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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Big Business and the use of Social Media Trolls

The Natural News website has recently run an article about Monsanto being caught running a 'troll farm' in order "to smear ..... anyone questioning the fake science behind GMO's". They dislike the safety of their 'Roundup' herbicide being questioned, and apparently, new court documents (arising from 50 lawsuits against the company) have revealed that "... Monsanto has a troop of trolls at its disposal who are paid to scour the internet for those speaking ill of its toxic wares and then counter their warnings with false studies that support their products."

The lawsuits are being taken by people who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of their exposure to Roundup, and the Monsanto has hidden the risks of the herbicide. One document is quoted in the material revealed.

               "Monsanto even started the aptly-named ‘Let Nothing Go’ program to leave nothing, not even Facebook comments, unanswered; through a series of third parties, it employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto, its chemicals, and GMOs." (My emphasis).

It is good that this has been revealed. Perhaps it will lead to a recognition that many large industrial and commercial conglomerates hire trolls in the same way. The pharmaceutical industry certainly does so, and also supports organisations such as 'Sense about Science', the 'Good Thinking Society' to defend their products, and to attack any medical therapy that might compromise their business, their monopoly within most national health services, and their profits. Indeed, much of what the Natural Health article says about Monsanto is applicable to the efforts of Big Pharma.

               "... internal emails showed that the evil firm enlisted staffers to ghost write studies that falsely portray its products as safe, even going so far as to pay experts like scientists to sign their names at the end to lend a false air of authenticity."

Apparently, Monsanto has an entire department devoted to discrediting scientists, and smearing journalists who dare suggest that its products are dangerous, and are causing harm to users. When, in 2015, the World Health Organizstion’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated that glyphosate probably causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one of the firm's executives admitted that it had a whole department devoted to “debunking” legitimate science that made its products look bad!

Eventually, this will discredit the companies, and the industries who engage in such activity. But worse, it will also damage the reputation and credibility of science itself. Many troll organisations, like those I have mentioned above, actually claim to support science!

It indicates that large corporate bodies, that dominate the political and commercial establishments, are aware that their products cause harm to its users, but are prepared to misinform, lie, and deceive to maintain their business and their profits.

And it would appear that the trolls we hear from on social media are on their payroll!