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The [Dis] Influencer- One Year Anniversary

tirian

Well-Known Member
Another thing to consider is that any poster who hasn't at least established themselves as an "insider" can easily appear as one if they follow the rumors and gossip closely enough and write in a creative way that suggests insider information but is really just re-wording what's already being discussed in a more "official" way.
A few of the most outspoken accounts here did exactly that over the years. They have strong opinions (that’s fine!), yet present themselves as ultimate authorities on anything and everything (that’s bad); but a true industry professional knows better.

Still, it’s all ultimately entertainment and gossip for fans. ;)
 

tirian

Well-Known Member
Great post!

I always find it discouraging to think that I might be chatting with bots and shills on here, and you do a great job of clarifying that there’s definitely a pattern here.

Perhaps we should start a thread about each of the “bombshell” cycles (and the “insiders” who temporarily come out of retirement to discuss them)?
It would probably fall under the realm of “no personal attacks“ to name someone.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
A few of the most outspoken accounts here did exactly that over the years. They have strong opinions (that’s fine!), yet present themselves as ultimate authorities on anything and everything (that’s bad); but a true industry professional knows better.

Still, it’s all ultimately entertainment and gossip for fans. ;)
The opinions of ”insiders” spread far and wide from here. I found this site by watching YouTubers, who got their info from blogs, who got their info from social media, who got their info from here.

I figured, why not just go to the source and save myself from the grating “Hey guys!!” that every blogger seems to start each clickbait video with. But, as @Tom Morrow mentioned, “Wow, looks like the gang’s all here” might be the Forum version.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
It would probably fall under the realm of “no personal attacks“ to name someone.
Good point. I really wouldn’t want to do that. Not looking for a witch hunt or wild accusations.

Edit to add: Maybe Steve could add the sort of feature that lets users up/downvote posts with info that we think may be part of an influence campaign?
 

the.dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Good point. I really wouldn’t want to do that. Not looking for a witch hunt or wild accusations.

Edit to add: Maybe Steve could add the sort of feature that lets users up/downvote posts with info that we think may be part of an influence campaign?
That would be terrible. It would make things more polarizing and vitriolic. Could you imagine how that feature would function in one of those CM compensation battles?
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
That would be terrible. It would make things more polarizing and vitriolic. Could you imagine how that feature would function in one of those CM compensation battles?
That's a good point.

Is there no way to help a regular guy like me know when I'm reading marketing copy from a paid persona?
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I'd say that if they are a forum regular you can probably trust them. If they're a new account with juicy info or someone who only pops in when there's big news, then it's at least worth questioning.
And what about the regulars who swoon whenever the Old Gang pops in with big news? And what about self-styled "Insiders" with very spotty records and clear agendas? I'm not sure what to think about them.

While I don't think either @the.dreamfinder or @TP2000 ever fully disclosed their own involvement in the whole Al Lutz thing, I do appreciate that they've stuck around and continued to post and interact. Both of them have been kind and fun to read.
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
And what about the regulars who swoon whenever the Old Gang pops in with big news? And what about self-styled "Insiders" with very spotty records and clear agendas? I'm not sure what to think about them.

While I don't think either @the.dreamfinder or @TP2000 ever fully disclosed their own involvement in the whole Al Lutz thing, I do appreciate that they've stuck around and continued to post and interact. Both of them have been kind and fun to read.
That's a good point. Also I've suspected that a small handful of regulars on here are with Universal's PR department for the extent that they defend and prop up anything Universal does.

I guess, at the end of the day, us "non-insiders" need to remember to take all rumors and gossip we read with a grain of salt and keep the Doom & Gloom reactions and emotions in check.
 

Mac Tonight

Well-Known Member
I think there are a lot of ways you can define, "insider" on here:
- someone who was or is a current employee
- someone who has close personal ties with a WDI or TWDC employee
- someone with an agenda who read a rumor from another source and is re-stating it here.

For my money, any true insider knows not to burn their bridges by spilling company secrets.
Most likely, they're sitting back with a bag of popcorn reading the "doom and gloom" rumor threads.
 

truecoat

Well-Known Member
That's a good point. Also I've suspected that a small handful of regulars on here are with Universal's PR department for the extent that they defend and prop up anything Universal does.

I guess, at the end of the day, us "non-insiders" need to remember to take all rumors and gossip we read with a grain of salt and keep the Doom & Gloom reactions and emotions in check.

But you'll never know which of us is they.
 

Phroobar

Well-Known Member
I think there are a lot of ways you can define, "insider" on here:
- someone who was or is a current employee
- someone who has close personal ties with a WDI or TWDC employee
- someone with an agenda who read a rumor from another source and is re-stating it here.

