Linked by snydeq on Thu 15th Dec 2011 21:17 UTC
In the News A new study from UCSB finds significant increases in businesses hiring organized shills to push products online. These 'malicious crowd-sourcing systems' enlist dozens or hundreds of professional shills to orchestrate mass account creation, generate bogus ratings, and post canned cut-and-paste positive reviews -- with each 'task' costing between 13 and 70 cents. 'Unscrupulous crowd-sourcing sites, coupled with international payment systems, have enabled a burgeoning crowdturfing market that targets U.S. websites, but is fueled by a global workforce.'
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by transputer_guy on Fri 16th Dec 2011 01:19 UTC
Member since:

Can't say I have seen any of this commercial shilling in product reviews yet, but when you look for product reviews you only find the same reviews on dozens of content-less review portals relinking the same old stuff, too little content, too many review sites.

What concerns me far more is the automatic bots that the Koch brothers and the Heartland Institute use to send literally millions of anti science trolls to attack the comment sections on famous scientific websites that cover controversial subjects like AGW. This tactic was used by the Tobacco companies too, same people different venue.

As soon as a new paper is released adding more confirmation to AGW, the links are uploaded to WhatsUpWithThat and their pay masters and out they all come. Practically every one of them is totally clueless and repeats the same old nonsense that has already been debunked years ago. They win by drowning out the discussion.

You would think that Physorg for example would be frequented mostly be physicists, scientists and engineers and the like, but the number of crackpots there can be quite staggering.

Hey I can't recall any crackpots on OSNEWs, maybe some overzealous fanbois, but crackpots, no.

Reply Score: 2

RE: shilling
by re_re on Fri 16th Dec 2011 04:57 in reply to "shilling"
re_re Member since:

So I take it you are not a fan of Ayn Rand

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: shilling
by transputer_guy on Fri 16th Dec 2011 05:19 in reply to "RE: shilling"
transputer_guy Member since:

Probably not since I am not a fan of Ron Paul or Rush Limbo and other Libertarians but I was in the past to some degree. I get some of their points, but some are just plain daft and anti science.

I do intend to borrow the library DVD when it comes out to see what the heck everyone is talking about since it seems to have a scifi theme in it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: shilling
by transputer_guy on Fri 16th Dec 2011 06:17 in reply to "RE: shilling"
transputer_guy Member since:

Since you brought up a political theme I will go there.

I have this theory that seems to be borne out by evidence all around the web and on blog comments.

Greenpeace activists hate nuclear tech and agree about AGW, thinking solar panels will save the world one photon at a time. Another litmus test here. They trust science more or less but not evil businesses.

The primary AGW websites are factually accurate but also very anti nuclear even though Thorium LFTR has no real waste to speak of, it is still evil.

Conservatives like nuclear power but don't believe in AGW, that is a litmus test. Many of these don't trust scientists (they must all be liberals living rich off the gov) but they do trust business to do the right thing and develop the right products. Since greens like solar it must be wrong and ergo nuclear is right.

The main anti AGW is WhatsUpWithThat plus 100s of other Heartland Institute fronts with misleading data that attacks the science, and yet they all support nuclear with open arms esp Thorium LFTR, its like a no brainer.

Conundrum, who will save the world, greens or cons?

As an engineer that uses science and economic arguments I must support both nuclear and AGW so it is complicated.

There is no point in arguing about AGW with cons since they already support nuclear.

Arguing with greens over nuclear is really tough, it is all based on wishful thinking and anti nuke science, they will not look at the real numbers and rely on other antis for more misinformation.

I may have to vote solely on who is most likely to push nuclear forward.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: shilling
by umccullough on Fri 16th Dec 2011 05:03 in reply to "shilling"
umccullough Member since:

They win by drowning out the discussion.

This has become pretty common on now - whenever an anti-SOPA or similar article pointing out the flaws of anti-piracy laws - the comments turn into a lovefest of copyright-maximalist anonymous cowards telling everyone that they're pirates and the "free ride is over"...

Sometimes they're the first couple comments after the article goes live, which suggests they're corporate shills subscribed to an RSS feed with nothing better to do but post bullshit comments the minute the article hits.

It's kind of sad, in a way...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: shilling
by transputer_guy on Fri 16th Dec 2011 05:21 in reply to "RE: shilling"
transputer_guy Member since:

I have been told that this is entirely automatic, no idiots required. So we may actually be doing a Turing test with each bot and losing!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: shilling
by lucas_maximus on Fri 16th Dec 2011 08:20 in reply to "shilling"
lucas_maximus Member since:

Basically people scrap a webpage to get cheap web hits. I been asked to do it before.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: shilling
by unclefester on Sat 17th Dec 2011 08:47 in reply to "shilling"
unclefester Member since:

You should read a lot more before commenting.

Shell and BP have been funding pro-AGW research since 1969 when they jointly created the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (home of the Climategate emails).They also very generously fund a number of environmental groups such as WWF and Greenpeace.

Why would Big Oil fund Big Green? Very simple they want to close the coal industry so they can sell more natural gas and oil.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: shilling
by transputer_guy on Sat 17th Dec 2011 16:12 in reply to "RE: shilling"
transputer_guy Member since:

I never realized they funded the Climate Research unit, some kudos for that.

Things get complicated, Shell BP and others are also in the Solar business of panels and plant, profit is profit. No doubt BP needs as much green cred as it can get since the Gulf oil spill.

BP just built the solar plant at Brook Haven National Labs in Long Island, basically it is a Tombstone for the nearby Shoreham nuclear plant that Greenpeace shut down in the 70s.

The BP plant claims 32MW and feeds 4500 homes. That is a lie by omission, it is equiv to a 4.5MW plant that delivers 1kW per home and no more. It also cost $298M or about $66k per fed home, that gives us $66/W which is bloody expensive. If anyone thinks I stretch the truth, check with any solar calculator for a 4.5kW roof install, the price is about $220k. Scale that 1000 and adjust for plant level quality and you get $298M.

The original Shoreham plant should have produced 540MW and was built for $75M in 1973, today that would be $350M. So the BP plant produces power at 100* the cost of the nuclear plant it sits on. Today a modern nuclear plant would be a few times the $350M, $4M/MW is fair for a mass produced modular reactor.

Funding WWF and Greenpeace serves two purposes, it cuts them some slack so they go after coal as you said, they also go after nuclear just as bad. That puts BP on the wrong side of history.

Also Climate Progress is also very anti nuclear, now I know why.

The irony is that the majority of anti AGW people support nuclear so we see the 2 armies lined up with their components.

We need to reshuffle the pack so an energy company can form that can mix fossils with nuclear and eventually slide off carbon.

A Thorium LFTR nuclear plant can also be used as a thermal power source for industry and it can make cheap synthetic fuels like DME (diesel substitute) and others to replace dwindling oil reserves while being carbon neutral.

Reply Parent Score: 1