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.