Duterte’s Troll Army. A state-backed cyber-terrorist attack against it’s own people.
Let’s admit it. Duterte’s troll army as it is called is no longer just a figment of our imagination and it’s of course has been presumptuously proven. Even Duterte himself admitted to using trolls last election after partnering themselves with Cambridge Analytica’s sister company. The same company accused of being a Russian hired propaganda network who used compromised user-data to target and influence the United States presidential elections.
In fact, almost 80 to 90% of political videos you see on Youtube were all ‘fake news’ directed against the opposition and or praising Duterte out from fake achievements. Youtube hasn’t really done anything to quell the massive distribution of these deceptive online propaganda channels which aims to divide Filipinos and influence their political beliefs.
Thus, creating a climate of polarization. Where dissent is met with death-threats and hate messages. People would rather stay silent than being attacked by Duterte’s trolls. Friends and families are divided. Relationships are strained. The moral and religious fiber of Filipino society is for the first time held into question.
The Kool-aid effect.
Duterte’s troll-army is working with a vast network of content-creators paid to create a variety of fake stories and memes to boost Duterte’s popularity or to mock and damage Duterte’s enemies. Unbeknownst to the gullible-minded Filipinos. They were all under the spell of Duterte’s well coordinate troll maneuvers.
Here’s what we’ve known so far in terms of how troll networks operates.
1. Create fake and outrageously viral content – This could come in pictures or memes. To try and spread a cloud of intrigues to whomever it’s directed to.
Example : This video of De Lima’s sex-scandal has gone viral online reaching millions of people nationwide. The congressmen in the House of Representatives were even seen laughing at it.
2. Unleash the trolls to like, share and comment en-masse in order to amplify the posts and reach more people.
The number of likes, shares and comments the posts gets also gives it a bit more legitimacy and makes it appear to be what most people agrees to be true. It gives a false sense of consensus and online majority — people with dissenting views will also felt it hard to comment and call the posts out since the large majority of the commentators agrees to it.
3. Mass reporting of posts and pages – who shares contradicts their propaganda efforts.
Duterte’s well-funded online army. Will also marches against websites and pages intended to debunk their propaganda efforts. They does it in a way of circumventing Facebook’s community safety reporting tool causing relevant pages to be taken down and silenced.
Duterte’s cyber-army is de-educating Filipinos.
It has become apparent that what is then called ‘Free Speech’ has now become ‘Free Hate Speech’. People no longer cared calling anyone they didn’t like in vulgar names or perhaps even threatening those that they disagree with to be brutally murdered or raped — just to satisfy their innermost sadistic desire.
Of course, the President himself has set an example of misyogyny, violence and hate-speech as a prime example through which young people are now starting to emulate to. Slowly, our morality as keen and civilized people is now being questioned in the International community of nations. We were once thought to be a conservative country with strong religious upbringing. But now. All of these things are mere whispers in the wind. Duterte even called ‘God stupid’ and the religious groups all over the country couldn’t do much to stop his unruly behavior.
Duterte’s online propaganda campaign is mirrored upon Duterte’s personality. And that its goal was to forcibly normalize misogyny, violence and stupidity as part of the Filipinos societal psych. Whether you agree with me or not. Duterte is making ‘morons’ out of its people. And it needs to stop.