Has the accusation of "shills" become an independant conspiracy ?

Leifer

Senior Member.
This may not technically be considered a "conspiracy", per se **
....but read on.....

In social media, I (and many) have seen an ever-increasing amount of claims that "shills" are prevalent, and are wide-spread......and that they (shills) often appear on social media because of some financial association to dispel various claims and/or uncovered "truths"......
.......when in the realm of controversial ideas expressed across the net.

"Shill".....general definition, but many instances.....
The "conspiracy" I am noting and describing here, is perhaps more specific, where someone on a public chat type media, is too easily "labeled" a shill, simply because they disagree with a controversial idea or topic -- and little or no evidence is given to back-up the accusatory claim of actually being labeled a "shill".

It is commonly overlooked that the individual's "voice", is more than likely -- simply an individual's personal opinion.

Instead, a large interactive social chat media claim (response) is, "Who do you work for ?".....or, in essence....'you don't agree with me or the topic and it's opinion, therefore you must have ulterior motives.'

I think this accusation has gone beyond a "knee-jerk" defensive posture, into an actual belief.

** Has this method of accusation become a mysterious new belief ? Has this common accusation (often a weak defensive ploy), fed a life into the notion that it is indeed true ? Where is the evidence for this ?
Is the suggestion of pervasive "shilling", creating a new imaginary political and covert enemy ?

Doesn't this accusation fall right in line with (and definition of) any other conspiracy theory ??....where gossip can eventually become a claim or belief of "public knowledge" ?
 
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occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
I think the majority of the time it's used as one of the many diversions by most CTs as a lazy way to discredit anyone who presents an opposing view. The only test being disagreement, it's a simple rebuttal that costs them nothing but then puts almost a secondary onus of proof against anyone who doesn't follow their line of thought. And knowing that the CT crowd are automatically suspicious it casts a shadow on the opposing view immediately because,like most good theories, it *might* just be true that there is some ulterior motive at work.

In all, I think it's become just a lazy, dismissive throw away line.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Doesn't this accusation fall right in line with (and definition of) any other conspiracy theory ??....where gossip can eventually become a claim or belief of "public knowledge" ?
I have thought, for some time now, that people who are conspiracy theorists simply believe in conspiracy, in general, so they see it everywhere. The "shill" aspect is a very important detail because it allows them to discount the input of anyone who speaks out against the details of the specific conspiracy idea they are focusing on at that moment. In that way, it is "cult-like" thinking. The "shill" concept might even be more central to the meme than any specific conspiracy theory we could talk about.
 
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SR1419

Senior Member.
I think this accusation has gone beyond a "knee-jerk" defensive posture, into an actual belief.
I think for most it IS a kneejerk reaction when faced with reality that they are wrong. Its a deflection indicative of a lack of emotional intelligence. Its easier to insult than to admit defeat or even consider the evidence of a contrary point-of-view. Its, in their eyes, an easy way to discredit a dissenting opinion. This is where the politeness philosophy comes into play as it is much harder to descend into name-calling- or at least much less effective- when the other party stays on point with no emotional reaction or tit-for-tat insults.

There are some, no doubt, who truly believe there is an active cabal of debunkers who sole purpose is to discredit them rather than legitimate dialog. ...and its possible there is some truth to that- more likely in political spheres/context rather than fringe CT's.

It sure seems like some of the folks tossing around the "paid shill" moniker around here truly believe it...others it just seems like desperation in the face of overwhelming evidence that their beliefs are wrong.

I was once accused of being a shill (on CS) because I (supposedly) wrote too well. Too much correct punctuation and grammar is a sure sign of paid shill :)



...i know my wife wishes I got paid for spending time on MB :D (I bet Mick's does too :)
 

mazoola

Member
...i know my wife wishes I got paid for spending time on MB :D (I bet Mick's does too :)
Of all the cockamamie claims I've read on MetaBunk, none has been as far-fetched as the idea Mick West could possibly have enough of an offline life as to be married. You are definitely a shill!
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
Well Maybe Mick's wife enjoys living off all the money Mick gets for shilling and is happy she doesn't need to interact with him much cos he is too busy offline. A Perfect marriage.

