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(Some Guy)   "I was a paid internet shill: For a little over six months, I was paid to spread disinformation and argue political points on the Internet"   (consciouslifenews.com) divider line 127
    More: Interesting, third floor, A/T/S  
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26283 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2013 at 2:34 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-01-10 10:34:16 AM
14 votes:

James!: Sure he was.


Are you just skeptical because you're a Moderator, and trolls tend to increase the number of posts in a thread and the number of times articles are viewed?

You may not have noticed, but there are people who post the same thing in every thread relating to certain topics. It could be that they are bored and have a strong but ridiculous opinion about a topic, or it could be that they are paid. There are more reasons to believe that someone was paid to make posts on the internet than to believe that someone made up a story about being paid to post on the internet. What does he have to gain from it?
2013-01-10 09:41:57 AM
10 votes:

NowhereMon: I wonder how many of these we have at FARK...


That depends, do you mean individual people, or accounts?
2013-01-10 01:06:27 PM
8 votes:

James!: I've seen so many weird conspiracy theories over the years about how the staff must be being paid off by one side or another that it's just silly to me at this point. I don't take it seriously.


No one REALLY thinks that the unpaid admins and mods are part of the Vast Conservative/Liberal Conspiracy.

We think two things: 1) Politicians and action groups pay people to spread their message on social media 2) Controversial topics and inflammatory posts stir up conversation. Look, if we *really* only cared about the news, every link in the politics tab would be to reputable news sources, not WND and Breitbart. And I won't say that TPM and Daily Kos are anywhere as derptastic as those two, because false equivalency is worse than Hitler, but those four sites make up a large proportion of greenlit threads.

TL;DR- no one thinks you're Spiro Agnew, but don't be that guy who's SHOCKED to find gambling going on at this establishment.
2013-01-10 10:09:28 AM
8 votes:
They guy is well paid, but the company is in a run down building with a dirty office in a crap neighborhood. The thing of film noir legends.

Shenanigans.
2013-01-10 10:58:56 AM
7 votes:

James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?


Some people are paid to post things on the internet. It's not much of a conspiracy. You are just an over-zealous moderator.
2013-01-10 10:09:47 AM
7 votes:
I'm guessing they do exist on Fark. I can't think of anything else to explain the long list of known threadsh*tters who show up in every single thread about a particular topic.
2013-01-10 09:47:09 AM
7 votes:
Sure he was.
2013-01-10 10:15:58 AM
6 votes:

Rev.K: I'm guessing they do exist on Fark. I can't think of anything else to explain the long list of known threadsh*tters who show up in every single thread about a particular topic.


I don't think that's the proof so much as they last a couple months, and then disappear to be replaced with an entirely new login created 4 days previously saying the exact same things.
2013-01-10 01:43:58 PM
5 votes:

brap: All I can say is having read a few politics threads in my day, if someone IS paying those chuckleheads to post the same hardline gibberjabber over and over and over again, they ain't getting there monies worth.


I don't know what scares me more - the possibility that there is an organized effort to disrupt online discussions with paid shills or that the idiots we see in the politics thread really, honestly and truly believe in the slobbering nonsense they post on a daily basis.
2013-01-10 11:59:46 AM
5 votes:

James!: sweetmelissa31: James!: Some people are so wildly self absorbed that they think people have to be paid to disagree with them.

Nobody thinks that everyone who disagrees with them is paid. But there are some fairly obvious trolls whom I'm sure you notice, but have your own reasons to claim they are not trolls.

Are they trolls or do they just not agree with the majority of farkers?  It's more conspiracy nonsense.  People think their opinions are so right and beautiful that anyone who disagrees is an obvious troll. Having a contrary opinion in a harsh way? Obvious troll.  Consistently having a contrary opinion? Obvious paid troll.  Having a consistently contrary opinion and not being banned? ZOMG OBVIOUS PAID MOD TROLL!!!


So are you saying there is no such thing as internet forum shills? Do you need citations?

Ive been participating pretty consistently in the poli threads since 2004. And the number of posters who I suspect are shills has  increased drastically since then. I expect that this has to do with political organizations becoming more net savvy in combination with Fark becoming more well known.

Back in the day when TGOT or Wever95 would post an opinion I didnt agree with it was pretty easy to tell they were sincere. When the Patriot Act came out it affected these guys big time. TGOT posted a sad and puzzled good-bye thread in TFD and Weaver95 eventually became a solid Dem supporter.

I notice you have been spending some more time in these poli threads in the last 6 months (?) or so and I , for one, appreciate an overt Mod presence. But to imply that I call someone a shill just because they disagree with me is a pretty glib insult on your part.

I am not a stupid person. I read very quickly and I enjoy a good debate. I am always respectful. I may tease a bit but I never insult. I really value a good opponent in a political debate. Unfortunately there are very few of those left here. Most of the discussions I get into with "conservatives" here at Fark become oddly circular and nonsensical. They repeat the same easily disproved "fact" over and over as though it was a revelation. They say the same things in every thread - often with only the most tangential relationship to the thread topic.

Eventually I come to the conclusion that they are shills because real people dont argue like that. Real people get tired of typing exactly the same sentence over and over. Real people dont have a file full of copy pasta responses that they rehash over and over.

The main problem (from your standpoint) is that ultimately these paid shills are dull. They drive real unpaid posters away because these guys are just boring and annoying to respond to.

I am very very disappointed in your assessment of the situation. I am not a shallow person. I do not require that everyone agree with me for me to take their point of view seriously but I would like them to be sincere in their arguments. That Fark consistently turns a blind eye to blatant shilling has always been something of a mystery to me.
2013-01-10 10:46:20 AM
5 votes:

James!: Some people are so wildly self absorbed that they think people have to be paid to disagree with them.


Nobody thinks that everyone who disagrees with them is paid. But there are some fairly obvious trolls whom I'm sure you notice, but have your own reasons to claim they are not trolls.
2013-01-10 11:38:00 AM
4 votes:

James!: I mean honestly, is there a vast conspiracy paying people to argue with you on the internet or did some dude troll Above Top Secret?  Honestly?


stranger things have happened.  i'm willing to bet there are a couple people/organizations that use fark (and other popular websites) to manipulate public opinion.  you can quibble about the extent of said manipulation or the motives behind it...but I have little doubt it's being done.  notice how some of our 'post and run' trolls have evaporated from the politics tab now that the elections are over?  I sure have...and I don't think i'm the only one either.  Can I prove beyond any possibility of any doubt that fark has paid political trolls infesting various tabs?  no.  But is it reasonable to believe that we've got a couple out there?  sure.
2013-01-10 11:21:00 AM
4 votes:

James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?


Look, we know that Romney paid to get more Twitter followers. We know that every campaign hires people to monitor facebook.

Of COURSE the campaigns have people paid to spread the message via social network. This isn't scandalous or shocking, and I don't think its some nefarious plot to undermine the "integrity" of fark.

There are a lot of people on here with whom I strongly disagree on everything, yet I don't block them because they make actual points.

And then there are people who post stupid photoshops and fake graphs or drop one inflammatory post in a thread and never post again, and I have the vast majority of those people blocked because they add nothing to the conversation.
2013-01-10 10:21:39 AM
4 votes:

James!: Sure he was.


Of course!

She gave me only a phone-number and an address, in one of the seedier parts of San Francisco
"They don't have a website. Or even a name. You'll see. Just tell them I referred you."
...this "company" changed its name almost monthly
"You can't tell anyone what we do here. Not your wife, not your dog."
"We'll give you a cover story and even a phone number and a fake website you can use."
...making my living lying and heckling people who come online to express their views and exercise freedom of speech


A fantasy written by someone who imagines that's what happens.  Not as if there aren't enough actual zealous people out there that voluntarily and willfully (and frequently) post the craziness, any of whom could be easily hired.  If groups are truly paying "non-believers" to do this, why would this super-secret network be revealed anonymously on "consciouslifenews.com"?  After all, even if the author signed an NDA and then stepped forward and went public after no longer working there, who's going to sue to enforce it?

I also like how the editorial before and after kind of distances itself, yet gives it an overall endorsement of confidence.

Stupid.
2013-01-10 09:58:31 AM
4 votes:
"For a little over six months, I was paid to spread disinformation and argue political points on the Internet" "I would have kept doing it if the pay was better."

Fixed for whoever it is.
2013-01-10 09:41:18 AM
4 votes:
I wonder how many of these we have at FARK...
2013-01-10 03:34:36 PM
3 votes:

James!: You're kind of one the same page as me. Why would anyone need to pay someone to argue on the internet?


To stop the discussion.

Just look at a typical global warming thread. Instead of discussing the article, or the concepts brought up in the article, or the possible ramifications of the factual events described in the article, or possible solutions to the problems mentioned in the article, every single thread becomes a giant mucking shiatfest that the averge person would want nothing to do with

All it takes is for one obsessive astroturfer to come in and post a few really stupid, easily disproved "facts", and then follow it up by answering every single response with evasions, repetition, and lots and lots of insults, while ignoring any and all requests for actual discussion of the topic. One dedicated shill, paid or not, can completely destroy the entire conversation and make the entire discussion about HIM HIM HIM or force the participants to deal with the shiat-flood of falsehoods that he simply regurgitates en-masse in EVERY SINGLE DISCUSSION of the topic, regardless of how many times they are proven demonstrably false.

