This reporter caught a job posting offering to pay right-wing people to troll liberal blogs.
Then something caught my eye. It was a job ad that read "Writers Needed To Post Right-Wing Comments (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax)." "Perfect!" I chortled. "I live near Vancouver." But then it was gone
Here's the text of the ad:
Writers needed to post right-wing comments to social media and news outlets.
We are a social media company working for a political organization, hired to help balance the left-wing bias of the major media outlets by supplying a team of writers who will post to newspaper comments, media forums, Facebook pages, etc.
Your writing must be strong, right-wing and use the supplied talking points without being bogged down in too much detail. You are creating an online persona with a consistent tone. Ideally you can find or construct facts and statistics to stir controversey. Where suited humour is welcome.
You are a news junky who is able to log on to news forums and Facebook pages several times a day. You are able to write comments tailored to new topics while repating key talking points.
Compensation: TBD, hourly rate and volume of online activity. Bonuses for controversial postings that heat up a topic or forums thread.
The reporter thinks it might be hoax. This particular ad might be -- I don't know. But paying people to troll blog comments isn't a hoax. It's very real. I've seen it firsthand at Huffington Post and elsewhere. Commenters popping in to make one comment then leaving, with talking points that are very similar to other one-off commenters engaging in the exact same behavior.
If anyone believes every troll is earnest and genuine, they're very, very naive.
(via Matt Osborne and Ashby)