In all seriousness though, I tend to agree with previous comments. I think Some people literally do just see conspiracy everywhere and do assume anyone who disagrees with them is a shill. This might ALSO be due to not wanting to face up to the reality that they might possibly be wrong about something.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
Agreed I was called a shill the other day by a CT I know. I asked him what he meant by the term. he just said it means your ignorant of the truth. I told him to get / buy a dictionary.
Nothing surprising there, they don't seem to know the meaning of "troll" either. I think "shill" is just another way of calling someone an ass. To a CT, it's the worst possible thing you can call someone, worse than sheep. Cause you're not just a follower, you're actually PAID by the WORD to sit at your computer and disagree with them. Paid by the entity they have the utmost contempt for: the CIA/US Gov't/NWO/whomever. Every time one asks who pays me I have to wonder if they could possibility believe that the handful of people I post with and I are really PAID. It seems to silly to me.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Nothing surprising there, they don't seem to know the meaning of "troll" either. I think "shill" is just another way of calling someone an ass. To a CT, it's the worst possible thing you can call someone, worse than sheep. Cause you're not just a follower, you're actually PAID by the WORD to sit at your computer and disagree with them. Paid by the entity they have the utmost contempt for: the CIA/US Gov't/NWO/whomever. Every time one asks who pays me I have to wonder if they could possibility believe that the handful of people I post with and I are really PAID. It seems to silly to me.
Funny enough, I look upon it, in a twisted sort of way, as a sort of badge of honour, it means that I'm getting up the noses enough for them to take notice, it's a step up from 'stooge' and two up from 'sheeple' and I'm looking forward to promotion to dis-info agent and to then FBI / CIA / MI5 / mossad / NWO / NWA / BOC / BRMC / (insert name of shadowy organisation of choice here) spokesman.

I find it perversely funny that anyone who sheepishly follow and then blindly propagate the real dis-information the CT gurus disseminate via their money making websites and panicvision you-tube channels, will then call anyone who has done real research and really has balanced as much information as possible before making up their mind on an issue such blindly dismissive names. Talk about the ignorance and hypocrisy.

And as for being paid by the word, I am a copy writer, I normally get paid by the word (or by the 250 or part there of), but believe me unless the NWO pay at LOT more than most of my clients I aint gonna get rich discussing the science and politics of conspiracy on Metabunk. :D
 
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Graham2001

Active Member
I think for most it IS a kneejerk reaction when faced with reality that they are wrong. Its a deflection indicative of a lack of emotional intelligence. Its easier to insult than to admit defeat or even consider the evidence of a contrary point-of-view. Its, in their eyes, an easy way to discredit a dissenting opinion.
That's pretty much how I saw it emerging during the 'sorting out' phase of the 9/11 Truth movment with the various factions racing to see who could make the most 'disinfo agent' accusations stick.

These quotes from 'Professor' James McCanney I think best outline the mentality:

http://wayback.archive.org/web/20050404045149/http://www.jmccanneyscience.com/thought of the day.HTM
 

E**

Member
It's become a way to dismiss any criticism right from the start, obviously anyone who would try to poke holes in the story must be working for "them" or has already been brainwashed by "them" Evidence doesn't matter because that can always be faked you have to go with what feels right in your gut. You start with the premise and try to fit and cherry pick any available info to match but this is completely secondary, everyone knows that any explanation except for the official one is true.

This is that cult like behavior at work. I don't think that anyone who is doing this is doing it to be consciously malicious, they honestly believe that if you try to discredit them you must be against them the bottom line is they don't care about evidence and if you debate with one long enough they will (mostly) all eventually admit this.

There are also small pockets of people who work as cults of personality in the movement and have "mini cults" that they don't like disrupted. But the bottom line I think is that this is like a religion when you attack their beliefs you are attacking them. They can't separate themselves from their beliefs.

It's like when a guru predicts the end of the world in a cult and when the date passes the cult members make up excuses for it not happening; you would feel mighty foolish for having spent all this time and energy on something (which had such a profound effect on you) that turned out to be a lie. Of course they are going to make excuses and cling to anything that lets them keep believing.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I agree, they seem to KNOW that folks are shills. and trolls. Some don't even know the meaning of the worlds. I have been accused of being a troll on a group that I am an admin for!
 

