Have you ever seen a post, comment, or reply that absolutely reeked of behind-the-scenes compensation by corporations like Monsanto? In the growing age of internet activism, and the expansion of social media as a tool to spread the word on real issues, paid internet trolling is becoming a new career path.
Now, in case you’re not familiar with what ‘trolling’ really is, I think Wikipedia has a great definition. According to Wikipedia, an internet troll is:
“…a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.“
Does this sound like some posts you’ve seen before? Now, let’s be clear: there are tons of internet trolls out there that are absolutely not on the pay roll. Most of these people are genuinely just messing with others to get a laugh, a reaction, or whatever. Not arguing on behalf of multi-billion dollar corporations for up to 8 hours per day.
There’s the real difference. And, besides common sense dictating that corporations would surely hire a fleet of internet warriors to protect their brand reputation in the age of open source online communication, we now know for sure that companies like Monsanto have in fact dedicated ‘entire departments’ to trolling scientists and ‘discrediting’ those who oppose their GMO creations.