Old Vladimir Putin had a farm E-I-E-I-O
And on that farm he had some trolls E-I-E-I-O
With a tweet tweet there and click click there
Here a tweet, there a click
Everywhere a tweet click
Old Vladimir Putin had a farm E-I-E-I-O
There once was a man named Vladimir Putin, King of the USSR or whatever. He was a kind and gentle man, of at least average height and had what can only be described as a reasonable head of hair for a man in his 60s. For the purposes of this story, we’ll call him Dimi, as this is what he is called by his closest friends. To give an idea of the selflessness possessed by Dimi, one has to examine his passions in life. In addition to his love of nature and making sure his evil political opponents were unable to mount any considerable opposition, he also cared deeply about issues overseas. The issues closest to his heart were British parliamentary sovereignty, which he felt was being impugned by the European Union, and the erosion of traditional conservative values in the United States of America. However, for the purposes of this story, we will talk about his love of independent European states, away from the tyranny of the union.
It was therefore extremely lucky for Dimi that there were murmurings of discontent over the European Union in the United Kingdom and that Prime Minister David Cameron had called a referendum. Being an altruistic and charitable gent, he felt duty-bound to help free the once great UK from the bastard fascism of unelected(ish) European bureaucrats. However, Russia was not the power that it used to be. The days of just assassinating British politicians and creating false flag terrorist attacks were long passed. So, to launch his crusade for British sovereignty, Dimi had to try out new tactics. In the old days, you could just buy off a media baron and have their newspaper influence the people. While this was one strategy which he would use in the 21stcentury, it would not likely swing the entire referendum. Traditional methods would not force justice to prevail, so he needed a new tactic.
He pulled his closest minions together, which included the outsider for the US Presidency Donald Trump, Darth Vader and the twatty husband from Titanic. As anyone would agree, this was a morally pure and emotionally stable counsel to have. They pulled their enormous, unparalleled intellects together and debated solutions to their dilemma for days on end. The eventually emerged from Dimi’s board room, which in no way resembled the one that Dr Evil has in Austin Powers, because Dimi was the good guy. They were dishevelled and weary. All of them had faces that were rough with stubble, with the exception of Darth Vader because he’s a smooth little virgin (Padme blatantly cheated to make Luke & Leia by the way). However, the graft and hard work had been worth it – they now had a plan.
The plan was simple. Traditional propaganda tactics would be side-lined and replaced by a barrage of social media content. It would be a tsunami of tweets, memes and Facebook posts like never seen before. These would not be effective if delivered by current anti-Europe commentators. They needed to appear to come from normal people, to show that ordinary individuals were interested in toppling the United Kingdom position within the European Union. Recruiting the necessary amount of normal people for such a barrage was not a realistic option. No, that would not be time or cost effective and any attempt at coordinating a propaganda war of this scale with ordinary individuals would be practically impossible. As a result, it had been decided that Dimi needed a group of trolls. He would then need to farm these trolls like a political mastermind Old MacDonald, which you will note cleverly links us back to the opening of this story. Speaking of the story, it is about to get so fucking weird that half of you will stop reading, so there’s that to look forward to.
Despite their effectiveness and workmanlike attitude, trolls are fairly hard to come by. In fact, they pretty much exclusively appear in folk tales and fantasy novels. But luckily, seeing as this is a fictional story, Dimi had a surprising level of access to fictional worlds and therefore a rather fortuitous ability to travel to these worlds and recruit trolls. You were warned that this was going to get weird. Needless to say, you are about to read about how Dimi travelled to meet and get himself some trolls. Critics may suggest that trolls are traditionally very large and clumsy beings and are there ineffective for fast, modern propaganda techniques. Those critics would be wrong. Trolls in fact have high levels of computer literacy and political understanding. Prove me wrong. This will be demonstrated by our first recruited troll.
Dimi travelled a short distance to what was presumably Norway. He was looking for a troll who had previously resided under a bridge. However, the troll had been removed from his home by an aggressive migrating goat, after he had politely requested that they leave his bridge. For the uneducated amongst us, this is the troll from the Norwegian folk story of Three Billy Goats Gruff. In this story, a troll who lives under a bridge tries to stop three goats from crossing said bridge and into pastures new. He is eventually thwarted by the largest goat, who headbutts him into the river, before he is carried away by the current. This troll in particular was of extreme interest to Dimi, who recognised his dedication to maintaining a hard border. This troll had demonstrated his commitment to limited unchecked immigration when he defied to marauding goats. He had risked his life for what he believed in and therefore had displayed the desired characteristics for the troll farm. It is seldom mentioned in the original folk story, but this troll had access to a fully connected and online dual monitor computer set-up under the bridge. He used this to keep abreast of current affairs and repetitively complete difficult typing tests. Again, this reflected why he was a stellar choice for employment at the troll farm.
