Friday, October 18, 2019

More On Shills

I think I created a bit of confusion with my previous post on this topic, so I thought I'd try to better explain what I mean. In my opinion, a shill is someone fundamentally dishonest who creates a fake internet persona to sell you some product or ideology. I'll give you a couple of examples which (please keep it in mind) are pure fictional in nature.

Imagine somebody starts a blog saying they are a Christian homeschooling mother of 4 and will share their daily life with you. The target audience of this blog will be obviously women in a similar situation (Christian, homeschooling etc). The blog is quite successful and after a couple of months has a certain number of readers. Then the supposed blog owner starts telling you that though her life is hectic at times, there is a certain brand of supplements which helps her to pull through and that they are produced by a Christian company and if you buy them, you'll help all Christians and homeschoolers out there.

Then later you find out the supposed lady was a single guy in his twenties who sells supplements online.

Now imagine that by some reason, I hate Christian homeschoolers and want to give them a bad name so I set up a blog calling myself a Christian homeschooling mom from Arizona and will expressly state that my blog exists  to support and promote homeschooling and then I'll proceed with publishing  stories which will be ever so slightly over the top, portraying my imaginary family as rather dysfunctional and unpleasant, with spoilt kids, borderline abusive husband etc etc. A normal person will read it and think that home educators are crazy and should be avoided at all costs. So my objective of discrediting the homeschooling movement will be achieved.

There is a difference between a shill and someone who is convicted about a certain issue. There are plenty of Christians who will belong to a certain church and think it's the best. Some will even go so far as to state all others are heretics. They may be misguided in some things but they are sincere and moved by the desire to warn others and to promote their own church/community. They will tell you to join this or that religious group because it's the closest to the Scriptures.

A shill, on the other hand, would pretend to be a sincere Christian and then go around bashing all existing churches, communities and preachers without pointing you to any healthy alternatives as to leave you in the state of despair. (Or sometimes they will point to themselves as the only ones in the possession of some truth which will save you. In this case, it may be not really  a shill but simply someone who is very full of themselves and likes cult-like following. ). You see, he's pretending to be one of you and to help, but in reality, such a person is something totally different.

It's much easier to do online due to the relative anonymity of the internet, so it's always a good idea to practise some discernment:)


  1. Ok, now I undestand what you mean. I did not get it first because for me the idea of people faking so much is so alien. I still have hard time believing author Madeleine Brent is actually Peter O'Donnell.

    Are you just preparing us for the announcement you are actually a man and your blog has been a social experiment? LOL

  2. No, you won't get rid of me so easily:) I guess I'm just upset by the fact that so many people are too trusting and take everything they read online literally? Anyway, I think most shilling happens in English since it's the modern lingua franca and that's how you reach the biggest amount of people and most of these individuals are or pretend to be Americans.

  3. I should add that a shill isn't just someone who writes under a pen name or exaggerates a bit when talking about themselves. It's a malicious individual who acts in bad faith from the very beginning. Sort of like a mole.

  4. "... just preparing us for the announcement ..."

    We still have several months left before April Fool's Day, aka Pick Your Own Personal Pronoun Day ...

    Mine is "Fully Armed and Operational Battle Station", just so we're clear which side of the Force I happen to operate on: the side that's against the terrorists instead of with them, naturally! :-)

    I'm fairly certain that Evil likes going around advertising itself as Evil, however.

    Your aforementioned example of a "Christian Mother of Four" blog may or may not be written by a Christian, a mother, a female, or even someone with a family, but I'm fairly certain that anything openly advertising itself as "Satan's Apothecary" is in fact a dispenser of Evil medicinal goods.

    It's the hook that Evil wants to hook you on: when Evil openly advertises itself as Evil, and yet you fall for it anyway, you can't say that you weren't warned.

    "... most of these individuals are or pretend to be Americans ..."



    I had to learn that Americans are more than a bit insincere about really wanting to know the answer to "how are you" or "howzzzyerdayygoinggggg" ...

    Also, English = "the modern lingua franca" ... can we say that every now and then just so it irritates the French?


  5. Is Brexit even going to happen???

    Also didn't you all celebrate "international" pronoun day yesterday?

  6. Thank you for clarifying your meaning about shills. It makes a lot of sense.

    Unfortunately, there are often people who are not shills in the purest sense but are also really awful and damaging in myriad ways. As much as a shill.

  7. Yeah, I agree, the point is it's so difficult to tell online. Some things just make me raise my eyebrows...

  8. "Is Brexit even going to happen???"

    No clue really.

    I've even taken to reading Guido Fawkes just to keep up with the events and I still can't figure out whether it'll happen.

    Right now I think it's like this:

    The Right Honourable Chorus of Remoaners: "We have court rulings and loud nagging voices and this means you have to negotiate a deal or else."

    Mister B the Gentleman Prime Minister: "Since there is no law directing me to do so, you can take your poxy court rulings and loud voices and have them stuffed and mounted, and as for your 'for else', have that stuffed and mounted as well."

    But that was a few days ago, anything and everything could have happened since then. :-)

    Also ... there was an international pronoun day and I missed it???

    That means there are now TWO April Fool's Days!

    Talk Like A Pirate Day is a much better holiday anyway. :-)

  9. Every day is an April Fool's Day in the progressive utopia:)

    Honestly can't wait till we finally get divorced from the eternal Anglo officially:)

  10. Do we really have Talk Like A Pirate Day? Sounds cool!

  11. "Honestly can't wait till we finally get divorced from the eternal Anglo officially ..."

    See, this is the English super-power: if there's something you don't want us to do or to have, but we're going to do it or to have it anyway, we can be so awful about this that you'll want it eventually for us anyway.

    This seems to be what Extinction Rebellion is trying to do, but they're getting all wrong, which is why they're being dragged off the tops of commuter trains where they're getting the crap kicked out of them by angry commuters.

    England getting the crap kicked out of it by Europeans sounds a bit much like a football match, so I think the natural tendency would be "bring it", and so that's what we're now seeing with Mister B the Gentleman Prime Minister.

    BTW, I don't think you're getting the Mister B references, so I'll amuse you with some YouTube music videos then:

    Mister B -- "Chap-Hop History":

    Mister B -- "Straight Outta Surrey":

    Also, "International" Talk Like A Pirate Day was on 19 September:

    Or visit Cornwall, they celebrate it year-round since their native accent is in fact the basis for the so-called "pirate accent" ... :-)

  12. Aah, this Mr B:) Honestly, Boris is much more handsome:) I especially like his hairstyle...We all like him so much over here that I recently saw his portrait in the shop window.

    Id love to visit Cornwall but Norway is higher on the priorities list right now.

  13. "Also, "International" Talk Like A Pirate Day was on 19 September:"

    Well, may be we all could celebrate it next year:)