Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Australian Property Forum trolls at work...

I really did not want to cover this topic again. I was just going to write a post and move on. However I found a great example of the way these trolls operate and can show a clear path of connections from the trolls to Australian Property Forum and thought I would share. For those that missed it, I have a page here covering some history and their main exploits:

Now here is an example of the trolls in action (click to enlarge):

It's a post made on property investment forum Somersoft.

Now you may be thinking that's innocent enough, right? Just someone posting a thread on Somersoft, in fact they are linking to this very blog posting a warning about the APF trolls. They are smart arses.

TKline is one of the troll club members. They plant many accounts on many forums for use at a later time. They login with the accounts on an irregular basis making a post or two here and there so the account has some history (the posts are always short and low content from my observations, they just need it to look like they were previously active). You will notice in this past post of TKline's that he links to an online article (click to enlarge):

This is the article -> Global House Price Crash

It is supposedly written by "Consa Greenwood". Consa was the owner of GHPC prior to it's demise. The writer of the article was the trolls (not Consa) and if you follow two of the links in the article it takes you back to the GHPC landing page on Australian Property Forum.

Also you can see in this profile on another site (Global Property Guide), Tom Kline more obviously links to the trolls forum:

Further to the above, the website which TKline hosts in his signature on Somersoft Property Forums is connected with APF and the trolls (australianpropertyportal.com). You will notice multiple links to Australian Property Forum on various pages at the portal site and on the top of Australian Property Forum if you click on gallery or blogs it takes you to the portal page (click to enlarge, shows address on mouse over):

These two websites are owned and operated by the same person or group. Further to the above clues linking the sites, they are both showing Adsense adverts from the same account which also links the two:

Why would TKline be linking to the property portal in his forum signature on Somersoft unless he was connected with the website? What other motivation would there be for someone to promote another persons website? This provides further evidence that APF is owned and operated by (or very heavily connected with) the troll club.

The account TKline is likely another hijacked identity in the same way that they have used 'Bullion Baron' online to link to the troll forum, Tom Kline is probably another unfortunate victim of their attacks.

TKline isn't the only sleeper account that belongs to the trolls on Somersoft. I am aware of others.

I know these posts probably make me sound like a conspiracist and paranoid, but if you are interested and read these posts with an open mind, drawing the dots you will see there is something to this research.

They are subtle. They are clever. They are not a figment of my imagination ;) and they have been plaguing the Australian online property landscape for years now. I find the whole situation fascinating. Who are these trolls? What vested interest do they have? Are they real estate agents? Property developers? Do they simply run the forum and website for the ad revenue (I doubt this is the case given their other activities)?

The organised way in which they go about their business is impressive. They probably think no one notices their tricks, but I have been watching for sometime. It's only been since they started impersonating my blog that I decided to write about it.


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  1. I believe another 'TKline' posts on TalkFinance, where his signature links to Debtdeflation, not the APF. The Somersoft TKline may be another faked identity.

  2. Thanks for the info. Looks like Talk Finance is down to check at the moment, but it is likely there is a genuine TKline out there posting and the trolls have simply ripped off his identity like they have mine and others.

  3. LOL... BB... you forgot about the simultaneous post by BearTrap on Simple&Sustainable at the same time as TKline's post... get onto it!

  4. You do realise that the primary motive for any troll is publicity and to see the reaction to their trolling? You're a goldmine for us trolls Joe... keep it up! :D

  5. Re BearTrap post, I will stick to connections that rely less on guess work and more on evidence.

    If I stop even one legitimate poster from wasting their time on the Australian Property Forum full of trolls then my work here is done. If the troll/s get their jollies from the coverage then so be it.

  6. You're more likely to end up getting people to go have a look at APF, and then they'll realise it's just a regular property chat forum.

    Also, you might want to check that Somersoft thread by TKline again. An interesting new post has been added.

    LOL..... we're playing with you the way a cat plays with a ball of string. It's funny, cos our king & queen IDs are kept squeaky clean. We have lots of dispensable pawn IDs set up on every relevant forum in Australia and globally.

    In many ways, you and Alex are just some of our pawns. You have absolutely no idea what is really going on here.....

    Ask yourself this..... what ever happened to theybannedme.com?




  7. I don't think that there's any great secret: as some of their actions alluded to by BB demonstrate that they clearly lack empathy, and it would be fair to postulate that the quality of their actual relationships and social interactions is impaired to a significant degree. In short, what's probably going on is that these troll(s) are probably just deadbeat keyboard warriors with little satisfaction and meaning in their regular lives.

    To make up for their poor self-esteem and lack of identity they create or steal that of others. Announcing that their King and Queen identities are squeaky clean is a grandiose defence. They proudly claim that they're fooling everyone else, but the harsh reality is that the only ones being fooled are themselves each and every day.

    One should pity their sad existence.

  8. But Bullion Baron has so far been fooled into writing several lengthy and time consuming blog about them.....

  9. Fooled into writing? I enjoyed the investigation :) An interesting web the trolls have been creating even if it is just a kids trolling from mums basement.

  10. The comments above by "anonymous" posters basically just confirm my suspicions that they are eager to make fun of and downplay the whole whole thing. It almost works and to the casual observer conditioned to think that people don't conspire, probably thinks it is just nonsense.

    Those who have been around for a few years and observed much of it know different.

    First they ignore you, then they make fun of you...

  11. Exactly hawkeye, they are experts at misdirection.

    It reminds me of the recent story that the US Military is using fake personas online to spread pro-American propaganda:


    It's not really a stretch to imagine that real estate interest groups may be interested in breaking up online discussion about a property crash in Australia or to direct traffic to their own site where they can manage what and how information is posted.

    Infact in this recent video clip that has been posted around a bit there is someone publicly suggesting that they group and engage blogs and other sites in this fashion:


    This may or may not be the aim of the troll group, but it seems the most likely possibility. All the forums they have essentially crippled have been bear sites. While they infiltrate pro-property forums such as Somersoft, they certainly do not attack them in the same way they have GHPC, CC and others.

  12. One thing those trolls should bear in mind is if they're using a static IP address then they can be easily traced. Fear and loathing might follow them if their static IP address becomes known to those they attack.....