And thus pretty much every single discussion even remotely related to global warming is completely and utterly derailed and turned into a giant shiatfest that a LOT of regular folks will simply look at and say "Ew, why would I want to participate in that?"

Would it be worthwhile for multi-billion dollar international oil companies to throw a few bucks at some Internet Marketing Company to effectively shut down every conversation about global climate change on some of the more popular and well known internet discussion sites? I dunno, but the fact that there are companies that do Search Engine Optimization, Online Reputation Management, etc. I don;t really think it's farfetched at all
2013-01-10 01:22:18 PM
3 votes:

James!: Almost daily people say we're paid by WND/KOS/Daily Mail/Entertainment Weekly to green links. And I said side not trolls, taking a side doesn't make someone a troll.


Nobody in this thread is saying that. People are saying that there are some organizations that probably pay people to make posts on the internet. You're dismissing it as either a "conspiracy theory" or as a way of classifying everyone who has a different opinion.
2013-01-10 11:49:17 AM
3 votes:

BillCo: You mean I can get paid to do this?

Who knew.


I can't believe I get to rip your ideology apart for free.
2013-01-10 11:37:50 AM
3 votes:
Although I think paid posters exist, I am calling shenigans on this one for several reasons:
1) no verifiable details
2) old building (people wouldn't need to work at a particular location and this would make it more problematic to conceal IP patterns/origins, in San Francisco with the most expensive real-estate anywhere no less)
3) focus on writing skills (the focus would be volume)
4) telling a great writer about using a Thesaurus
5) you wouldn't limit anyone to a fixed number of blogs.  To avoid people being identified as shills it would make sense to spread posts across as many blogs as possible rather than focusing on certain blogs.  You would want all poster posting to as many blogs as possible to avoid obvious patterns
6) doesn't mention: reporting/auditing which would be half the job
2013-01-10 11:33:01 AM
3 votes:
He forgot to include the part where he had to wear a trench coat and fedora to work every day. There also needed to be more about the fear he now has for his safety, perhaps an account or two of his slipping a tail. You can't write a piece like this without the phrase "slipped my tail." Needed more dames, too. Lots more dames. Other than that, I believe this completely and without question.
2013-01-10 10:55:23 AM
3 votes:
Nobody is saying that the majority of people who disagree with them is a paid troll. But some exist. You have a reason to ignore them, and are therefore freaking out.
2013-01-10 10:54:17 AM
3 votes:

GAT_00: Rev.K: I'm guessing they do exist on Fark. I can't think of anything else to explain the long list of known threadsh*tters who show up in every single thread about a particular topic.

I don't think that's the proof so much as they last a couple months, and then disappear to be replaced with an entirely new login created 4 days previously saying the exact same things.


It's easy to pick them out, they pretty much only show up during election season, then disappear as soon as it's over. Something about their posting style just doesn't fit with the culture here, because they aren't part of it. After several years of spending time on the Politics tab, they're pretty obvious me. I generally just scroll past their stupid propaganda garbage. It gets kinda maddening to see them stir up a thread, though. I wish folks would just ignore em and move on.
2013-01-10 10:53:15 AM
3 votes:

sweetmelissa31: James!: Some people are so wildly self absorbed that they think people have to be paid to disagree with them.

Nobody thinks that everyone who disagrees with them is paid. But there are some fairly obvious trolls whom I'm sure you notice, but have your own reasons to claim they are not trolls.


Are they trolls or do they just not agree with the majority of farkers?  It's more conspiracy nonsense.  People think their opinions are so right and beautiful that anyone who disagrees is an obvious troll. Having a contrary opinion in a harsh way? Obvious troll.  Consistently having a contrary opinion? Obvious paid troll.  Having a consistently contrary opinion and not being banned? ZOMG OBVIOUS PAID MOD TROLL!!!
2013-01-10 10:46:04 AM
3 votes:

sweetmelissa31: James!: Sure he was.

Are you just skeptical because you're a Moderator, and trolls tend to increase the number of posts in a thread and the number of times articles are viewed?

You may not have noticed, but there are people who post the same thing in every thread relating to certain topics. It could be that they are bored and have a strong but ridiculous opinion about a topic, or it could be that they are paid. There are more reasons to believe that someone was paid to make posts on the internet than to believe that someone made up a story about being paid to post on the internet. What does he have to gain from it?


It came out that Limbaugh has paid actors call his show so I suspect that paid trolls exist
2013-01-10 10:29:54 AM
3 votes:
I see that he is still getting paid by the word.
2013-01-10 10:12:24 AM
3 votes:

R.A.Danny: They guy is well paid, but the company is in a run down building with a dirty office in a crap neighborhood. The thing of film noir legends.


Not without a blonde...the kind of blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
2013-01-10 02:54:02 PM
2 votes:
Love how the first person (OK, third) on here was a mod, furiously debunking the idea that there could POSSIBLY be paid shills out there.

Despite the fact that we've got at least three right here on Fark who have openly admitted they get paid to do just that thing. Although I doubt that the hack who wrote the article is such a shill, why is it so hard to accept that there are idiot organizations who would gladly pay bad writers to go onto forums and hawk their opinions for them? In the media, we call them "advertisers" so why would it be different in an ideas forum?

It would be a marginally better gig than, say, writing for Wingnut Daily.
2013-01-10 01:57:47 PM
2 votes:
So now there are 4 mods in here denying it
2013-01-10 01:48:41 PM
2 votes:

Weaver95: brap: All I can say is having read a few politics threads in my day, if someone IS paying those chuckleheads to post the same hardline gibberjabber over and over and over again, they ain't getting there monies worth.

I don't know what scares me more - the possibility that there is an organized effort to disrupt online discussions with paid shills or that the idiots we see in the politics thread really, honestly and truly believe in the slobbering nonsense they post on a daily basis.


True believers far outnumber any paid attempts, if any, to steer Fark conversation.  Most of the people waste time on here and feel safe stating in text in limited fashion over simplified charicatures of their rather complex political or other beliefs.  Just because someone gets adamant about a position and sticks to it doesn't mean they were paid to do so.

Just look at the fact that Jersey Shore had more seasons than Firefly.  You can't assign logic and conspiracies to it.  It just is.
2013-01-10 01:33:50 PM
2 votes:
I'm doing something wrong. You're telling me people pay you to troll on the internet?

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
2013-01-10 11:41:32 AM
2 votes:
funny thing about conspiracies....truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.  after reading the story behind the Glomar Explorer (and the fact that the gotdamn thing actually worked) suddenly the idea of paid internet shills doesn't seem so weird.
2013-01-10 11:11:48 AM
2 votes:

James!: It's more conspiracy nonsense.


I'm going to coach this with a "I don't know of any paid internet trolls," but back in the dark days of 2004 I manage a stalking horse campaign here in sunny NC that elected one of the worst representatives in the US House. I kinda had a pretty big meltdown afterward and will never, ever associate myself with the Republican party in this state ever again.

Already a shady operation to split the Democrat vote, we kind of illegally employeed a debt-collection call center to put out fake campaign calls for the opposition. Essentially a bunch of folks tenuously employed were given the "option" to "volunteer." It was pretty effective, and we wanted new ways to push opinion.

Now, one of my ideas at the time was to push consensus building on the internet, but there wasn't a lot of support around it, as it hadn't been proven to work elsewhere before. So, do I know if anyone ever really started to try it? No. Do I still think I had a great idea that was seriously probably sorta very evil? Hell yes. If it isn't happening at some level I'd be seriously surprised.

Although with a few years thought behind it, I'd rather pay to shepherd an army of activists to troll for me. There's lots of folks here on both political sides that have no problem derping it up for free. Plus you get a lot more deniability, certainly more than trying to hide donations of call center volunteer time and facilities.
2013-01-10 11:00:10 AM
2 votes:

R.A.Danny: James!: Are they trolls or do they just not agree with the majority of farkers?

Exactly. Coming to Fark not knowing the demographics and getting upset that you're being lambasted then you're in the wrong place.


You have to have a thick skin to be a conservative farker.  You know it, you're pretty conservative on a number of issues yourself.  I'm sure someone has you on their list of paid shills.
2013-01-10 10:56:40 AM
2 votes:

Rev.K: How can I get paid to be a liberal shill?


According to the paid trolls, we're actually paying $5.00 a month to do that now
2013-01-10 10:47:36 AM
2 votes:

Dr.Fey: James!: Sure he was.

Of course!

She gave me only a phone-number and an address, in one of the seedier parts of San Francisco
"They don't have a website. Or even a name. You'll see. Just tell them I referred you."
...this "company" changed its name almost monthly
"You can't tell anyone what we do here. Not your wife, not your dog."
"We'll give you a cover story and even a phone number and a fake website you can use."
...making my living lying and heckling people who come online to express their views and exercise freedom of speech

A fantasy written by someone who imagines that's what happens.  Not as if there aren't enough actual zealous people out there that voluntarily and willfully (and frequently) post the craziness, any of whom could be easily hired.  If groups are truly paying "non-believers" to do this, why would this super-secret network be revealed anonymously on "consciouslifenews.com"?  After all, even if the author signed an NDA and then stepped forward and went public after no longer working there, who's going to sue to enforce it?

