Bernie Has A Mean Followers Problem

Brenda Archer

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I wish they’d point out we don’t know who these people actually are, since they’re coming from the internet.

This could turn out to be an exploitable weak spot - an army of trolls and bots claiming to be Bernie Bros, while the real ones are bad enough, and Bernie himself isn’t an online type.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I wish they’d point out we don’t know who these people actually are, since they’re coming from the internet.

This could turn out to be an exploitable weak spot - an army of trolls and bots claiming to be Bernie Bros, while the real ones are bad enough, and Bernie himself isn’t an online type.
It's certainly quite possible this was a jolly jape plotted by some ever so edgy edgelords in a discord channel or the nether reaches of 8-chan, just as it's certainly possible it's genuine Bernie Bros.

Similar it's distinctly possible that once one group (whoever they were) started, the others joined in, either opportunistically or naively, depending which group it as.

It's also possible it's all a deliberate attempt to make mischief by either Trump supporters or those chaps in St Petersburg.

But frankly, I don't see it matters who started it, and unless it's suggested Senator Sanders or his campaign managers encourage his supporters to behave this way, then I don't think it's particularly fruitful to seek to assign blame.

All that does is divert people into endless squabbles, which can never be resolved, about who started it and mutual recriminations and insults, which is possibly what the culprits intended, and stops people talking about policies.

I can think of plenty of reasons to have reservations about Bernie Sanders, but the bad behaviour of a small though obnoxious group of his supporters (if they the ones behind it) doesn't seem a particularly good one.
 
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Isabeau

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Exactly. By all means, disagree with/debate/attack Sanders' policies (and all other candidates) but by constantly focussing on this group of supporters instead, I'm not certain what one achieves.

I understand that if one is being bullied by these online personas, they feel they must defend themselves, point it out, but I'm not sure what more sanders or people who support him should or could do.

I feel that often, it's reported on in a way that implies everyone who supports him is a tad implicit in the bullying/harassment. As if they're trying to shame people into not supporting him.
 

Jolene Benoir

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But that was then -- Putin has now converted to a form of Russian Orthodox Christo-fascism and presides over the authoritarian, nationalist and populist government of a nominally democratic state noted for its plutocrats, oligarchs and gangsters, and for his dislike of gays and Muslims.

He's also a genuine self-made strongman who's come up from the Leningrad slums to run Russia, having broken any of the oligarchs (all of them richer and far tougher than Trump) who tried to stand in his way, and is now one of the wealthiest men in the world. He's the sort of "winner" Trump wishes he were.

What's there for a Trump supporter not to like?
Also, what is there that Trump doesn't aspire to be.?
 

Aribeth Zelin

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I'd believe in it just being bots, except some of the most strident supporters are people I've met in person... they aren't completely obnoxious, but...
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I'd believe in it just being bots, except some of the most strident supporters are people I've met in person... they aren't completely obnoxious, but...
It's not a question of either/or, to my mind.

Bots are a form of amplification on social media. Someone creates a hashtag, or group of hashtags, and writes a series of short tweets and social media posts and updates sharing news stories, and posts them using those hashtags.

Other bots pick up the hashtags and start sharing the posts, with the hashtag, and sharing other posts using it.

Before long real people are sharing and commenting on the story, and then the bots pick up those posts and share them, and so on.

Sooner or later the various search engines and so on that track hashtags pick up on the spike in its use, and start promoting it as a trending topic...

So in this example, someone picks up the news story about the trades union refusing to issue a formal endorsement of any candidate in the Nevada primary, after they'd been expected to endorse Sanders, adds some hashtags and some inflammatory comments, and sets the bots loose posting it on social media.

Real people see the posts and comment, and forward them themselves, and the bots then pick up on the use of the hashtags in those posts...

Bots are amplifiers.
 

Free

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Exactly. By all means, disagree with/debate/attack TRUMPS' policies (and all other candidates) but by constantly focussing on this group of supporters instead, I'm not certain what one achieves.
See how that works?
 

Anya Ristow

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It's certainly quite possible this was a jolly jape plotted by some ever so edgy edgelords in a discord channel or the nether reaches of 8-chan, just as it's certainly possible it's genuine Bernie Bros.

Similar it's distinctly possible that once one group (whoever they were) started, the others joined in, either opportunistically or naively, depending which group it as.

It's also possible it's all a deliberate attempt to make mischief by either Trump supporters or those chaps in St Petersburg.
Does anyone even know what they're talking about? Anyone seen an example? A link to a tweet?

It has come to a point that someone just says, "Bernie Bros are attacking me" and everyone just knows what that means and accepts it.

Union leadership has taken the same position they did last year. It's likely to be unpopular with "bernie bros", but what exposure, exactly, does union leadership even have to bernie bros? I haven't even seen a link posted to the Bernie subreddit that I can follow and express my displeasure.

Union leadership says bernie bros are attacking members. This is what is claimed. I don't just accept it.

