You may want to think twice the next time you read glowing online reviews about Russian smartphones. According to reports, a former Russian KGB officer named Vladimir has created a triving industry in Russia, Slavic-ly devoted to promotion of all things...Vladimir, including his Russian made phone.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers fondly remember the Cold War.
Today's humble blogwatcher is Stephen Glasskeys.
Instead of a bridge, Peter Holden tells us trolls prefer getting paid under a table:
We've known for some time now that Russia employs a small legion of online writers -- trolls -- to advance political agendas, but rarely do we get a look inside. The Guardian was able to meet with people who've worked for the group, and even saw a list of the group's objectives: promote Vladimir Putin, smear the US, and, apparently, promote Russia's best-known smartphone.
The YotaPhone 2 is already a well-liked device, but...trolls have [allegedly] been given cash under the table to secretly write and post positive reviews. MORE
Alyssa Bereznak sings Adoration of the Vladi: [Eww. You're fired -Ed.]
Here's one way to win the adoration of the Internet: launch an entire agency dedicated to making you look good.
The Kremlin allegedly runs a troll agency in a nondescript building in St. Petersburg, employing hundreds of paid bloggers and commenters to mock Western leaders...and spread pro-Russian sentiment. MORE
Shaun Walker trebles the effectiveness of a troll:
The trolls worked in teams of three. The first one would leave a complaint about [something] or simply post a link, then the other two would wade in, using links to articles on Kremlin-friendly websites and "comedy" photographs lampooning western or Ukrainian leaders with abusive captions.
Other task sheets demand glowing reviews of the YotaPhone, a Russian-made smartphone, abuse [of a] former US state department spokeswoman, and three relate to Ukraine and the west's plans there. MORE
Meanwhile, Sascha Segan implores you to be skeptical:
The fact that the troll house is promoting a Russian phone doesn't shock me. We know that the Chinese government has similar legions of paid propaganda posters, mostly on Chinese-language forums. If they're paid to promote Chinese products and services over foreign-made gadgets and sites, well, I wouldn't be too surprised.
[Out] there in the realm of drive-by anonymous posting, anyone could be paid by Vladimir Putin. So be skeptical. For your own sake. MORE
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