I also like how the editorial before and after kind of distances itself, yet gives it an overall endorsement of confidence.

Stupid.


Not sure if article is legit but this definitely occurs.  Stealth marketing has existed for many years.  It just a no-brainer that political organizations are using this method to one degree or another.  I think you would be naive to think otherwise.  A cluster of people in a run down building seems phony though.
2013-01-10 10:42:04 AM
2 votes:

sweetmelissa31: James!: Sure he was.

Are you just skeptical because you're a Moderator, and trolls tend to increase the number of posts in a thread and the number of times articles are viewed?

You may not have noticed, but there are people who post the same thing in every thread relating to certain topics. It could be that they are bored and have a strong but ridiculous opinion about a topic, or it could be that they are paid. There are more reasons to believe that someone was paid to make posts on the internet than to believe that someone made up a story about being paid to post on the internet. What does he have to gain from it?


Some people are so wildly self absorbed that they think people have to be paid to disagree with them.  We have the same kinds of people jumping into every circumcision thread or tattoo thread making the same arguments too.  Are they also paid?
2013-01-11 01:43:09 PM
1 votes:
Just letting y'all know
:
Anybody in this thread who has tagged the writer of TFA as a fake and a liar or living in a fantasy land has been flagged by me as one of said paid shills.

That is all.
2013-01-11 01:34:05 PM
1 votes:
That article read like a bad Private Eye novel. "My names Friday, I work on Saturday....she's my secretary..."
2013-01-11 04:10:29 AM
1 votes:
This is really an interesting thread to read. I'm of the opinion that marketing/PR groups are whores for money and will support whatever you tell them to support (Yelp reviews, political opinions, Tumblr accounts dedicated to Ponies - it doesn't matter). I don't think it's a grand conspiracy like the dude in the article mentions, but I think it's real enough to impact major sites with the equivalent of DDOS attack but for content.

As the FarQ says, this is a houseparty and I appreciate the moderating style. Maybe we're all just a bunch of dysfunctional, alcoholic, assholes. I'm totally different - I'm a dysfunctional, alcoholic, asshole who pays money for an extra icon near his username.
2013-01-10 10:35:22 PM
1 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: I'm with James!. I cant imagine anybody actually paying others to argue a position on the Internet. Honestly, how many times have you seen anybody convinced of anything here?


Its not the people arguing and posting that the shills want to influence. Its the lurkers. And as ctrl alt del pointed out - you dont have to convince anyone of anything. You just need to stop the real info from getting out there with a wall of disinformation.

I mean seriously - havent you heard of astroturfing? Back in 2008 McCains campaign was offering coffee mugs and key chains to people willing to astroturf. Why does it seem so unlikely to you that by 2012 it would be a whole business.
2013-01-10 09:21:22 PM
1 votes:
Almost a thousand posts in this meta-thread.  This is what it looks like when Fark masturbates.
2013-01-10 06:51:46 PM
1 votes:
75% of the posts in this thread is a moderator laughing at the very notion of paid shills. Doth protest too much?

Probably notice a bunch of log ins from the same location and they ignore it because it drives page views.

And the same dozen prolific threadshiatters shiat up threads every day. There's a financial incentive for fark to either employ these shills, or simply allow them.
2013-01-10 06:19:28 PM
1 votes:
Thank goodness FARK has a built-in mechanism to limit your exposure to differing worldviews threadshiatters, trolls, and shills.
2013-01-10 06:19:18 PM
1 votes:

El Pachuco: From my perspective, the right wingers have largely retreated to echo chamber sites. Fark hasn't turned liberal, it's just lost a lot of earlier posters who were loudly right wing.


I also think that a lot of people on Fark were always moderates, and as the Republican party drifted towards extreme positions, those people naturally drifted away from the Republican party. I think it was a natural evolution.

Weaver95 is a prime example.
2013-01-10 06:18:30 PM
1 votes:
This has been a very interesting thread, and it's been nice to actaully hear the moderators position on some things of concern. It's very interesting to hear a moderator tell a user to GTFO for wanting to raise the standard of conversation above 'poo flinging monkey'.

I've been on this site for more years than I have fingers. There have always been very strident posters, there have always been very stupid and loud posters, there have always been very passionate posters. But there has been a change in those years, as more and more posters of a certain bent realize that, with very little effort, they can use FARK as their personal entertainment site, as sprawl15 so excellently stated. When the big site redesign happened, and there was the first exodus, I wandered over there, because I was concerned about some things on FARK. I quickly came back here, because I saw what happens to a system without expert moderation: attention-seeking types with large amounts of free time make it their own. And that was boring.

It's happening here, as sprawl15 said, as certain types exploit the system. And the attitude of the moderators has been shown to be in favor of that, presumable supported by the admins. It might work; certainly for now there's no equivalent aggregator to FARK that I'm interested in, so I stick around, ignore and farky freely, and observe. It will be interesting now to see how this more clearly stated direction will work out.
2013-01-10 06:15:34 PM
1 votes:

gambitsgirl: brap: X15: 2. Every threashiatter you take pitty on runs off ten more reasonable users.

Welcome back to Fark.com, Pootie Tang.

Wow the mods are in here flies flies on shiat


Well, the thread is kind of about us and we're all basically attention whores at heart.
2013-01-10 06:06:23 PM
1 votes:

X15: 13 years on and the Fark Modmins still haven't figure out two very simple concepts:

1. The First Amendment doesn't apply.
2. Every threashiatter you take pitty on runs off ten more reasonable users.

It's a wonder that I avoid reading the comments.


Your "threadshiatter" may be a normal poster to someone else.   I have had intelligent discussions with many Farkers that routinely get called threadshiatters.  It helps if you try to politely address their points rather than start by hurling insults at them and them accuse them of drive-by-derping because they didn't stay to be laughed at by others.

Then there's also the extreme case where people will premptively acccuse a certain Farker of threadshiatting before he even shows up, causing him to have to defend himself when he does, therefore derailing the thread.

Y'all just need to chill a little.
2013-01-10 05:59:51 PM
1 votes:
It's a rare thread that prompts me to emerge from perpetual lurkerhood, but this one has been enlightening. Mostly, I think, because some of the single-topic zealots from the politics tab are revealed here to be more thoughtful and less shrill. I spend more time in [Politics] than anywhere else because I mightily enjoy the diverse spectrum of opinion--and yes, that includes the zealots. If you do a sort of mental noise-reduction filter on all the posts what emerges is a sort of distillation of what people are thinking. I rarely post there because a) I do have to pretend to work here occasionally, and b) bringing gasoline to a gunfight is a horrible metaphor. It's refreshing to see folks whose FARK handles I have come to associate with an evident desire to stir the shiat--or even outright trolldom--be exposed as more rounded and rational. (And by "rational", I do sometimes mean "confirm my bias". I'm only human.)


/ducks back into the shadows
X15
2013-01-10 05:57:31 PM
1 votes:
13 years on and the Fark Modmins still haven't figure out two very simple concepts:

1. The First Amendment doesn't apply.
2. Every threashiatter you take pitty on runs off ten more reasonable users.

It's a wonder that I avoid reading the comments.
2013-01-10 05:34:57 PM
1 votes:

James!: Genevieve Marie: sprawl15: James!: And I'm sure some of your examples would be shocked that someone considered them a troll

I'd only be surprised if there was a poster on these boards who hasn't been called a troll at some point.

I have been called a troll and Welcomed to Fark on the same day. Sometimes more than once on the same day. Sometimes in the same thread.

My favorite was when someone got pissed off and demanded "Who made you the goddamn Thread Police?".  And I got to be like "...Drew".


I actually had that screencapped, but lost it in the Great Disk Crash of 2012.

abb3w: Shadow Blasko: /Mods get Red 5, Admins Red 4... so far, in my world.

Personally, I prefer cyan-1, with a note as to which; I use red for various grades of religious kooks.


Mods are purple (because, just like Barney, they're big goofy mythical creatures).
Cons get shades of red based on floor humpiness.
Libs get shades of blue based on tree huggedness.
Trolls get green.
Funny people get cyan.  (You know, ninjas that fit in your pocket, folks who are constantly being arrested, that sort of people)
People called Matt followed by a bunch of numbers get yellow.  (There's close to a dozen of them!)
2013-01-10 05:28:49 PM
1 votes:

Shadow Blasko: born_yesterday: Or the ones that have an IMPOSSIBLY inordinate amount of greens in a couple of months, when other FARKers have been submitting for years, as if they were the son of God or something.

You do realize that some people submit 10 or 12 headlines a day, if not more, right?

There are also some admins that ... have a sweet spot in their schedule, or are tickled by certain wordplay. If you want greens learn to appeal to the sites/admins sense of humor.

I would say that about 25% of my submissions get green... and I only submit after searching to see if something has been submitted before..and then spending at least 15 minutes coming up with a clever headline.

and I probably submit one or two things a month. It's all about timing... and bringing the funny.


CSB

I got my girlfriend hooked on fark and after getting frustrated she made it a mission to get a green light.

