The Troll Farm and the Polish F-35 Procurement

DWG

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Interesting story in the Guardian about an undercover reporter infiltrating a Polish Troll Farm, which includes this snippet:

"Accounts were created that would concentrate on the aviation and defence industries, and target key decision-makers involved in the awarding of major government defence contracts.

The accounts were used to undermine public support for the Polish government’s decision to place a major order with the American contractor Lockheed Martin for the F-35 fighter jet, promoting instead the Eurofighter Typhoon produced by a consortium that includes Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo – which has a Polish subsidiary, PZL Świdnik. Cat@Net employees were reminded by their managers that “the F-35 is our enemy number one” but “don’t be too pushy with the Eurofighter, otherwise they will know they are being trolled”.

Though it adds "Internal documents suggest the company received most if not all of its commissions from an external PR company, which may have been outsourcing the influence operations without its clients’ knowledge.

PZL Świdnik said it “conducts its business activities in an ethical manner in all respects” and any supplier of services to it is required to comply with its code of ethics. It denied engaging in any wrongdoing regarding communications practices relating to disinformation, hate speech, or attempts to influence political decisions. "
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Foxglove

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Interesting story in the Guardian about an undercover reporter infiltrating a Polish Troll Farm, which includes this snippet:

"Accounts were created that would concentrate on the aviation and defence industries, and target key decision-makers involved in the awarding of major government defence contracts.

The accounts were used to undermine public support for the Polish government’s decision to place a major order with the American contractor Lockheed Martin for the F-35 fighter jet, promoting instead the Eurofighter Typhoon produced by a consortium that includes Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo – which has a Polish subsidiary, PZL Świdnik. Cat@Net employees were reminded by their managers that “the F-35 is our enemy number one” but “don’t be too pushy with the Eurofighter, otherwise they will know they are being trolled”.

Though it adds "Internal documents suggest the company received most if not all of its commissions from an external PR company, which may have been outsourcing the influence operations without its clients’ knowledge.

PZL Świdnik said it “conducts its business activities in an ethical manner in all respects” and any supplier of services to it is required to comply with its code of ethics. It denied engaging in any wrongdoing regarding communications practices relating to disinformation, hate speech, or attempts to influence political decisions. "
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Which doesn't take away a whole host of deficiencies of the said F-35. For me, as a Pole, it's going to be around USD10bln down the drain.
 

Dragon029

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Not to lay any accusations, but it does come off a bit weird or funny that you're replying to this post after it's been inactive for a couple of months, and this is only your third comment since 2014 (prior to which you were much more active). I know some people have considered me to be an 'F-35 shill' though, so pot calling the kettle black and all that, but I just think it's almost funny how much social media manipulation there is these days.
 

panzerfeist1

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Which doesn't take away a whole host of deficiencies of the said F-35. For me, as a Pole,

Come on Robert """"""Ruszkowski"""""" is the senior aircraft designer of the aircraft so I cant understand why Poles would hate it, have they even flown it?

So far no Turkish pilot has badmouthed the aircraft either(as far as I know) and they still wanted to get the aircrafts, but our country has obvious reasons to any country making a major Russian purchase in arms.
 

Foxglove

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Not to lay any accusations, but it does come off a bit weird or funny that you're replying to this post after it's been inactive for a couple of months, and this is only your third comment since 2014 (prior to which you were much more active). I know some people have considered me to be an 'F-35 shill' though, so pot calling the kettle black and all that, but I just think it's almost funny how much social media manipulation there is these days.
Dragon,media manipulation? I don't know what you're talking about, and honestly, don't care if you take me for a troll, a Russian spy, or a little gray alien, as you seem to be implying. I don't see your point in bringing up my erratic activity here, either, so if you want to continue in this vein, let's call it a day, but if you are willing to discuss F-35's flaws, you are more than welcome
 

Avimimus

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I know some people have considered me to be an 'F-35 shill' though, so pot calling the kettle black and all that, but I just think it's almost funny how much social media manipulation there is these days.

Yeah, it is kindof funny... we had big ads for the F-35 in newspapers (and even bus stops if I recall correctly) here in Canada and it was clear that Lockheed-Martin was dropping a lot of money on it... It caused me to wonder about some posters: Was it enthusiasm they came up with on their own? Were they encouraged by professional organizers (kind-of like an astro-turfing campaign)? Or were some of them being paid (directly or indirectly)?

I generally suspect it was the first (and maybe the second) one... i.e. genuine enthusiasm - but I did wonder sometimes.

I was also a bit surprised about how emotionally invested some people were in exporting the aircraft.
 

Dragon029

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Dragon,media manipulation? I don't know what you're talking about, and honestly, don't care if you take me for a troll, a Russian spy, or a little gray alien, as you seem to be implying. I don't see your point in bringing up my erratic activity here, either, so if you want to continue in this vein, let's call it a day, but if you are willing to discuss F-35's flaws, you are more than welcome
Again, I'm not actually claiming you're a troll or bot, etc, but the point of my post is that: this thread is not about the F-35's flaws, it's about a company in Poland being hired to fake a relatively large scale critical depiction of Poland's procurement of the F-35 on social media (with web forums like this being a type of social media), using things like fake accounts (to make a team of perhaps tens of people look like thousands).

One tactic that gets used by influencer / troll farms in general is to buy or (more often) hack into accounts of people that fit fit their agenda - if you're launching a disinformation campaign against (eg) a politician in a certain state or country, having an account of a person that lives in that state or country, and who has a post history going back months or years makes them look more genuine (vs an account created hours or days ago). Sometimes however, those accounts are inactive after being procured, because the disinformation users don't have the time to try and perform a charade of making that user look active.

Obviously, some people just go on hiatus from certain forums due to things like work, or study, or travel, or changes in personal interests, and that's natural. When a person returns from a hiatus however, usually they're checking up on a forum, and so they're viewing and replying recently posted content. When someone isn't willing to invest time in a forum, they usually don't go through and find posts from months prior.

So when you come back after nearly 3 years of zero evident activity, and the second reply you make is on a thread that talks about how a Polish troll farm has been hired to criticise Poland's procurement of the F-35, with your reply not really acknowledging the article, but rather just criticising the F-35, it's quite ironic (even if you're a genuine person, posting a genuine opinion).

The F-35 does certainly have deficiencies, but you're looking in the wrong thread and subforum if you came to discuss them: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/the-f-35-discussion-topic-no-holds-barred-ii.21730/page-34
 

Orionblamblam

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I was also a bit surprised about how emotionally invested some people were in exporting the aircraft.

Have you not seen people getting emotionally invested in sportsball?

Football hooliganism

Humans are spectacularly buggy difference engines. We get all worked up over lots of stuff, and the F-35 is hardly the least rational thing for a person to become invested in. Jet fighters, after all, are far more objectively important than sportsball... and in their way, far more rare. New soccer games every weekend. The F-35 began a quarter century ago and there is as yet no sequel.
 

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