must realise that official communication sources being enforced as an authoritative news source smacks of desperation to remain relevant. Perhaps one day you can conjure up such a thing for yourself but until then I am going to have a whole lotta fun exposing your messages as lies.

The mobilisation in the run-up to protests can provide information about possible risks and targets. A possible “storming of the Reichstag” was discussed on Telegram. Even if no concrete intelligence emerges, the protection of critical infrastructure and of places and individuals targeted by conspiracy theorists must be guaranteed by security forces.

So you present a possibility of pre-protest comms occurring on Telegram, provide no evidence of the same, then go nuclear with the suggestion that we are all going to die because of conspiracy theorists (whilst providing no proof whatsoever to instil the fear of your theory in me).

Before the demonstration, Germany’s domestic intelligence service said in a statement that there was no sign that the demonstrations were being co-opted by right-wing extremists. And in a certain way they were right: the demonstrators – not all of whom were right-wing extremists or conspiracy theorists – openly courted far-right participation. To date, assessments of the demonstration identified more than 3,000 right-wing extremists.

I don't believe you, lady. Firstly could you please differentiate between right-wing extremists and far-right participation? Can you identify one of the 3,000 right wing extremists in attendance? Not by name or by appearance, but by photos or video?

Amidst all this, Berliners themselves must not be forgotten. Numerous people reported online that they would avoid large parts of Berlin during the demonstrations. BIPOC and Jews felt threatened because right-wing extremists, racists and Holocaust deniers were on the streets and using the city’s public transport system. Although only a minority of the demonstrators would resort to violence for racist or anti-Semitic reasons, who could distinguish this minority from the majority if they did not distance themselves clearly?

Perhaps a pink triangle or yellow star could help, you craven, hysterical zealot! This is such a piss poor excuse too. When I attended the Wikileaks Protests in Sydney 2010, a lot of people avoided the streets and large parts of the city during the demonstration. It was a traffic jam and the Sydney Police were on horseback being quite aggressive against the people (the same ones you demand protection for, unless they are conspiracy theorists or right wing extremists)

As long as this distinction doesn’t credibly exist, these new demonstrations must be considered a threat – to people in the city and to democracy itself.

Your laziness astounds me. I am sometimes guilty of ending with a premature ejaculation when I finish my written works (ahem) but how disappointing is your conclusion? I am certain that the careless usage of the word democracy belies your complete ignorance of what it actually means, or maybe you just don't value democracy. You know that the right to publicly protest is generally considered to be an intrinsic democratic right?


That was fun, I look forward to your next instalment!