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Cyber-troll armies linked to Duterte flagged as ‘digital predators’

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star
Cyber-troll armies linked to Duterte flagged as âdigital predatorsâ
To mark “World Day Against Cyber-Censorship” yesterday, RSF unveiled its list of press freedom digital predators that include private companies and government agencies that use digital technology to spy on and harass journalists and thereby jeopardize the ability of media to gather information.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines —   Cyber-troll armies linked to supporters of President Duterte have been cited as among the 20 “Worst Digital Predators of Press Freedom” in the world in 2020, according to international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

To mark “World Day Against Cyber-Censorship” yesterday, RSF unveiled its list of press freedom digital predators that include private companies and government agencies that use digital technology to spy on and harass journalists and thereby jeopardize the ability of media to gather information.

RSF said along with 19 other groups around the world, the Philippine “call center hubs” are disseminating fake or maliciously edited content and fake memes, conducting targeted harassment campaigns.

The Philippine “call center hubs” are being used by Duterte supporters to smear and boycott the ABS-CBN network with the aim of blocking renewal of its congressional franchise.   

RSF said the 19 predators include The Cyberspace Supreme Council of China, which imposes internet censorship and supervises the private-run social media platforms like Baidu, WeChat, Weibo and TikTok and had also been blocking and deleting content and apps, and most recently victimized was a Beijing-based magazine that ran a story about unreported cases of coronavirus infection;

Yoddhas in India, trolls who accordingly either volunteer their services or are paid employees of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); the Algerian Regime’s Electronic Flies, a trolls army in the government’s pay to discredit journalists critical of the government; the Russian Kremlin’s Troll Army spreading false reports and videos, publishing personal information and defamation targeting journalists exposing them; the Mexican Troll Gangs, doing social media smears, threats and insults targeting journalists critical of the government, and the Jair Bolsonaro’s “Hate Office” in Brazil who also used social media campaigns of insults and threats against journalists who make revelations about the Brazilian government.

CYBER-CENSORSHIP

RSF

WORST DIGITAL PREDATORS OF PRESS FREEDOM

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