She paid for total fark and used a spredsheet to track submission:greenlight ratios and broke it down by hour of the day. She determined the "easiest" hour to get a greenlight and then spammed that hour with pre-crafted headlines she spent the day coming up with. She got a green that night.

/she can be a little OCD
2013-01-10 05:28:08 PM
1 votes:

Ctrl-Alt-Del: Back in my nerdier days, when my friends and I played RPG's, we decided that the rulebooks were great as guides, but there were really only two rules:

Rule 1: The GM is always right
Rule 2: If the GM is wrong, see rule 1



Agreed... when tabletop rules are in play.

Now lets run a campaign with 15 GM's and 100,000 users and 250,000 npcs.

You either go as hands off as possible... or you go hitler. Anything else means you have to patrol constantly and to do that... you have to pay your admins/mods.

We only had 10 modmins at Big E ... and I still spent 6 hours a day in the forums and on the sites doing my job. It took all the joy out of the site for me, and for the users when we tightened the reins.

Maybe it works.. maybe it doesn't. I dunno. The Fark userbase seems to me to require the "14 year olds" mentality. Let em play, keep an eye on them. The more rules.. the harder they push to establish self-identity and the more work it is.
2013-01-10 05:25:25 PM
1 votes:
Hey, is this the thread where butthurt, fussy, sensitive users/customers see an opportunity to have a biatch session and ambush mods/managers with personal wish lists full of labor-intensive and unrealistic fantasy "improvements" that are usually nothing more than complaints about people who they could just as easily ignore with the click of a button?

Because that's always a great plan.
2013-01-10 05:24:12 PM
1 votes:
Add a feature so that people you've ignored can't see your posts either.
2013-01-10 05:19:55 PM
1 votes:
Most importantly this isn't a serious discussion site.  This is a laugh at the morons site. That's why we green links to morons and make fun of subby.  This ain't debate club.
2013-01-10 05:15:45 PM
1 votes:

Nobodyn0se: James!: The issue is that the posters who are still around aren't as far as we can tell faking what they're saying.

Again, it doesn't really matter if they're faking what they're saying or not. If they're being disruptive, do something about it. Hell, start with a nice friendly warning to stop being disruptive. That way, the people who are actually serious can continue to speak their mind without further problem, but the people who are only in it for the disruption will continue to be disruptive and can be dealt with more harshly.


Here is the part where we aren't going to agree.  I don't think some of your examples are disruptive, they just disagree in a smarmy way that pisses people off.  It's not their fault other people can't control themselves.
2013-01-10 05:08:25 PM
1 votes:

Weaver95: make me some tea: Weaver95: make me some tea:
I would argue that FreeRepublic is, indeed, not the derpiest place on the internet. I've been to the depths of TeaPartyNation.com. I have stared Derp in the face, AND IT STARED BACK AT ME

you are braver than I am - I draw the line at freeperville and the occasional visit to the #tcot twitter feed.  rarely i'll venture into stormfront.org but that's about as far as I go.

It was fun when the intrepid Judson Phillips himself called me out as a troll, after I posted a lengthy refutation to the hilariously moronic "forensic analysis" of the scanned PDF of Obama's original birth certificate.

hmm.  I might have to venture there and see for myself some day.  I will say that most of the more insane right wing sites seem to be moderated with an extremely heavy hand.  that's just my experience though.  you step outta line on freeperville (for example) and you get crushed almost immediately.


That's a good point. Fark has never (to my knowledge) taken any sort of stand on any issue. Today, Fark has a liberal voice. Back some years ago the voice was pretty much opposite. I observed the same on other forums. It's the submitters and posters who determine the climate here. Unlike the openly partisan sites.
2013-01-10 05:02:44 PM
1 votes:
This entire thread dost protest too much.
2013-01-10 05:02:41 PM
1 votes:

FitzShivering: Evil Twin Skippy: It would be nice to have a tagging and collection site on the side for us to exchange notes about who is a troll, not a troll, and trying to convince us they aren't a troll or someone else is. Post citations and examples in threads.

Not a formal fark function, but a great way for use normal users to keep our ignore lists up to date.

I liked that idea a lot in the past. Until I watched the Fark community almost universally brand two people as trolls who I know for absolute certain were not trolls. One of them was a relative of mine, who got run off because he is extremely conservative, but he absolutely believed what he was saying, and was actually presenting his thoughts rather intelligently and not "picking fights." He just posted a lot. He hasn't been back in years.



In that case "troll" is unfounded. I will agree that the Politics Tab is a difficult place for conservatives, for better or worse. They're a small minority here these days, but some can and do stick around. The ones who survive tend to argue well and don't have a problem with reason or logic. But if they wander in here with nothing besides Rush's daily talking points, they'll get stomped on pretty quick.


I do wish a good list were maintained of alts who accidentally out themselves, though, as I put people who do the "sock puppet" shiat on ignore permanently. I'm not sure why there's the whole, "this only happened a few times." Anyone who has been around here long has seen it happen many times. I'm assuming maybe the "only a few times" was about moderators. Dunno.


As a plain ol' user I can't remember it happening more than a few times, but I don't have a list. Of the ones I can remember off the top of my head, two have already been mentioned in this thread and haven't been around in years, and another is a beloved punching bag with a posting style that's so distinctive that he's always spotted instantly, then ridiculed (usually with his best known catch phrase), after which he disappears for a while. I think most of us kind of enjoy seeing him pop up once in a while for a post or two. I haven't noticed him around here since Spring.
2013-01-10 04:50:28 PM
1 votes:
So people have been getting paid for posting this?

e.pardon.pl
2013-01-10 04:50:15 PM
1 votes:
Epic meta-troll.
2013-01-10 04:27:05 PM
1 votes:

TelemonianAjax: Genevieve Marie: That's not Fark though. That's not who we are- we're Not News. Users don't necessarily come here for S ...

At least when it comes to Politics, I think a fair amount of serious debate can happen alongside the snark and the humor. I like to think of it as a place where you can shoot the shiat with folks and no one's going to mind if you lighten the mood. Some people (like me) like to shoot the shiat about serious, national topics and expand our understanding of them at the same time, and this is the best place I've found for that. It straddles the serious and the silly, like the London Philharmonic performing a retrospective of Beck's discography.


I don't mind the political discussions until they change to the matter of the weights of cheeses and such, then they tend to become pointless and I leave.

On a side note, are you allowed to call someone out if they are a known alt for someone who is in the thread already, or is that also against the rules?
2013-01-10 04:26:07 PM
1 votes:

sprawl15: Yeah, I mean, I'm not asking to get REEL EXTREEM moderation (some forums I've been on are pretty much 'any disagreement is OFF LIMITS!', swearing = ban, no jokes ever, etc), but the problem that's getting more and more prolific is the way that if you know the basic ways to dodge bans, you can pretty much get away with being as disruptive as you want. I mean, my troll alt post linked upthread was a joke about trolls in general (and about how people would bite on any idiotic thing), but were I to have used a non-obvious name (and, I assume, gotten around the whole IP address thing), it would be totally kosher to post as 'honest opinion' as long as I didn't break character on that account.

And I am certainly someone who probably wouldn't last long under harsher moderation, so it's not like I'm really looking to get much out of it personally. I just hate seeing good boards go bad.


Understood. Just also understand that for us, it's constant judgement calls on stuff that does get pretty subjective. We don't even always agree with each other about the right approach (although we do try to come to a consensus wherever we disagree). We have to walk a fine line between being too heavy handed and too permissive, and we're never going to make everyone happy. We just do our best.

And just a reminder to everyone- please do use the notify buttons on threads that you feel are going south. It helps us find things faster and do our jobs better.
2013-01-10 04:24:19 PM
1 votes:

Genevieve Marie: That's not Fark though. That's not who we are- we're Not News. Users don't necessarily come here for S ...


At least when it comes to Politics, I think a fair amount of serious debate can happen alongside the snark and the humor. I like to think of it as a place where you can shoot the shiat with folks and no one's going to mind if you lighten the mood. Some people (like me) like to shoot the shiat about serious, national topics and expand our understanding of them at the same time, and this is the best place I've found for that. It straddles the serious and the silly, like the London Philharmonic performing a retrospective of Beck's discography.
2013-01-10 04:21:15 PM
1 votes:

R.A.Danny: TelemonianAjax: I've got you favorited with the tag "Gun. Nut."

Can't argue with that one. One of the few things that gets under my skin along with hurting kids. I've stepped back for the most part though, I don't see most of the people in those threads right now as having real opinions of their own, they're just harping what they read on bumper stickers (both sides guilty of that).


I only ignore obvious threadshiatters like 10 Lbs or IC Weener, after observing that nothing useful flows from their posts. It does help clean up the threads a bit, but I try to keep my ignores as few as possible. I use various shades of red to express how much I dislike a poster, the darker it gets the closer I am to ignoring.

I've learned a lot about the gun control debate in the last month, and you're part of that. We don't agree in the least, but you've never rubbed me the wrong way (in case you need a warm fuzzy from an internet stranger today). So. Thanks?
2013-01-10 04:18:28 PM
1 votes:

James!: Nobodyn0se: James!: And now I'm a troll. Awesome.

If you'd actually argue against what we're actually arguing for, it wouldn't be an issue.

