Nov 24 (1/5): Modding the War

I’ve mentioned before that a lot of the people on the Rojava “side” of the conflict actually police or, if you will, “mod” [moderate] the communications even on the Twitters. I’ve even seen people “shout” “We’re better than that!” in response to a debunked image of a Kurdish child being wounded in the early days of the conflict.

Sounds like home. This blog grew out of a conversation only  made possible by self-conscious, responsible moderatorship. So anyway, here’s an example that just came across my feed:

Initial standard Tweet slagging American imperialism.


ap 1.jpeg

Unsolicited correction, or How I Grew to Stop Worrying and Love the Twitters.



Now check out who that is—I hadn’t even realized this until after I started writing this:

sdf public affairs twitter account

With all these people have been through, and they still have time to shut down bullshit agitprop meme wars. That’s class.

Digression: Jesus Christ. I just googled “agit prop” to see if it should have a hyphen (I really did this. And now I hate myself.) and this came up (now linked above)—I had no idea:

Agitprop (/ˈæɪtprɒp/; from Russianагитпропtr. Agitprópportmanteau of “agitation” and “propaganda”)[1] is political propaganda, especially the communist propaganda used in Soviet Russia, that is spread to the general public through popular media such as literature, plays, pamphlets, films, and other art forms with an explicitly political message.[2]

The term originated in Soviet Russia as a shortened name for the Department for Agitation and Propaganda (отдел агитации и пропагандыotdel agitatsii i propagandy), which was part of the central and regional committees of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The department was later renamed Ideological Department. Typically Russian agitprop explained the ideology and policies of the Communist Party and attempted to persuade the general public to support and join the party and share its ideals. Agitprop was also used for dissemination of information and knowledge to the people, like new methods of agriculture

It just doesn’t fucking end with these people. And I don’t mean Russians. I like Russians. But I had thought “agitprop” was a hipster slang term for shit like M.I.A.’s music. I know I keep saying “I had no idea” about some thing that I look up that turn out like this—this is the second time this post—but this is just what it’s like when the conflict is fundamentally over the acceptability of totalitarianism. Really, I need to stop being so surprised, but I’m not sure I’m ready to live in that world.

But it’s not just an ethics thing, is i? We know at this point that it’s also in their interest to do so—to want to staunch the flow of nonsense and, worse, disinformation (which is, hat tip again to @Barbed Wire Bob for this one, also a Russian term: dezinformatsiya. Seriously. It just. Doesn’t. End). And that’s an interesting point that offers a lot of insight into their whole angle on identity politics, specifically that they’re coming from the POV of the people who always end up getting screwed by identity based interest politics.

I think a lot of these people are just so sick of bullshit that they don’t give a fuck if it’s supposed to galvanize or rally people or what. It’s never helped them in the past and it’s not going to now and they’ve just fucking had it.

And this is despite being very pissed off at Trump. And maybe Lindsey Graham. And some other people. But unlike less open societies in the region, as per above, they’re not into the whole Death to America(TM) thing because they actually differentiate between the state, the leadership, the people, and so forth, as part of the whole freedom thing. They get it because it’s what they want. They’ve had it with the other stuff that’s always pitched as for the greater good. Just had it.

As such, as per above, even their propaganda tends to be more focused and precise in its message.

Some will agree. Some will disagree. But the claim is specific as to who did what to whom and what happened and provides video that is unabashedly sensationalist—nothing disingenuous about it. That may piss some people off, but it’s not lying about some poor kid trying to stick his foot in a tailpipe. Leave that kid out of this.

I mean, seriously, how hard is it for people on Twitter to just do a bit more of this?

I guess there’s no way to move up the alpha Twitter hierarchy and increase one’s potential access to mates which Twitter glory surely guarantees without a loud and public social media strength display?

Because I love Tweets like the ones above. You learn levels of what’s going on. And they’re much easier to read.

What’s that quote about letting people tell you who they are? The people who really want us to understand what is and is not happening tend to make themselves clear.

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