Shills - disinformation agents real?

I have been looking at various articles about the practice of paid internet trolls. I could not find anything substantial other than an article about practices of disinformation in other countries.

I had an experience on a large media website where I posted my thoughts countering an argument that involved an affiliate physician (to the site) in which I encountered problems posting and was not able to alter my statement to a point the website allowed the comment. It had to do with this physician promoting the use of statin medications in the greater population, even in those with borderline high levels of cholesterol. I countered his statement with rationale that statin medications are hard on the liver, and that borderline high levels of cholesterol were best treated through diet education, an increase in fiber (especially oatmeal) and exercise. I didn’t cite, but provided a sound argument against the practice of approaching this condition with a medication first, before other interventions like I outlined above were taken.

It might be my imagination, but I remember getting error messages when normally I could post freely. I tried to post on another article with a benign statement and that went through fine. I then complained that I was having trouble posting and I got a message from another poster that said, “you will not be posting on this subject, don’t even try.” Or something to that effect. I tried again and again to alter my subject content to avoid trigger words and with no luck - I could not post in that forum. I tried to message the person that had posted to me about not being able to post, and his account looked to be new, and had no other content related to it.

Is this my imagination, or are there really people who are paid, and who may have power to regulate, moderate activity in internet forums? How deep could this go? Statin medications are one of the largest money making medications for big pharma.

I apologize if the link is not a good source, it’s very common knowledge that statin drugs are prescribed very widely. I know physicians that are committed to not using them and instead opt to work with the patient in altering diet, and health promotion like exercise and weight loss as a first line treatment.

So you’re in the pocket of Big Oatmeal?

I know that some marketing firms in the past have advertised paying people to post on forums being pro-marketed good.

Outside of that I think that most people that are thought of as “shills” on the internet are simply too-passionate random John Q Publics.

Quakering in the face of utter madness.

Why McD’s and Caribou grabbed on to it, evidence based. I get paid with Snapple and really awesome hats.

Well I thought I might have been a victim of internet paranoia, it’s the universe telling me I spend too much time thinking, interwebs are sticky.

There’s been at least one thread in IMHO closed due to newbies repeatedly showing up to defend their favorite product. Of course, I have no idea if those newbies were being paid to do so.

You oat not believe everything you read on the internet.

I would surmise that people would go to great lengths to promote an investment.

[QUOE=John Mace;17065562]You oat not believe everything you read on the internet.[/QUOT
I’m known to sow my oaths carefully. Read discerningly, always.

I’ve seen reviews on IDMB that read like press releases rather than something your average movie-goer would write.

Promotion is expected, but is it possible that the methods of promotion border on ethical practice?

It’s been reported that Fox News’ propaganda machine includes paid trolls. If they do, why not others?

This is just another devastating example of the sickness in our culture. I once frequented a stock message board because it was a lot of fun watching the shills (or just folks who wanted to sway susceptible small time investors). Whereas most people with good sense don’t have time for it, I am concerned about disinformation campaigns and how they support criminal activity, ultimately, like those targeting vulnerable people. Those ascended master websites drive me insane. It’s a whole manufactured reality complete with dragons, and people who identify themselves as a color. The whole thing screams mind control, and some of these people are actually making it work. So that is my ultimate concern, the use of tactics through the internet with the goal of control. Shills are the bottom of the barrel.

There’s a great reddit site about this, but unfortunately it’s just for reddit. But it shows that companies can and do pay people to shill for them.
It’s named Hail Corporate, and people post examples of reddit posts that are thinly veiled advertisements or shill pieces.
http://www.reddit.com/r/hailcorporate

Cool, thanks for the link. I’m musing over the name, mostly.