Invasion of the troll armies: ‘Social media where the war goes on’

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Governments all over the world are manipulating social media for their own ends. That’s where the digital footsoldiers come in – smearing opponents, spreading disinformation and posting fake texts for ‘pocket money’

We don’t know who they are, or what their mission is. We only know that there are thousands of them out there, pretending to be us. They may be at home, or in special offices, or sitting beside you on the train. They use social media, and write blogs and comments. Some of them may visit the bottom of this article.

You can hire your own troll army if you have the cash. In 2011 the PR firm Bell Pottinger told undercover journalists that they could “create and maintain third-party blogs”, and spruce up Wikipedia profiles and Google search rankings. Indeed marketing has a rich history of so-called “astroturfing”, which is laying down fake grassroots. Take Forest, “the voice and friend of the smoker”, which at least admits in nearly invisible small print that it is paid for by the tobacco industry.

Related: Salutin’ Putin: inside a Russian troll house

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Source: china
Link : Invasion of the troll armies: ‘Social media where the war goes on’

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