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DisInfo agents, bogus members posting threads...why?

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posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 12:07 PM
reply to post by lambs to lions

When you have been long enough in ATS is easier to spot trolls and by pass and ignore their post, once in a while you may be so knowledgeable on a subject that the blatant mis information provided is hard to ignore.

But that they are out there is a fact and lately I have seen many.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 12:20 PM

Originally posted by transmundane

Originally posted by lambs to lions
Inevitably there will always be those who create accounts on ATS for less than sincere interest in alternative news or conspiracy theories. I'll go ahead and disregard the bored pimple faced teenagers looking for a giggle and focus on the others... My question to you guys is 'why?'

Lately, I've noticed more and more pop up. Typically their threads and posts stick out like a sore thumb. It's obvious there is no real interest in the topic, and by and large the posts are quickly thrown together or even incoherent. What's confusing is many of these bogus members aren't posting out of this world claims for attention, or other obvious reasons.

Are they phishing attempts? Profiling? Gauging members interest in a topic?

Does it have something to do with the 2012 popularity?

What gives????

I have a theory drawn from the world of advertising. It involves repetition -- a sort of "flooding the airwaves" with messages in order to drown out others. I point to Apple (sorry to any fans out there), as an example of this. Their devices are not really exceptional in most cases (I have better insight into this than probably most of the population) -- not necessarily worse than anything out there, but when you pop these devices open and see "Samsung" and "Intel" and other names on the chips and other components, then discover that iOS is actually a re-write of BSD, etc., and these are sold at a higher price than products from those same competing companies (who presumably make their products just a little bit better for themselves), it becomes obvious that Apple's popularity is due mostly to the way it presents itself -- i.e. marketing.

I don't want to belabor that point, I'm sure there are other examples we can pull if this one offends. Apple is beside the point anyways.

I try to pull out a bit whenever I can, to get a "meta" view of the situation whenever possible.

In the case of Apple, they obviously saw a market. In the case of ATS, I suspect much the same thing.

This could mean that either some topics here are starting to hit a little too close to home (i.e. the truth), or that someone sees the community here as a fertile market that they need to infiltrate. Maybe a bit of both. Either way, it's kind of a positive sign -- something here is worth the effort!

Basically, this. Hear something 100 times and it will affect your thinking, even if you initially knew it was balogna or did not agree (how many times have u opened your mind to possibilities on ATS just because of the number of threads on an issue, like chemtrails, just because of the amount of chatter?). It's influence, paid (prob. low). They troll the Internet all day posting early comments in news article comments etc. that may seem innocuous if you don't know what to look for. Often such comments distract from the seriousness of a situation (downplaying an article highlighting problems with the TSA, as a random example), or in respone to proposed legislation.

Same reason we are made to see or hear the same adverts 100 times.
edit on 12/13/2012 by AkumaStreak because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 12:24 PM
reply to post by lambs to lions

this has always been the case. When I first joined (first profile) the immigration issues in the US were insane, and so the equally insane members popped up with barbed wire, american flag avatars and then went away with the issue and interest. Every election they pop up, act out and then disappear.

I will put it this way. If it wasn't for them pushing us and making us try harder to form our arguments, and think critically in net centric warfare, we wouldn't be half as bright and well informed as we think we are.

They do serve a purpose in the long run. I welcome them!

Although, sometimes we over use the term "shill" or dis-info agent. I have been called one before for not doing the knee jerk, love harmony leftist song and sometimes, people just think things you might not agree with. It is just part of life...

edit on 13-12-2012 by zedVSzardoz because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 12:29 PM

Originally posted by lambs to lions
reply to post by TheLieWeLive

I've noticed three threads started in the last 24 hours that were hastily thrown together with little to no content. The posters were all brand new members who hit their post count and started a thread. The mods have done a good job closing them down. I wish I could name names but I can't. Anyways, I'm curious what the purpose for these threads are? There seemingly is no point, but why go through the trouble? Bizarre.

Yeah man, totally agree. It pisses me off to see no effort put into threads that they start. No research, nothing of value added to the topic they started. That said, I too applaud the MODS for their work in closes those threads down...hopefully it will be their accounts next

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by lambs to lions

Without any examples I can't give my opinion on "The hollow posters that are obviously fake... ", but maybe they need attention, or maybe they believe you get paid for stars?