Graham2001

Active Member
I agree, they seem to KNOW that folks are shills. and trolls. Some don't even know the meaning of the worlds. I have been accused of being a troll on a group that I am an admin for!
It gets worse, back in September (2014) someone in Australia filmed a spent rocket stage dumping fuel in orbit and posted the video to YouTube. He got replies saying it was a UFO and replies saying it was a spent stage dumping fuel.

His response to statments saying it was not a UFO (Quoted from the Bad UFO Blog):

http://badufos.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/aircraft-carrier-sized-ufo-filmed-by.html
 

JDubyah

Member
I work from home, I'm in IT, I have a wife and a young son. I go to the gym and play a sport 1 night a week. That's my whole life atm. I made a modest salary at my company, and don't get a cent from elsewhere, and have never even hear of any agency that would want to pay anyone for denying Chemtrails and Geoengineering and the like. Yet, when I try to politely join in a discussion on Chemtrails or Geoengineering to present where some of the posted information is incorrect - and often obviously so - I immediately get asked how much I got to sell my soul, if that's what my 'masters' told me to say, etc. It's impossible to even have a conversation these days without being called a shill or a troll. The CT communities accept 'discussion' only if it's to agree with already-agreed upon beliefs. You can't add anything new if it isn't already known, or if it confirms what's already known. It's a little maddening.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
I found a further interesting example in the comments page for an episode of the BeReasonable podcast where they interviewed a Chemtrail Believer the opening line of his comment (#23) read:

http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2014/12/be-reasonable-episode-024-harry-rhodes/#comment-118529

Of course this being the internet, there is no way to know if a random poster is who they claim to be and with the high level of paranoia some CTs show it's easy to imagine legions of 'disnfo agents' sitting in offices logging onto random web fora or conspiracy sites to dispute what is being presented, see also the quotes from James McCanney I quoted in Post #14.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
Since the topic is shills/'disinfo agents'/whatever term is used, do they actually exist here in America? I see the theme of the topic is to talk about personal experiences with being accused of shilling and there's a lot of joking going on, but I was hoping someone could shed some light on if it is actually happening in our country.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Since the topic is shills/'disinfo agents'/whatever term is used, do they actually exist here in America? I see the theme of the topic is to talk about personal experiences with being accused of shilling and there's a lot of joking going on, but I was hoping someone could shed some light on if it is actually happening in our country.
i see on 'news' comments alot things like "wow. i make $1,000 a day to work form home. click here to see how"... so thats probably "disinfo". but i consider that an advertising thing.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Since the topic is shills/'disinfo agents'/whatever term is used, do they actually exist here in America? I see the theme of the topic is to talk about personal experiences with being accused of shilling and there's a lot of joking going on, but I was hoping someone could shed some light on if it is actually happening in our country.
Very likely, but mostly as public-relations for commercial corporations, trying to generate consumer interest in products, positive reviews, and so forth.
There might be political shilling or agent provocateurs trying to agitate certain groups, but people do that for free on the internet anyway.
Here's an article from someone in the marketing industry.
http://biznology.com/2013/10/best-practices-for-social-media-shilling/
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
Since the topic is shills/'disinfo agents'/whatever term is used, do they actually exist here in America? I see the theme of the topic is to talk about personal experiences with being accused of shilling and there's a lot of joking going on, but I was hoping someone could shed some light on if it is actually happening in our country.
Im sure there are people out there that are disinformation types.. but if you think about it logically.. it doesnt make sense for an agency to exist solely to crawl the internet looking for people to target in an attempt to discredit them because... "reasons." 99% of the time is some form of paranoid delusion, the person in question is using multiple accounts to drum up views and comments so they can claim persecution, OR they have their own personal troll that follows them around (which happens a LOT on youtube) just to give them shit.

