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What is an Internet Shill?

What is an Internet Shill?
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What is an Internet Shill?

What is an internet shill? Is this a new word or phrase to you?  If you have spent any time on the internet reading reviews, comments or forums, then you may know what an internet shill is. Are you still confused? Read on and you will understand.

The internet has positively changed our lives in many ways, but the internet is also a haven for scamming opportunities. You can become a victim to modern scams and false advertising is when you start believing any comments that have been left by “shills”.

What exactly is an internet shill? 

Internet shills are very similar to an internet troll as they are people who leave comments on forums on the internet for a main reason. Trolls will generally want to start an uproar while shills are paid to leave positive reviews for products and companies, and they also like to slam the competitor, so they can provide a solution. Shills are difficult to figure out as you don’t really know at first if a review or comment that has been left is actually genuine and by a true, happy customer, because many times they are fake. Shills are paid to comment on forums and to leave a positive review about a product or service, which will create a buzz when a service is being personally endorsed.

You can distinguish a shill from a genuine poster

It may seem like a fine art when you try to figure out if an internet shill is sincere, especially if the shill is convincing. You can tell if a commenter is a shill by copying and pasting their comment into the Google search engine to see if that same comment is posted in many different locations. Oftentimes, shills are lazy and don’t take the time to write new comments for all of the websites. If you see the same comment being posted over and over again, then this is a warning sign for you. If the comment complains about a different company each time, only to offer a solution, then this comment is probably written by a shill. Another great way is to check out the social networks for the commenter’s post. Check to see if they have stock photos and friends with their social networks. You will see quickly that the posts are done by a shill.

TripAdvisor is onto internet Shills  

Thankfully, TripAdvisor has caught onto internet shills and trolls, and they are handing out penalties for companies that are paying shills to write positive reviews. If you are reading reviews and you believe you have stumbled onto one that is written by a shill, then you should immediately report the comment, then praise the companies that deserve the praise. The fake scammers and shills will be penalized.

Where does the word “shill” come from?

“Shillaber” is the word that shill comes from, which occurred when circus workers was pretending to buy all the tickets right after the circus master’s speech that advertised the circus show. “Real” customers had that sense of urgency to purchase the tickets. You can also find shills in open auctions where they drive up the prices of items that are being auctioned off.

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