I believe, that more often than not, those suspected of sock-puppetry or disinformation just have a different opinion. Humans are often irrational and
emotional. We pick those information which fits into our worldview and discard conflicting information.
Then are some individuals, who are manipulative and use dirty tricks to disrupt a discussion. They attack those with other opinions on an emotional
level and lead them away from the topic of interest. Their most common techniques are the use of ridicule and the posting of things unrelated to the
These manipulators may just be bored, passionate trolls, lawyers or PR-people in training or someone with a personal grudge. If they come in pairs,
they might be sock-puppets - but I believe that at least some of them are agents trying to suppress certain information.
The 9/11 discussions are especially hostile. Instead of arousing interest and a desire to learn, the hard tone chases one away from the topic.
Governments all over the world have used their power to prevent certain information from reaching their citizens. Books have been censored, propaganda
has been spread and those critical of the regime have been ridiculed or declared as unpatriotic and dangerous. In the Soviet Union dissidents often
landed in mental asylums, criticism of the government became a sign of insanity.
You don't have to go to as far back as to the time of McCarthyism, to see, that similar tactics have been used in the US.
The FBI surveilled, infiltrated, discredited and disrupted domestic political organizations which fought for social change. Agents targeted
individuals like Martin Luther King with smear campaigns and tried to undermine their credibility.
Most conspiracy theorists may not be active working for social change, but the information they gather and spread is often subversive. Naturally the
state tries to prevent subversive “truths” from spreading. Declassified government documents and scientific papers show, that CTs are in fact a
target of state-sponsored propaganda efforts. Nowadays propaganda efforts target more and more the web, as the web is replacing the traditional MSM as
primary source of information.
After the JFK-assassination, the CIA instructed their media assets not to initiate any discussion of the assassination question, where it is not
already taking place. It also provided its assets with talking points how they should write book reviews and articles against those sceptical of the
official JFK-assassination story.
Cass Sunstein, the current head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has written a paper in which he encourages the government to
secretly infiltrate chat-rooms, forums and real groups to disseminate “coutnermisinformation” and disrupt these groups. His focus are
“conspriacy theorists” especially those interested in 9/11
The DoD is also interested in manipulating opinions and a secret directive named “Information Operations Roadmap” from 2003 calls for the ability
to rapidly disseminate persuasive US-government-friendly information to diverse audiences in order to directly influence them. This directive is not
meant for the American public, but since web is reaches worldwide, it is clear, that disseminated disinformation abroad will find back its way to the
To facilitate the dissemination of government propaganda, the US military is developing software, that will allow it to secretly manipulate social
media sites by using sock-puppets. So it is not unlikely, that at least some agents already use sock-puppets without the use of a specialized
A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the
Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to
control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.