The next time you struggle to comprehend how someone could spend their time trolling the Internet in order to defend and downplay whatever government cover-up or abuse is in the news this week, consider the fact that they may be on a government payroll.
The Canadian government has been caught paying a media group to monitor online political discussion and respond to “misinformation,” in order words to spread state-sanctioned propaganda, in the latest scandal to hit the Harper administration.
“Under the pilot program the Harper government paid a media company $75,000 to monitor and respond to online postings about the east coast seal hunt,” reports News1130.
“The government has a lot of power, that it feels the need to monitor public bulletin boards, or places where people express views and then to respond to that, seems to me going beyond a reasonable action the government should be taking,” said UBC Computer Science professor and President of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Richard Rosenberg.
A poll carried on the News1130 website shows that the majority of respondents, 77 per cent, are not intimidated by the fact that the government is monitoring their online conversations, and would not regulate the information they post on the Internet.
Accusations that people who defend the seemingly indefensible in the aftermath of government atrocities, wars and scandals are in the pay of unscrupulous authorities, circulate on a regular basis. But the fact is that governments and transnational corporations have made a habit of using the Internet to spread propaganda by using individuals who pose as neutral observers.
I have wondered many times why the people I encounter on message boards are so vehemently communist.
Now I know.