On Sunday, over 200 people showed up at a local church to help organize Occupy Roanoke. The occupation, planned for this Saturday, has become a contentious issue in the Roanoke Valley. So much so that a related article published on WDBJ7 received over 40 comments in just a few days. One particular commenter, cxxi121, appears to be serving as a corporate shill, full of right wing talking points.
Cxxi121 has written hundreds of glowing five-star reviews on Amazon.com for everything from shower curtains to children’s markers. While there is no way to confirm that this user is under the pay of big business, these types of comments form a recognizable pattern. Such fake reviews are a well-documented phenomenon. “As online retailers increasingly depend on reviews as a sales tool, an industry of fibbers and promoters has sprung up to buy and sell raves for a pittance,” says the New York Times. And cxxi121, of Roanoke, Virginia appears to be a paid liar for corporate America.
And why should this person shy away from money for comments of a political nature? With such a long record of apparently paid-for commenting, it is no stretch to imagine that this Roanoker is also being paid to criticize this grassroots political movement. The talking points, such as class warfare (capitalized for emphasis) and anarchy, are obviously pulled straight from right-wing propaganda. In reality, Occupy Roanoke is incredibly far from the image portrayed by cxxi121. The group represents the demographics of the Roanoke Valley almost perfectly, containing a mixture of young, middle aged, and retired persons from all walks of life. Business owners and the unemployed alike will join on Saturday, and the lies of cxxi121 will hopefully have little, if any, impact.