Troll Patrol

These days most Internet news websites allow readers to post comments after they read articles and opinion pieces. And boy, does our work get commented on.

Whether it’s an op-ed or a letter to the editor that we might write, a third-party news article, or an opinion piece written by grassroots HumaneWatch supporters, lots of people seem to have an opinion. And that’s great: It’s important to weigh in so other readers can learn what you know and consider what you think.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with this concept. But few realize that the Humane Society of the United States has its own team patrolling the Internet to attack HumaneWatch and others who want to hold the organization accountable for its lack of humane society-ness.

The oddest thing about this team is that they never use their own names when posting. (One of them was “busted” last week by a well-known Chicago pet blogger.) And we’ve documented before how sometimes they can use unethical tactics to hide their identities.

In the interest of leveling the playing field, today we’re matching up the online “avatars” with the HSUS “emerging media team” employees who use them:

Any time you see one of these paid damage-control flacks dodging tough questions or regurgitate HSUS’s party line, feel free to say "Hi" and call them by name. It’s the least we can all do to foster an honest debate.

Be civil, of course. But don’t be afraid to call a faux "humane" spade a spade.