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Trolling for Big Pharma
Entry 1643, on 2014-04-07 at 21:28:51 (Rating 4, Skepticism)
I have occasionally been accused of being a bit of an internet "troll". In case you don't know, that is a person who frequents discussion forums on the internet deliberately causing trouble by arguing with people who have firmly held views on a particular (usually controversial) topic.
Common targets for trolling are places such as religious forums (a few years back I was kicked off a religious video site called "GodTube" for telling them the truth about evolution), and right-wing political forums (I was banned from one after arguing for tighter gun control in the US), and groups involved in other generally nutty beliefs such as global warming denial and anti-vaccination.
Sometimes discussions can get a bit heated and on many occasions I have been quite pleased that I live on the other side of the world to most of these nutters because I really think some of them would be capable of actually carrying out the threats they make. But at the same time many of their rants are so ridiculous that I can't help but laugh.
Have a look at this one for example, from a participant (called "IHateOJBArgusJimBob" - that personal touch is so nice!) on an anti-vaccination web site where I (along with a couple of allies known as Argus and JimBob) presented some actual facts about vaccination (I apologise for the crude expressions in the following)...
IHateOJBArgusJimBob (Guest): OJB, you are an idiot. I have a mental disability but I have enough sense to know how stupid you are. Which pharmaceutical company's pole are you smoking on? Why do you smoke pharma-pole? Why are you a liar? Why are you so mean to other people? Since you are so hateful, why not chat with me? I'm hateful to people like you and your butt-dart buddies Argus and JimBob. No one trusts the CDC anymore except for those who have not the power to think for themselves. But seriously, why are you so stupid? Did yo' momma not feed you from the teet? Too much Thimerisol [sic] on the brain? I'm doing what you do to others. I'm not gonna prove anything or give any facts. My job is to focus on you, JimBob, and Argus. I will just sit here on this website and "troll" trolls like y'all. This is gonna be fun. I don't need scientific facts (you don't provide any) to prove anything, I am only here to talk crap to you and those other idiots. Do y'all just sit next to each other and smoke pharma-pole together? I wish we could meet in person so I could kick you in the nuts just for shits-n-giggles. Where you at? Remember I have a disability so please type slowly. Everyone else, please ignore me and realize that this is necessary. Sorry to sound childish but these idiots do so I will too.
Honestly, no matter how many times I read this magnificent rant I still have to laugh. This guy is like a parody of himself, he's so great! I mean stuff like "do you smoke pharma-pole", "Did yo' momma...", "trolls like y'all", and "I have a disability so please type slowly" sounds like a comedy routine but I think this guy was serious (apart from maybe the last comment about typing slowly).
Many of the participants in the discussion seemed fairly certain that the only explanation for my incredible denial of what they thought were clear facts was that I was being paid off my the pharmaceutical industry. For example: "Why do you smoke pharma-pole? I want scientific facts as to why you, OJB, smoke pharma-pole? Please, I need to know this." and "You are very stupid for a government spy." and "you are either a dumb sheeple or a big pharma troll" and "BTW, who is paying you?"
Unfortunately I'm not being paid by big pharma, because I could use the extra cash. In fact I am very aware of the problems with big corporations who abuse their positions of power, but this in no way makes the use of vaccines any more likely to be some vast conspiracy as these people seem to think.
The real reason I do this because I know there are some people on these sites who aren't just raving lunatics and who might be persuaded by reasoned discussion. Plus, I must admit, it is kind of fun just winding up the nutters - from that perspective I suppose I really am a troll!
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