Paid to troll?

There’s been a long held view that a certain element on various interweb forums do what they do, not because, like most of us beknighted souls out in the dark little corners of the great electronic nowhere, they believe. No, these are what might be called ‘professionals’ who are specifically paid to spread disinformation beneficial to their employer. Now short of a number of insiders coming clean and ‘fessing up, the availability of proof is a little shaky, and without proof, all we have is unfounded assertion. Sure I’ve looked at the Alex Jones end of the spectrum, and what he says often touches a nerve, but he’s very fond of going off half cocked.

Nevertheless. There are most definitely people who fit the description of ‘paid shill’. A lot of these can be found on various forums, ironically often accusing each other of being ‘paid shills’ for various causes. The thing is, it’s not simply the usual suspects of activist organisations and industrial combines who have the odd zealot in their midst. It’s almost like there’s a burgeoning industry out there. The Chinese are known to do it. As are the employees of certain activist groups. Even Governments, and more often NGO’s were observed to be the source of annoyance, until their operatives realised their IP’s could be tracked, and started to use people working via anonymous proxies, working from home and Wi-fi hotspots.

To be honest, it’s hard to tell the difference from your average tinfoil hat wearer from someone who makes a few pennies from trolling and pasting false reviews. There are even rumours going round the block of ‘hit trolls’, those paid to assault particular forums because the ideas expressed there are not acceptable to the trolls employers. Fortunately these people are rare, because the scuttlebutt is that they aren’t paid well for the skill level required. And despite their blinkeredness in some ways, these people aren’t stupid. Well, stupid in having no independence of thought, courtesy or common sense with a fragile molecule thin ego the size of Jupiter, but technically quite bright. Albeit with the spiritual wedding tackle of a Weasel who’s just had a very cold bath.

Mostly, paid or not, Trolls are just time wasters who butt into conversations and smear metaphorical shit all over the place before running away. People whose parents spared the rod and thus spoiled their child. Fantasists stuck in low paid employment because they believe in their ’cause’. In short, the kind of people who roundly deserve what one of my expatriate Afrikaaner neighbours would, in an unguarded moment, call a ‘lekker slaap’. If only to wake them up from the sleep of ignorance.