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Does Monsanto Hire Internet Trolls?

Does Monsanto Hire Internet Trolls?

by P. H. MadoreAugust 5, 2015

does-monsanto-hire-internet-trollsIn the last several months, it has been revealed that Monsanto has a strategy for dealing with its online reputation. The strategy involves paying people to say positive things about Monsanto, defend Monsanto, and take issue with anyone who might be attacking Monsanto. Monsanto is just one company to be caught doing this.

An employee of the company inadvertently admitted to the practice some months ago, and in the meantime, no major Monsanto force has come forward to deny the claims. This means that Monsanto has Internet trolls who stalk doctors and anyone who might come out against Monsanto and they troll them. On anything, to discredit them, not just on the things that affect Monsanto.

Other companies have been caught paying trolls and bloggers to go online and defend their image. It is unknown whether such tactics have had an overwhelmingly positive or negative impact on the reach of the brands who’ve employed them.

What is known is that a quick search of the job boards will yield several positions that relate to brand management online. These positions could very well be about trolling against negativity toward a brand or company. If it were so, and if it weren’t apparent, it could potentially be illegal down the line if not already.

Companies operating in today’s climate have totally new realities to deal with, such as forums that discuss their behavior and worthiness. To compete in these new conditions, companies must find ways to keep customers happy at a whole new level.

Images from Shutterstock.

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  • stuart21

    P.H., fair bet they do – but most obvious with fossil fuel cos and AGW deniers. Could suggest a few possible candidates! Usually their arguments are so ridiculous – amounting to ‘it’s not worth saving the planet if somebody might lose their job’
    If the social media required signups including a Skype video introduction (recorded for ‘posterity’) that might make them slightly more responsible for what they say – considering that in Europe that industry has just been successfully sued for environmental damage.

  • el rebelde

    good trolls need to be really smart, otherwise they are outed really quickly as paid shills.
    It’s common knownedlge that big electronics/cellphone companies also employ trolls and shills…it’s a shame

    • Your1Friend

      If companies were actually run by intelligent people of integrity—not merely clever people, skilled at manipulating the system to get blood money into their own pockets—they wouldn’t need PR firms, shills, trolls, paid liars.

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    Stupid article and one that without proof should never have been written. Especially bad is the speculation that hiring trolls could be illegal. The first amendment still commands a little respect.

    • nick quinlan

      Don’t worry, what you and the other trolls do, is not illegal. Just unethical

      • Eric Bjerregaard

        I don’t worry Nicki. Telling the truth for free is a public service.

        • Tony Storey

          some truth comes with more incentives than others eh Eric?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Not that I know of, oh foolish user of the shill gambit.

          • Tony Storey

            personal attacks are a common thread in your arsenal that i have seen.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Yep, shill gambit users deserve personal attacks and get no respect.

  • Justin Couron

    In regards to this article with no sources, links, or evidence. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Maybe comeback when you have written an article of substance.

  • Doug Ducat

    OP claims that “an employee of the company inadvertently admitted to
    the practice some months ago” of “paying people to say positive things
    about Monsanto, defend Monsanto, and take issue with anyone who might be
    attacking Monsanto.”

    The citation they use for this is the following second hand account:

    Moar, perhaps forgetting that this was a public event, then revealed
    that Monsanto indeed had “an entire department” (waving his arm for
    emphasis) dedicated to “debunking” science which disagreed with theirs.”

    To which the observer concluded:

    far as I know this is the first time that a Monsanto functionary has
    publicly admitted that they have such an entity which brings their
    immense political and financial weight to bear on scientists who dare to
    publish against them.”

    this just speaks for itself. You can’t assume his statement meant
    anything of the sort concluded by the author. In fact, I would say
    placing the operative, “debunk”, in there Dr. Moar is talking
    specifically about poor quality “science”… which by extension would
    mean that it would disagree with theirs, since they stand behind the
    quality of their science. While I agree the statement was somewhat
    ambiguous making it an easy target for anti-GMO activists to pretend he
    meant something he didn’t… you also can’t forget that the second hand
    account of what was said came from a live, real-time spoken
    statement…. which is easy to mishear, misinterpret, and misrepresent
    when repeated.

    My conclusion based on what has been presented:

    Not guilty.

  • Your1Friend

    I think you have provided confirmation for the article above!

    And precisely what is a “flying yoga instructor?”
    And precisely how does being a “flying yoga instructor” (whatever that may mean) necessarily discredit him?
    (Yes, we are perfectly aware that you are speaking of Jeffrey Smith).

    Also, do you presume to know more than that MIT professor?
    If so, why don’t you debate her on national television?

  • Your1Friend

    I think you are quite right. But I am sure that the person suffers from SDS “Shill Denial Syndrome.”

  • Barely_Jay

    Please do us all a favor and go poison yourself on dihydrogen monoxide, Conspiracy Troll.

  • Sebastian Larsen

    I think the only evidence I have seen for paid shilling online is done by the Steiner cult. You know, those people behind homeopathy and biodynamic ‘farming’.