There are plenty of examples of "disinformation" types trying to discredit this person or that person just for the sole reason that they're a competitor. If you cant win honestly... cheat. Youtube is big business, while you only get paid pennies for each view/commercial viewed on your channel, when you're talking hundreds of thousands or even millions of views, you're talking BIG bucks... Take Pewdiepie for example. The dude does NOTHING but play and review video games on youtube, and he's a millionaire... all youtube money.

When it comes to AMG YOUR A DISINFO ANGENT (bad grammar intentional as an example).. its usually because when you look at the title of the video its says EXPOSED, REVEALED, BEFORE ITS DELETED, ___ THEY DONT WANT YOU TO SEE, ILLUMINATI, NWO, etc etc etc... and its being used as click bait. Claiming that so and so is a disinfo agent not only drives up the views (because we're curious and we want to see wtf is going on), it also affects the metrics in youtube.. youtube is LITERALLY attention by any means necessary.. the algorythm doesnt care if its good feed back or bad feed back (thumbs up or down), so all it does it increase the hits to their page and drive up their view count.
 

JDubyah

Member
Since the topic is shills/'disinfo agents'/whatever term is used, do they actually exist here in America? I see the theme of the topic is to talk about personal experiences with being accused of shilling and there's a lot of joking going on, but I was hoping someone could shed some light on if it is actually happening in our country.
Go read the Comments on any RT (Russia Today) article, and you'll start to spot the pattern of posters who are obviously posting on behalf of RT itself. That 'news' site has the most blatant trolling I've ever seen.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I don't know youtube ' s advertisement payment policy.....but if there is a 15 second advert before a video........does the vid owner get paid ?
If so....does posting "shocking stories" pay the video poster, with some cash ?
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
I don't know youtube ' s advertisement payment policy.....but if there is a 15 second advert before a video........does the vid owner get paid ?
That answer is yes
as for how much, it varies but this article explains the whys and wherefores
http://www.reelseo.com/youtube-partner-earnings/

 
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Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
I don't know youtube ' s advertisement payment policy.....but if there is a 15 second advert before a video........does the vid owner get paid ?
If so....does posting "shocking stories" pay the video poster, with some cash ?
As @Whitebeard said.. yes. Advertisers have started shelling out a LOT of cash to youtubers because they've learned its a quick, easy, cheap way to get (what basically amounts to) free advertising. Companies spend billions on creating adds and coming up with R&D etcetcetc to hit specific target groups. They can save a great deal of that money by using youtube because they can see they can pull that info from Google (since they own Youtube) and basically get a run down of who they're hitting for practically nothing... In return for allowing adverts to run on their channel the content creators get "youtube money." They get a fraction of the sales Google gets for running the adds (See whitebeards breakdown above). Major Youtube content creators (like pewdiepie) get millions of views a month.. Pewdiepie usually averages 250k views PER VIDEO he puts out, so you can make a decent living IF you hit that sweetspot and get enough views. It'll crash eventually but for now people CAN make a comfortable living just doing what they love to do.
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
None of my YT vids have ad revenue.
About half my vids are of a debunking nature.
So, "profiting" from my debunking efforts, is nil.
I have never felt the need to mention this.

Whether this is significant....seems to be a pointless justification aimed to the paraniod. There may be some YT critics that feel that I, and others. ....are being paid elsewhere-somehow as shills. They have no evidence of this.
I could easily claim that a large majority of "chemtrail" videos are indeed gathering revenue from You Tube hit counts......but that would not speak to the evidence of the overall debate.

So I feel that if someone garners revenue from YT...set that aside....and speak to the facts.
It's not a good debate of the facts, if "revenue" becomes a deciding point, in place of scientific evidence.

In other words....if someone is making $1k a month by spouting shit.....it does not make that shit palatable, or true.
 
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Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
None of my YT vids have ad revenue.
About half my vids are of a debunking nature.
So, "profiting" from my debunking efforts, is nil.
I have never felt the need to mention this.

Whether this is significant....seems to be a pointless justification aimed to the paraniod. There may be some YT critics that feel that I, and others. ....are being paid elsewhere-somehow as shills. They have no evidence of this.
I could easily claim that a large majority of "chemtrail" videos are indeed gathering revenue from You Tube hit counts......but that would not speak to the evidence of the overall debate.

