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Debunkers - Their Tactics and some Tips on How to Deal with Them

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posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:03 PM
Hi I wanted to start a thread here that will hopefull be added to by all in order to help the good people of ATS who might have had problems with debunkers ruining or upseting their threads in the past. I hope the mods are comfortable with what I have to share here.

I don't profess to be an expert in this field but I have leant enough to recognise some of their tactics, so please feel free to contribute, it will be greatly appreciated.


Hopefully you will spot a debunker early on and deal with them swiftly. From experience I have found that most debunkers (D's) will often attack a thread with their very first post. They will be quick to pick up on any grey areas in your thread and often misquote you or having not fully read the whole thread will often interpret content out of context. Often they will come in during key/interesting parts of a thread in order to cause maximum disruption. This is especially so when certain truths start to imerge. Also beware, you will notice they sometimes travel in packs, don't ask me how or why. When this happens be short with your replies to them, remember for the most part they are not there to contribute they're there to refute, less is more. Make it clear if they are off topic or insulting, they often are, but don't bite more than once in this case. If they are not contributing anything to the thread let them know but always be polite with them and keep it short. If you can't shake them off then tell them you are ignoring them in your reply (the ignore button works wonders here). But really do ignore them don't be tempted to bite.

D's will often attack you in some of the following areas,

Your so called lack of knowledge - Obviously don't take this personally if you know what you are talking about don't be swayed by idle coments

Refer to quotes - They will often throw a quote at you to rock your viewpoint, just remember just because it's a quote doesn't always make it the Gods honest truth or even relevant to the thread at times

An obvious backhanded insult often shrouded in subtext - Again this should sound alarm bells.

EGO - Their driving Force

I'm not going to go into the psycology of a debunker but suffice to say they mainly debunk in order to fuel their false sense of superiority. Remember It is easy to debunk others in order to fuel the ego of the individual doing the debunking. Bear in mind this is where they are coming from and normally the basis for their attacks. Adjust your responses accordingly. Stand your ground when it comes attacks on elements of the truth which you hold close to your chest, and which you are probably beginning to shape into fact. I recommend you don't even bother telling them how you arrived at the truth if you have already spotted them as a debunker, unless you want to once again open yourself up to attack that is! Remember if it gets nasty don't bite back the mods will hopefully pick up on it if it before it gets out of hand. You can't clap with one hand so don't go getting yourself banned cos you didn't see the signs.

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 07:15 AM
reply to post by pharaohmoan

Disclaimer the following is based on my experiences as a long term member of ATS .

Burden of proof always lays with the claimant this rational approach goes against the MO of those who believe in a conspiracy because its a conspiracy or because an idea is perceived to be a part of the establishment . Now I am going to use the claimants rather then conspiracy theorist because while I mostly follow current events I do subscribe to some conspiracy theories. The problem is that sometimes the claimants truly don't know what they are talking about . Conspiracy theories that surround Obama birth certificate are a perfect example of what I am talking about and the problem extends to both sides of the coin . The majority of claimants and those who have taken part in related discussions either don't know the difference between eligibility and qualified or both .

Yet there is no telling the dingbat claimants or any of the other ignorant fools this . As for the claimants that don't fall into the majority category above if Alex Jones told them Santa Claus was a part of the NWO they would believe it .

If a topic or particular doesnt have some basic logic or sound rational to begin with then it is a waste of time to make a contribution . That is not to say that I have to agree with the op or a post but evidence or at a sound logical basis for a argument is a reasonable requirement for a productive discussion. You could easily replace the word debunkers with claimants in your thread title and op . The term dis info agent is more often then not used by claimants who either cant accept that people disagree with them or by those who cant handle rational thought process history destorying there arguments .

Perhaps my favorite is those claimants who get there knickers in a twist when members don't them or the claims seriously because there so called "evidence " is You Tube videos or some other crack pot source . I wouldn't be surprised that if there is a ten to two ratio people that will agree with the op . Out of that ten will be admittedly a few people who have en counted a genuine road to rational thought process and discussion as I have described above .

[edit on 21-5-2009 by xpert11]

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 07:24 AM
Its hard not to notice those whose mission seems to be to disrupt, antagonize and berate just for the fun of it. Slinging insults and defaming an OP or member's point of view must make some disruptors feel superior. Often those who use these tactics don't offer much more than a slew of eleven letter words to show how "intelligent" they are compared to us ninny's.

Above Top Secret, implies that any and all theories, links, sources should be considered in light of the topic at hand. But these types prefer to slam sources, perspectives, ideas and links rather than address the info contained in them.

Admittedly, I've fallen for the ruse and gotten myself in an emotional uproar once or twice. But I am calm now. Thank you for your debunker post!

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by xpert11

Good points and thanks for clarifying.

People often forget that arguing a case is often an act of kindness as the individual helping to clarify and often better qualified is actually giving some of their the time to help shine a light on the truth and so educate the person they are arguing with.

