New Zealand’s new Alt-Right Twitter Trolls: Dirty Politics 2018


I think it was around 2007.

The political blogs were in their infancy and I had been given several tip offs regarding the partner of a politician who had supposedly hit on a same sex airline staff member. The story was that the partner had made a drunken pass at a staff member on a plane and the entire event had been hushed up to stop it getting out to the media.

I remember thinking at the time that what me suspicious of the validity of these tips offs was how the details were almost perfectly exact each time I heard it.

NZ is a tiny country and controlling and manipulating the news agenda for various political interests is easy.

In our most recent political past, Cameron Slater was the unparalleled king of this manipulation.

Exploiting the under funded news rooms of NZ, he was able to create narratives and story ideas for overworked and scoop desperate journalists.

Pay Slater for a story and then watch how the mainstream media slowly pick up the narrative.

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That imploded when Nicky Hager released Dirty Politics. Over night Slater went from most feared to most radioactive. Whaleoil has about as much impact on the wider media now as Kiwiblog does.

Two things changed.

The first is the aforementioned radioactivity of sleaze and corruption which Dirty Politics exposed. The second is the news rooms are no longer dependent on the blogs for news.

Most newsrooms around NZ have now been taken over by the Millennial who was employed to just do the social media ‘stuff’ for news. Instead of needing a blog to get a story, NZ news rooms are now dependent on their social media feeds to find a story.

So how do those interests who fuel and fund dirty politics continue to manipulate the news agenda?

By having a Troll Army to promote and create manufactured outrage.

Recently the NZ twitter sphere has been hit by an enormous spike in angry white right wing males spluttering the most absurd and most hateful bile imaginable.

Many are currently peddling a vicious smear about  a ‘prominent NZer’. I’ve thoroughly investigated this smear and whom the Right Wing Trolls are trying to allege is the centre of it and the claims are 100% bullshit.

I won’t repeat anything more than that because the vileness of what is being spread deserves contempt, not promotion.

I’ve followed this new Troll Army with interest. Many of the main players have changed their names and handles many times in an effort to move on from one persona to another once an old one burns out any credibility. Some seem like gullible fools who have found an online community with the same anger they have, while others look like Bots who are simply whipping up foam and outrage around whatever smear is being injected into the social media realm.

I suspect this is co-ordinated and is being fed.

Dirty Politics didn’t end with the demise in influence of Cameron Slater & David Farrar, it has cleverly mutated into a hundred social media voices that are all oddly saying the same things at the same time.

The danger is that the new social media fed newsrooms will seize upon a troll as a legitimate source without appreciating how manipulated the outrage is.

Even if the lie isn’t absorbed by the mainstream, troll farms create pools of septic voters injected with manufactured bile.

David Slack’s column today on his suspicions of Dirty Politics has seen him swamped on Twitter by Right Wing Trolls trying to tell him he’s wrong and that a prominent NZer is really on trial for drugs…

…and Matthew Hooton joked about the rumour online and was himself swamped with desperate Ring Wing Trolls trying to get him to expose their ‘truth’…

…I believe vested interests are funding this new Right Wing Troll Army and are running active black ops to smear, defame and attack political opponents of those interests.

Once I have proof confirming my suspicions, I will most certainly post them.

In the meantime, the NZ media who all felt terribly burnt and embarrassed by the exposure of how easily they were manipulated by Cameron Slater  may wish to run an eye over what their are picking up and using off social media in case then are once agin getting tricked.



  1. Why pay meat puppets when you can automate?

    The meme was always an inside joke for those who had watched the movie or read the book. Even if it was a stupid kids movie, those who watched it could laugh about the stupid stuff. And if some one didn’t watch the movie but tried to use the meme any way then the jokes on you. Payment for some one else funniness is where memes go to die.

  2. the right here seem to be two steps behind the Milo and bannons of US and see how they have fallen cant wait for ours to catch up!!!. those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it!!!

    • Milo is more into making fun of the things people on the identitarian far left actually say and do than inventing rumours of things they are said to have done – and he has more than enough material to work with daily. That’s actually been the ingenuity of his brand. You don’t need to make stuff like Trigglypuff up – they’ll do it for the camera. Also, he isn’t alt right – they hate him, for a number of what should be rather obvious reasons.

  3. Where to begin?!!!!
    Probably the first thing is that there’ll be the likes of a Mapp and others screaming “hard left conspiracy theorist”
    Then there’s this: In the meantime, the NZ media who all felt terribly burnt and embarrassed by the exposure of how easily they were manipulated by Cameron Slater may wish to run an eye over what their are picking up and using off social media in case then are once again getting tricked.”
    Do you really think they actually understand how terribly burnt, embarrassed and manipulated they were, and even if they did, do you think they even give a shit? One or two maybe, but if so, you’re more charitable than I am – I congratulate you.

