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Why it is pointless to argue with anonymous online trolls/cranks

One of Jason Beck’s fake identities on the web. He posted prolifically on VNN, a website often hyped by the SPLC as proof of a neo-Nazi threat. On VNN he pretended to be a black man who hates Jews.

The internet is full of trolls/cranks who fill the internet with anonymous posts. Their ultimate goal is to get you to respond to their cranks, so they can reveal in the fact that they got some kind of reaction.

One good rule of thumb for the internet is never debate an anonymous person on the internet. If they won’t even identify who they are, don’t bother. If you wrestle with a skunk, you just end up getting stinky.

Trolls/cranks often send messages to this website with statements like “your a coward for not stating xyz.” Usually xyz is something completely crazy and/or absurd. Most of the time these e-mail come from a completely anonymous person. Sometimes they don’t even include a return e-mail. Sometimes, if you check the e-mail header information you will find that the person is even using software to hide their true IP address!

Common Dreams, a “progressive” website, (This is a code word for “far-left, Marxist.”) actually did something quite funny. They wanted “out” the real world identities of some people who prolifically post ant-Jewish troll/crank comments on their own website. They ended up finding multiple online identities that were all one person who was spending a huge amount of time being an anti-Jewish troll on the internet.

What they discovered was that the IP addresses went back to a Jewish college student named Jason Beck.

Common Dreams says Jason Beck had a dozen or more DISQUS identities. Often posting replies to his own posts. He would uses his multiple DISQUS identities post anti-Jewish cranks on columns that contained criticism of Israeli policy. The purpose seems to be to demonize critics of Israel as seething with hatred of all Jewish people. This way, when readers see something critical of Israel, it is followed by a multitude of comments expressing blind hatred for all Jews. The reader is then led to assume that the author probably just hates all Jewish people.

It is also important to note that he was a prolific poster on VNN, a forum commonly used by the SPLC. The SPLC loves to cite anonymous crank posts on VNN as proof that a neo-nazi threat to the public exists. On VNN he pretended to be a black man who hates all Jews.

Common Dreams says they have identified another person who also prolifically posts anti-Jewish cranks on the internet under different usernames. In fact, they say they have identified 60 different usernames on DISQUS who are all the same person. Some of these usernames have posted over 1,000 comments each. Common Dreams says that this prolific poster is also trying to associate any criticism of Israel with fanatical hatred of all Jews.

On a side note: There have been times when someone will start posting cranks comments on every single post on this website. When we look at the IP address, it it very common for the person to have at least two identities and sometimes the have several. Often they will reply to themselves with another fake identity.