A paid troll can be of several kinds:
- Editing and voting in favour of their interest group's ( groups' ? )
- anyone doing Consumerium maintenance who is especially grumpy or picky
- a consultant deliberately hired by the Consumerium Governance Organization to bust up some groupthink or address some privacy concern without the acual Consumerium Board having to get involved,
- someone spreading a form of advertising like greenwash in the Content wiki,
- someone paid by a political party or nonprofit group to spread some ideology,
- a person with enough financial capital to consider trolling to be a great way to spend their own free time
Staying troll-friendly implies knowing the difference and finding ways to steer these various types of trolls properly. For instance, regardless of any reputation, if you see someone busting up groupthink, wade in to help them - this will save the CGO cashflow and let the troll they are paying move on to another problem. It really doesn't matter if they are paid or not in this case, and it doesn't matter who thinks they are a troll. It's up to everyone to identify threats, worst cases, etc., and since no one really likes to talk about these things much, it's often up to trolls to do so.
If you think on the other hand someone is promulgating false positive data on a company or types of companies or a whole industry that is in general going to make individual buying criteria harder to apply correctly, that too is everyone's problem. Rather than accuse anyone of doing this, add a few worst cases that pointedly identify the comprehensive outcomes of an industry allowed to pay trolls to disrupt Consumerium buying signals and effectively "buy" a more favourable impression for itself. Meanwhile to best cases add a nice revenge measure, like "any corporation that distorts data on the content wiki gets its brand names scored down one full point. Eventually, corporations themselves compete to dig up dirt on each other, and blame that on each other, too, and Consumerium researchers need not waste their own time." That ethical obligation to declare our intention satisfied, it is quite reasonable to let the short-sighted go ahead and do our work for us.
The political spectrum being what it is, it's hard to have any one strategy for dealing with those who are paid by people they have common values with. It is especially hard to deal with those who are paid by themselves! A strategy that seems to work better than most is to let a faction form for any significant tendency that matches real political choice in the real world, so that other people who share that tendency can start to gently correct any truly idiosyncratic views, and start to create informal reputations that the paid troll is more likely to respect. For instance if there are Greens doing this fanatically themselves and this is creating some form of disruption, steering them into a tribe-like group that includes people from some real Green Parties or Greenpeace will make it more likely that they will eventually become tame trolls, and work on priorities that they can gain social capital with their group by working on. That way there is no need for the Consumerium Governance Organization to intervene nor to take any political stance. This is obviously ideal, and discourages the very enthusiastic contributors less.
If there are other types of paid troll identified, there will have to be more strategies identified as well.
- http://wikiwizards.org/ - Paid trolling organization