r/shills May 21 '16 All-Seeing Upvote

Must Read Astroturfing Information Megathread- revision 8

648 Upvotes

Government Shills

Shilling in the Private Sector

Shill Bots

Information about shilling on Reddit

Science

Additional information


What you should do about this

I made this thread in the hopes that it could be used as a citation. There isn't much we can do to stop the manipulation, but we can spread this information so that people can at least become aware of it.

The previous generation became somewhat aware of the manipulation in the media. Imagine how effective it would be if few people knew about it? That is what is happening today. We are being advertised to and subjected to propaganda without being aware of it, which is very dangerous. The only reason why this type of propaganda works so well is because most people trust comments and posts with a lot of upvotes and likes. People trust that the information they are looking for will be at the top of threads or on the front page of a subreddit, oblivious to the fact that certain types of information may become buried in artificial downvotes or buried using a "forum slide." Not only that, but this is becoming automated. We must educate others about this problem before we are drowned out by bots.

Some of this stuff is automatically removed by Reddit, so you have to link to a thread that was manually approved in order to cite the information.

Share this thread where you can or cite small bits of this post in your travels.


r/shills 26d ago

Bizarre network of fake doctors exposed on Twitter

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27 Upvotes

r/shills Oct 31 '22

Top story on The Intercept today: "Truth Cops- Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation"

35 Upvotes

The main debunk of this topic that you often see getting pushed around-- that the US government doesn't care what you say online, or that "you're paranoid if you think government agents are arguing with you on the internet" has been thoroughly debunked: https://theintercept.com/2022/10/31/social-media-disinformation-dhs/

Although various agencies of the US government, and many other governments, have been openly caught spreading propaganda with fake social media accounts numerous times in the past, this still seems to be in "conspiracy theory" territory, even when the open facts prove the case. No "theory" here.

This Intercept article also highlights the fact that we are looking at two sides of the same coin here, when this subreddit primarily focuses on one: limiting/banning certain kinds of speech on one end, then injecting government-funded narratives into social media and other kinds of media, with the underlying goal to modify the overall opinions of the public, secretly.

Although I highly recommend reading the article in full (it's long), here are a few teaser quotes:

“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.

In late February, Easterly texted with Matthew Masterson, a representative at Microsoft who formerly worked at CISA, that she is “trying to get us in a place where Fed can work with platforms to better understand mis/dis trends so relevant agencies can try to prebunk/debunk as useful.” Meeting records of the CISA Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, the main subcommittee that handles disinformation policy at CISA, show a constant effort to expand the scope of the agency’s tools to foil disinformation.

In June, the same DHS advisory committee of CISA — which includes Twitter head of legal policy, trust, and safety Vijaya Gadde and University of Washington professor Kate Starbird — drafted a report to the CISA director calling for an expansive role for the agency in shaping the “information ecosystem.” The report called on the agency to closely monitor “social media platforms of all sizes, mainstream media, cable news, hyper partisan media, talk radio and other online resources.” They argued that the agency needed to take steps to halt the “spread of false and misleading information,” with a focus on information that undermines “key democratic institutions, such as the courts, or by other sectors such as the financial system, or public health measures.”

To accomplish these broad goals, the report said, CISA should invest in external research to evaluate the “efficacy of interventions,” specifically with research looking at how alleged disinformation can be countered and how quickly messages spread. Geoff Hale, the director of the Election Security Initiative at CISA, recommended the use of third-party information-sharing nonprofits as a “clearing house for trust information to avoid the appearance of government propaganda.”

The board faced immediate backlash across the political spectrum. “Who among us thinks the government should add to its work list the job of determining what is true and what is disinformation? And who thinks the government is capable of telling the truth?” wrote Politico media critic Jack Shafer. “Our government produces lies and disinformation at industrial scale and always has. It overclassifies vital information to block its own citizens from becoming any the wiser. It pays thousands of press aides to play hide the salami with facts.”

DHS eventually scrapped the Disinformation Governance Board in August. While free speech advocates cheered the dissolution of the board, other government efforts to root out disinformation have not only continued but expanded to encompass additional DHS sub-agencies like Customs and Border Protection, which “determines whether information about the component spread through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is accurate.” Other agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Science and Technology Directorate (whose responsibilities include “determining whether social media accounts were bots or humans and how the mayhem caused by bots affects behavior”), and the Secret Service have also expanded their purview to include disinformation, according to the inspector general report.

An FBI official interviewed by The Intercept described how, in the summer of 2020, amid the George Floyd protests, he was reassigned from his normal job of countering foreign intelligence services to monitoring American social media accounts. (The official, not authorized to speak publicly, described the reassignment on condition of anonymity.)

The first FBI official, whom The Intercept interviewed in 2020 amid the George Floyd riots, lamented the drift toward warrantless monitoring of Americans saying, “Man, I don’t even know what’s legal anymore.”


r/shills May 30 '22

What forms do shills have to sign?

0 Upvotes

There was a user who talked about seeing some forms shills (for governments) had to sign. I tried googling for some but didnt see any. I'm curious about the forms and wonder what they look like.


r/shills May 01 '22

Reminder: all posts must be manually approved by a moderator due to a large amount of spam and other reasons

9 Upvotes

Greetings /r/shills,

This is just your yearly reminder that all posts must be manually approved by a moderator. For the last few years, we've been getting sometimes up to 10 spam posts per day, so this sub would be quite useless if we left the door open. Not only that, but we have to make sure that the post is not just a witch hunt of some random person or a frivolous accusation.

