Vietnam Admits Deploying Shill Bloggers to Support Government

January 14th, 2013

Via: BBC:

Vietnamese propaganda officials have admitted deploying people to engage in online discussions and post comments supporting the Communist Party’s policies.

The party has also confirmed that it operates a network of nearly 1,000 “public opinion shapers”.

They are assigned with the task of spreading the party line.

The tactic is similar to China’s model of internet moderators who aim to control news and manipulate opinion.
‘Political opportunists’

Hanoi Propaganda and Education Department head Ho Quang Loi said that the authorities had hired hundreds of so-called “internet polemists” in the fight against “online hostile forces”.

While the exact number of these activists is unknown, Mr Loi revealed that his organisation is running at least 400 online accounts and 20 microblogs.

Regular visitors on popular social media networks in Vietnam such as Facebook have long noticed the existence of a number of pro-regime bloggers, who frequently post comments and articles supportive of the Communist Party.

The bloggers also take part in online discussions, where they fiercely attack anybody who they see as critical of the regime.

One Response to “Vietnam Admits Deploying Shill Bloggers to Support Government”

  1. steve holmes Says:

    That would never happen in a free country. Nope, we’d set ‘em straight cause they would stick out like a sore thumb, right? Right?
    The number of people (idiots, really), who argue ad nauseum with hired shills on the internet leaves me scratching my head. On facebook (yeah, I know, I can’t help myself), I occasionally get friend requests from obvious (to me) paid shills (spooks) because of some of the things I post.
    Interestly, my security settings are such that they cannot see my page, yet it is obvious that they do based on comments they make in requesting my “friendship.” All I have to do is just look at their profile without approving it, and their total lack of posts, new profile, zero friends, no “likes” and the fact that they are excessively young or old with interests in geopolitics, advanced degrees in global governance, connections to universities, live in three different countries, etc, is usually a pretty good indicator that they are in the manipulation/arguing/intelligence/disinformation/psyops business. Funny how their profile disappears after a couple weeks of ignoring their request.
    I was also told by an admitted spook pre-facebook days that when someone sends you a “misrouted” email out of the blue with all the same interests that you have in anything of a “keep an eye on him, he’s too nosey,” that it is one of the oldest espionage tricks in the book. “They” aren’t just watching, they are proactive by being interactive. It should shock nobody that every major corporation in America has such agents working in them in any position. If that bothers anyone, well, get used to it and behave accordingly because you aren’t going to out smart or out argue them.

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