The Nevada convention, BTW, was a shit show last year. It was the source of a false news report of Sanders delegates throwing chairs. Only NPR ever retracted that story, and they did a half-hearted job of it. The PBS reporter who started it was fired, but PBS didn't even retract the story. And DWS and the Nevada dems ran with it to smear Sanders and his supporters.

Nevada is where 2016 turned ugly.

ETA as to why it matters who the union endorses, the caucus is open, so it is known whether you follow the union leadership suggestion. In some unions in Nevada this is apparently considered persuasive. But this year the Culinary Union is apparently not going to endorse a candidate. Which is fortunate since the rank and file has reportedly said they didn't intend to follow the recommendation.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Does anyone even know what they're talking about? Anyone seen an example? A link to a tweet?

It has come to a point that someone just says, "Bernie Bros are attacking me" and everyone just knows what that means and accepts it.

Union leadership has taken the same position they did last year. It's likely to be unpopular with "bernie bros", but what exposure, exactly, does union leadership even have to bernie bros? I haven't even seen a link posted to the Bernie subreddit that I can follow and express my displeasure.

Union leadership says bernie bros are attacking members. This is what is claimed. I don't just accept it.
The Nevada Independent has further details:


I suppose it's possible that the union leaders themselves left the insulting messages on the newspaper's message board and sent themselves a threatening email, but I'd want evidence to support that theory before entertaining it.
 

Brenda Archer

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The Nevada Independent has further details:


I suppose it's possible that the union leaders themselves left the insulting messages on the newspaper's message board and sent themselves a threatening email, but I'd want evidence to support that theory before entertaining it.
Not so much that they would do it to themselves, but if it came from the internet, it could be literally anyone. There are plenty of interests that prefer union or employer based insurance to M4A, interests trying to interfere for other real-world reasons, and all the usual internet foolishness.

I’d go with the simplest possibility, harassment did happen, but to people too naive to understand it could be anybody, until someone with what amounts to a blue Twitter checkmark takes the credit, or law enforcement traces something to a real person.

I think the real audience for this is people who aren’t online enough to understand we don’t know who did it.

It’s just like someone leaving a bag with explosives on the street, it gets reported and then five different, mutually opposed terrorist groups try to take credit for it.
 
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Anya Ristow

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The Nevada Independent has further details:
“This is your chance to fix your mistake before the millions and millions of Bernie Sanders supporters will find you and end your ability to earn a living,” the email says. “We will find you corrupt mother fuckers of that you can be sure and we will make sure you wallow in poverty and suffering.”

“Apologize and fix your mistake or else you will pay … I know tens of thousands of Bernie supporters and we will come after you fascist imbeciles,” it continues. “#Bernie2020 #NotMeUs.”
I hang out with some pretty obnoxious turds and I've never seen such an effort organized or suggested or hinted. Not against any union, not against any Clinton associates, not against the Nevada dems who slandered Sanders and his supporters last year. While those two comments look suspiciously like trolls, I can believe some sanders supporters do shit like this, but they don't speak for very many.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I hang out with some pretty obnoxious turds and I've never seen such an effort organized or suggested or hinted. Not against any union, not against any Clinton associates, not against the Nevada dems who slandered Sanders and his supporters last year. I can believe some of them do shit like this, but they don't speak for very many.
Sure, and as I said, while I have no idea who started it -- though I suspect that, once it did start, plenty of other actors with all sorts of motivations, ranging from the naive to the malicious joined in -- I don't see that matters. Clearly the Sanders campaign is trying to discourage such behaviour, and I think getting bogged down in arguments about whose responsibility is it will get no one anywhere.

However, I'm not really prepared to entertain the possibility that the union leaders actually started it themselves unless someone produces good evidence to support such an allegation.
 

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It occurs to me that, should a Democrat defeat Trump in November, the victor has no chance of getting any major reforms -- whether concerning health care or anything else -- through the Senate unless and until the Democrats command a majority there, which won't be for at least two years.

So what's the point of their debating their plans now in any detail?
If a democrat should win the Rep senators will start trying to save their precious behinds from a reckoning...
Opportunists that they have proven to be they will most likely cooperate with the new powers to be. Otherwise their chances for re-election are slim.
 
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Brenda Archer

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If a democrat should win the Rep senators will start trying to save their precious behinds from a reckoning...
Opportunists that they have proven to be they will most likely cooperate with the new powers to be. Otherwise their chances for re-election are slim.
I hope so. It’s also possible some of them will try to look like martyrs in an effort to propagandize their base. One of the rules of abusers is that they want to be seen as the victims.
 

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I have to think a lot of the Bernie ppl attacking everyone are not mostly real Bernie people, since it is deeply damaging to his cause. He has done nothing to encourage it, the opposite. None of the Bernie people I know are attacking anyone.

My ideal scenario: Bernie is the nominee and Bloomberg spends a couple billion dollars countering Russian troll farms.
 

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I personally think that it's inane that the question of whether or not we have truly universal health care and seriously attack the problem of climate change would be dependent upon whether or not some random people were nice on the Internet.