I honestly don't know what you guys want.  There are posters you think are trolls and you want them dealt with (you didn't say ban) you want discussion to not be disrupted.  You want an established scoreboard for arguments won and no one can bring those arguments back up?

You're all asking for a all kinds of things.


I think people would just like the obvious and blatant threadshiatting trolls to actually get dealt with when reported. When someone posts the same badly-written derp nonsense copypasta in ten different threads? It should get handled in some other way than the people complaining getting a 24 hour vacation. When someone posts virulent racist bullshiat? It should get handled in some other way than the people complaining getting a 24 hour vacation. This isn't difficult.
2013-01-10 04:17:58 PM
1 votes:

Dr.Fey: A fantasy written by someone who imagines that's what happens.  Not as if there aren't enough actual zealous people out there that voluntarily and willfully (and frequently) post the craziness, any of whom could be easily hired.  If groups are truly paying "non-believers" to do this, why would this super-secret network be revealed anonymously on "consciouslifenews.com"?  After all, even if the author signed an NDA and then stepped forward and went public after no longer working there, who's going to sue to enforce it?

I also like how the editorial before and after kind of distances itself, yet gives it an overall endorsement of confidence.

Stupid.


Or maybe just an example of Israel-bashing done with more intelligence than usual. The sort of tactics he describes I have found to be far more prevalent on the left than the right.

sweetmelissa31: You may not have noticed, but there are people who post the same thing in every thread relating to certain topics. It could be that they are bored and have a strong but ridiculous opinion about a topic, or it could be that they are paid. There are more reasons to believe that someone was paid to make posts on the internet than to believe that someone made up a story about being paid to post on the internet. What does he have to gain from it?


Yeah, there are people like this. Some no doubt are paid. The thing is he's describing far more than simply supporting a position. It's that part of the story I find very questionable.
2013-01-10 04:08:56 PM
1 votes:

I_C_Weener: See, intention. I don't know a posters intention.  We've stated multiple times that we have to assume that everyone is sincere.

And in the case of the politics tab...broken.


The issue I see with ignoring people, full disclosure I have 3 total posters on ignore, is that you may well be as much of the problem as those who post inane or absurd things. There's a possibility, however remote, that they're being sincere, in which case you have an opportunity to either teach them or learn from them, or even just improve/refine your own arguments. I've certainly dismissed my fair share of people as hopeless, but I try not to ignore them unless they're simply blatantly irrational or offer nothing more than personal attacks.

CSB: (High school edition)

I went to HS with a guy who had some extraordinarily backward and absurd beliefs about the world in general. I wasn't always able to take him seriously, but at one point we had a conversation related to a story he told about going hunting with his dad. He made mention of having helped perform a field dressing on a deer and described cutting down to the 'meat part'.

The way he described it struck me as odd so I rejoined with, 'you mean the muscle tissue right?'. He firmly held to the notion that there was an actual 'meat part' to a given animal. In his words, 'the part that God put there for us to eat'.

Now, if I had heard this from a 5 y/o I could have taken it in stride. We were 15. I had to actually direct him to a teacher (authority figure) to debunk his belief because no matter how I explained it he wouldn't believe that there was no such thing as the 'meat part'.

I've had similar conversations in the politics tab. People for which no amount of logic or reason will sway them until they're presented with an authority or source that they themselves personally recognize. This doesn't make them trolls necessarily, although they do often sound very much like someone trying to derail a conversation with outrageously stupid positions.
2013-01-10 04:04:59 PM
1 votes:

sprawl15: James!: You don't want us becoming thought police.

I don't. But there is a middle ground between people just hitting F5 looking for personal attacks or pickle incidents and a cadre of psychic post Nazis. What is the role of a moderator at a debate? They don't control the opinions being put out, but they control the way they're being put out, to ensure a civil and productive discussion. They wouldn't tolerate Romney calling Obama a knob gobbler, nor would they tolerate Obama's pickle trick, but that's not the entirety of their job while the candidates are arguing.

What I want is for mods to be a moderating influence. You don't have to tell me that my opinion on X is stupid, just that if I'm going to argue X that I probably should do it through something other than an all caps rant about how all dims are stupid and furthermore comma.

The way the rules are set up, they're very, very easy to get around if you wanted to just be an asshole to people. And as long as you dodge the bans, it doesn't matter what people think.


I used to be a mod at another site.  In my experience, less was usually more.  Even the appearance of heavy-handed moderation has a chilling effect on posting.  It's generally better to let the rambling sh*tposters slide than to have everyone thinking they need to constantly mind everything they say or second-guess themselves before they make a joke, because they're worried that a mod won't get it.  That goes double for a site like Fark, where everybody has an individual ignore feature.
2013-01-10 04:01:19 PM
1 votes:

James!: sprawl15: James!: You don't want us becoming thought police.

I don't. But there is a middle ground between people just hitting F5 looking for personal attacks or pickle incidents and a cadre of psychic post Nazis. What is the role of a moderator at a debate? They don't control the opinions being put out, but they control the way they're being put out, to ensure a civil and productive discussion. They wouldn't tolerate Romney calling Obama a knob gobbler, nor would they tolerate Obama's pickle trick, but that's not the entirety of their job while the candidates are arguing.

What I want is for mods to be a moderating influence. You don't have to tell me that my opinion on X is stupid, just that if I'm going to argue X that I probably should do it through something other than an all caps rant about how all dims are stupid and furthermore comma.

The way the rules are set up, they're very, very easy to get around if you wanted to just be an asshole to people. And as long as you dodge the bans, it doesn't matter what people think.

Jesus christ, now we're responsible for maintaining a particular style of posting?  That is really what you want?


you know, I got banned once for mentioning a certain poster's name who likes to post some quotes about god and tinfoil hats and brainwaves and whatnot.

And all I said was he was trolling.

How is that farking fair?
2013-01-10 03:55:29 PM
1 votes:
Smells like bullshiat.

There's way too much flattering of the paranoia of ATS and stroking of the egos of those who'd probably *like* to think that shills would bother to keep notes on them and their habits.
The return on shilling is just the propagation of FUD and message control. You don't need to give a shiat what happened yesterday to do that. You don't need to 'turn' prominent posters. You just need volume and repetition.

Sounds to me more like ATS has some on-going spat that involves someone feeling wronged by what they feel is a "shill" and they want to inject some favorable uncertainty into the proceedings.

Also: why would a pro-Israel lobby need to hire unknowns to do this work? Wouldn't they just use their own True Believers in their own intelligence apparatus? It's not like the FBI outsources their stirring shiat up on Jihadist boards or kiddie-diddler chat rooms. Why would they ever risk hiring unknowns and handing them printed-out binders of evidence?
2013-01-10 03:51:17 PM
1 votes:
One thing I hold dear though: Using ignore is for pussies.
2013-01-10 03:47:38 PM
1 votes:

Nobodyn0se: James!: You don't want us becoming thought police.

You're right, which is why nobody is asking you to.


You are though.  Either you're asking that we assume someone isn't sincere or you're asking us to remove someone who is sincere but is posting in a way you don't like.
2013-01-10 03:46:56 PM
1 votes:

James!: sprawl15: Nobodyn0se: sprawl15: And it's gotten far, far worse over the last few years, since that's an 'in' for being disruptive. And, from the end user perspective, I don't really care if the disruptive activity is honest opinion or paid troll, I just care that it's disruptive.

According to James!, Fark doesn't care.

Oh, but they do care. They care about very specific kinds of disruptive (non-over the top) activity, like calling someone a troll. If you say that someone's posts are worthless, you risk being banned on the basis that your posts are being disruptive. That's the ultimate problem - the horrific inconsistency of saying that disruption doesn't matter unless you're complaining about other disruption.

James!: For me, if someone calls you a retard that's just a personal attack but if they follow you from thread to thread calling you a retard and bringing up something from a thread two weeks ago that's trolling.

That's not trolling. That's just being an asshole, or potentially stalking. Trolling comes from the term for fishing - you throw out some bait and just let it sit there, waiting for 'bites'. This is a troll, through and through. And it's fine because of the moderating policy that if you aren't sure if someone is legitimately intending to post what they've posted, you have to assume it's legitimate. In terms of name calling, as long as it stays away from calling specific people names, you're golden. You can call the President a knob gobbler, or the DNC a knob gobbler, or all libs, or whatever, but if you call another specific poster a knob gobbler it's suddenly banbait. It's bizarre where that line is drawn - where you can be as uncivil as you like as long as it's not to someone else who is specifically a Farker.

And that rule can be gotten around by filling your post with content aside from the name calling - a post that says just "wow, what kind of asshole would post this" is immediately removed while a post starting with the same sentence befor ...


At heart, Fark is a humor website.  You can't easily divide people into troll/non-troll simply based on posts voicing an opinion, refusing to engage in dialogue, or refusal to change their mind when confronted.  Regardless of that, some of what is being posted in here isn't really an argument about trolls as it is a disagreement that namecalling is also against the rules.  You can still get a timeout for calling someone a name even if you think that person is a troll.  2 wrongs don't make a right, etc....  And the Fark definition of trolling errs more on the side of allowing more participation than as James! says becoming thought police.  And if you don't like repeat posts of opinions by those you deem trolls, you don't have to wait for the Mods to agree with you.  You can ignore them.