  • Jakob Milhelm
    • Eric Bjerregaard

      Those aren’t sources. They are wack job sites. Sources are court records. videos of cash changing hands. Wire funds transfers or banking records.

      • Tony Storey

        Do you video the cash you receive from spewing your poison across the web? Criminals dont use fund transfers or use banks. Dont be silly.

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          OK, I see now. You are a high school kid that knows nothing about money laundering and why they made laws with unconstitutional reporting requirements to stop it. Those laws apply to banking. besides that accepting money to post stuff on the internet wouldn’t be criminal. So, more of your ignorance is exposed.

  • tinyhawks

    Just label it.

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    Well that little evidence free bit of nonsense may well explain why the shill gambit is so popular among the brain damaged.

  • Tony Storey

    Just been doin some research on Monsanto and Eric Bjerregaards name is coming up on most forums.. even in New Zealand two days ago. No surprises,, hes very pro Monsanto. He must be passionate about this chemical manufacturer or on the payroll.Or both.

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      Nope I am pro the use of safe products and against dishonest fear mongering. So, I oppose you.

      • Tony Storey

        yep seen that line from you several times in various posts..from a template of replies. Got any original material? Or do you have to get that approved first?

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          Well, as your only argument appears to be the foolish shill gambit/ And as I oppose those who use such nonsense. I oppose you. All my stuff is original. That is why I can belittle you with no consequences.

          • Tony Storey

            so how much do you receive for posting? Does it pay more than growing pineapples? You dont see any ethical issues with supporting biotech companies on a public forum in a vain attempt to sway opinion. But i guess it is effective in some regard as most sensible people want to gain knowledge in this subject not get involved in an ego-off with you. You shut discussions down. . Its a great ploy and you probably feel very superior which is an added bonus. I just dont understand how you can span so many forums across the world. The time and effort involved just to prove the safety of a product.? If your not on the payroll you have a very good case to be.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            I receive nothing but the knowledge that I am opposing ignorance. I also have a full time job. “vain attempt?” nope. The truth will win pout in this little war. .. Attrition will take its’ toll and you will lose. Especially when biofortified crops become more common place. Please take your case for paying me to one of the biotech companies. I could use the money. Here is an example of what is coming, and another reason I post. I have posted a second time as the first response is being held up by censors. Likely because I linked to information about disease resistant bananas being developed in Uganda, and another link. Cites like this often oppose posting actual science.

          • Tony Storey

            how bout give humanity a break and stick to your day job and let people discuss other ‘sciences’ that dont corroborate with your science paradigm. Science is fluid and constantly being questioned, not fixed. Peoples concerns are valid despite your dismissive claims. If a product was ‘safe’ as you claim you wouldnt need to run to its defense. The science that backs it is flimsy and biased. As we are slowly finding out.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Concerns are not valid unless backed by facts. The consensus is clear. The products are safe and you and your tribe throwing mud are the reasons for the defense. Mud must be cleaned up even when thrown by vandals.

          • Tony Storey

            Monsanto must be absolutely in stitches laughing at the fact that your so vehemently supporting their products and buying their science without even paying you a single cent. They may even name a product after you if you play your cards right. Doing gods work Eric. Good little robot.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            I doubt the folks at monsanto even know I exist. It’s not just their products. There are many others as well.

          • Tony Storey

            So theres more companies with liitle or no integrity you come to the defense of. Do tell…Where does your affection lie?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            You are making an assumption about moral issues and still have posted no evidence. This continues to show your basic dishonesty. My affection lies with your enemies.

          • Tony Storey

            enemies? give me a break

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            No, I will not. I’m sick and tired of guys like you trying to harm progress especially in These areas. Cassava disease resistant and biofortified, and Ugandan bananas both disease resistant and biofortified. I scrolled up and checked. The idiotic censor deleted my comment with the links to research papers. So, I can’t post more. So, look em up. When you oppose safe technology. You also harm small scale farmers in areas that need the new crops. Thus you make enemies.

          • Tony Storey

            if harming progress means raising serious health concerns, then yes , i will till the end of time, long after your GM fruit has mutated into a non food full of harmful chemicals, just to keep it growing. Stupid humans

          • So why is GM fruit more likely to mutate into non food full of harmfull chemicals than non-GM fruit? Organic or conventional?

          • hyperzombie

            Does it pay more than growing pineapples
            I would think that everything pays better than growing pineapples, they are very tough to grow and take about 18 months to mature. They can only be grown in certain soils and are crazy labour intensive.

            Why would there be any ethical issues with supporting bio-tech or any technology? Or are you one of the folks that believes that everyone needs technology, except for farmers? Are you anti tech in any other field?
            “Darm Elementary Particle Physicists, don’t need those atom smashers, it is so unnatural. They should smash atoms the old fashioned way, with a hammer”

            “People don’t need the internet when we have smoke signals and cups and string. ”

            I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that Agriculture is the only field that you believe should be free from modern technology.

          • Tony Storey

            nice argument you had going all by yourself. i feel like i would be intruding if i commented

      • Tony Storey

        how can you oppose me?, you dont even know my stand on the issue. The ego loves an enemy so i see where your coming from.