The main issue for Dimi was locating the troll, bearing in mind it had been swept away by the river. It could be anywhere. However, seeing as this troll was clearly at least semi-aquatic (it lived under a bridge for heaven’s sake!), it was a reasonable idea to start by looking at the river. Dimi knew exactly which river it was, but it will not be named in this story due to lack of research. He was also able to find the bridge, something which was unlikely but due to creative license was allowed to happen fairly swiftly. From there, Dimi knew that all he needed to do was follow the river down steam and find the troll. There was, of course, the possibility that the troll had been killed by sharp rocks or had drowned as it was swept away. That would be seriously fucking dark for a children’s story, but these things happen. All is fair in love and fictional border disputes, as they say. Dimi was an intelligent man and understood that his greatest chance of success would come from throwing himself in the water and allowing himself to be swept away. He would then follow the same path as the troll and hopefully find him, so they could start the recruitment procedure.
With the great bravery we have come to expect from Dimi, he threw himself into the river. He carried a large backpack on his back, which may or may not be relevant to this story. The current swept him away, perhaps slightly faster than it did to the troll, due to Dimi’s smooth and aerodynamic body. He was bounced around off rocks and down to the riverbed as he was carried along. His head was often submerged for long periods of time but he was unable to come to the surface. The wounds from the rocks and the water filling his lungs came close to killing him. It was only the intensity of his adoration for British freedom and the passionate desire to make a new troll friend which prevented him from a gruesome death. As time wore on, the impacts against the rocks became more seldom and the ferocity of the current lessened. It became clear during this time that Dimi would survive. Eventually, he was washed up on a small pebble beach on the riverbank.
Dimi stood up and shook himself off. He was convinced this must be the spot where the troll had landed. Sure enough, a little further downstream, he saw the silhouette of a beast, larger than the average man. He approached with caution but with each step it became increasingly clear that he had achieved his goal and found his troll. Dimi had not issues initiating conversation with anyone, as it is well known that he is a sickeningly brilliant orator with a natural charm and confidence unparalleled amongst most humans. The troll listened to the job offer and was overwhelmed in his support for the project. However, he insisted to Dimi that realistically he could not move from his current spot as he had developed a kind of agoraphobia after being attacked by the goats. Every time he left the small pebble beach, he was haunted by the possibility of meeting the goats and having to suffer through more violence. It was at this stage, that Dimi removed the rucksack from his shoulders. He threw it on the ground and beckoned for the troll to open it. The troll obliged and clipped the buckles on the bag. Within, he found several Tupperware boxes containing rice and curry. The troll was bemused by this and wondered why the curry would help his agoraphobia. It was then explained to him that this was goat curry and Dimi had used his KGB skills to brutally murder the goats and have them turned into a tasty dish. The troll sat with Dimi whilst they ate goat curry and laughed as they spun yarns of their epic travels. By the end of the evening, the troll was sold. The first recruit had been secured.
To obtain some more recruits, Vladimir Putin travelled to Middle Earth, the setting for The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit. Surprisingly enough, this is not far from Norway. To understand this bit of the story, you should probably have seen the films centred around Middle Earth. You have been warned. Middle Earth contained a number of trolls. The first set found by Dimi had rather unfortunately been turned into stone. Although, this was a stroke of luck as it was well known that these trolls were extremely argumentative and would not have been conducive to a peaceful office environment. Moving on, Dimi travelled to the town of Swindon, which is situated in the rough end of Mordor. You see, that gag is funny because Swindon is a shit hole. Within Swindon, he encountered a number of trolls, all of whom appeared to be on benefits and were generally dossing around. This was not uncommon for residents of Swindon.
These trolls had no ideological desire to join Dimi. They had worked for one powerful leader (Sauron) before and it had ended poorly. Sauron’s empire had collapsed at pretty much no notice and they all found themselves redundant without severance. This was not a surprise, bearing in mind the trolls had not been well remunerated whilst working for Sauron. They had essentially only been provided with the bottom two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. They had been provided with safety as well as food and water but no more. This was Dimi’s way in. He promised them belongingness and companionship with other trolls from the farm. He promised them encouragement and a caring environment to satisfy their need for esteem. He promised them some creative control and autonomy on the troll farm, to provide them with self-actualisation. These promises fulfilled all levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The trolls were convinced and agreed to travel with Dimi to the troll farm.
