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Beware the Shill-Troll Provocateurs and Time Thieves

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posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 07:56 PM
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Trolls & Shills,...

Trolls 101 —- How To Identify Trolls And Forum Spies

The seven rules of propaganda or fun with Shills 101

ATS has been infiltrated and infested with western establishment-paid shills...?

It's Time to fight Back- How To Identify A Troll

Most have heard about them, and many have suspicions about them.

I am extremely hesitant and reluctant to ever name anyone as a shill or troll, because in many ways, I view this labeling as defeatist. It is defeatist, in that, we may come to this "shill/troll defense" too quickly due to our inability and fear to face our own misconceptions and errors about a topic when we lose a debate,... or we may use the "shill/troll defense" to justify our failures to control our own reactionary emotions and thoughts. But I have also been witnessing an evolving trend.

• In the beginning, shills/trolls would vehemently deny anything of a conspiratorial or secretive nature, even in the face of substantial physical and testimonial evidence.

• After that, we got the "Spin Doctors". These are professional conartists who fully acknowledge and discuss the truth, but use reasoning to twist and obscure the conclusions of that truth.

• A spin on the "Spin Doctors", we were next faced with Misinformation and Disinformation Agents. These are cunning and quick-witted people who use the combined skills of psychology, facts & truth, half-truths, lies, and misdirection,... all in an elaborate effort to have the victim discredit themselves, chase dead-ends, come to erroneous conclusions, and/or become emotionally/mentally frustrated.

• There is the Psyop shill/troll. The psyop shill/troll seeks to gather opinion, reaction, & information, or seeks to subtly condition public opinion. This shill/troll uses weaponized research, and mines avenues for new research.

• Here on ATS, we have been attacked by very successful shill/troll provocateurs. Shill/troll provocateurs use all of their available skills and resources to incite their victims to anger. Provocateurs on ATS aren't looking to incite just any type of anger, they seek to provoke their victims into making emotional and erratic posts that violate Terms & Conditions. These are my least favorite of the shills/trolls, because they successfully caused the fall of many of our older and dear forum members. Of ATS's greatest and brightest forum members who have been banned, a high percentage of them fell victim to the provocateur.

• I have noticed a new trend; the "Time Thief". There appears to be a new type of shill/troll that simply seeks to waste the time of the victim. They make threads and engage in discussions to simply have their victims wasting their time engaged in dead conversations. They make threads and posts that will incite two opposing sides of an issue to continue the debate without their further involvement,... they like to engage their victims in very trivial and rhetorical topics,... they make the simple inquiries that can be resolved with a quick page flip of a dictionary or a 2 minute internet search,... they initiate discussion that serves no clear purpose or intent,... and they often disappear from discussions altogether. The ones that do linger, only reply with enough substance to re-bait their victims into further time-wasted replies.


Beware of the shills and trolls!, especially the last 2!



edit on 12/11/16 by Sahabi because:





posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 08:03 PM
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A Friendly Reminder:



Anyone accusing, suggesting or alluding that a member here on ATS is a Shill / paid disinfo agent, etc, by name will end up with their posts removed, and post banned.

It will also possibly put your account at risk.

The ATS Terms and Conditions are quite Clear on this.

Consider this a pre-warning.

Do not reply to this post.



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: Sahabi



• In the beginning, shills/trolls would vehemently deny anything of a conspiratorial or secretive nature, even in the face of substantial physical and testimonial evidence.

Given that statement,why would it still be a conspiracy or secretive?




• After that, we got the "Spin Doctors". These are professional conartists who fully acknowledge and discuss the truth, but use reasoning to twist and obscure the conclusions of that truth.

Spin? or Opinion?




• A spin on the "Spin Doctors", we were next faced with Misinformation and Disinformation Agents. These are cunning and quick-witted people who use the combined skills of psychology, facts & truth, half-truths, lies, and misdirection,... all in an elaborate effort to have the victim discredit themselves, chase dead-ends, come to erroneous conclusions, and/or become emotionally/mentally frustrated.

One person's trash , is another's treasure




• There is the Psyop shill/troll. The psyop shill/troll seeks to gather opinion, reaction, & information, or seeks to subtly condition public opinion. This shill/troll uses weaponized research, and mines avenues for new research.

Sounds about like everyone I know



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Gothmog

Hello there Gothmog.

Information is big business and a huge asset to individuals and groups on all rungs of the ladder. All I have to offer is researchable instances confirmed and alluded to by various officials, and by a long-term and objective observation of forums, social media platforms, and comment sections.

I don't think mankind has ever been utterly free in the realm of information and knowledge, for there has been a historic precedence for intellectual suppression, propaganda, and targeted-influence.



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 08:53 PM
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You forgot that some threads totally go beyond debate, reasoning, evidence, and intelligent exchange.

It is sad the number of persons that confuse speculation as evidence.

I understand people will never agree.

People treat their pet subjects as religion and try to use their faith as evidence without engaging in the debate of facts.

