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Encyclopedia > Shill
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A shill is an associate of a person selling goods or services who pretends no association to the seller and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer. The intention of the shill is, using crowd psychology, to encourage other potential customers unaware of the set-up to purchase said goods or services. Shills are often employed by confidence artists. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Ordinary people typically can gain direct power by acting collectively. ... A confidence trick, confidence game, or con for short, (also known as a scam) is an attempt to intentionally mislead a person or persons (known as the mark) usually with the goal of financial or other gain. ...

The word "shill" is probably related to "shillaber", a word of obscure early-20th century origin with the same meaning. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...

Shilling is illegal in many circumstances and in many jurisdictions because of the frequently fraudulent and damaging character of their actions. However, if a shill does not place uninformed parties at a risk of loss, but merely generates “buzz,” the shill's actions may be legal. For example, a person planted in an audience to laugh and applaud when appropriate, see "claque", or to participate in on-stage activities as a "random member of the audience", is a type of legal shill. A report in The Etude of July 1931 on the Vienna Opera House banning claquing Claque (French for clapping) is, in its origin, a term which refers to an organized body of professional applauders in French theatres. ...

'Shill' can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws. In this sense, they would be an implicit 'shill' for the industry at large, as their income is tied to its prosperity. Apologetics is the field of study concerned with the systematic defense of a position. ...


Shills in Rap Music

For many years rap music has included product placement for cars, alcoholic drinks, clothing and other products, which appears to have gone largely unnoticed by its audience. Rappers will discuss at length the cars they drive and the drinks they consume and glorify the excess, decadence and luxury of a lifestyle spent wasting money on vanity products, working as shills for companies who are looking to reach a key demographic of the young music audience without having to change their mainstream brand advertising, e.g. cognac drinks whose primary audience is for the older market, but who wish to appeal to a younger audience without losing their older fans, Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Courvoisier, or car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Bentley. McDonalds recently launched a project asking rappers to advertise their foods in their songs. For further reading look for 'product placement rap' on google or see this article - http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/brandnewday/archives/2005/04/hip_hop_twostep.html For other uses, see Hennessy (disambiguation). ... Rémy Martin is a cognac (brandy from the Cognac region of France) originally produced by Rémy Martin, a French winemaker, who founded the company in 1724. ... A bottle of Courvoisier VS cognac Courvoisier is a type of cognac. ... This page is about the Mercedes-Benz brand of automobiles and trucks from the DaimlerChrysler automobile manufacturer. ... Bentley Motors Limited is a British based manufacturer of luxury automobiles and Grand Tourers. ... McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants [1]. Although McDonalds did not invent the hamburger or fast food, its name has become nearly synonymous with both. ...

Shills in gambling

The illegal and legal gambling industries often use shills to make winning at games appear more likely than it actually is. For example, illegal Three-card Monte peddlers are notorious employers of shills. These shills also often aid in cheating; they will disrupt the game if the mark is likely to win. Three-card Monte, also known as the Three-card trick, Follow the lady or Find the lady, is a confidence game in which the victim, or mark, is tricked into betting a sum of money that he can find the money card, for example the queen of spades, among three... The victim of a confidence game or magic trick is often called the mark, or the vic. ...

In a legal casino, however, a shill is sometimes a gambler who plays using the casino's money in order to keep games (e.g. especially poker) going when there are not enough players. (This is different from a proposition player who is paid a salary by the casino for the same purpose, but bets with their own money.)

Shills on the internet

In online discussion media, such as message boards, discussion forums, and newsgroups, shills may pose as independent experts, satisfied consumers, or “innocent” parties with specific opinions in order to further the interests of an organization in which they have an interest, such as a commercial vendor or special-interest group. Websites may also be set up for the same purpose. For example, an employee of a company that produces a specific product may (directly or discreetly) praise the product anonymously in a discussion forum or group (often called spamming) in order to heighten and generate interest in that product, or a member or sympathizer of a special-interest group may pose as a highly-qualified expert in a specific field in order to give apparently disinterested support to whatever cause the group promotes. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Forum, originally a Latin word, currently refers in English to a place or a space for meeting or for trading. ... A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... This is not a neutral term and should not be an article title. ... A website, Web site or WWW site (often shortened to just site) is a collection of webpages, that is, HTML/XHTML documents accessible via HTTP on the Internet; all publicly accessible websites in existence comprise the World Wide Web. ...

