A study by the UK’s University of Oxford has discovered that about 10 million pesos was spent to rent on-line trolls to unfold propaganda for President Duterte and goal his opponents.
The study entitled Troops, trolls and troublemakers: A worldwide stock of organized social media manipulation examines how political events and candidates in 28 nations deploy “cyber troops” to form public opinion.
The nations examined within the analysis have been Argentina, Azerbaijan, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Mexico, North Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The study stated that Duterte’s crew of as much as 500 trolls posted “nationalistic and pro-government” feedback and focused dissenters for “harassment” involving “verbal abuse, hate speech, discrimination and/or trolling against the values, beliefs or identity of a user or a group of users online”.
Fake accounts, together with “bots”, have been additionally proven to have been deployed. These have been used to flood social media websites with “spam and fake news” and inflate the variety of likes, shares and retweets to create “an artificial sense of popularity, momentum or relevance”.
The report stated: “This is totally different to conventional digital marketing campaign methods, which have usually centered on spreading details about the occasion or candidate’s platform, or despatched commercials out to voters.
“Social media has become a valuable platform for public life. It is the primary medium over which young people, around the world, develop their political identities and consume news. However, social media platforms — like Facebook and Twitter — have also become tools for social control.”
The study alleges that “keyboard trolls” have been employed within the run-up to the presidential election final yr.
Officials of the president’s PDP-Laban occasion have denied the allegations, saying they have been “plain and simple ignorant”.
Similar allegations have been levelled on the earlier authorities. In September 2015 we reported how leftist lawmaker Terry Ridon stated: “Many social media experts have repeatedly pointed out how the Aquino administration has systematically deployed cyber armies – aka Internet trolls – to sway public opinion online, especially in times of political crisis.”
The Oxford University study was carried out in three phases. First, by means of a scientific content material evaluation of reports media articles. The researchers then supplemented the content material evaluation with different sources from assume tanks, authorities companies, civil society teams, universities and different credible analysis. Finally, they consulted with nation specialists to test info, discover extra sources in a number of languages and help in evaluating the standard of sources.