What are Internet 'Monitors'?
I'll try to explain the idea as best I can, along with examples from personal experience.
In 2007, pregnant to my last son,I became familiar with the unassisted birth notion and decided to give it a try. It didn't work out the way I wanted it,but another blessing came out of it. It gave me an idea of what an internet 'monitor' is.
What is an internet 'monitor'?
A 'monitor' is either a/ a fake person or rather fake account pretending to be someone else or b/ a real person being themselves . They are sometimes called 'dysinformation agents' too. Whether a or b type these agents become members of an online group with the specific aim of monitoring it,keeping track of subjects and matters discussed and of people involved in those discussions, entering into divisive subject matters and trying to descredit or outwit the people who do the best research and/or provide the most accurate and relevant information there. Some of those people or rather accounts are holding down a full-time,totally-funded job in this way, even controlling a bunch of fake accounts simultaneously through the use of appropriate software.
If you are an active member of said monitored group monitors will usually try to befriend you and then people within your network. At first they'll seemingly agree with everything you say, become your most enthusiastic supporters,posting relevant stuff of their own even. After a while though,the real fun begins.
They'll try to discredit slightly at first ,then openly,everything the person/people with the most relevant information have to say, often play dump or silly and use the ''ignorant housewife'' attitude,while strategically turning intelligent conversations into displays of ignorance or stupidity, giving newcomers and observing members the impression that the group is not to be trusted or so ' out there' that it is not worth giving it any credibility. Or they'll cunningly give an initial conversation a twist making it look like it isn't going anywhere when originally it did.
The more important the topic is deemed,the more they'll infiltrate it to the point where the admin(s) are totally confused over constant complaints and distractions which they cannot logically explain or said admins become fully aware of it,bought and paid for.
Back to 2007 and the unassisted birth movement forum that I joined . There were people there that would seem to support the idea of unassisted birth,but then cunningly discredit it by spreading fear-inducing horror stories and/or controversial findings. Or they'd be all in for,say, the unassisted birth notion and breastfeading,but support all other kinds of totally un-free birth related stuff,like vaccinations, inductions etc.
There was even this apparently crazy pro-unassisted birth chick claiming that she was getting pregnant all over again while still pregnant ,raving about how she was carrying up to 30 or so fetuses siumultaneously,ranging from 2 to seven months old each (see the part about ruining the credibility of the whole group by supporting outrageous claims). The other fake accounts within the group would even support those outrageous notions,further damaging the group's credibility.
And of course there were those women that were naive or careless enough to disclose their real IDs or give enough clues about their identity,those that had unassisted births that did or did not turn a little sour and ended up being reported to the police ( of course by those very same monitors within the group) for child abuse and even having their babies taken away from them.
Agents like these are and have been there for decades and with the internet growing a life of its own, social media websites are no different. The best approach,once those monitors are identified, is to delete them, though I personally favor another,bolder method: to have infinite fun with them, ridicule them and their manipulative ways to others ( don't bother with making them feel bad about it,it wont work,they are being paid to do so and no amount of ridicule will daunt them) or force them into becoming lurkers. Either way their plans are cancelled.
My logis is as follows: they are using public forums, facebook, twitter google+, etc to gather information. Businesses do it, your friends do it, it seems like everyone is snooping around these days. All of them are browsing through what is open to the public and that anyone can gain access to. Nothing illegal here,even though it is highly unethical and their motives are infinitely more sinister (but that's another story). So it is the individual user's responsibility to protect themselves and be more discerning about matters.
We can all be a little more discerining with a little bit of practice.