I tried a long time to not put people on ignore.  But when I finally did it, I found it easier to dialogue on here.  I didn't put them on ignore because the Mods and Admins agreed with me.  I did it because they didn't.  You can too.
2013-01-10 03:46:11 PM
1 votes:
I don't believe the article because I don't believe anybody would bother trying to influence the conversations in the sites the author lists. "Godlike Productions"? Even their own site description calls them a "lunatic fringe". The people who participate on such sites have no tangible effect on public opinion.
2013-01-10 03:35:57 PM
1 votes:

CokeBear: Has anyone ever changed their mind based on something they read in a comment thread? Seems like a big waste of time to me


well...not ONE comment in ONE thread no.  But eventually you can gather enough evidence to force a change in opinion.  you start out trying to prove someone wrong and you end up proving them right.
2013-01-10 03:32:46 PM
1 votes:

Nobodyn0se: sprawl15: And it's gotten far, far worse over the last few years, since that's an 'in' for being disruptive. And, from the end user perspective, I don't really care if the disruptive activity is honest opinion or paid troll, I just care that it's disruptive.

According to James!, Fark doesn't care.


Oh, but they do care. They care about very specific kinds of disruptive (non-over the top) activity, like calling someone a troll. If you say that someone's posts are worthless, you risk being banned on the basis that your posts are being disruptive. That's the ultimate problem - the horrific inconsistency of saying that disruption doesn't matter unless you're complaining about other disruption.

James!: For me, if someone calls you a retard that's just a personal attack but if they follow you from thread to thread calling you a retard and bringing up something from a thread two weeks ago that's trolling.


That's not trolling. That's just being an asshole, or potentially stalking. Trolling comes from the term for fishing - you throw out some bait and just let it sit there, waiting for 'bites'. This is a troll, through and through. And it's fine because of the moderating policy that if you aren't sure if someone is legitimately intending to post what they've posted, you have to assume it's legitimate. In terms of name calling, as long as it stays away from calling specific people names, you're golden. You can call the President a knob gobbler, or the DNC a knob gobbler, or all libs, or whatever, but if you call another specific poster a knob gobbler it's suddenly banbait. It's bizarre where that line is drawn - where you can be as uncivil as you like as long as it's not to someone else who is specifically a Farker.

And that rule can be gotten around by filling your post with content aside from the name calling - a post that says just "wow, what kind of asshole would post this" is immediately removed while a post starting with the same sentence before going on a 5000 word jazz odyssey isn't really removable. I mean, I understand that problem would be far more solvable if it allowed mods partial deletion of posts, but still.

James!: If we started booting people for having shiatty opinions we'd be empty in a week.


Nobody's asking for that. When people talk about contribution, they generally mean technical contribution, they want people to be involved in a discussion even if it's a disagreement. There's a lot of people with shiatty opinions who I really don't think are trolls; people where I think the world would be better off with them having a horrific threshing accident, who I know aren't really banworthy. And I probably politically agree with more of those people than I disagree with (to address one of your fallacies upthread). It's people who have shiatty opinions, express them extremely aggressively, and refuse to even enter a dialogue who demolish threads. libby2's posting of the exact same money tree and 3-4 lines of banal, offensive nonsense every other thread a few years ago is a perfect example - they aren't contributing in a technical sense, they aren't producing actual opinions. They are just starting flamewars. So the shiattiness or non-shiattiness of their opinion doesn't even enter the picture before I would consider them a worthless waste of pixels, because it's not the content of their posts that makes them disruptive.
2013-01-10 03:32:26 PM
1 votes:

Mikey1969: I kind of wonder if the deniers here are the Fark shills... We should start a list. Everyone who claims that this is all made up sounds to me like they are trying to defend their own jobs.



Although shill theory explains many of the weird things we see around here on a daily basis, I still have my doubts. I really don't think this place is all that influential in the grand scheme of things ... unless there exists some kind of internet opinion extraction service that pulls comments from random forums and presents them to important people who act on that information, but that's really a stretch.

If there's any shenanigans going on, I'm having trouble believing any of it's meant to affect the world *outside* of Fark.com ... if you catch my drift.
2013-01-10 03:16:02 PM
1 votes:

James!: How are you defining troll, by the way?


People who post the exact same bullshiat, thread after thread after thread after motherfarking thread, while completely ignoring any attempt at debate (either by running away, calling their catch a "Libtard" or somesuch, or repeating their original non-point as if saying it enough times will magically make it true) and being defended to the death by Fark's so-called "Mods."
2013-01-10 03:14:16 PM
1 votes:
Mod staff couldn't define "troll" if they had a dictionary and verbal directions on how to use it.  Those jackholes have their head so far up their collective fascist crapcaves that it's a wonder they can even tie their own shoes.  Come to think of it, I've never seen one outside of a pair of slip-ons.
2013-01-10 03:12:49 PM
1 votes:
And here I am doing this shiat for free
2013-01-10 03:07:00 PM
1 votes:

mainstreet62: Rev.K: How can I get paid to be a liberal shill?

Go on welfare.


[ohsnap.jpg]

Suck it weaver.
2013-01-10 03:06:01 PM
1 votes:
Heck, I'm so far out of contract, I can talk about this and not get sued anymore, probably.

In the 90's a growing online service that I won't name hired people called "Animators" for chat and discussion. They had a room full of people that were paid to sign in and essentially argue or flirt with the users. Each person was required to have multiple accounts at least one had to be female.  The idea is that more arguments bring more people and more people brings more revenue, especially back then when access was hourly. It went over pretty well, you could get a lot of people to argue for not a lot of money.

As the service become more popular, less people were needed and eventually it was stopped as they became able to argue amongst themselves. I would be amazed if no one else figured this out, it's a very old tactic.
2013-01-10 03:03:37 PM
1 votes:
skullkrusher:

To be fair, it is hard not to agree with OWS. They do encompass pretty much every cause ever.

no, actually they're pretty focused, at least when it comes to ideology.  when it comes to putting into practice, they diversify in their responses but you get that when you have such a big issue to tackle.

I figured OWS was doing right when the cops and FBI started beating the snot outta them for asking wall street uncomfortable questions.
2013-01-10 02:58:32 PM
1 votes:

david_gaithersburg: NowhereMon: I wonder how many of these we have at FARK...

.
There sure are a lot here. Remember to OWS threads and how they were swarmed by posters in unison, and now the gun ban threads. Welcome to the world of the DNC.


Because nobody could possibly agree with OWS or that gun violence is out of control in this country....it HAS to be a conspiracy!
2013-01-10 02:56:10 PM
1 votes:
How lame.

Some Fark mod's greenlighting their own shiatty yahoo article.
2013-01-10 02:56:09 PM
1 votes:

James!: It doesn't happen a lot. I have seen it in my entire career maybe twice and only one of those was doing it in politics. And neither of them are doing it anymore.


The only one ever caught was the sneakily named sprawl15's troll alt.

James!: Why would anyone need to pay someone to argue on the internet?


Message control. As long as you think a specific argument leans in your favor rather than your opponent's, you have a vested interest in ensuring the argument doesn't change between now and election. Nobody's going to be convinced by a paid troll's arguments, but the conversation isn't allowed to go anywhere. And that's ultimately the real problem - paid trolls or just assholes - with a lot of conversations, where people just slam the same two dicks together for 700 posts. And many, many times it's the same small group of people who set the dick slamming threads up to shout about the same shiat over and over again.

James!: Now if someone links to Company X in every comment. That's a different story, This is a local shop and we'll have no Spammers here.


something something farkus tab
GBB
2013-01-10 02:51:20 PM
1 votes:
t3.gstatic.com

300+ comments and no one thinks of this?
Slipping. You're all slipping.
2013-01-10 02:49:51 PM
1 votes:

James!: I imagine your list of who is a troll is quite long. The fact that they all happen to disagree with you politically is no doubt a coincidence.


EVERYONE on Fark disagrees with me politically on some issues. You don't see me calling everyone on Fark a troll, do you?

I am sick and tired of people (especially those in "power") obfuscating the real issues that Fark has by completely misrepresenting them. This is a perfect example. People are not labelled trolls because they disagree with the majority opinion, and anyone who says otherwise hasn't been paying attention. The very notion is patently ridiculous, as no two people's political opinions are exactly the same.

Stop trying to turn Fark's troll problem into some petty fight between people who don't agree. That's not the problem and you know it (or at least should know it). All you're doing is obfuscating the real issues and making it harder for anyone to do anything about it. You should be ashamed of yourself.
2013-01-10 02:40:38 PM
1 votes:
Trolling Fark? Just like IRL, there are prostitutes and there are those who give it away for free.
2013-01-10 02:38:23 PM
1 votes:

NowhereMon: I wonder how many of these we have at FARK...


Everyone who's not me. Also me
2013-01-10 02:25:51 PM
1 votes:

Dinjiin: I_C_Weener: I think doctors would say my immune system is stronger for having been exposed to more sickness.

"Fark: it is like a chickenpox party for your mind"


images2.wikia.nocookie.net

nurgle approves!
2013-01-10 01:55:56 PM
1 votes:

James!: I have dismissed it.


