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Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Discuss Conspiracies and Cover Ups - e.g. 9/11 Truth, JFK Assassination, New World Order, Roswell, Moon Hoax, Secret Societies, etc. whatever conspiracy floats your boat.

Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Scepcop » 19 Jul 2012, 11:41

Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet spreading lies, disinfo and propaganda to try to suppress truth? It would make sense that there were, since the media is controlled and infiltrated, why can't the internet as well? Every powerful group is going to want to try to sway public opinion, after all.

Could some or most of the debunkers and pseudoskeptics on this forum be paid online shills too? Very possible.

After all, why would anyone want to desperately defend the established viewpoint on everything, against all logic, evidence and reason? No honest rational objective human being would do that. Only someone with an agenda would.

Here are a bunch of links and news articles about online paid shills:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7783640.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/20 ... l-networks

http://www.infowars.com/canadian-govern ... at-forums/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/1 ... 37153.html

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/18/r ... al-people/

What I don't get though, is that if there are paid shills on the internet, why haven't any of them come out and blown the whistle and said, "I was a paid internet shill. This is who hired me..." and so and so?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Scepcop » 19 Jul 2012, 18:55

Here is someone who claimed to work as a paid online shill before.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread738780/pg1
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Craig Browning » 19 Jul 2012, 20:28

Winston for god's sake find a 12-step program that will help you overcome your paranoia; "They" aren't out to get you or us.

No One (including the schmuck making said claim) is paid to spread the sort of disinformation you're suggesting, on various forums. However, there are those with legit scientific degrees and related resume's that may or may not work for oil, chemical and even big pharma type groups that will voice and represent the "company line" when it comes to things like Climate Change and how "safe" Fracking is and so forth. On top of this we have those from within the GOP that will ignore genuine science, especially (it would seem) when the majority of the world's leading scientists are stating certain things as fact, in that these analytical views threaten their one and only God -- MONEY and the illusion of power.

Simply put, there are more than enough people out there willing to barf-up the company line without corporations or organizations to employ "lobbyists" (for lack of a better term . . . well, "Missionaries" might work). There's simply no logical need for such things; CONvince someone that things are a certain way by exploiting their existing fears, concerns and even religious perspective and the proverbial fire is lit under their ass that compels them to be voice pieces for "the cause". . . look at how easy it is to get you to buy into every asinine conspiracy theory that rolls down the hill ;)

We do however have the exact opposite scenario taking place; those who are naturally "left leaning" on the social-political scale that take every little nugget they are fed and which supports their way of thinking (echoes of the 1960s & 70's hippie culture & political stand) and turns said mole hills into massive mountain ranges. It's the same exact horse but a different color. Sadly, those riding said horse can only see it in one particular color because of the blinders they wear, be it rose or grey tint.

There's a commercial running on Tv right now in which an air-headed blond bimbo states that "everything on the internet is fact" and that it is "illegal" to post anything that's false or misleading. Yet, analysis shows that as much as 63% of what we find on-line and most especially on certain types of forums (where the odds are even greater) is significantly false, misleading and grossly under-researched. The bulk of said material being posted by persons that are naturally paranoid, insecure, and incapable of thinking things through in a logical or even semi-rational manner. The key areas in which the greatest amount of inaccurate facts are to be found are the WTC/9-11 tragedy, the Kansas City Bombing, JFK, RFK, & King assassinations (hell, even Lincoln is caught up on such things), Climate/Earth Changes, End Times Prophecies/2012/Hopi/Merlin, etc. and then we have the petty issues like the Obama Birther Bull Shit, Gun Control and Marijuana validity arguments. There's something like 130ish "key" conspiracy niches with the bulk of them having absolutely no leg to stand on and yet a myriad of fool buy into them.

Why?

A big chunk of it has to do with their own natural bend and perspective on things which must include the environment they grew-up in as well as that they presently exist in. If you surround yourself with a bunch of "like minded" individuals then of course you'll end up a chameleon and blend in with the crowed because of your own insecurities and need for acceptance. The rare contradiction to this are those that thrive best when stirring the proverbial pot in order to generate arguments (not debate, but deliberate and harsh confrontation . . . I've seen this sort on Magic and New Age forums, you name it).

