Starve a Troll Campaign

Livelihood is more than ever of extreme importance to many Filipinos in this time of crisis. However, illegitimate forms of livelihood such as trolling must be condemned and punished. There is a virus in the social media space that continue to pollute the minds of its users.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram generate revenues by allowing advertising and commercial content. At the same time, many small and medium businesses make use of social media to generate income through blogging (vlogging), content writing, and advertisement of their businesses, among others. Unfortunately, some individuals also make use of social media by being an internet troll by profession to earn a living.

Internet trolls are defined by PCMag as anonymous individuals who post false accusations or defamatory remarks on social media to promote a cause or to harass someone. This is perhaps the most diplomatic and politically correct definition I've come across multiple sites.

 

Troll farm operations are all over the Philippines, mostly created to support a political patron with ambitions for higher positions in government. Professionals trolls operate the same as regular employees who receive monthly salaries and bonuses for good work. Based on an interview by GMA's news team on a troll company head, trolls are "paid to create multiple fake accounts to promote their client and influence how other netizens think and react on certain issues." Trolls are also paid by sharing fake news and negative propaganda, voting repeatedly in online opinion polls, and posting unrelated or distracting comments to create an illusion of strength for their supported political position or political client.

 

Trolls are normally paid between the range of Php 30,000-70,000 per month. Meanwhile, some are given non-monetary rewards such as government positions or political favors for their exemplary performance as a troll.

 

Artists of recently-shutdown TV network ABS-CBN have come under severe attack from trolls after expressing their disappointment and support to their home network. This prompted several celebrities like Coco Martin, Pokwang and JC De Vera to push for a 'starve a troll' campaign where comments from purported trolls are ignored and legitimate users are encouraged to block these trolls.

 

Livelihood is more than ever of extreme importance to many Filipinos in this time of crisis. However, illegitimate forms of livelihood such as trolling must be condemned and punished. There is a virus in the social media space that continue to pollute the minds of its users. Internal cleansing is necessary; hence the starve a troll campaign may be a good way of cutting down the number of trolls who earn by dehumanizing people and degrading the level of social and political discourse in various social media platforms.

 

If ever a troll is reading my post, you have been warned! A vaccine has been discovered to cure the internet of the “Troll Virus.”

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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