    One thing I notice though Martyn: not so long ago, it used to be about baby boomers… its millenials. Arseholes come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re still arseholes

    • 10% Martyn,

      Like Tim I admire your stand on the continuing “nasty policies” of the ‘new National Party’ and it’s supporters.

      National through the last nine years have turned NZ into other ‘bitter, divided mostly poor community’ allowing a flourishing few rich to profit off the backs of the suffering of the other 99% of the community, promoting the 1% to live in a false world of “born to rule” policy to profit them only, while the 99% masses suffer at their hands.

      NZ is now a careless heartless society not what we were 10yrs ago before national wrecked havoc upon us for generations by slash and burning our future and our once publicly owned assets.

      National have produced the first massive ‘stealing swindle of our public wealth’ ow seen as the ‘first historic rort’ being cast upon us all at their own selfish benefit.


      • Yes but they only got the inspiration from the original Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson treasonists.

        BOTH of whom were alternating Labour and National.

        And BOTH of whom were sitting board members of the London based Mont Pelerin society who fosters these far right wing economic policys.

        And for 3 decades these odious neo liberal types have been doing it.

        And John Key only managed to do what he did and sign off on the deaths of three year old girls because National needed a ‘softer face’ after Don Brashes Orewa speech and being caught out lying about collusion with the closed brethren to sway elections and popular opinion about the Greens…

        All National needed was a confidence trickster to con the voters and they found it in John Key . The Forex man. The guy who collaborated with Andrew Kreiger to rape the NZ economy. The biggest Forex heist known in history and still talked about to this very day.

        Except in the MSM of NZ.

        The Bible has , … in the Old Testament a verse that says :

        ‘Throw out the mockers and peace will be restored to the house’…

        And nary a truer word be spoken. This is what should happen,… we ,.. as a country ,… need to throw out, put on trial, imprison , deport , investigate assets and business dealings and / or otherwise neuter these neo liberal criminals from the ability of conducting any more harm on our society and nation.

        Nip it in the bud, clip their wings , head them off , bring down the axe.

        And then forcefully ( and that means sacking non compliant’s ) reinstall Keynesian based economics as the accepted orthodox method that it once was. From Treasury on down.

        Then we would start to see fairness and true egalitarianism start to flourish once again in Aotearoa.

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

  4. Not quite the same thing but had had a sponsored advert appear from Stephen Cranston of Cranston Consulting claiming “There is no evidence that NZ agriculture is warming the planet and the government has just worked this out” and attacking the Government and Green Party’s policy.

    This makes me wonder how much potential there is for third parties to attack the government on social media, only limited by how much they ae willing to spend. While there is a limit to how much political parties can spend at elections, there is no limit for third parties (AKA “attack advertising”)

  5. Clare de Lore – and how did she get to be where she is ? – extraordinary reporting of Michael Basset’s nasty and creepily personal dissection of Jacinda Adern and the Labour Party suggests Bassett’s brain isn’t what it used to be – if it ever was – and that his pretentious persona is now being dragged in to do some serious dragging down of the current govt.

    Quoting another:

    ‘Its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect…The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses.’

    Crosby/ Textor ? No. Hitler, ‘Mein Kampf.’

    Key did this well – hanging around All Blacks -being Mr lcd man etc.

    • Martyn, this sounds like the National Party Social Media Team have extended their brief.

      It amazes me that more people don’t talk about this but here’s National Party insider Grant McLaughlin explaining how it works in the Herald

      By the sounds of that the current right wing trolling is just an extension of their original purpose.

      The link is actually to an article about the flag debate but McLachlan accidentally spills the beans about how the Nats work these days:

      “National has several levels within its organisation that try to sway public opinion. Groups target talkback radio, social media, surveys, and media polls. Crony commentators manipulate, obfuscate, smear, and stigmatise.”

      This guy ANDREWO is probably one of them, if he’s not then more fool him because it’s possible he could be making a bit of coin for this work.

      • You’ll notice that AndrewO hasn’t responded to the accusation – a sign of a disciplined professional troll keen not to attract attention to themselves and especially the newspaper article.

  6. Hmmm, interesting… Something I’ve noticed from some Twitter trolls as well, and soon to be put together as a blogpost (though not apparently directly related to Martyn’s story)…

  7. Cambridge Analytica has proved how powerful and successful it is gathering information and manipulating social media. It’s real. Bannon and the Mercer family used them for Trump’s election. It worked.

  8. We’re having the same right-wing troll problem here in the States. Any opinion or news piece gets swamped with Trump and neo-Nazi bot comments. Sad to see this phenomenon go international.

  9. Alt right trolls need to get out more. Find a girlfriend. Get a hobby. Hunched over a computer in their parents basement ten hours a day is not healthy.

  10. It isn’t a vast right wing conspiracy, its about a dozen people who love to gossip, speculate and complain. Half of them are retired.

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