The Bottom Line in this Case is "YES" there are those that come into forums in order to plant seeds of doubt & challenge when it comes to various issues. But NO they are not paid to do so.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby ProfWag » 19 Jul 2012, 21:16

Ironically, I believe that it's quite the opposite. Take people like Alex Jones and Richard Gage. They are getting paid to spread propoganda and misguided information to support conspiracy theories and hope people get in line with their anti-governmental ideals. It's a travesty that people like that want to shake the bedrock of American freedom, but we're in the age of the internet and free speech and their are a lot of gullable people out there...
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Craig Browning » 20 Jul 2012, 23:07

ProfWag wrote:Ironically, I believe that it's quite the opposite. Take people like Alex Jones and Richard Gage. They are getting paid to spread propoganda and misguided information to support conspiracy theories and hope people get in line with their anti-governmental ideals. It's a travesty that people like that want to shake the bedrock of American freedom, but we're in the age of the internet and free speech and their are a lot of gullable people out there...


Wasn't aware of such instances, was just looking at how such things traditionally spread. Then again, Karl Rove makes a ton of money spreading lies and misconstrued truths.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby ProfWag » 20 Jul 2012, 23:59

Craig Browning wrote: Then again, Karl Rove makes a ton of money spreading lies and misconstrued truths.

Would you mind giving an example of a flat-out lie that Karl Rove has told to the public? Not that I disagree, but just curious what you consider to be a lie.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Arouet » 21 Jul 2012, 04:35

The internet is certainly filled to the brim with paid shills. Go to any review site and a good chunk I'm sure of reviews will have been done by company reps or PR firms (whether supporting a product or trashing a competitors). When it comes to general political issues though I have to think its much less common. It might be possible, but I would think it would be related more to specific issues - ie: particular pieces of legislation or political policies that needed to drum up specific support. One city counsellor embarassingly was caught a few months ago calling in to a talk radio station offering support for herself but pretending to be someone else.

It's possible that there are people or government agencies that sponsor shills for general political opinion, but I just don't see why it would be necessary. For most issues, there will naturally be people who support one side or another and many of those will be opiniated people who will post like crazy on internet forums. I mean, on the net, people go into massive detail about all sorts of mundane topics and big topics alike. there are enough liberals and conservatives willing to post for free.

When it comes to this forum though, it would be difficult to imagine that anyone who would pay for shills would think that this site generated enough traffic or discussion to make it worthwhile (though scepcop will probably interpret this as misdirection and solidify in his mind his opinion of me as a paid shill!)
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Craig Browning » 21 Jul 2012, 22:03

ProfWag wrote:
Craig Browning wrote: Then again, Karl Rove makes a ton of money spreading lies and misconstrued truths.

Would you mind giving an example of a flat-out lie that Karl Rove has told to the public? Not that I disagree, but just curious what you consider to be a lie.


Indirectly Rove was responsible for the Gun Boat ordeal around the Kerry bid for office. He's one of the main instigators when it comes to the Birther issues around Obama and of course the new game being played around Obama and the military (I've not read the entire story but from what I've read, someone is trying to paint Obama as being some kind of "draft dodger". . . now I was 13 when Vietnam ended and Obama is younger than me. Secondly, the draft has not been a part of American life since 1973, moving to a purely Volunteer Service program).

Rove has "misrepresented" and "implied" numerous negative and incomplete/out of context scenarios, he's quite well known for it and even wears the fact that he's a paid liar and spin doctor, like a badge of honor. He does not care who he hurts, including entire families, so long as his chosen clients win.

