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Monday, 14 January 2013 10:36

Vietnamese conscripts army of bloggers

Written by Nick Farrell



Invading news sites that take the piss


The glorious Vietnamese Communist Party has hired an army of bloggers to troll online discussions and post comments supporting the Communist Party's policies. The party has confirmed that it operates a network of nearly 1,000 "public opinion shapers" who are assigned with the task of spreading the party line.

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". Loi revealed that his organisation is running at least 400 online accounts and 20 microblogs. This apparently explains why there are number of pro-regime bloggers, who frequently post comments and articles supportive of the Communist Party. They also fiercely attack anybody who they see as critical of the regime.

Their antics were spotted when the BBC Vietnamese Facebook wall when a blogger asked why it was that the US "gave themselves the right to criticise other nations on human rights". Another post slammed pro-democracy campaigners. It did not say anything really, just abuse.  

"The so-called democracy activists and intellectuals are becoming more and more ridiculous. They have shown their true colour as political opportunists. Their despicability has no bounds," it says. So no intellectual reasoning, just  polite way of saying “democracy smells.”

Loi claimed bloggers helped a great deal in stopping negative rumours and had blocked online calls for mass gatherings in the city. We guess the Vietnamese took the idea from Apple which uses legions of fanboys to troll blogs and praise its overpriced toys to the skies and attack writers who disagree. But then the line between a corporate giant and an totalitarian regime becomes remarkably thin at times.

Nick Farrell

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