Another example, although difficult to prove because of the secret and complex nature of shill-marketing, is the potential for a message board Forum administrator to accept sponsorship of the forum or other type of remuneration from a company that sells products related to the theme of the message board, and is paid under the secret condition that he/she protects the anonymity of the sponsor's shill by deleting any outing of the shill's identity and real purpose for using the message board, thus the Forum administrator acts as an auxiliary shill. However, to conceal this agenda the Forum administrator could implement message board membership rules which disallow the outing of any message board member, as a means to explain their thus seemingly innocent protective actions. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Forum administrators are normally the highest ranking and most powerful members on an internet forum. ... Sponsorship can refer to several concepts: A sponsors support of an event, activity, person, or organization. ... Remuneration is pay or salary, typically monetary compensation for services rendered, as in a employment. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... // While outing often refers to an outdoor excursion, in the late twentieth century, the term acquired an additional meaning, taking someone out of the closet, that is, publicising that someone is secretly homosexual. ... Forum administrators are normally the highest ranking and most powerful members on an internet forum. ... Auxiliary may mean: a backup system an auxiliary verb In sailing, the term is used for the motor, if a sailboat has one, or can be used to describe a motorized sailboat, as in an auxiliary sailboat. Auxiliary police Armed Forces auxiliary This is a disambiguation page, a list of...

One relatively high-profile example of an internet shill is Steve Milloy, publisher of junkscience.com, who specialises in spreading distorted interpretations of science for the benefit of corporations such as the tobacco company Philip Morris.[1] Milloy is unusual in that he does not, at least in this case, operate anonymously or under an assumed identity. In many cases it can be very hard to distinguish the shills in an online forum from those who sincerely believe something that may be false. Steven Milloy is a columnist for Fox News and a paid advocate for Phillip Morris, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and ExxonMobil. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion, because: Spam, possible copyvio If you disagree with its speedy deletion, please explain why on its talk page or at Wikipedia:Speedy deletions. ... Altria Group, Inc. ...

In some jurisdictions and in some circumstances, this type of activity may be illegal. In addition, reputable organizations may prohibit their employees and other interested parties (contractors, agents, etc.) from participating in public forums or discussion groups in which a conflict of interest might arise, or will at least insist that their employees and agents refrain from participating in any way that might create a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, a politician, or an executive or director of a corporation, has competing professional or personal interests. ...

It is also believed by some people that disinformation operatives working on behalf of state intelligence agencies and similar bodies participate in online discussions and set up misleading websites in order to distract attention from certain issues or simply to make certain dissidents look ridiculous or otherwise untrustworthy. For instance it is not uncommon for one faction within the 9/11 Truth Movement to accuse another of being paid to spread disinformation and for this accusation to be reciprocated. To the casual observer, particularly to one who is disinclined to believe that governments engage in sophisticated psychological operations, this may lead to the impression that both sides are equally paranoid "conspiracy theorists" mired in in-fighting and therefore not to be taken seriously, irrespective of the particular weaknesses or strengths of each side's case. The task of the shill in such a case might not necessarily be to make the general public believe something that is not true as much as to leave the public effectively paralysed because they cannot decide who to believe. Disinformation, in the context of espionage, military intelligence, and propaganda, is the spreading of deliberately false information to mislead an enemy as to ones position or course of action. ... An intelligence agency is a governmental organization devoted to gathering of information by means of espionage (spying), communication interception, cryptoanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public sources. ... A dissident is a person who actively opposes the established order. ... The 9/11 Truth Movement is a collection of individuals, researchers and groups who question the governmental, mainstream scientific and media accounts of the September 11, 2001 attacks. ... Psychological Operations (or PSYOPS) are techniques used by military and police forces to influence a target audiences emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately behavior. ... PARANOiA is a fast paced song primarily appeared in Dance Dance Revolution and being transplanted in beatmania IIDX in the BEMANI SERIES of KONAMI arcade games. ... A conspiracy theory attempts to explain the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social, or historical events) as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance of powerful or influential people or organizations. ...