In my personal view, the man should be shot.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Scepcop » 22 Jul 2012, 10:38

COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of an internet forum
It's rare to encounter a forum that is not overrun with shills. This is their modus operandi.

http://www.picassodreams.com/picasso_dr ... forum.html
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Scepcop » 14 Apr 2013, 19:57

A video about paid internet shills who work for the FBI's CointelPro and how to spot them. The techniques described of the shills seem to reflect those of the ones we have here. :)

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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Scepcop » 16 Apr 2013, 22:46

Arouet wrote:The internet is certainly filled to the brim with paid shills. Go to any review site and a good chunk I'm sure of reviews will have been done by company reps or PR firms (whether supporting a product or trashing a competitors). When it comes to general political issues though I have to think its much less common. It might be possible, but I would think it would be related more to specific issues - ie: particular pieces of legislation or political policies that needed to drum up specific support. One city counsellor embarassingly was caught a few months ago calling in to a talk radio station offering support for herself but pretending to be someone else.

It's possible that there are people or government agencies that sponsor shills for general political opinion, but I just don't see why it would be necessary. For most issues, there will naturally be people who support one side or another and many of those will be opiniated people who will post like crazy on internet forums. I mean, on the net, people go into massive detail about all sorts of mundane topics and big topics alike. there are enough liberals and conservatives willing to post for free.

When it comes to this forum though, it would be difficult to imagine that anyone who would pay for shills would think that this site generated enough traffic or discussion to make it worthwhile (though scepcop will probably interpret this as misdirection and solidify in his mind his opinion of me as a paid shill!)


Yes those are all valid points and possibilities. However it seems you are trying to detract and obfuscate from the main issue here (which is what a shill does :p). There are all kinds of shills on the internet with all kinds of agendas. But the issue at hand is: Are there government shills who try to shell out disinfo regarding conspiracies, government lies, in order to discredit dissidence? That's the question. What do you think? If you don't think that the government or COINTELPRO program doesn't try to attack freethought and dissident views regarding conspiracies and government lies, then please explain why. Provide valid logical reasons.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby really? » 17 Apr 2013, 09:59

Scepcop wrote:A video about paid internet shills who work for the FBI's CointelPro and how to spot them. The techniques described of the shills seem to reflect those of the ones we have here. :)



Would you man up to naming names of those shills?
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby drastikmeazures » 17 Apr 2013, 20:37

I often wonder why someone who doesn't believe in something, (UFO's for instance) would waste a bunch of time arguing the point on the web.

I don't believe in el chupacabra, but I don't go around the web trying to disprove it's existence. What a huge waste of time that would be.

Back to my UFO example, the people that like to argue that UFO's don't exist like to act as though they're so much more rational than anyone who believes. If they're really so rational, how do they justify all the time they spend on something so pointless as this "make believe" subject.

It would be like a scientist acting all high and mighty about proving unicorns don't exist.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Arouet » 17 Apr 2013, 20:41

drastikmeazures wrote:I often wonder why someone who doesn't believe in something, (UFO's for instance) would waste a bunch of time arguing the point on the web.

I don't believe in el chupacabra, but I don't go around the web trying to disprove it's existence. What a huge waste of time that would be.

Back to my UFO example, the people that like to argue that UFO's don't exist like to act as though they're so much more rational than anyone who believes. If they're really so rational, how do they justify all the time they spend on something so pointless as this "make believe" subject.

It would be like a scientist acting all high and mighty about proving unicorns don't exist.


People like to discuss interesting topics. Such conversations might be a waste to you, but not to others. If they didn't enjoy it then I'd probably agree with you. But if they find it interesting and derive benefit from it, then I'm not sure what the problem is.
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Re: Are there paid shills and debunkers on the internet?

Postby Arouet » 17 Apr 2013, 20:55

Scepcop wrote:Yes those are all valid points and possibilities. However it seems you are trying to detract and obfuscate from the main issue here (which is what a shill does :p).


So when I say its possible there are government shills I am detracting from the main issue?

There are all kinds of shills on the internet with all kinds of agendas. But the issue at hand is: Are there government shills who try to shell out disinfo regarding conspiracies, government lies, in order to discredit dissidence? That's the question. What do you think? If you don't think that the government or COINTELPRO program doesn't try to attack freethought and dissident views regarding conspiracies and government lies, then please explain why. Provide valid logical reasons.


I said its possible they do. You quoted me saying it. I have no knowledge either way. I think it would be a waste of money since there are no end of people stating the same things on their own but it certainly is a possibility.
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