So I feel that if someone garners revenue from YT...set that aside....and speak to the facts.
It's not a good debate of the facts, if "revenue" becomes a deciding point, in place of scientific evidence.

In other words....if someone is making $1k a month by spouting shit.....it does not make that shit palatable, or true.
I agree with you.. I do.. You're coming at this from an open and HONEST perspective though @Leifer.. you're interested in sharing factual information NOT making a buck. There MAY be people out on YT that are there defending conspiracies because they DO believe they're real. Its been my experience though that they're not the ones that scream AMG SHILL at the first sign of disagreement.

Look at me, I fall into the camp of people that buy into SOME form of conspiracy in the JFK assassination.. but when I come across credible evidence for or against (no matter the source) I dont go off screaming SHILL SHILL. As has been pointed out, people that scream shill fall into one of three camps. 1) Paranoid Delusionals, 2) Intentional Shit Disturbers, or 3) People who dont actually know what the word shill means.

When you're trying to get into a discussion with people that scream shill you MIGHT get through, but you have to remember... Skeptics want evidence.. they require it. Conspiracy Theorists (for the most part) Dont. So no matter how you defend that you're not a shill, you'll always be a shill because there's no way to prove it.. and if you DO prove it they'll move the goal posts so that you can.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Thanks, Svart. I agree with most of that.
Perhaps to be more specific on my part...I'm referring to what is a current accusation of the term "shill", as found in web chat/social media forums.
My thoughts are....is that this term is becoming "believable" by the large amount of time and frequency that it is being mentioned.
It seems to be a true "meme".
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
Thanks, Svart. I agree with most of that.
Perhaps to be more specific on my part...I'm referring to what is a current accusation of the term "shill", as found in web chat/social media forums.
My thoughts are....is that this term is becoming "believable" by the large amount of time and frequency that it is being mentioned.
It seems to be a true "meme".
Yep.. agreed yet again.. I think the idea behind the term may be changing.. as was mentioned (by whitebeard I think??) one person called another a shill and thought that it meant the individual in question was naieve.. not that they were, to use a Union phrase, a scab. I was watching some videos on the hacker culture the other day and there were cons being held (think Comicon, but for hackers) in the South West US.. There were reps there from the NSA, the FBI, CIA.. pick an alphabet org.. and every time theyd get up to talk (no matter who it was.. even the moderator) the entire crowd would yell SHILL. The guy working for the alphabet org ISNT a shill, by definition, he's a legit employee.. so god only knows what the word will morph into next.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
god only knows what the word will morph into next.
The internet has brought with it the ability for completely nonsense (or false) ideas to gain so much traction that they become "true" in a short amount of time. I think this has always happened, but it took maybe decades for some word or concept to gain a new understanding which was so widespread that it had to be adopted and the "true" meaning. How many phrases have been repeated wrongly so many times that they are thought to be "correct"? The phrase "begs the question" comes to mind. It is so universally accepted to mean something like: "Implies the question" that I believe it has started being shown in dictionaries, etc, as the actual meaning. Don't even get me started on a list of badly distorted phrases.... How about "bold faced lie"? It's actually "BALD faced lie", but has been repeated as the former so many times that people think that's the true form.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
Go read the Comments on any RT (Russia Today) article, and you'll start to spot the pattern of posters who are obviously posting on behalf of RT itself. That 'news' site has the most blatant trolling I've ever seen.
That's exactly what people say about this very site though...'just go read the comments at metabunk, they obviously work for the government.' You're doing the same thing with RT as other people do with this site and with no real evidence. I'm not doubting there's people like that at RT (not doubting because I don't go to that site or read the comments).

I'm just wondering, how does one actually know who is a 'shill', just by profiling posters? The thought seems to be 'yeah they exist' but there's no way to prove it.
 

JDubyah

Member
That's exactly what people say about this very site though...'just go read the comments at metabunk, they obviously work for the government.' You're doing the same thing with RT as other people do with this site and with no real evidence. I'm not doubting there's people like that at RT (not doubting because I don't go to that site or read the comments).

