When You Don't Realise You are a Shill
A true story
There was once a writing site where the Owner hired five people to actually Shill for it. They were paid to bring in users.
They ran all over the 'Net, touting the great site, bringing in users and getting paid each time one of their dupes posted.
Then, the Owner noticed that many new users were not joining with the referral codes of the Shills but on their own. This puzzled him, so he went to various sites and found mere users of his site were Shilling.
Mere users, people who knew nothing about him or his site were praising it.
He discharged his paid Shills.
Why pay when he could get it all for free?
Getting it for Free
No one needs to be paid to Shill for a site any more. Fools will do it for free.
All that has to happen to create a Shill is pay a user that first time. One payment for all the work they posted. Just one payment and they will brag in every corner of the 'Net and invite everyone to join.
Although this might make your shoulders shrug, there was another aspect to the story I didn't mention; Those Paid Shills were also paid to attack anyone who in any way disparaged the site.
Anyone who indicated any questionable practice, whether one complained about not being published, or not being paid, or subject to some kind of glitch, that user would be attacked by the Paid Shills, (all of whom had duals).
This meant that the five shills, each with five or more duals, would go after the complainer. To the common eye it seemed there were twenty five 'contented users' going after the one dissenter.
The Shills were paid to do this.
Yet average users, persons who had been paid once, persons who had no idea what was going on, would attack the complainer.
The Owner of the site no longer needed to pay people to defend him and his site as he had volunteers who did it for free.
How it Plays Today
The Owner of any writing site, be it located in Estonia or Canada can gain an army of Shills for free.
Simply pay a fifth of them a percentage of what they earned. They will then fight against the 80% of users who weren't paid.
For some reason users do not identify with other users. They don't see themselves as user 1425 they think they are special. They don't notice that others might not be treated as well as they, and don't care.
So, on Virily, for example, the Owner used to prevent the majority of users from posting. He used to claim that all posts were 'moderated'.
This was always a lie.
You will see posts full of misspellings, poor grammar, blobs of sentences. There never was a moderator, it was just delay. The delay was to prevent users from reaching the threshold.
That is when it paid.
Now, it no longer pays. The owner reaps what already posted items earn, (preventing users from editing or removing their posts).
In the old days if a user asked why semi-literates are published and s/he was not, it was slapped away.
The Owner knew that users do not stick together so he could do what he pleased.
The Owner knew those semi-literates he published didn't realise they were Shills.
Now, no longer needing Shills, no longer paying, Virily is a trash heap of hate posts/
A particular site was created to be a Scam. It operated on what Economic Majors called an 'unsustainable business model'.
To simplify, there was no way that site could pay their users at the rate it stated. It was clear from inception it would be a Scam.
Instructed by someone who understood the backstory of Bubblews I was advised to make 1 post every other day and like and comment on three other items each day.
I was instructed that as soon as I reached the threshold, to put in for my pay.
I was instructed to not post another item until the threshold was raised, but log in three times a week and view other items, and leave comments..
I did as directed.
I was paid that first time, as was everyone, then sat back and began to see the complaints from users that they had been paid the first time, but not the second, or third or fourth....
and I saw other users attack the site.
And I saw other users Defend the site.
As was predicted, the threshold was raised, and my articles had earned, over the period, almost the new threshold.
I returned to publishing one article every other day, doing likes and comments. When I reached the new threshold, put in and received my second payout.
I watched more and more people complain, and less and less people attack them, until the site disappeared without a trace.
A number of those vocal attackers began to reveal how when the site went down how many of their requests for payment was pending.
Some actually realised they had been used by the site to attack others. But most invented excuses for the reason why the site didn't pay them.
The Owner of the Site knew exactly what he was doing, He had borrowed money to create his site on a free domain.
The reason he borrowed the money was to be able to pay everyone that first time.
He used his personal Adsense account to gather the pennies.
He was able to repay the loan because the site was earning. He took the money the users earned to replay the loan. He did not pay most users after their first payout.
His patterns was;
pay 100% of the users on their first redemption, 50% of the users for their second, 25% for their third, and then, only 10% who put in for their fourth redemption..
As he had a lot of users, he made a lot of money.
He knew, for he had experience.
In the words of Jay Gould, he could 'hire half the working class to kill the other half'.