For my money, any true insider knows not to burn their bridges by spilling company secrets.
Most likely, they're sitting back with a bag of popcorn reading the "doom and gloom" rumor threads.
I don't think an actual "insider" would visit or post to a fan site.
I mean, would you post to a fan site for your company that you work at? That is a lot of company policies that would be violated. HR would probably want to have a talk with those people. If you don't work for PR, then you don't post about your company.
 

Mac Tonight

Well-Known Member
I don't think an actual "insider" would visit or post to a fan site.
I mean, would you post to a fan site for your company that you work at? That is a lot of company policies that would be violated. HR would probably want to have a talk with those people. If you don't work for PR, then you don't post about your company.
What if it was their job though to monitor the "fan sites" and see what the buzz was regarding certain announcements or leaked rumors? Big companies like Disney likely have entire social media divisions tasked with monitoring their online presence. I daresay, sites like this get visited quite frequently. But of course, no one would (hopefully) be silly enough to register and post under their real names.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I don't think an actual "insider" would visit or post to a fan site.
I mean, would you post to a fan site for your company that you work at? That is a lot of company policies that would be violated. HR would probably want to have a talk with those people. If you don't work for PR, then you don't post about your company.
But that's the sort of thing we're talking about– a "shadow" PR campaign, so-to-speak. The original article (and the drama that unfolded in subsequent threads) alleged that there was a significant effort on the part of actual insiders to spread information/disinformation on fan sites in order to gauge and shape public opinion about Disney business. It's the sort of thing that HR would not approve, but wouldn't know about.

Are you familiar with "reputation management?" These efforts are often outsourced (to maintain plausible deniability), but strategically guided by leadership. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory to think that might happen here, but I've had interactions on here that lead me to believe there's some merit to the whole thing.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
What if it was their job though to monitor the "fan sites" and see what the buzz was regarding certain announcements or leaked rumors? Big companies like Disney likely have entire social media divisions tasked with monitoring their online presence. I daresay, sites like this get visited quite frequently. But of course, no one would (hopefully) be silly enough to register and post under their real names.
No one except @realBobChapek!
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
I don't think an actual "insider" would visit or post to a fan site.
I mean, would you post to a fan site for your company that you work at? That is a lot of company policies that would be violated. HR would probably want to have a talk with those people. If you don't work for PR, then you don't post about your company.
Well, if we're referring to insiders leaking information and gossip from behind closed doors, if you're a top level executive then no, you don't post about it. If you're a little lower, though, you're likely to hear rumblings, rumors, and gossip, and could post about it anonymously online safely since you're not sharing information that was distributed to you directly under a non-disclosure agreements. Yes, lower level employees still shouldn't post about it, but it happens because they aren't watched and monitored anywhere near as closely.

But also:
What if it was their job though to monitor the "fan sites" and see what the buzz was regarding certain announcements or leaked rumors? Big companies like Disney likely have entire social media divisions tasked with monitoring their online presence. I daresay, sites like this get visited quite frequently. But of course, no one would (hopefully) be silly enough to register and post under their real names.
This. Much of the leaked information that turns out to be accurate is quite likely to have been distributed by the company itself. For instance, I remember when the blueprints for Pandora were leaked, which revealed and confirmed that there would be a secondary ride. "People aren't excited enough about Pandora... leak the blueprints!"
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
But that's the sort of thing we're talking about– a "shadow" PR campaign, so-to-speak. The original article (and the drama that unfolded in subsequent threads) alleged that there was a significant effort on the part of actual insiders to spread information/disinformation on fan sites in order to gauge and shape public opinion about Disney business. It's the sort of thing that HR would not approve, but wouldn't know about.

Are you familiar with "reputation management?" These efforts are often outsourced (to maintain plausible deniability), but strategically guided by leadership. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory to think that might happen here, but I've had interactions on here that lead me to believe there's some merit to the whole thing.
Yeah, the extent at which large companies control their reputation through social media is extremely extensive. Maybe we're getting a bit too tinfoil hat-esque here, but a possible reason why the gossip threads are always so bloated with Doom & Gloom is:

- The company has plans to address or change something that fans might react negatively to.
- Rumors and gossip is distributed online that paints the absolute worst possible outcome as "very likely".
- Outrage spreads throughout the fan community and beyond.
- Disney responds that they are "correcting course", when in reality they're just doing what was planned all along.
- Everyone is relieved when the end result isn't nearly as bad as the rumors, and the company looks favorable for "listening to the fans and making the necessary changes."
- Alternatively, Disney remains silent and lets the results of what they actually had planned all along speak for themselves.

Basically, it's all possibly a form of preemptive damage control.
 

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