posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 02:30 PM
Turning to the paid poster / disinfo accusation is weak sauce. It's nothing more than a broad brush marginalization ploy that, in my opinion, usually
serves as a substitute for a valid argument.
Are there trolls on ATS? Of course we get our share. This is the Internet. As a community I think that we happen to do an unfathomably good job of
getting rid of them. For a site this size, for example, we really don't get too many spammers. I think this is because the average spammer only gets
a few posts in before they are alerted by membership and dealt with by staff. Folks who show up only to cause problems usually last a bit longer - but
end up just as banned before too long.
However, given the broad variety of topics here, and the fact that we are all human - I put forth that any of us who are active posters end up
trolling to one degree or another. We all get emotional sometimes and end up posting in a tone that we normally wouldn't want to post with. It just
goes along with the nature of how a discussion board works. We all have off moments.
All evidence suggests that there are paid posters online. We tend to focus upon just the DoD, NSA, and FBI types. But the truth is that it is fair to
assume every vested interest probably has their paid advertisers doing what they would term "viral marketing". An off hand example? Maybe a large
producer of processed sugar pays a few folks to visit message boards with the message that the risk of diabetes is not as bad as the CDC and AMA would
have us believe. The NRA might well have a few employees who post hyperbolic posts any time gun laws are being discussed. The SPCA might keep a few
folks on tap to post videos of animals being abused.
It is totally reasonable to assume that this is not only possible - but that it is probable.
Here's the catch; How would a regular person who happens to love sugar, guns, or animals appear to be any different than an agenda based paid poster?
I offer that they would appear no different. Their arguments and data would likely come from the same sources as the paid poster would use. Thus it is
a moot point to worry if the person is paid or not - as there is no way to prove or disprove another persons motives. So the only real way of coping
is to proceed as if everyone is just an individual with a legitimate and respect-worthy, passionate feeling about a subject.
Which takes us back to where I started... Turning to the paid poster / disinfo accusation is weak sauce.