I am not advocating a ruling class of intellectuals. Yet, it is sad people don't understand that posting on YouTube requires no credentials and credibility. YouTube is not driven by intellectual accountability, but click bait to generate likes.

People miss there is a whole world of intellectual property, research, and science journals not found on google. Intellectual work that outlines research, experiments, and gives detailed analysis to supporting conclusions.

I also hate the hero worship of Clinton / Trump. It's not American to not hold our leaders to the law. Yes, the civil society must be based on the rule of law and most people contributing to the tax base. But, the president of the USA should be seen as the CEO accountable to the stake holders of the USA. The voters. The president and government is to best serve all Citizens. Not create class warfare and special groups.

Sadly, we live in times not about being a civil and productive part of society. It's about being a rock star.

I find it ironic as we become more secular, we seem to be creating generations of persons not understanding sacrifice and worship themselves as gods.



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 10:14 PM
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I don't know. I personally think everyone here is on the up and up.



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 10:35 PM
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While I've no doubt that paid disinformation agents exist (the previous presidential campaign made that abundantly clear), in my experience, most people resorting to calls of "shill" and "paid troll" are simply so caught up in their own myopic worldview that they cannot understand how any reasonable person could possibly disagree with them. Instead of considering the possibility that they might, in fact, be the one guilty of unwittingly passing disinformation, they project onto someone else.

However, for those of you willing to take a hard look and whether it even makes sense for a paid shill to be acting in direct opposition to you, I offer these tips:

1) Is there really any possibility that a significant number of people are going to believe whatever you're saying, or does the story debunk itself in the mind's of most people? This is important. No one is going to pay to spread disinformation about a subject that is dead on arrival. This is why there are no paid shills for something like the Mandela Effect.

2) If significant numbers of people DID believe whatever you're saying, would it negatively effect someone's finances to the extent that they would be willing to pay for disinformation?

3) The above actually consists of multiple parts. First, does someone exist who could be hurt by whatever you're saying? Does this person/group have the money to fund disinformation? Would it be worth it financially for them to do so?

In my experience, corporations are more likely to employ shills than anyone or anything else. For example, the industry for quartz countertops will push information inflating the danger of radon in natural stone countertops. They will employ people to peruse kitchen forums talking about the dangers of granite and radon.

The reason why politicians have paid shills is primarily because they are trying to win hearts and minds and big corporations have given them the money to hire teams of these people.

But, most of the time, the person arguing with you isn't a shill. Most of the time, it's just someone who thinks you're wrong.

And you know what? You might be.



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 10:39 PM
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originally posted by: PaidShill
I don't know. I personally think everyone here is on the up and up.



Seriously though, I think you're right. Apart from a small number of obvious accounts that show up around elections and whatnot, I think everyone here is legit.



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Sahabi

In the past there were members posting personal allusions about other members and personal stuff about those member's lives. Why is it that they are protected and allowed to do this? Seems like a great way to get in deep #.
edit on 11-12-2016 by OneGoal because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 10:56 PM
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originally posted by: OneGoal
a reply to: Sahabi

In the past there were members posting personal allusions about other members and personal stuff about those member's lives. Why is it that they are protected and allowed to do this? Seems like a great way to get in deep #.

Posting personal information, especially about other members, is absolutely not allowed on ATS. If you see it happening, report it.



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 12:19 AM
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originally posted by: neutronfluxI find it ironic as we become more secular, we seem to be creating generations of persons not understanding sacrifice and worship themselves as gods.

I find your perspective to be a form of brainwashing. Believing people should have to sacrifice anything at all in life is absurd, in my opinion. Why do you believe sacrifice is a positive thing? Do you really believe the world we find ourselves in is the truth? Or is it just a system of rules and limitations set up to assist in making it more like a game to succeed?

Sacrifice is only necessary in a limited existence. Yes, I agree our current existence is limited, BUT that doesn't mean it's the truth. To tell the youth that they must sacrifice at all is evil. Not the other way around. It's because of opinions like yours that I think our world/abilities have yet to expand to a place of joyful, unlimited creativity and expression. It's fear based mentalities like "you need to sacrifice something" that keep us "grounded" and not able to fly.
edit on 12-12-2016 by FlukeSkywalker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: FlukeSkywalker

And if people were not willing to sacrifice their lives to stop Nazi Germeny, how many ethnic groups of humans would have been ethnically cleansed.


I would not want to be your child if you don't understand sacrifice and understand it's value. Teach by example. Sometimes, it's about letting others fly?

I find your view very childish and immature......

Please forgive the tangent......

Back to topic? Think of it as a sacrifice and grace to the OP?


edit on 12-12-2016 by neutronflux because: Fixed finger fumble

edit on 12-12-2016 by neutronflux because: Added others



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 01:13 AM
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a reply to: neutronflux




It is sad the number of persons that confuse speculation as evidence. 


Yes...as well as confusing "possible evidence" with "proof". Some people on these (and other) forums just really are that ignorant...however the type of people whom the OP is citing here are more than aware of what they're saying and doing.