I'm just wondering, how does one actually know who is a 'shill', just by profiling posters? The thought seems to be 'yeah they exist' but there's no way to prove it.
Then I'd suggest going through the comments on RT.. lol. Completely different beast than here. This site is run by Mick, a retired programmer, while that site *is* actually run by the Kremlin. And no, I wasn't offering proof in that post, but rather observing enough suspicious behavior that suggests there's likely proof to be found. Enough former news folk there have come out to say how heavily controlled the reporting is there by the government that I'd suspect the same about the web site and comments section. For proof, I think there was an article or email passed around about the RT troll world that talked about it, but I'm not sure where to find it.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
Then I'd suggest going through the comments on RT.. lol. Completely different beast than here. This site is run by Mick, a retired programmer, while that site *is* actually run by the Kremlin. And no, I wasn't offering proof in that post, but rather observing enough suspicious behavior that suggests there's likely proof to be found. Enough former news folk there have come out to say how heavily controlled the reporting is there by the government that I'd suspect the same about the web site and comments section. For proof, I think there was an article or email passed around about the RT troll world that talked about it, but I'm not sure where to find it.
What Josh is saying though, J, is that even though WE know we dont work for the government.. or any government.. that we're just a bunch of guys n gals that debate, discuss and learn things on the internet, anyone from the outside who's entrenched in their ideas will not see Metabunk any differently than you do RT. No matter how many times we say that we're not, or how many times we both try to prove AND ask for proof that we all work for <pick your favorite enemy of the week>... it doesnt matter. They're still going to see us as part of the conspiracy.

While RT may actually be run by the russian government, Josh is pointing out that you're saying (quite literally) the exact same thing that Theorists say about Metabunk.. "its obvious" "they're part of the propaganda" "they're 'in' on the whole thing and lying do us..." All while no proof or evidence being offered.. its just accepted as "common knowledge," regardless of whether or not its based on fact.

Does that make more sense? Thats the major problem.. there ARE places out there (and countries) that have a heavy propaganda machine.. anyone from the outside world either takes it at face value or just chalks it up to being what it is.. but to people who are entrenched deeply in various Conspiracy Theories, anything that doesnt fit within their sphere is automatically part of the disinformation campaign that the entire world is engaged in JUST to keep people under control and "asleep." They will see Metabunk as no different. Most of the time all it takes is having a differing opinion and you're part of "them" even if you've never heard of "them."
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
That's exactly what people say about this very site though...'just go read the comments at metabunk, they obviously work for the government.' You're doing the same thing with RT as other people do with this site and with no real evidence. I'm not doubting there's people like that at RT (not doubting because I don't go to that site or read the comments).

I'm just wondering, how does one actually know who is a 'shill', just by profiling posters? The thought seems to be 'yeah they exist' but there's no way to prove it.
I think the main actual shills are those on Youtube who are on their own vids churning for additional comments and views.
 
I haven't read everyone's replies but if someone has mentioned it already then my apologies.

I think dismissing people you don't agree with as being shills is just part of the way a person's brain avoids conflicting information and cognitive dissonance. It's easy to invalidate someone's convincing evidence-based argument as being some type of manipulative tactic from a corporation or organization that way. It fits into their mostly black and white worldview that every single somewhat-interesting event is tied to the NWO and everyone who doesn't see that is either a sheep or a shill. No room for complexities or exceptions because their worldview would not be very strong because they would have to be able to see the huge assumptions and holes in logic.

So to answer the thread title, I think it's an important piece of the overall worldview. Another way for the mind to comfortably dismiss conflicting info.

I wish someone was paying me for my interest in this stuff, I definitely need it :)
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Another way for the mind to comfortably dismiss conflicting info.
"Blue pill, or red pill"? (Sorry couldn't resist...but a movie like "The Matrix", just a completely made-up Science Fiction adventure might possibly have influence....no, it definitely has an influence).

And of course, there is a clip from the film, on YouTube...just search for it, I will not post it here....
 
I guess you could say it's the blue pill for the "red pill". The red pill being the idea that you have somehow figured out the secret of reality haha.
 
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