Genevieve Marie: We have to assume all posters are arguing in good faith and we can't try to guess at a user's intentions for the most part.


While I agree with both of you that one has to assume that a poster is acting in good faith, your boss is on the record, a few years ago, saying he was convinced there were paid shils on Fark.
2013-01-10 01:52:22 PM
1 votes:

I_C_Weener: I ain't judging but what is "geometry porn"?


Flatland fan fiction.
2013-01-10 01:44:38 PM
1 votes:

Weaver95: James!: Weaver95: what_now: What is "sock puppet"?

account A makes wild ass claim.  then account A logs into account B and has Account B support Account A's lame ass comments.  Account A then says 'see, I other people agree with me!'

congratulations, you've now sock puppeted your thread comments.

Like I said, I've seen that twice.

which doesn't mean you missed a few.


Let me just say that A) I am not the only one looking and B) when you make a comment I see a considerable amount more information on you name bar than the average bear.
2013-01-10 01:43:35 PM
1 votes:

Weaver95: thomps: CynicalLA: This shiat happens everyday and it will be probably be worse next year.

seriously. next year when most of the provisions of the overwhelmingly unpopular obamacare legislation become active, this kind of thing, along with most every other aspect of life, will surely get worse. can we please get back to talking about how bad obamacare is, i feel like this thread has deviated too far away from that topic.

nah, obamacare is only unpopular with GOP shills.  everyone else is ok with it.  which doesn't invalidate your main point that once ACA legislation goes live we're going to see a LOT of paid shills show up and act like whiny biatches about health care reform.


the data is there: obamacare is the least popular piece of legislation since kennedy demanded a first run at all new brides. tell your friends.
2013-01-10 01:40:49 PM
1 votes:

I_C_Weener: Weaver95: hmm...I wonder if they're still hiring...

I think you'd be under suspicion having switched your political affiliations so drastically. Only cold cash can be behind your conversion!


Nah, we all watched him gradually figure it out.
2013-01-10 01:38:29 PM
1 votes:
If it could be conclusively proven that there are no paid political shills here, i would be stunned.
Given the nature of the internet and this site, a shill could afford to be more subtle in the steering of conversations. Just throw a breadcrumb out, and watch the trolls jump all over themselves trying to out derp each other.
So the shills, assuming their existence, probably fly below most peoples' radar.
2013-01-10 01:03:23 PM
1 votes:

violentsalvation: There are some people who have their posts so obviously prepared for an argument they see coming, that it really makes you wonder sometimes. Obvious examples can be seen on both sides of an Israel / Palestine thread. I don't know if they are paid, or just bored fanatics with too much time.


yeah, but is that a paid shill or is it freeper madness contaminating fark discussion threads?  it cuts both ways.
2013-01-10 01:01:55 PM
1 votes:

violentsalvation: There are some people who have their posts so obviously prepared for an argument they see coming, that it really makes you wonder sometimes. Obvious examples can be seen on both sides of an Israel / Palestine thread. I don't know if they are paid, or just bored fanatics with too much time.


Well, to be fair there are several topics for which I have an argument all ready to go.

Of course, in my case its because I'm always right, and I just want to share my brilliance with others. Unlike some people.
2013-01-10 12:57:10 PM
1 votes:

violentsalvation: There are some people who have their posts so obviously prepared for an argument they see coming, that it really makes you wonder sometimes. Obvious examples can be seen on both sides of an Israel / Palestine thread. I don't know if they are paid, or just bored fanatics with too much time.


Fark: Bored Fanatics with too much time.

Can we get that added to the slogans up top?
2013-01-10 12:55:53 PM
1 votes:
There are some people who have their posts so obviously prepared for an argument they see coming, that it really makes you wonder sometimes. Obvious examples can be seen on both sides of an Israel / Palestine thread. I don't know if they are paid, or just bored fanatics with too much time.
2013-01-10 12:45:18 PM
1 votes:
choosepp.net
2013-01-10 12:29:34 PM
1 votes:

quickdraw: James!: sweetmelissa31: James!: Some people are so wildly self absorbed that they think people have to be paid to disagree with them.

Nobody thinks that everyone who disagrees with them is paid. But there are some fairly obvious trolls whom I'm sure you notice, but have your own reasons to claim they are not trolls.

Are they trolls or do they just not agree with the majority of farkers?  It's more conspiracy nonsense.  People think their opinions are so right and beautiful that anyone who disagrees is an obvious troll. Having a contrary opinion in a harsh way? Obvious troll.  Consistently having a contrary opinion? Obvious paid troll.  Having a consistently contrary opinion and not being banned? ZOMG OBVIOUS PAID MOD TROLL!!!

So are you saying there is no such thing as internet forum shills? Do you need citations?

Ive been participating pretty consistently in the poli threads since 2004. And the number of posters who I suspect are shills has  increased drastically since then. I expect that this has to do with political organizations becoming more net savvy in combination with Fark becoming more well known.

Back in the day when TGOT or Wever95 would post an opinion I didnt agree with it was pretty easy to tell they were sincere. When the Patriot Act came out it affected these guys big time. TGOT posted a sad and puzzled good-bye thread in TFD and Weaver95 eventually became a solid Dem supporter.

I notice you have been spending some more time in these poli threads in the last 6 months (?) or so and I , for one, appreciate an overt Mod presence. But to imply that I call someone a shill just because they disagree with me is a pretty glib insult on your part.

I am not a stupid person. I read very quickly and I enjoy a good debate. I am always respectful. I may tease a bit but I never insult. I really value a good opponent in a political debate. Unfortunately there are very few of those left here. Most of the discussions I get into with "conservatives" here at Fark ...


I'll try to address this, but there is a lot so I apologize if I miss something.  I've been around the politics tab for 6 years, I used to post under the username Barbigazi but about 2 years ago I decided to switch logins.  We do have a handful of habitual trouble makers on the site on both sides, but what I don't think a lot of people realize (or like) is how much leash we give to everybody on the site.  There's no requirement that arguments be interesting or original or good all we ask is that people don't flame each other or derail threads.  And we have come to consider troll accusations to be both insults and derailments of threads.  How many threads have you seen where the topic falls aside so that people can complain about someone they are sure is a troll and "why are they still allowed to post they must be protected".  What I think is worse is when someone comes into a thread trying to discuss the topic only to be shouted down by people who have already written that person off as a troll. I've seen it, hell I've been responsible for it before I was a mod I got temporary bans a couple of times..

Bottom line though is that we as moderators assume that everyone is arguing in good faith, and if it's clear that they're just around to cause trouble (and it has to be crystal clear before we'll give someone the boot) then they'll find they aren't welcome here anymore.  But we aren't mind readers and half the fun of fark is people goofing off and poking at each other.  I've seen liberal farkers tear into liberal farkers accusing them of being a rightwing troll over a joke. And I've seen people who everyone assumes is just a troll have completely normal discussions in other tabs.  And I've seen people who think they're helping by trolling the shiat out of people (which does not help).

I've seen so many weird conspiracy theories over the years about how the staff must be being paid off by one side or another that it's just silly to me at this point.  I don't take it seriously.
2013-01-10 12:10:21 PM
1 votes:

R.A.Danny: Red?!?!?!  THE FIX IS ON!!!!


No kidding.  First greenlit, 100+ posts, no competing submisssions and not a threadjack or a trainwreck and suddenly redlit.

Great job mods.
2013-01-10 11:56:15 AM
1 votes:

James!: noted and remarked upon with great suspicion.


I can only imagine my Fark dossier.

Boring
Boring
Boring
DAMN he likes to troll truckers!
Boring
Boring
Boring
Boring
He hates cheeseheads too!
Boring
Well, duh, he's a drunk and likes tits.
Boring
Gun nut
Boring
Boring....
2013-01-10 11:53:10 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: James!:
I used to only give a shiat about fark around election years.  My OG login started durring the 2006 election and after it was over I farked off to TFD for like 6 months cause I was tired of talking about politics.

all i'm saying is that there's some rather strange cycles that happen in the politics tab.  I spend a LOT of time there, more than I probably should...so I (and likely a few others) noticed the influx of suddenly dormant accounts 'waking up', posting slanted and extremely consistent view points, and then evaporating again after the elections were done.  were they shill accounts?  people who suddenly decided to log in after a long absence to chime in on issues important to them?  got me.  maybe a little bit of both.


I would say poke your head out and look around the other threads a bit.  I noticed people I usually only see in TFD or Sports threads suddenly take an interest in politics.  Some people came out of the woodwork from years ago, but accounts don't expire.  We used to have a larger contingent of rightwing political tab farkers who left for one reason or another.  You used to be one of them.   Some new people joined up and that was noted and remarked upon with great suspicion.
2013-01-10 11:47:40 AM
1 votes:
James!:
I used to only give a shiat about fark around election years.  My OG login started durring the 2006 election and after it was over I farked off to TFD for like 6 months cause I was tired of talking about politics.

all i'm saying is that there's some rather strange cycles that happen in the politics tab.  I spend a LOT of time there, more than I probably should...so I (and likely a few others) noticed the influx of suddenly dormant accounts 'waking up', posting slanted and extremely consistent view points, and then evaporating again after the elections were done.  were they shill accounts?  people who suddenly decided to log in after a long absence to chime in on issues important to them?  got me.  maybe a little bit of both.
2013-01-10 11:44:36 AM
1 votes:

vpb: This sort of thing is common.  I don't know much about the political paid trolls, but it is very common for businesses.  There are companies that specialize in this even for individuals.


again - can I prove beyond a doubt that a given fark account is a paid shill?  no.  But is it likely we've got paid shills on fark?  yup.  just tracking the uptick in throw away accounts during the run up period to the elections would more than prove that claim.
2013-01-10 11:43:17 AM
1 votes:
"Paid internet shill" is just someone who doesn't agree with you, and furthermore comma
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-01-10 11:42:25 AM
1 votes:
This sort of thing is common.  I don't know much about the political paid trolls, but it is very common for businesses.  There are companies that specialize in this even for individuals.
2013-01-10 11:41:56 AM
1 votes:

sigdiamond2000: I'd bet everything I own in the world that there are people who are paid to post on Fark.


