I see it on a daily basis. The rhetoric can be found on a Group page advising how it is “an open group” – “we are open to all views” – then something controversial or unexpected happens that threatens the “Groupthink” and a few loud voices get in the ear of the moderator determined to get their way, presumably to make a point or protect appearances.
Often, Moderation turns into censorship to keep a few “insecure and manipulative voices” happy, while those actually responsible hide their actions from the Group – the same voices that feign sincerity and understanding publicly. Censorship is the suppression of speech or other information which, in this case, may be considered “inconvenient”.
I suspect that often the unexpected Post or comment is something that threatens the “loud voices” and they need to manipulate the flow of information to their own ends. This has been demonstrated to include character assignation and fantasies about the motivations of the Innocent Poster in question.
How pathetic. The “argument triangle” demonstrates just how pathetic such actions are with the ultimate being “name calling” . It says more about the character of the Group Manipulator than it does of an Innocent Poster.
Psychologically, humans use association in their thinking. For example, advertising “works” by creating (in the public) an association between something you want (e.g., a big home) and a product (e.g., a lottery). However, we have grown to understand the idea that advertising was about information is largely untrue.
Similarly, self-motivated/self-important individuals will aim to develop associations in the group members minds. For example, they might use “self-serving” to associate a perceived opponent with “questionable motivations”.
It would be incredibly difficult to imagine any Group Manipulator to be aware enough that their own actions depict in an unflattering way to the Public their own insecurity and immaturity (i.e., it’s always in a setting of their “importance” at another’s expense).
The hope and purpose of the Group Manipulator with this fabrication of associations is to, hopefully, cause people to do what they naturally do. When people see the next “Innocent Post” they will (without thinking about it) “feel” what they felt that last time they saw a Group Manipulator response to a Post by the Innocent Poster.
Where this becomes particularly obvious is in the fabricated Public Posts in Post threads that are designed to bolster the Group Manipulator’s self-esteem by questioning the personal intentions, motivations and sincerity of Innocent Posters – e.g., “Obviously blatant self-promotion”, “He/She designed to work the system”, “He/She Posts too often”, etc.
These cheesy Group Manipulator Public Post attacks are designed to fabricate an association between the Group Manipulator’s accusatory words and the reputation/character of the Innocent Poster. The Group Manipulator lacks the personal insight to realise that what they are doing is what they are accusing an Innocent Poster of and most people readily see through that.
It is an act to distract and legally contestable as defamation (libel and slander) because it is a deliberate act against a person’s reputation, i.e., a person’s good name, honour and what the community thinks of him/her.
The quality and value of one’s reputation is a key issue in suits for defamation (libel and slander) since the damage to one’s reputation by publicly published untruths may determine the amount of judgment against the defamer.
The question is – What does the Group Manipulator want to be hidden from the Group?
What makes the Group Manipulator’s subterfuge really scary is that is just takes money or a word in a Group Moderator’s (“censor’s”) ear to make it work and thereby skew the so-called public “open discussion” to meet the personal needs of a few “loud voices”.
Leave the Group – there are greener pastures elsewhere.