I’ve noticed now several Reddit accounts, who only became active the second the Intercept article dropped, using the same language verbatim as other accounts who also only became active the second this article dropped. All seem to attack Coulthart specifically. I wanna make it clear I’m not talking about every single criticism from every Reddit user following the release of this article; I’m talking specifically about inactive accounts, suddenly becoming active to attack Coulthart specifically. I’m also not talking about those criticizing him for falling into the alleged trap of commenting first. I’m talking about people calling him a liar, and untrustworthy to sway public opinion when that is clearly not what happened.
It’s strange seeing Reddit accounts, which were dormant until the exact moment the article was released, suddenly become active and posting the same opinion; I’m not sure if I am allowed to link directly so I’m just going to encourage everyone to do their own due diligence and not blindly follow every comment. This phenomenon isn’t simply a coincidence; it’s a tactic known as astroturfing.
Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization to make it appear as though it originates from grassroots participants. This is not some far-fetched idea; there are historical instances of government agencies, including the DoD, engaging in similar behavior.
During the Cold War era, certain government entities engaged in disinformation campaigns to manipulate public opinion. Social media manipulation by various governmental agencies has been recorded as a strategy to sway public perception. In the context of UFO whistleblowing, it’s not a stretch to see why such tactics might be employed. If the claims of Coulthart and others threaten certain interests, astroturfing would be an effective way to undermine those claims, sowing doubt and confusion among the community.
It’s Not Delusion; It’s Their Modus Operandi
What we’re witnessing is not “delusions of grandeur.” It’s a pattern of deception that has been employed before in public forums. This subreddit is just one of many.
The concerted effort to attack specifically Coulthart’s claims about privacy leaks, using newly active, but formerly dormant accounts with identical language, seems like a sign of an orchestrated campaign.
I personally doubt the original author of the article would even know they were being used for disinformation. Giving “scoops” to reporters who are known to be antagonistic towards a certain subject is also a well known tactic, so please be mindful of that.
We must remain vigilant, discerning, and united in our pursuit of truth. Criticism and skepticism are healthy, but let us not be swayed by deliberate attempts to undermine our efforts through deceptive tactics.
Edit: Including these fantastic links posted by u/RoastyMcGiblets from another thread about Elgin Airforce Base being the most active Reddit city and also where astroturfing programs are located.
“Here’s a little more info: Here’s a paper about Eglin being used as part of a program testing the power of online astroturfing/propaganda: