Media: Serbia has created an 'army of online trolls'

Experts assert that the Serbian government has a whole army of internet trolls that creates a parallel reality on the web. They post stories indicating that everything is fine in the country and any critics of the authorities are enemies of Serbia, Duetsche Welle reported.

A Serbian news agency interviewed a woman who claims to have been one of the "fighters" in the Internet trolls’ army. This army is used by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and its leader, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, for their own purposes.

Trolls are disguised as ordinary citizens in forums, social networks, and comments to various articles, praising the government and demonizing the dissenters.

According to the woman, crews of trolls exist in many cities, but the offices are hidden from view. The work of the staff is organized in shifts and they are watched by supervisors. The salary of these "fighters" starts at 370 euros, which is in line with and even exceeds the average wage in the country.

The Popular Leader of the Government, Aleksandar Vučić, and his Serbian Progressive Party came to power five years ago, and since then have been winning convincing victories in the elections. This politician from Belgrade has a rich political experience gained in the 1990s.

In the last years of the Milosevic regime, when the war in Kosovo still raged, the then militant nationalist Vucic served as the Minister of Information. He was engaged in what many people called propaganda and censorship. After a triumphant return to the political scene, Vucic, with his new party, positions himself as a pro-European politician who has changed and is ready to work day and night for the sake of the future of his people.

However, critics of the Serbian Prime Minister have accused him of an authoritarian style of government, of distributing posts to his faithful supporters, and of taking total control of the media space.

  Online Trolls, Serbia