Dissidence Management in the 21st Century: The Fake Protestor

A few days ago … okay, let’s be exact for once, even if it doesn’t matter … on September 2 or 3, I was going through the ZNet top page and reading some of the articles. Then I clicked on the link that pointed to a page with an interview with Norman Finkelstein. This page contained both the video of the interview, as well as the transcript. Since, for some reason, the videos do not play properly on the ZNet pages themselves, I usually have to ‘watch them on the YouTube’.

On a side note, here, for the last four month or so, I have been able to watch videos on the Internet, though the connection often gets cut and I have to restart repeatedly. Not always, though. Sometimes things go quite smoothly. But before coming here, that is in India, I was able to watch hardly any streaming videos as they just wouldn’t go on, that is, if they did get started, even though I was spending a lot of money on Internet connections: yes, more than one, because one was often failing. That is why you don’t find any links to videos on this blog (and on other sites that I maintain) before I came here. For the last three-four years, at least. On one occasion, when I tried to watch an interview of Julian Assange, every time I started it, the connection went completely dead for a while. On that day, I must have tried it at least 30 times or more, and every single time the same thing happened. The connection would go dead and it would start again. And, in fact, if I tried other normal activities, it kept working, but as soon as I clicked on that interview, dead went the connection. Also, believe it or not (it sure sounds absurd), most of those 30 or more times, the electric power also went out for a short time. I have an explanation for the connection part, but I don’t for the electric power outage. I am still mystified about it. It happened so many times, and in perfect concert with my clicking on that interview and the breaking of the Internet connection, that I can’t easily pretend that it was purely coincidental, can I? Similar things happened before, many many times, but not in this manner. With some effort, you could argue that it was coincidental.

Anyway, after watching the Norman Finkelstein interview (him being in his usual form and the Occupy related interviewer asking good enough questions to him), I noticed that all the related videos were, what can be called ‘weird videos’, such as ‘man sticks his head up girls ass’. Normally, when you finish watching a YouTube video, you are presented with a number of other videos that are deemed to be related to the one you just watched. This is mainly based on the tags that are given to the videos. Two videos are related if they have similar tags. Now, how on Earth did the Norman Finkelstein video get similar tags as those weird videos? Coincidental?

By the way, I went to that video again today, and, what do you know! this time only the most directly related videos are presented. Looks like someone did some cleaning up.

But the interesting, and important, point that I make is about one of those weird videos, which was weird in a different way. It was presented as the first choice among the related videos (you know, on top left, bigger size thumbnail) and it was titled ‘THE NO.1 IDIOT OF THE OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTS’.

It is also a kind of interview. The interviewer is, you could say, a 1% supporter, and the interviewee is (supposedly) an Occupy protestor. This ‘protestor’ is holding up a sign that says, “Throw me a bone. Pay my tuition.”

Here it is, although, as I said, it is no longer ‘related’ to the Norman Finkelstein video:

How many people out there think that an Occupy protestor would actually hold up a sign that says this? And is not able to articulate a single answer to the almost bullying interviewer, who seems to be one of those to whom the 1% do throw the good bones regularly?

But this isn’t the first time I have noticed such weird videos as being ‘related’ to those by genuine dissidents, leftist intellectuals etc. Still, this was perhaps one of the most blatant cases.

Here is the scary bit. The Normal Finkelstein video has 216 views as of this moment. The Fake Protestor video has 343,103 views. And the aforementioned man sticks etc. video has 23,712,483 views.

I wondered whether I should say this or not, but perhaps I should. The Fake Protestor seems to be an Indian and, as I pointed out elsewhere, the Indian ‘middle class’ (to which he seems to belong) doesn’t like the Occupy movement. Many of them didn’t like the ‘Arab Spring’ either (including some on the Left, who thought it was a CIA creation).

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