I have see a lot of post that make me go
, but if the mods are taking care of it, then whats the worry?

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 01:23 PM
"LOL. I too was suprised to learn I could make money on the internet! Ask me how I made $5000 in ONE WEEK!"

(I couldn't resist being a smart a$$. Does that make me a troll or dis-info agent?)

Seriously though, I think most people, myself included, post comments because we are bored and like to throw in our two cents. I would have to guess that the typical poster is sitting at his desk, browsing his usual log of forums between working, and decides to comment. In saying that, I guess I should apologize for not adding a lot of true value to the discussions.

I really enjoy reading posters (such as Phage, who has been used as an example in this thread) who are obviously well informed and take the time to research before commenting. It impresses me that people have enough spare time to not only comment, but to take the time to do more than a Google search before posting.

Tossing around accusations, such as "trolling" or "dis-info agent", is almost a form of derailing a discussion in itself. They add nothing to a discussion and are in reality a way of dismissing a poster.

I myself just enjoy reading the varied and strange discussions that often take place (mild entertainment and a distraction). From the complete absurd, to those that are well documented and professionally presented. I have little care for, as another poster put it, "separating the wheat from the chaff." As a fat American I will eat it all.
edit on 13-12-2012 by VekTorVik because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 01:46 PM
I wish you could give an example. I am new here and I would estimate around half of the threads Ive seen are what I would call hollow regardless of how long the op has been a member. For example this one. The real content comes from the responses not the op.
edit on 13-12-2012 by begoodbees because:

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 01:51 PM

Originally posted by TheCanuckian
reply to post by The X

Do you wear a tin foil hat as well?
In all honesty much of what you say is assumption, for all we know these people could just be bored children or competitors trying to make this site worse so theirs look better.

That is far more viable then "shills" and "disinfo" agents wouldn't you say?

edit on 13-12-2012 by TheCanuckian because: (no reason given)

First sentence a lame attempt at a put down with a derisory remark, well done. try harder.
As for bored children, No i don't think so, this isn't the kind of place a "bored" kid would spend time, as for a competitor attempting to make the site worse, the kind of thinking process you have given a light to ensures me you don't have the faintest idea what i am talking about, as for assumption, well done, was it the first few words of my first sentence "I have seen", that gave it away for you?.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:29 PM
I've noticed members are quick to accuse others of trolling or being disinformation agents when they disagree or can't think of anything intelligent to post.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:39 PM
well, a "disinfo" agent would focus on events directly related to power. such as elections, or any issue on which you have direct control and only when it threatens to change it or to manipulate you into believing their change is good for you.

i would focus on threads that push u.s. government agenda's, like "iran is evil", "syria using chemical weapons", etc. they maybe true, but that is america's current propaganda stance.

anything else is a waste of time.

watch piers morgan for a disinfo agent blowing full steam ahead to get an idea.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:42 PM

Originally posted by Merriman Weir

Originally posted by Eidolon23

Originally posted by Merriman Weir
However, the question still stands, what would disinfo agents actually achieve here? There's no consensus and the user demographic has a very pretty wide spread. There's actually no need for disinfo agents to be here as, whatever they'd hope to achieve, occurs without their intervention. And if that's the case, what's the basis for thinking that they're actually here and making a difference?
edit on 13-12-2012 by Merriman Weir because: .

The wide demographic spread and the relatively large user base, as well as the fringe nature of many of the topics make this an ideal testing ground, wouldn't you say? You could play with things like spin strength, polarization and user response.

That's just one possibility, I'm certain that if you were inclined, you could posit others.

edit on 13-12-2012 by Eidolon23 because: (no reason given)

No, if anything it's the worst testing ground imaginable as due to the demographic and ideological spread, it's harder to quantify any results. How would they know it's them that's actually made the 'difference' when the 'difference' will occur without their presence?

1. This particular site has a very rare mix of both hypersusceptible and hypercritical participants. It allows one to play with the extremes in a way that could be extrapolated to more homogenized arenas.

