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.
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.
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