Venezuela pays people to tweet state propaganda and deepfake videos

Venezuela pays people to tweet state propaganda and deepfake videos

BBC News reports that the Venezuelan government is paying people to tweet in support of it, in an attempt to drown out the noise of its critics.

Every day, Venezuela’s ministry of communications tweets a “hashtag of the day”, which is repeated not only by elected officials’ accounts and state sympathisers but also by “digital troops” like Rafael, who are paid to share propaganda. “You have to space it out to avoid being blocked. I do about 100 in the morning and 100 more in the afternoon,” he says.

It’s outrageous that a Government is paying people to tweet state propaganda.

Can’t they use bots like everyone else?

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For more background on what is happening, and how digital propagandists have been rewarded financially for pumping out pro-Government hashtags and deepfake videos, listen to BBC Trending’s “Trolled” on BBC Sounds.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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