Originally posted by tsurfer2000h
Originally posted by Jason88
Want to know where paid trolls work? Public relations agencies throughout the globe. If you were to join one of these PR firms as a junior associate, part of your job is to influence opinions about your clients - whether it be governments, corporations or non-profits. And yes, the comments sections are part of a larger strategy to influence society about the opinions of the paying party. They've been doing it since around 2006 when PR bosses decided to attack comments sections and forums.
Another thing to think about, these junior associates at PR firms are college educated and typically pretty bright. They map out comment/response plans for clients, with client input, so before stories or posts are written they already have a plan to deal with the honest public.
An example - say I work for Coke Cola and an ATS thread pops up that's anti-sugar, anti-Coke, anti-obesity. I'll have a Google Alert set (say "coke" + "obesity"), and since ATS threads are indexed by Google, I'll know pretty quick -within a day- about a potentially negative conversation happening about Coke. Now Coke doesn't pay me be a shill or disinfo agent - they pay me to keep them in the conversation and in a positive light while filling the role of "crisis communications." So I get that Google Alert - I join ATS - figure out the requirements fast and jump into the conversation and start blaming lack of exercise, self control, and laziness for the obesity problem while moving the conversation away from Coke. Now Coke has 50 people like me, who do lots of others things for Coke in the media, but using the comment sections/forums does occupy a part of each day for each hired hand.
Ethically, people who do this should identify themselves as representing the company/government (and some do), but overall it's an abused system.
Edit: I just have to share this too. I know first hand of a CEO at a known company who goes crazy in the comments sections, and have heard stories of other senior people who do this. So if you think paid trolls all live in a dark corner of the web or in some dirty Internet cafe - you'd be wrong, some are in corner offices, others in cube farms at "respectable" organizations.
Originally posted by Mandrakerealmz
reply to post by vkey08
Actually think about what it must take to be a paid shill? If you were a rational intelligent human being wouldn't it eat at your soul? I suspect any agency that operates a paid shill opinion formation center would screen people and pick them based on there personality to reduce turnover and undesirable questions.
That just seems logical to me. And people with emotional and personal issues of various types would more adequately fit the bill.edit on 9-3-2013 by Mandrakerealmz because: Corrected terminology
Good post, OP.
Originally posted by cyoshi
"Internet trolls, also known as “paid posters” or “paid bloggers,” are increasingly being employed by private corporations as well as by government. In fact, it is a rapidly growing industry.
Originally posted by STARTRUTH49
...spreading dark misinformation of fear. Why don't they find a church forum where they can preach their Dogma !
Do you finally see what I'm trying to get at, or do you need it spelled out?