Back in Mother Russia, the trolls were assembled. Dimi felt like he had his team and he was pleased. However, unbeknownst to him, he was not done yet. The telephone rang. It was Dimi’s personal telephone. Few people had the number for this phone, which made its ringing all the more curious. Dimi answered and was greeted by an unmistakably trolly voice. The troll on the end of the line indicated that he wanted to come and work on the farm. Rather taken aback, Dimi demanded to know how the troll had obtained his phone number and from which mythical land he came from. The troll explained that he had been working for Lord Voldemort but, having had the shit kicked out of him by some 11 year olds in a bathroom, had decided to resign and pursue a new career. His new vocation was in the corporate espionage game, where he would use online tools to disrupt his clients’ rivals. He went on to explain that he had doxed Dimi from his online activities. From this, he was able to determine Dimi’s activities in setting up the troll farm and also identify his most personal phone number. It is not hard to see why Dimi found this whole thing fucking impressive and hired him immediately to join the other trolls.
There is something which is seldom mentioned in fantasy literature. Trolls are referred to with the male but are actually hermaphroditic. They are able to reproduce without a mate. It is also a fact that they are able to produce many offspring in a short space of time. This was particularly convenient for both the purposes of this story and for our hero Dimi. It was convenient because Dimi was able to produce an army of trolls in a very short space of time. Once this was done, he had an army of computer literate trolls who cared deeply about freeing the United Kingdom from the shackles of European dominance. Following an intense induction and workplace safety programme, he set them to work.
The trolls’ goal was to disrupt online discourse and insert aggressive pro-Brexit sentiment into any argument they could find. Their strategy was to target older people, who did not have the online savvy to realise that the accounts they were engaging with WERE OBVIOUSLY FUCKING TROLLS. Luckily, Dimi’s people had been able to obtain data on pretty much everyone via fellow Brexit crusaders Cambridge Analytica. An allegiance with such a reputable company is further proof that the Dimi and his trolls were the good guys in this scenario. Other elements of the plan included injecting fake news via memes into any online space where there was room. Because there were so many trolls, running so many accounts, producing so much content, there was no way the evil Remain supporters could resist the barrage.
Over time, the clandestine social media warfare proved successful. No matter how many remainer voices there were, they were outnumbered two-to-one under almost any circumstance. The trolls grew in confidence too as they got older and drew upon the experience and passion of their hermaphrodite troll parents. The polls in little England (and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland) were swinging towards the Brexit option from a previously impossible position. The trolls had influenced the polls, you could say. The farm’s yield was showing beneficial aspects and Dimi was pleased. Alas, it did not seem enough to win the referendum. The polls indicated that the Remain option would win slightly. However, when voting day came around, there was a greater feeling of optimism. Putin’s long-term friend Nigel Farage was in a buoyant mood on the phone. Even if they had not done enough to deliver Brexit, they had done enough to give the European Union a kick in the cunt and shake things up. As far as results go that’s a good one.
Dimi sat glued to his TV for hours on referendum day. Initially, he was consumed by a lack of hope and a defeatist attitude. Despite the positivity of his work, he wanted to win. A close and meaningful defeat was not enough. As the first results came out, Dimi’s arsehole immediately clenched, as it apparent that this would be a close thing. His noble but also highly sexual hoop did not release for hours, whilst further results were released. After hours of watching, the result could not be called either way. Eventually though, the Brexit option started to win. After a short while, it was then confirmed that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be leaving the European Union. Dimi leapt in the air and celebrated. He had done it.
The day after, he took the trolls out on the town. They snorted cocaine off the tits and cocks off strippers (as trolls are bisexual). They had vodka. They had fun, which was the most important thing. It was a job well done by Dimi and the troll farm. A strategic masterpiece expertly executed, culminating in one of the largest political upsets in history. Who gives a toss that they manipulated democracy? It did not fucking matter. They won, get over it. The unfortunate thing about serving a purpose and then fulfilling that purpose is that you are then redundant. Imagine if Lemsip were able to cure the common cold. No one would buy it anymore. This was the unfortunate situation with the trolls. There were loads of them, with little current purpose. Dimi couldn’t let them roam free. That would be a health and safety issue. Even the kindest and most loving leaders sometimes have to make tough decisions. Sometimes a leader has to be strong. So, Dimi selected his best three trolls who would remain in private residences for the foreseeable future until the next political crisis. The rest, unfortunately, were killed by firing squad. None of the trolls resisted or argued. They understood that their life and death was in the name of a cause much more significant than themselves. Brexit had been delivered and now they had to die.
Old Vladimir Putin had a farm E-I-E-I-O
And on that farm he had nothing