You will never "KNOW" for certain. I believe there are true disinfo agents that spread throughout the wide world of 'nettage. I think we do
ourselves a disservice when we try to identify them.
If a person or internet identity doggedly holds a position that seems contrary to evidence or logic, they may just be a person who has a vested
interest -- perhaps a conviction that is holy to them -- and is not necessarily a compensated disinfo agent.
To identify them is to give creedence to their views, when -- in my very humble opinion -- what we should be doing is fortifying our own views. I
have come across many occasions when honestly viewing evidence was diametrically opposed to what I wanted to believe. If the evidence is measurable
and verifiable with a source or sources that seem to be objective, that causes me to question my own perceptions, measure them against my own
paradigms, seek the truth, if only for my own sake. I value these people. They make me better.
Likewise, a true disinfo agent challenges my view. They provide evidence, and in the final analysis, if the evidence is valid, it doesn't really
matter where it comes from.
I wrote a paper in college on "Propaganda and News Suppression". It was a semi-yawner, but it helped me to understand and identify the facets of
propaganda. Propaganda almost always contains a grain or two of truth -- verifiable truth -- and builds upon those ideals, gradually shifting into
hyperbole that is far removed from the truth, trusting the reader to accept the gradual shifts, having accepted the basic premise.
If these people exist (and I think they do) ........ I think they unwittingly make us better, make us do our homework, make us verify sources, and
...... THINK for ourselves. I've never been comfortable with a mob consensus. A mob takes on an identity of its own, and uses its own emotional
angst as evidence toward a truth. We need to research and decide things on our own, and in the process be willing to follow the thread, even if it
leads us astray of our beliefs.
There are many things I believe to be true. There are a handful of things I believe I can prove. There are few things I believe are impossible, as
t hat is not a measurable quantity -- the set of things that can't happen.
Good thread. Thought-provoking, and I thank you. I will now go and spread my disinfo elsewhere.