Opposition Leader accuses Coalition government of hiring online trolls
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo is accusing the APNU+AFC coalition government of hiring online trolls and paying some local journalist to broadcast its propaganda through mainstream and social media.
At a press conference at his office on Monday, Jagdeo did not provide any evidence to support his claim, neither did he name his source. However, he said he is likely to receive a list of those persons hired in the near future from a whistle-blower.
Jagdeo has reason to believe that these persons were hired by and works from within the newly formed Ministry of Public Telecommunication.
“Some of these people hired [by the Ministry] act as trolls online. Many of them take extreme racist positions with fake profiles and fake names,” he added.
The Opposition Leader said the coalition government has also moved away from ghost writers and are now paying some journalists who are in the mainstream media to write and publish propaganda.
He denied that the PPP was engaged in similar activity, either while in government or presently as an opposition party.
He said while some of its supporters are very vocal on social media, they are admonished to refrain from racially divisive comments.
After a change of government in 2015, it was revealed that the National Communication Network, under the PPP government, had employed and paid ghost employees with state funds to work as media monitors, tasked with responding to critics on social sites like FaceBook and in the Letter to the Editors’ sections of the local newspapers.