How to Shill for a Mill (Trolling for Fun and Profit) The old tactics of belligerently touting a school (while obtusely ignoring any factual information or criticism) immediately exposes the shill’s true nature and mission, and has proven to be ineffective. Therefore, a few guidelines on a newer and subtler way to shill have been developed. These techniques work equally well whether you are a shill or just a troll. For starters, do not just jump into a forum where you know the members are knowledgeable about education and start touting your school. It is better to act surreptitiously and make your first posts slightly negative concerning the school. Needless to say, be sure that the criticism is about something other than the degree or the process to earn it (such as admissions, or advertising). It will also curry favor to cast yourself in the role of a victim and say you are now interested in a legitimate degree. Ask many questions concerning every program imaginable. That way you hide your true nature and can always point to those posts later as a defense (it also adds to the volume of posts, see below). When you receive information concerning a different program, thank the poster and then explain all the reasons why the program is unsuitable. To hide your true identity and motives even more, it is also helpful to appear ignorant of acronyms, jargon, and other sites. Little by little, offer tidbits of information about your school, such as how liberal admissions are, how well the degree is accepted in the real world, and how little effort is required to earn the degree, while at the same time bolstering the legitimacy of the credential by stating that you did allot of work for the degree. This brings up the next point. Make many spelling and grammatical mistakes. This will lead some posters to criticize your writing allowing you, in turn, to criticize their criticism. All of this will serve two purposes. First, it will deflect attention away from your unsubstantiated statements. Second, it will make it clear that any dummy (your primary target market) can get a degree from your school. Post a lot. This one of the old tactics that still works very well. Start slow, but by the fourth or fifth month, you should be making about 250 posts a month. Otherwise, you’re just not doing your job. The goal here is to drown out legitimate information. The truth is your sworn enemy; remember that. Express surprise, shock, and dismay at any disparaging information about your school. It helps if, at the same time, you admit to being aware of some small innocuous bit of negative information that is widely known. Make a note of who posted the negative information and find a way to later paint him or her in a negative light and otherwise harass him or her. A good way is to accuse them of lacking civility and manners and being guilty of personal attacks. Your primary tactic shuld be to be critical of any disagreement or argument. This will make you appear as if you place a high value on civility, while casting anyone who disagrees with you on any topic in a negative light. Moreover, it will gloss over the many time you have insulted others yourself. Make it seem that any disagreement is a personal attack. Rise to the defense of anyone who disagrees with whomever you disagree with, even if they are completely nuts (this is actually a good thing and can be used to your advantage). You need to bring to your side anyone who was embarrassed or insulted by having their ideas publicly disproved (there should be more than a few of them). Make liberal use of back channels and private messages. This point cannot be stressed enough. Make it seem that any disagreement is a personal attack even if you have to cast aspersions, make false accusations, and threaten physical violence to make your point. When caught in a lie, don’t argue or feign embarrassment. Just say something akin to, “OK, you got me there,” and move on. People have short memories, not everyone reads every post, and new members will never know. Lastly, make everything be about you. Do not allow any post in any thread make a comment that you do not interpret as being about you. Remember, you are trying to convince others that you are the people’s champion (in this regard it helps to cast yourself in the role of David against Goliath). The key to your success is strength in numbers (both in terms of posts and other posters whom you have convinced it is them you are trying to protect) while the other side stupidly and naively believes that the truth is sufficient to make their case.