in , ,

Troll farms on the move again as journos Raffy Tima, Jeff Canoy get uptick of new followers on Twitter

Some netizens who are more active on the platform have noticed new followers as well.

Looks like social media trolls are once again on the loose—possibly because of the season.

Reporters Raffy Tima and Jeff Canoy noticed a few extra followers on their Twitter accounts. Suspecting something might be up, they decided to check on their new followers.

Tima and Canoy noticed that these followers all had one thing in common: they had zero followers to their name, did not have a profile photo, and were only created this month.

Canoy even shared a few screenshots of his new “followers”:

Their conclusion: these must be the work of Twitter troll farms who are once again on the move.

A few netizens also noticed a surge in new followers, particularly those who are a bit more active on the platform.

Most of them are in agreement with both Tima and Canoy. Some have even said that these must be government trolls who are gearing up for something big.

What that thing is is anyone’s guess, but we have a few sneaking suspicions.

Early prep for 2022 Presidential elections

While campaigning is not allowed if it is not an election year, it hasn’t stopped incumbent politicians from “stirring the pot” earlier than is allowed by the Commission on Elections.

Netizens on Facebook have already called out the Villafuertes of Bicolandia for plastering their names and faces all over relief goods.

With President Rodrigo Duterte winning largely from social media support, this is not a far-fetched guess.

Show of support (or dissent) for COVID-19 response

The surge of trolls—or more likely, bots—on Twitter might be used to either shore up support for the Duterte administration’s lackluster COVID-19 response.

It could also be a way for government critics to continue latching onto the failings of the current administration when it comes to its pandemic and disaster response.

Duterte, in one of his televised speeches, said he only realized the importance of testing this month. This could be why troll farms are once again on the move—to defend his statement.

While the government has been the butt of jokes and blame for these troll farms, government critics might just as well be using them to further their objectives of overthrowing the current administration.

Counter the surge of support for progressives

International Human Rights Day did not go without a hitch this 2020. Seven activists were arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges.

One peace consultant for the CPP-NPA-NDF was even killed by elements of the PNP, who claimed that it was more of a gunfight.

All seven were arrested the morning of International Human Rights Day, just before progressive groups held protest rallies in Manila for various causes.

The PNP has been faltering in its mandate to uphold the law and promote peace and order, which could be the reason for troll farms being on the move.

It might be a brute-force show of support for Duterte’s “errand boys”.

Fans react to Viva Artists Agency vs Nadine Lustre lawsuit

Former bomba star Vivian Velez “drops support”; baits “Dilawans” into believing her