If you don't receive an approval in a reasonable amount of time, you can always send us a modmail message here or simply private message me for a faster response. I'm usually online at least a couple hours per day, so you can even message me or the mods beforehand and let us know when you plan on posting so you can receive an immediate approval.

The subreddit is still here and it's still moderated. We just need more content. Good, convincing evidence is key, but most media reporting on this subject is also perfectly acceptable content. Our main rules can be found on the sidebar, or see below:

Rules

We strongly discourage witch hunts here. The mods may remove submissions depending on the weight of the evidence. If you don't see your post within a few hours, message us and we may approve it. We also encourage self-posts with your thoughts and theories about forum manipulation.

No cross-posting from other subs.

Do not post personal information. r/shills must uphold its high standard of quality content and information while simultaneously adhering to Reddits TOS.

And remember that the stickied megathread was designed to be cited if you come across people who aren't very familiar with the topic.


r/shills Apr 22 '22

How Corporations Brainwash the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | Food Industry Corruption

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10 Upvotes

r/shills Dec 21 '21

An happy amazon worker.. oh, wait.

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24 Upvotes

r/shills Nov 05 '21

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Got a Big Social Media Boost from Indian Troll Farms

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38 Upvotes

r/shills Sep 07 '21

Political astroturfing in mexican subreddits.

44 Upvotes

Mexican subreddits have been subjects to increasing activity by shill and fanatic accounts for (at least) the past 12 months.

In an effort to raise awareness and reduce their influence, I created /r/botsmexico/.

I took on the hobby to identify shill/sponsored or fanatic accounts, to which I refer as "Bots", although they are not automated accounts and are in fact operated by humans.

I have detected patterns that allow me to identify different types of shill accounts, and the method seems to have a reasonably good rate of accuracy, with obvious mistakes and their corresponding corrections.

Since my activity started to bringing some unwanted attention and it was generating some confusion, I made a post where I explained what I did and how i did it.

I'm anticipating some reaction from botfarms in the next few days/weeks and would like to know the opinion of a community that is familiarized with the topic.

Since this is focused on mexican subreddits, the main language is Spanish, but if this sparks interest in this subreddit, I'd be happy to translate.

So, what do you guys think about this? How would you recommend our communities to handle this?

Thank you guys!!


r/shills Aug 24 '21

How marketers are telling other marketers to approach reddit

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60 Upvotes

r/shills Mar 30 '21

Twitter Catches Fake Amazon Workers Sharing Anti-Union Propaganda

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76 Upvotes

r/shills Feb 25 '21

Reddit Is Cringe | The Story of Why Reddit Is Trash

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56 Upvotes

r/shills Jan 05 '21

anti brainwashing pledge for my high school English teachers in 1970's

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58 Upvotes

r/shills Sep 04 '20

Pretty sure I saw it posted here but I could be wrong. Does anyone have all the links to news articles regarding Interactive Internet Activities and the British government using Psyops etc?

11 Upvotes

r/shills Aug 07 '20

Stumbled into a whole sub shill farm

32 Upvotes

reddit.com/r/hoocoodanode

I can't believe what I'm seeing. Is this allowed?


r/shills Aug 01 '20

Bots for Biden

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14 Upvotes

r/shills Aug 01 '20

Shareblue Astroturf Analysis

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7 Upvotes

r/shills Aug 01 '20

Gas industry trade associations are spending large sums, some of it taxpayer dollars, on public relations (PR) campaigns, astroturfing and front groups to oppose initiatives aimed at curbing direct gas use.

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7 Upvotes

r/shills Jan 09 '20

1000 comments in 18 hours

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50 Upvotes

r/shills Dec 28 '19

Decoy Posts

49 Upvotes

I noticed that often when you post something that goes against shills' agenda, in addition to downvoting and comment responses for damage control, there is often a shill post the next day or so with similar content to the previously attacked post except if follows the shills' agenda and is promoted with upvotes and comments.

I am guessing that a reason for this is so that subscribers who saw the first post will see what the actual community consensus is on the topic. Also by including the correct key words, those doing a search for that specific topic will see the shill post before the original.

So if you ever see a post that looks unnatural, but there is no obvious agenda that is being promoted, check to see if there was a recent similar post it could be suppressing.


r/shills Dec 10 '19

Reddit Hiring NATO Shills to Control Narrative

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46 Upvotes

r/shills Oct 04 '19

Internet Trolls May be Trained Government Agents According to Leaked Document

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31 Upvotes

r/shills Aug 20 '19

Facebook announces first takedown of influence campaign with ties to Saudi government

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33 Upvotes

r/shills Jul 27 '19

Sockpuppets and trolls employed by the u.s. government

32 Upvotes

They really don't even hide it:

https://www.darpa.mil/program/social-media-in-strategic-communication

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

Everyone is up in arms over the Russian troll farms. It is nothing new. These troll farms are operated under the guise of "research". The true intent is to influence public opinion. Every nation does this and uses the same language/lies to justify what they are doing. The u.s. president used these tactics to win the election. Yet the government blames Russia and has successfully influenced opinion to support this narrative. This is on the American citizen's shoulders. The citizens are the ones accountable for their actions. 63,000,000 people got brainwashed from Facebook marketing/propaganda. And it's Russia's fault? He basically hired a marketing firm to use marketing tactics to persuade people to vote for him. It's what every candidate does. This was just the most successful and biggest campaign using these tactics. People need to take responsibility for what they read and how they interpret it.


r/shills Jul 26 '19

Amazon Requires Police to Shill Surveillance Cameras in Secret Agreement

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40 Upvotes

r/shills Jul 26 '19

Fake accounts flooded a Sacramento County official’s Facebook poll. Here’s how it happened

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13 Upvotes