Another tactic of which alleged state-sponsored shills have been accused has been the propagation of bogus "conspiracy theories" as straw men to discredit legitimate dissent. This accusation has been made frequently within the 9/11 Truth Movement, particularly with regard to the claim that American Airlines Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon.[2][3][4] This, so the argument goes, has been picked on by debunkers (such as Popular Mechanics magazine) to discredit all those who believe that 9/11 was an "inside job", whether their belief depends on this "no 757" theory or not. It has also, it has been said, distracted attention from more obvious problems with the official 9/11 story, such as the known incompetence of alleged Flight 77 hijacker, Hani Hanjour, as a pilot. A straw man, or straw person, argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponents position. ... Security camera image showing American Airlines Flight 77 (far right, just above far right stone block) just before impact. ... The adolescent Internet. ... American Airlines Boeing 757 The Boeing 757 is a medium-range transcontinental commercial passenger aircraft manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. ... Hani Saleh Hanjour, (Arabic: هاني صالح حنجور) was one of five men named by the FBI as hijackers of American Airlines flight 77 in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack. ...

In some cases, the members of an organization or the employees of a company may monitor and/or participate in public discussions and groups. Such people are not shills, since they don't attempt to mislead others. Some of them may monitor groups in order to better evaluate public and consumer attitudes about a certain product, issue, etc.; others may participate in order to provide information about products or other topics in a neutral way. Some companies allow their employees to participate anonymously in public discussion groups for the purpose of providing information or expressing opinions, as long as there is no intent to defraud and the employee's affiliation with the company is not mentioned (because mentioning the company might make a personal opinion seem like a corporate policy announcement, which would be both misleading and likely to incur liability for the company). Occasionally employees of a company may participate openly in discussions but will include disclaimers making it clear that they speak only for themselves. Finally, on rare occasions, employees of a company may participate openly in a discussion and speak officially on behalf of their employers—but when this occurs, often the employees are moderators of the discussion venue as well, and it is likely to be sponsored by the company (as opposed to venues operated by third parties or open to anyone, such as USENET). In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. ... In the most general sense, a liability is anything that is a hindrance, or puts individuals at a disadvantage. ... Usenet (USEr NETwork) is a global, distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP network of the same name. ...

Given the growing importance of Wikipedia as a source of information it is no surprise that it too is targeted by shills. Naturally this creates a great deal of work for administrators and other contributors repairing the damage these people do. Wikipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...

Shills in marketing

In marketing, shills are often employed to assume the air of satisfied customers and give testimonials as to the merits of a given product. This type of shilling is illegal in some jurisdictions and almost impossible to detect. It may be considered a form of unjust enrichment or unfair competition, as in California's Business & Professions Code § 17200, which prohibits "unfair or fraudulent business act[s] or practice[s] and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising". The following analysis is based on English law. ... Unfair business practices encompass fraud, misrepresentation, and oppressive or unconscionable acts or practices by business, often against consumers and are prohibited by law in many countries. ...

Shills in retail

In retail, shills assume the air of enthusiastic customers. This is done particularly when goods of usually negotiable prices—like automobiles—are to be sold; otherwise, it is not very profitable. This type of shilling is probably legal, but rarely used because of the damage it threatens to a retailer's reputation.

A more disturbing case is where a vacant shop is taken over for a very short period (say, a few days, or a week) solely to sell shoddy goods. The seller asks the audience who will buy the offered good-quality item, quoting a low price. The shill immediately "buys" it and triumphantly displays the item to genuine customers as he departs. The seller declares there are many more similar items and that they are fully guaranteed and returnable. In fact, subsequent sales to genuine customers are of faulty or very poor quality goods for inflated prices. Customers that later attempt to return the goods for refund will sometimes be intimidated and deterred by the seller's bodyguards, or be told to return on a later date (by which time the shop is no longer in business). This is usually illegal.

