A Certain Point Of View
originally posted by: sosobad
As a mod you are on here a good bit are you really going to say that there isn't daily threads popping up about how evil Russia is? The same thing
happens every time there is a new boogeyman.
I think this is much more a matter of the influence of Western media on Western audiences than evidence of "paid shills" of any variety.
Because ATS is an English-language site, the majority our membership live in English-speaking countries and are exposed to English-language news
sources, most of which report from a Western perspective. Thus when Western media outlets constantly run stories demonizing Russia, as they are so
prone to doing these days, it's not surprising to see threads and posts along the same lines appear on ATS.
Of course, there's always more to the story than what is reported in Western media (or any media), and there are many ATSers who want to make sure
it's heard. It's not necessarily a matter of being "pro-NATO" or "pro-Russia" either, but "pro-Truth".
Dare I say it? Denying ignorance.
As Bill pointed out, there have been some cases of "paid shills" plying their trade on ATS who made it quite clear they were doing so. There are
many varieties of "digital armies" operating online, from government/political/business organizations to activist groups and individuals working to
spread their messages. Some try to "fly under the radar" and some are very open about what they are doing.
But the overwhelming majority of ATSers aren't any of these, just people interested in the topics we discuss, and often with strong opinions about
Indeed, when I see a member accusing another member of being a "shill", what I see is an ad
attack used in place of a convincing argument. It's a tactic born of uncertainty and confusion, almost always utter nonsense, and
something we appreciate being alerted
to, since it is usually a form of
To Russia With Love
So when you ask, "Is ATS accusing it's members of being Russian shills?", I can't speak on behalf of ATS, but I think the question implies
something much broader than anything I've seen.
Aside from occasional examples of flat-out self-identification, being pro-Russian most certainly doesn't mean being a "paid shill". It's really
not a stretch to assume that most of our Russian members are pro-Russian just as, say, most of our American members are pro-American, and there's
nothing wrong with either.
On a more practical level, if "paid shills" don't tell us who they are or otherwise tip their hands, we don't know. But as long as members aren't
violating the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
, I don't think it
matters if they're being paid to be here or not.
If they're on-topic, posting honestly and not being rude, that's all that really matters to me. After that, what to say or not to say and what to
believe or not to believe is up to each of us to decide for ourselves.