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by Hazelnut

Couldn't agree more.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by pharaohmoan


Based on my own experience in dealing with 911 debunkers in numerous boards since 911... i have to say, your OP is dead on target. In Psychology101 to Psychology911 i just used a quote from your OP to give light on how the debunker position is akin to that of a troll.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:29 PM
To sucessfully counter any disinfo agent, heavily research the item in q, ask specific q's that only a select few could possibly answer.

Do not engage the person into a confrontation, altercation or a fight, be soft, couteous, plite and respectful. You will notice by being nice to someone will most always illicit a warm response in return. Do not put yourself on a pedastal or of a higher authourity, people do not like to be made to feel like idiots or less intelligent. You must at times bring yurself down to thier level so that they do not feel intimidated.

Answer a question with a question, to those that have an anchored one sided view will try to discredit whatever you say. The trick is to get the person's brain in an overload item. By doing so that eliminates all resistance thus in return making your case more solid.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 09:36 PM
I think your definition seems to be more of a troll then a debunker.
I am not contradicting you that the definitions I have read for trolls are pretty much the same. Your post is well written btw.

I know no one wants to go into psychology, but other then the anonymity the internet provides, I am often curious as to what drives a troll. What a sad liltle lot they must be.

posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 10:35 PM
I always though debunkers were people who tried to offer logical anwsers to a situation that is backed by science. And that Trolls were those who wanted to anger someone for no apparent reason by calling them names and such.

How would you guys classify someone who comes out and says that 'based on their professional experience' or by some other remark tells an OP and anyone who agrees with the OP that they're wrong, silly, or stupid without offering any explanation as to why a person is wrong?

I don't see them as a debunker, but I'm not sure they'd be a troll either.

I've seen numerous remarks like this and I can't understand why they bother to respond if they're not going to offer anything.

posted on Jul, 4 2009 @ 12:24 AM
OP has some great points.

But I think you are describing Disinfo Agents (Consciously, or unconsciously)

Debunkers will attempt to use logic or reason.

Trolls merely wish for emotional responses.

Disinfo agents seem to me to be prone to Logical Fallacies to sway opinion.

A great list of logical fallacies can be found here:

And arming yourself with this knowledge can help you make short work of any potential disinfo agent.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 09:01 PM
Oh yes, some of you may have noticed how the Disinfo Agents and ilogical debunkers often have little to no history on ATS.

One of their tactics I have noticed is to drag down a post early on in its life almost as though they are trying to set a 'tone' for the WHOLE POST.

I experience this tactic often and in all honesty it just shows the true colours of the posters concerned.

I see challenges to progressive and constructive thoughts expressed in posts as malevolent and with ill intention in mind on the part of the debunker. In fact the very minds who act this way are ill themselves and interaction with them should be avoided at all costs. You don't want to catch their illness now do you!

[edit on 25-11-2009 by pharaohmoan]

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 09:08 PM
But is it also true that a skeptic is labeled a debunker just because he is not convinced with the logic and or evidence presented, and questions either one?

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 09:12 PM
If you present a well-reasoned argument with good evidence to back up your claims then people will believe you, and not pay attention to "debunkers".

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 10:01 PM
I would like to add a few cents of opinion here... if I may.

First, not every skeptic is a debunker. Skepticism can be a good thing because it keeps us from too quickly walking out on thin ice or diving into shallow water. But skepticism for its own sake, is what I personally see as debunkery. Negativity for the sake of negativity... to devote oneself to the proving of the nothing,

Secondly, this thing about disinfo agents could morph into an unreasonable paranoia. We don't know much of anything about anyone here. Most of us are no more than names and avatars and if we go labeling and stereotyping folks as 'disinfo agents' because we dislike something they say or a particular point of view, we are basically acting out of ignorance and attaching scarlet letters to complete strangers.

ATS is a wide open space where everyone has a place. Fomenting prejudice and fear is not what it is all about.

We can do better.

Thanks for your time

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 10:27 PM
reply to post by pharaohmoan

I am always wary of members who basically just push one agenda or who just recently joined and do the same thing or make up some wild claims . As I said in another thread disinfo isnt paranoia or a refusal swollow extraordinary claims without extraordinary proof . Instead disinfo contains just enough small pieces puzzle that are accurate to make the lie which is the bigger picture seem creditable . If anybody needs an example of this just look up how the allies mislead the Germans in the lead up to D-day .

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 10:30 PM
Hi, theory fans.

One "funny" thing, about the dishonnest debunkers is:

How come THEIR links/websites/references are always good,
and ours, never good enough ??? B-)

Blue skies.

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 11:48 PM

Originally posted by C-JEAN
How come THEIR links/websites/references are always good,
and ours, never good enough ??? B-)

You have raised a very worthwhile . I have seen serial debunkers who try to debunk say a image that has already been proven to genuine . More of the naive believe any anti establishment dribble feed to them . Some people would believe that the Earth was flat if a crack pot website or a You Tube video told them so are , in existence on ATS .

Cheers xpert11 .

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