They know good and well that they're posting garbage, and they do it because they know that a rather disturbing number of people rarely look past the title and will jump on board any convenient vehicle that appears to support their rather limited and biased world view. In fact, some of the posters seem not to actually have their own opinion at all; they simply follow the clique that seems to be "winning" at any given time. I truly believe that a number of these "trolls" are simply ineffectual human beings who lack the wherewithal and fortitude to be authentic, and so they take the annoying and obvious approach of trying to be Billy Badass on the internet instead. They're obnoxious, but largely impotent and pathetic. We've got more than our share of people like that here, unfortunately.

The problem occurs when their approval/attention seeking behavior starts getting to the point where others are taking the unsubstantiated rumors off the internet and into real life, acting upon them as if they are factual rather than conjecture. That is how bad things happen...as evidenced by the recent Italian eatery debacle. At that point, every single individual who has perpetuated those rumors (or started them to begin with) becomes directly responsible for whatever occurs as a result of their silly, misguided "sleuthing" efforts.

I am sure there actually are people paid to incite conflict, and I am equally sure that we've witnessed (and still are witnessing) some of them in action right here on ATS. However, I think the worst damage is done by ordinary people, who know what they're doing is unethical but they simply don't care. They're getting stars and flags and adulation. They get to feel important. Many of them even have multiple accounts and use them all in the same thread, having them "debate" with each other....that creepy weirdness gets me every time I see it, by the way; how can people be so blind as to miss the fact that someone is blatantly playing different "characters" and conversing with him or herself the whole time. But best of all, it's completely anonymous...they can say whatever they want, no matter how outrageous or vicious or blatantly untrue, and no one is the wiser. You're right, it is about being a rock star...no matter who else gets hurt in the process.



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: tigertatzen

I don't disagree with you. Flat Earh for example. People will argue tooth and nail. I don't think it's paid trolls as pointed out.

One, some people perpetrate a hoax for notoriety and self reward. I guess you could call them self centered trolls? Some people really believe it's better to be the star in a cage than a nondescript life of freedom.

Or two, people just enjoy being the devil's advocate and spinning people up.

Or three, people do have a cult mentality to try to push people into a certain belief. Again, Flat Earth as an example.

Also, I think much of the Mandela Effect is driven by people seeing who will jump on the band wagon?

Why must people looking for truth be distracted by those that cannot understand the difference from fantasy, possible, plausible, theories, and scientific law.
edit on 12-12-2016 by neutronflux because: Added self troll and paragraph.



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 07:44 AM
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originally posted by: Greggers
But, most of the time, the person arguing with you isn't a shill. Most of the time, it's just someone who thinks you're wrong.

And you know what? You might be.


I completely agree with you! That's why I started the op by saying:

"we may come to this "shill/troll defense" too quickly due to our inability and fear to face our own misconceptions and errors about a topic when we lose a debate,... or we may use the "shill/troll defense" to justify our failures to control our own reactionary emotions and thoughts."

Thanks for joining the discussion and elaborating on a great way to focus on forum posting introspection



edit on 12/12/16 by Sahabi because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 08:02 AM
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This topic makes the rounds every year or so, and is indeed a worthwhile read. Learn to recognize troll combatants and deduce the shill work of others with an agenda.

They are an annoyance, but since I read through all the OP's links, I'm infinitely more aware The peril/disinformation risk 'dummies' face... or stories the naïve would otherwise believe. The World is filled with so much Wonder, it's a shame to throw out the good with the bad. Cure....... it's as simple as a half hour read......



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: neutronflux

Hello there neutronflux. I would have to agree with you! There are many instances of ignorant and uninformed postings that have no hidden agenda of interest, other than the bolstering of fragile egos.

Sacrifice is a part of normal existence. We sacrifice our time, finances, energy, hopes, dreams, and self-interests all the time. Whether we are sacrificing time to gain money,... or sacrificing money to help others or spread joy,... we sacrifice our self-interests for our families,... etc.

I am of the opinion that the greatest of sacrifices are those rooted in love, compassion, kindness, and altruism. We must first help and ground ourselves, so that we become better instruments to help others. But this is just my opinion of course



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 08:55 AM
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a reply to: Sahabi

While I do not doubt there are paid trolls on many sites the only blatantly obvious examples of trolling/shilling are when posters plug their own sites to generate revenue.



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 10:00 AM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: Sahabi

...the only blatantly obvious examples of trolling/shilling are when posters plug their own sites to generate revenue.



How dare you! There are countless examples on every thread. If you define "trolling/shilling" as "disagreement with the OP", which seems to be the common vernacular here.

Of course, I guess a trolling shilling could be a 12 penny payment per troll.



posted on Dec, 12 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam
How dare you! There are countless examples on every thread. If you define "trolling/shilling" as "disagreement with the OP", which seems to be the common vernacular here.


The marys that claim someone is a shill because they disagree with their 'investigations' or 'evidence' are not worth debating since they are only looking from some sort of woo echo chamber.



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