2. The computing power and tools available to those with a vested interest in this sort of experimentation are probably well beyond what you had at your disposal. The demographic diversity therefore wouldn't present a bar to analysis- indeed, the complexity of the data provides exactly the richness one needs in the fodder.

3. You may have noticed that most stories ping here well before they hit the mainstream. Think about the potential there.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:44 PM
I sure this has nothing to do with your question....

According to Lynnae Williams, former CIA clandestine service trainee and DIA analyst, the FBI and CIA use trolls to monitor social media and interact with users to discredit information disseminated on the web. Williams explains that the CIA provides training videos to new recruits on how to troll the internet. Once a target is locked-in, all open source information is obtained on the individual, and then any angle to discredit them in public forum is used on social media sites.

CIA-Sponsored Trolls Monitor Internet & Interact With Users to Discredit Factual Information

Artical about Lynnae Williams

Lynnae Williams: The CIA Spy Who Tweets

A study, written for U.S. Special Operations Command, suggested "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers."

Military Report: Secretly ‘Recruit or Hire Bloggers

As we have often warned, chat rooms, social networks and particularly article comment sections are routinely “gamed” by trolls, many of whom pose as numerous different people in order to create a fake consensus, who attempt to debunk whatever information is being discussed, no matter how credible and well documented. We have seen this on our own websites for years and although some of those individuals were acting of their own accord, a significant number appeared to be working in shifts, routinely posting the same talking points over and over again.

Obama Information Czar Outlined Plan For Government To Infiltrate Conspiracy Groups

Now, I'm not saying all are paid trolls, I am sure lots here are not even old enough to vote, much less out of high school... But when ill informed posters outright try to sway opinion away from self-evident truths, it may be some highly paid dis-info trolls at work.

edit on 13/12/12 by sirric because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:46 PM
TBH, I'd be a dis-info agent if they paid me a decent pay packet, where do I sign up?

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:56 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


MOD NOTE: Editing mod tags is not acceptable. Please use the private messaging system or complaint function to address any issues.
edit on 12/13/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:58 PM

Originally posted by Cosmic911
I've noticed members are quick to accuse others of trolling or being disinformation agents when they disagree or can't think of anything intelligent to post.

Because it's a fact that people will disagree, this means disinfo agents don't exist?

This argument is getting parroted over and over here. It's a logical fallacy.

Many different groups have already admitted, or were exposed for steering public opinion especially in the forum setting, and even in the comments section of news stories..

Do you guys not remember the whole sock puppet thing?

Not any of you saying that disinfo is fake and cannot possibly happen click on any of the links provided.. You cannot prove it doesn't happen when it's ADMITTED that it does.

I'm pretty sure this was already posted:
Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

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.


I was in the ARMY. I trained with ALL PsyOps... I was not psyops but that is another story that I cannot go into.
The main guy they had around me from before MEPS until after basic, was an internet programmer.. He was tasked with controlling internet opinion, making "Honey pot" websites, keeping tracks on users to watch, and changing the debates...

Almost everyone I met was psyops, and it was mostly INTERNET focused activities/training.

edit on 12/13/2012 by Dustytoad because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by TheLieWeLive

Star, traffic has been incredibly slow here.

Eta: Recently.
edit on 13-12-2012 by Wide-Eyes because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 03:31 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 03:32 PM
Thanks for the post Lamb. I doubt that the dis-info agents will do much with this one though. I propose "Project Santa Claus" to make a naughty and nice list (outside of ATS of course). Then will know if you've been bad or good. I'm willing to compare notes with anyone that can pass my "sniff test".

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 03:41 PM


The discussion of the concept of "disinfo agents" or "forum spies" is perfectly fine - but singling any member out, in this process, is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Please refrain from doing so. All posts which single any member out as example, or in accusation, will be removed immediately and the member posting such examples or accusations may place their own posting privilege in jeopardy.

Allowing any member to accuse another member of such, even indirectly, would be contrary to what ATS stands for and the community as a whole.

Thanks for your cooperation.


posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 03:43 PM
reply to post by Hefficide

At last. This disinfo agent crap is tiresome...

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