Telegram and Co: the Office for the Protection of the Constitution "online trolls"to stir up hatred

Psychological operations, so-called psy-ops, are as old as warfare itself. By spreading targeted misinformation, the opponent is supposed to be tempted to release information or to take certain actions – entirely in the interest of the manipulator. A tactic often used by secret services to manipulate people abroad. In Germany, however, the secret services seem to prefer to target their own population rather than foreign citizens in the context of such actions. This is according to a report published on Monday Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) out.

In an interview with the SZ Officials from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution now admitted to operating a network of fake social media accounts – mostly classified as “right-wing extremists” – in order to post racist slogans in any channels and to rush about refugees and hated “system politicians” and “traitors of the people”. In other words, the spies are supposed to influence the mood in the observed chat groups. The German domestic secret service is supposed to send hundreds of “virtual agents” to them SZ– According to reports employed for this purpose – at the expense of taxpayers.

In addition to supposedly right-wing chat groups, the professional “troll group” primarily targets social media channels of the left-wing extremist, Islamist, but also “conspiracy ideological” scene. “You have to warm up a bit first,” said an agent of the SZ. “See which spells work.” In order to win the trust of other users, you have to come across as authentic as possible. That’s why she was instructed to “play a bit of a right-wing radical herself”:

In order to be really credible, it is not enough to share or like what others say, you also have to make statements yourself. This means that the agents also bully and agitate.

The agent is aware that she is using it to strengthen people’s view of the world. However, their duties also include “feeding” the scene. What exactly she meant by that is not clear from the report. An earlier research of Süddeutsche Zeitung However, the virtual agents are said to have played a key role in the investigation into the case of the extremist chat group United Patriots. Several members of the group were suspected of forming a right-wing terrorist organization. They are also accused of having planned the kidnapping of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD).

The goal of the online agents is therefore to be included in the inner circles. Getting to know the particularly influential people in the scene takes time, says the agent. This only works if you approach the “big fish” through “mutual friends”. “Everyone needs friends”. According to the agent, many victims of these Orwellian surveillance methods had no idea how many accounts in their chat groups are now being run by agents for the protection of the constitution.

“This is the future of information procurement,” replied an unnamed head of a state office SZ. The funds for such missions were increased on a large scale in 2019. The trigger for this was according to the anonymous SZ-Informants were therefore the murder of the CDU politician Walter Lübcke, against whom there had previously been a lot of agitation on the Internet. There are now so many fake accounts operated by the authority that nationwide agreements are necessary. Otherwise, they could target each other.

But the enormous mass of fake accounts is necessary: ​​Radical circles, explained an agent of the SZ, are often “onion-like in structure”. In order to get into the inner circle, newcomers would first be questioned and their ideological attitude “tapped”. “Have you read that? What do you say to that,” he illustrated. As an agent, you have to be able to answer that immediately. Otherwise you’ll be thrown out, since “right-wing groups” – such as the “Nuclear Weapons Division” – are extremely paranoid.

Over time, the danger also increases that the agents lose themselves in the ideologies, a high-ranking official from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution admitted to the SZ a. “You need a certain psychological profile.” For those agents who spend the whole day in the social networks, there is an increased risk that they will fall for the stories there themselves. According to the official, anyone who moves in a “closed worldview” all day long must always work to keep their distance. “Closed worldviews tend to be logical in themselves.”

Psychologists employed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution should therefore prevent a cyber agent from “slipping”. If one of them drifts off, they also act as watchdogs. When asked how often this had happened, the senior official responded with silence. The task of a virtual agent is to rush along day and night and to argue in the interests of the respective ideologies – and “nevertheless remain straight”, he explained:

“You have to understand the scene without becoming part of that scene. Not everyone can learn that.”

more on the subject – The real enemies of the constitution in Germany sit on top

Source: RT

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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