MANILA, Philippines- To take advantage of the power of social media, politicians are now using paid internet trolls in social media propaganda wars to make themselves more appealing and destroy rivals, according to a report by ABS-CBN News.
Former columnist and current PR and Social Media Strategist Armand Nocum in an interview with ABS-CBN said trolls use fake social media accounts to amass likes or dislikes, spread scandals or even bully certain personalities on social media.
“Sila rin yun nagla-like o nagcocomment sa lumalabas sa ABS-CBN online, sa lumalabas sa Inquirer online or Rappler,” Nocum said.
Nocum finds it disturbing how trolls and bots seemingly spread “madness” on social media. He believes that there should be some rules of engagement for the so-called keyboard warriors.
Meanwhile, Pompee La Vina, Social Media Director of the Duterte campaign, sees nothing new with the use of trolls.
“Media is really a weapon, it’s been used as a weapon all these years in politics. So what’s new? Ibig sabihin ba weaponising pwede yung traditional media pero yung social media hindi pwede?”
In an article written by veteran journalist Maria Ressa for Rappler titled “Propaganda war: Weaponizing the internet”, she claimed that paid trolls are used to create social movement by “exploiting the economic, regional and political divides” in the society.
Ressa, in her article also alleged that paid trolls and fake accounts strengthen the Facebook page of social media personality and sexy performer Mocha Uson. The two figured in a word war prompting supporters of Uson to unfollow Rappler and post photos of them holding signs with the hashtag #HindiKamiBots on Facebook.
Watch the video report.
How to Deal with Trolls?
Trolls are everywhere in the online world, out to ruin anyone’s online reputation. If you have fallen victim to their manipulative ways, here are a few things you can do to deal with them.
- No matter how difficult it is, do your best to ignore them.
- Make light of the troll’s comment and use humor to fight them.
- If you decide to fight back, make sure to arm yourself with the right facts.