Opinion: US Centcom targets online violent propaganda

When news of China’s “50 Cent Party”, a cabal of internet commentators hired by the country to leave pro-government comments on blogs and forums broke a few years back, it was largely ridiculed in the Western media as an unwinnable PR strategy.It is difficult to say whether China’s strategy has been a success, but it has certainly inspired copycats, with a recent report suggesting the phenomenon might be coming soon to Russia.According to a report from Global Voices, Russian bloggers have recently uncovered a job description looking for someone to leave seventy comments per day from up to fifty accounts on a single blog.It appears that the United States has been won over by the idea. Not only does the department of state employ paid commenters, but a new $2.75 million initiative led by US Central Command would allow for the creation of sock puppets in order to combat online extremism.

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