Moore: The Fifty Cent Army – When trolls outnumber blog readers

China has a “50 cent army”, Russia is catching up with its 50 ruble army and the US goes for viral marketing using tame bloggers.   The “army” is paid to make pro-government posts, tweets and comments. What do you do when trolls outnumber the readers?

For some members of the original Chinese “50 Cent Party” it was a full time job, receiving up to 50 cents (two yuan) each for up to a hundred pro-government messages posted a day, using several dozen different accounts. Eight years ago, when Chinese propaganda officials … organized the pro-government posters already out there. The propaganda bureaucracy (which is huge in China) did so and got so many volunteers that they soon developed a test to select the most capable posters, and also set up training classes to improve the skills of volunteers. Cash bonuses were offered for the most effective work. At one point, the government had nearly 100,000 volunteers and paid posters operating. This quickly evolved into the 50 Cent Army, and now the 50 Ruble Army in Russia.

In the US this is mostly from private enterprise but includes a stable of tame political bloggers who help out.  Think JOURNOLIST and look for a spitoon to get the taste out of your mouth.

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