Paid shills, disinformation agents, or "psy-ops" (psychological operations) personnel can be pretty easily spotted, I think. For me after seeing them
on loads of forums over the years, I break it down into two main identifying characteristics:
1) The person posts information that will get people all intense and emotional and afraid, tapping into raw reactions -- predicting the imminent end
of the world, posting "former black hat" "exposes" about secret government or military stuff, or posting some scary sounding prophecy derived from
allegedly psychic or mystical sources; this is done to study the psychic pressure points in the members of that forum, seeing what sets them off;
2) After sufficient data is gathered there can be attempts (usually from a different account or a series of personae) to overrun the forum with a
bunch of this fear-inducing, panic-inducing material so as to drown out any authentic and rational discussions going on, especially people talking
about real psychic development, self-help/how to stuff that they're figuring out, and other positive/healing-based ideas.
Sometimes the psy-ops character builds a friendship with the forum owners or mods so they can be presented as "the real deal" -- making forum readers
more receptive to just trusting this "insider" information that the person posts. This person might present credentials like badges from the military
or other things that look impressive. Usually this is still in the guise of that person being a whistleblower now and having supposedly left whatever
agency or group they once belonged to. Truth is, they're usually now working for those same agencies, just as a subcontractor or consultant. They
might not officially BE in the CIA anymore, but they're still working psy-ops for them as a subcontractor. They're often retirement age men who have
LOADS of time to post on forums and work people up into a frenzy about ET invasions or asteroids coming to destroy the Earth or whatever people at
that forum tend to get excited about. They keep pushing this info as long as possible to create what ends up being a major split within the members of
the forum, hopefully driving all the sensible people who would have had a contrary view away so the forum is polluted by nonsense and completely
discredited as a place for genuine information from that point forward.
The type of content providers the original poster is talking about are more in a very low level publicity/public relations type of position helping
with brand management, overcoming negative press with positive SEO, that type of thing. Some people have a kneejerk reaction to the very idea of
someone doing this, and sometimes those same people really detest marketing, capitalism, and the things a company needs to do to be competitive in
Google search results, so they might call this being a "paid shill." If you become your own business owner, you start to see it in a different light.
You have to do a LOT to keep your company and products in front of people, and making sure there are lots of recent articles or press releases about
your work showing up in search engine results is just a necessary part of doing business. People who are lifelong employee types don't have to worry
about this so much (unless there ends up being a psychokiller who shares your name dominating the front page of the SERPS -- then you start to go,
"Hey, maybe I should check into this reputation management stuff!
One thing I've also found with real psy-ops types is they will adopt the lingo or the language of the forum. If people use a lot of four letter words,
if they post sentence fragments and don't use great spelling or grammar, they'll adopt shades of that to fit in. The key is not to stick out like a
sore thumb and to find those psychological pressure points that will create the highest chance of dissension, dispersion and dissolution within that
group if possible. Alternative discussion sites ARE being gradually overcome by this stuff. I've, sadly, seen it happen at several formerly cool
forums. Hopefully that won't happen here. It's more likely they'll pull a Jared Loughner thing again -- wasn't he once a member here? Take a mad dog
killer type who's highly mind controlled, make it public that he was a member at one of "those crazy conspiracy sites" and then the parents will be
all, "THINK OF THE CHILDREN! SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!" and more laws restricting free speech will continue to be passed, more hosting providers will
tighten the rules about alternative material being allowed, that type of thing.
The mainstream media takes its marching orders from many shadowy "upper management" editorial directors, and just yesterday all day long the folks at
Gawker were obviously told to post a piece slamming and making fun of conspiracy sites -- see it here:
The Insane Sandy Hook
Conspiracy Theories That Are Already Flooding the Internet
Talk about paid shills
edit on 19-12-2012 by LipstickMystic because: punctuation
edit on 19-12-2012 by LipstickMystic
because: fix link