Shills in auctions

Shills, or "potted plants", are frequently employed in auctions. Driving prices up with phony bids, they seek to provoke a bidding war among other participants. Often they are told by the seller precisely how high to bid, as the seller actually pays the price (to himself, of course) if the item does not sell, losing only the auction fees.

Shilling is an even larger problem in online auctions, where any user with multiple accounts (and IP addresses) can shill without aid of participants. Many online auction sites employ sophisticated (and usually secret) methods to detect collusion, and a number of people have been sent to jail for online auction fraud in the past decade. See more at: The Hazards of Online Auctions The online auction business model is one in which participants bid for products and services over the internet. ... An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique address that devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP)—in simpler terms, a computer address. ... Collusion is a term to refer to acts of cooperation or collaboration among rival entities. ...

A common shilling tactic is to have two shills. The first is a young child (or some other sympathetic character) who offers a low bid for a moderately-priced item. Other auction participants will be reluctant to outbid him. The second shill is an ill-mannered and usually overweight man who does just that—he outbids the kid, who starts crying. In theory, this should provoke other auction participants to outbid the man solely for the sake of beating him; by bidding well beyond the item's value, he can artificially increase prices. Price gouging is a term of variable, but nearly always pejorative, meaning, referring to a sellers asking a price that is much higher than what is seen as fair under the circumstances. ...

This practice is illegal in virtually all jurisdictions.

Shill bidding may be a common practice on eBay. In his book FAKE: Forgery, Lies, & eBay, Kenneth Walton describes how he and his cohorts placed shill bids on hundreds of eBay auctions over the course of a year. While some dishonest sellers consider shill bidding a harmless act, it may violate U.S. federal law. Walton and his cohorts were charged and convicted of fraud by the United States Attorney for their eBay shill bidding. Most eBay sellers seriously frown on the practice and many spend considerable time trying to "out" those among them that use shill bidders as well as working to increase public knowledge of how to protect themselves from said shilling. In general, auctions having many bidders with very low (less than 20 or so) and/or no feedback could be suspect. eBay headquarters in San Jose eBay North First Street satellite office campus (home to PayPal) eBay Inc. ... Kenneth Andrew Walton(born November 23, 1967) is an American software developer and author of the memoir FAKE: Forgery, Lies, & eBay, which details his time spent selling forged art on the online auction site eBay. ...

Shills in journalism

Many people consider the use of shills in journalism—usually by commercial or political interests—to be the most dangerous of all.[citation needed] The term is applied metaphorically, by comparison with the above, to commentators who have vested interests in or associations with parties in a controversial issue. Usually this takes the form of a show or network pretending to be offering news when in fact they are simply repeating "talking points" offered by a political party.

Journalistic ethics, of course, require full disclosure of conflicts of interest, and of any interference by other parties with the reportage. But it is difficult to draw the line between normal influence and illicit interference. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the internalization of sponsors' values by members of commercial media make it impossible to notice such conflicts of interest. Journalism ethics or journalistic ethics refers to a set of rules or morals adopted by news organizations or members of the news media. ... A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, a politician, or an executive or director of a corporation, has competing professional or personal interests. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Shill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1790 words)
Shills are illegal in many circumstances and in many jurisdictions because of the frequently fraudulent and damaging character of their actions.
Shilling is an even larger problem in online auctions, where any user with multiple accounts (and IP addresses) can shill without aid of participants.
Shill bidding may be a common practice on eBay.
Wallace Shill (1023 words)
Shill was more of a witness than an active participant in the very early pioneer struggles in Pawnee County, since he was only seven years of age when his parents came to this region in 1878.
William H. Shill died in Pawnee County in 1888, at the age of sixty-six.
Wallace Shill was born in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, November 17, 1871, but nearly all his education was acquired in Pawnee County and it was limited in amount and quality.
  More results at FactBites »



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