From time to time I’ve had a commenter repeatedly copy and paste at length from online sources. In the most recent instance, the sources were credited, and so it wasn’t a case of plagiarism. But that doesn’t make the comments convincing – and that is for much the same reason that student papers which are a pastiche of quotes are unpersuasive. Copying and pasting isn’t an argument, nor for that matter is it how one has a conversation with other people.
If you cite weak, shoddy, dated, or otherwise problematic material, and think it adequately addresses mainstream science or scholarship, then you are simply mistaken.
“Research” can cover a range of activities. I can’t say that students – or blog commenters – have not done research at all, if they find and sources which lack academic rigor and which all represent a single viewpoint that is not found persuasive by most scholars.
But for this sort of activity, the word definitely deserves to be in scare quotes.