Bolivarian Army of Trolls

The Bolivarian Army of Trolls (Spanish: Ejército de Trolls de la Revolución Bolivariana) is a state-sponsored Internet propaganda agency of Venezuela. It is a child agency of the Ministry of Interior, Justice and Peace that is tasked with spreading Bolivarian propaganda throughout the internet.

Army of Trolls of the Bolivarian Revolution
Ejército de Trolls de la Revolución Bolivariana
Agency overview
Formed2017 (2017)
HeadquartersCaracas, Venezuela
MottoPara enfrentar guerra mediática
To confront media war
Parent agencyMinistry of Interior, Justice and Peace

History edit

In May 2017, documents from the Ministry of Interior, Justice and Peace leaked surrounding the foundation of the Bolivarian Army of Trolls.[1][2] The Army of Trolls was created to reinforce a militaristic mindset among its members, a defining characteristic of the Bolivarian government.[2]

Organization edit

The Army of Trolls is organized in a military-like structure which includes:[1][3]

  • Squad – An individual responsible for twenty-three social media accounts
  • Platoon – Ten squads separated into groups of two, placed in task forces involving press, design, hacking, account incubation and disinformation, a total of 230 social media accounts
  • Company – Fifty individuals made of five platoons, a total of 1,150 social media accounts
  • Battalion – One-hundred individuals made of two companies, a total of 2,300 social media accounts
  • Brigade – Five-hundred individuals made of five battalions, a total of 11,500 social media accounts

Functions edit

Personnel involved are tasked with adopting the personas of accounts that range from being a chavista, an opposition-supporter or a sexual catfish.[4] Trolls are also responsible for spreading disinformation and fake news.[3]

Reception edit

Venezuelan NGO Instituto Prensa y Sociedad stated that the Bolivarian Army of Trolls places "journalism, freedom of expression and democracy at risk" and that its creation "extends the surveillance, opacity and censorship status to the internet that the Venezuelan government has increasingly implemented through regulations, agencies and unconstitutional orders".[2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling". Bloomberg. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Gobierno impulsa la vigilancia en redes sociales y la difusión de noticias falsas". Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (in European Spanish). 7 June 2017. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  3. ^ a b "Proyecto de Formación del Ejército de Trolls de la Revolución Bolivariana" (PDF). Ministry of Interior, Justice and Peace. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Gobierno crea proyecto "Ejército de Trolls" contra la "guerra mediática" -". La Patilla (in European Spanish). 12 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.