Well, back when I had a different amount of free time and was in the top five of all-time headline greenlit submitters, I would occasionally have some corporate marketing genius try to get me to post a headline pimping their stuff.  I'd always refuse and forward the request to Drew.  I'm sure that goes on all the time.  I know it's how 40below made his first few million.

That said, I have to agree with palladiate and the Agent code named Viper.  I'd like to see some actual proof of someone hiring random strangers without strong views to push a political agenda as opposed to encouraging the already-converted to do so.  [Citation, please]

*I made that up.  He runs an escort service.
2013-01-10 11:41:45 AM
1 votes:
Well, I, for one, am shocked, SHOCKED, that such a thing exists.
2013-01-10 11:33:58 AM
1 votes:

mahuika: James!: what_now: James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?

Look, we know that Romney paid to get more Twitter followers. We know that every campaign hires people to monitor facebook.

Of COURSE the campaigns have people paid to spread the message via social network. This isn't scandalous or shocking, and I don't think its some nefarious plot to undermine the "integrity" of fark.

There are a lot of people on here with whom I strongly disagree on everything, yet I don't block them because they make actual points.

And then there are people who post stupid photoshops and fake graphs or drop one inflammatory post in a thread and never post again, and I have the vast majority of those people blocked because they add nothing to the conversation.

If I was paying someone to advance a position I'd want them to do more than just post fake graphs and then leave.

You see Bart, some people are just jerks.

My old company had us make fake reddit accounts and upvote things they posted. I doubt anyone is paid to JUST post fake graphs and then leave, but that doesn't mean people aren't paid for a bunch of stuff, including fake graphs that, like, the Heritage Foundation made and then leave.


I've got a friend who runs a company that provides an "online reputation enhancement" service. Which means he posts fake Yelp reviews, fake comments on Facebook, etc., promoting whatever it is his clients wish to promote. I can assure you that this is definitely real. No idea whether the author of that article is telling the truth, but it is out being done, and it's becoming a big industry.
2013-01-10 11:33:40 AM
1 votes:
hmm...I wonder if they're still hiring...
2013-01-10 11:31:05 AM
1 votes:

mahuika: I doubt anyone is paid to JUST post fake graphs and then leave, but that doesn't mean people aren't paid for a bunch of stuff, including being asked to post fake graphs that, like, the Heritage Foundation made and then leave.

2013-01-10 11:29:25 AM
1 votes:

James!: what_now: James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?

Look, we know that Romney paid to get more Twitter followers. We know that every campaign hires people to monitor facebook.

Of COURSE the campaigns have people paid to spread the message via social network. This isn't scandalous or shocking, and I don't think its some nefarious plot to undermine the "integrity" of fark.

There are a lot of people on here with whom I strongly disagree on everything, yet I don't block them because they make actual points.

And then there are people who post stupid photoshops and fake graphs or drop one inflammatory post in a thread and never post again, and I have the vast majority of those people blocked because they add nothing to the conversation.

If I was paying someone to advance a position I'd want them to do more than just post fake graphs and then leave.

You see Bart, some people are just jerks.


My old company had us make fake reddit accounts and upvote things they posted. I doubt anyone is paid to JUST post fake graphs and then leave, but that doesn't mean people aren't paid for a bunch of stuff, including fake graphs that, like, the Heritage Foundation made and then leave.
2013-01-10 11:25:53 AM
1 votes:
Has Romney's number of Likes on Facebook fallen to zero?

Or is it more like a long, slow burning tire fire?
2013-01-10 11:25:46 AM
1 votes:

sweetmelissa31: James!: Sure he was.

Are you just skeptical because you're a Moderator, and trolls tend to increase the number of posts in a thread and the number of times articles are viewed?

You may not have noticed, but there are people who post the same thing in every thread relating to certain topics. It could be that they are bored and have a strong but ridiculous opinion about a topic, or it could be that they are paid. There are more reasons to believe that someone was paid to make posts on the internet than to believe that someone made up a story about being paid to post on the internet. What does he have to gain from it?


I think that this happens (political shill commenters, I mean), but something seems off or at least exaggerated about the article itself.
2013-01-10 11:23:15 AM
1 votes:

what_now: James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?

Look, we know that Romney paid to get more Twitter followers. We know that every campaign hires people to monitor facebook.

Of COURSE the campaigns have people paid to spread the message via social network. This isn't scandalous or shocking, and I don't think its some nefarious plot to undermine the "integrity" of fark.

There are a lot of people on here with whom I strongly disagree on everything, yet I don't block them because they make actual points.

And then there are people who post stupid photoshops and fake graphs or drop one inflammatory post in a thread and never post again, and I have the vast majority of those people blocked because they add nothing to the conversation.


If I was paying someone to advance a position I'd want them to do more than just post fake graphs and then leave.

You see Bart, some people are just jerks.
2013-01-10 11:16:24 AM
1 votes:

palladiate: James!: It's more conspiracy nonsense.

I'm going to coach this with a "I don't know of any paid internet trolls," but back in the dark days of 2004 I manage a stalking horse campaign here in sunny NC that elected one of the worst representatives in the US House. I kinda had a pretty big meltdown afterward and will never, ever associate myself with the Republican party in this state ever again.

Already a shady operation to split the Democrat vote, we kind of illegally employeed a debt-collection call center to put out fake campaign calls for the opposition. Essentially a bunch of folks tenuously employed were given the "option" to "volunteer." It was pretty effective, and we wanted new ways to push opinion.

Now, one of my ideas at the time was to push consensus building on the internet, but there wasn't a lot of support around it, as it hadn't been proven to work elsewhere before. So, do I know if anyone ever really started to try it? No. Do I still think I had a great idea that was seriously probably sorta very evil? Hell yes. If it isn't happening at some level I'd be seriously surprised.

Although with a few years thought behind it, I'd rather pay to shepherd an army of activists to troll for me. There's lots of folks here on both political sides that have no problem derping it up for free. Plus you get a lot more deniability, certainly more than trying to hide donations of call center volunteer time and facilities.


You're kind of one the same page as me.  Why would anyone need to pay someone to argue on the internet?  People have been doing it for free for over a decade now.
2013-01-10 11:14:45 AM
1 votes:

James!: sweetmelissa31: James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?

Some people are paid to post things on the internet. It's not much of a conspiracy. You are just an over-zealous moderator.

Yes, article writers, content creators, comic artists, advertisers. All paid.


I'd bet everything I own in the world that there are people who are paid to post on Fark. I'd be shocked if there wasn't.

This shouldn't be surprising or controversial. It's not even really a "conspiracy.". Astroturfing pre-dates the internet.

That said, the linked article does set off my bullsh*t meter.
2013-01-10 11:08:13 AM
1 votes:

make me some tea: James!: sweetmelissa31: James!: Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy? Can my code name be Viper?

Some people are paid to post things on the internet. It's not much of a conspiracy. You are just an over-zealous moderator.

Yes, article writers, content creators, comic artists, advertisers.  All paid.

I'd like to be paid to post on Fark. Where do I sign up?


Meet me at the top of the empire state building at midnight on Friday... bring a duck.
2013-01-10 10:57:01 AM
1 votes:

sweetmelissa31: Nobody is saying that the majority of people who disagree with them is a paid troll. But some exist. You have a reason to ignore them, and are therefore freaking out.


Is it because I'm part of the conspiracy?  Can my code name be Viper?
2013-01-10 10:48:35 AM
1 votes:
It is much easier to create a blog and hire the moderators to push your BS.
2013-01-10 10:41:56 AM
1 votes:

sweetmelissa31: James!: Sure he was.

Are you just skeptical because you're a Moderator, and trolls tend to increase the number of posts in a thread and the number of times articles are viewed?

You may not have noticed, but there are people who post the same thing in every thread relating to certain topics. It could be that they are bored and have a strong but ridiculous opinion about a topic, or it could be that they are paid. There are more reasons to believe that someone was paid to make posts on the internet than to believe that someone made up a story about being paid to post on the internet. What does he have to gain from it?


1 Of course there are paid posters.  They've existed since the days when usenet was where people talked about stuff.

2 The linked bit was B- HS level creative writing.  The author should stick to writing about things he knows and work on his adjectives.

3 I pop up to say something bad about Reagan whenever his name is mentioned not because I'm paid, but because I'm still pissed off.
 
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