Roque says no budgetary line item for payment of trolls in social media
Malacanang denied on Wednesday it has its army of trolls who are paid by the government.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said what the government has is Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary for Social Media Margaux "Mocha" Uson.
"So we continue to utilize social media in promoting the accomplishments and the messages of the administration. Obviously, we don't use it for partisan or political purposes because there's no elections until 2022," he said.
Asked if the administration pays for the trolls and fake news sites, Roque said, "No. Definitely not. If trolls are paid by government, they wouldn't have attacked me in the first place."
"I can assure you that there is no budgetary line item for payment of trolls in the social media as far as this administration is concerned. And again I can only point to myself as living proof that there cannot be any official funding or even sanction on the activities of pro-Duterte trolls because as I said, had this been the case, then we would have prevented the vicious attacks against me," Roque said.
According to MSNBC’s report, fake news on social media sites played big role for Duterte's successful campaign in 2016 presidential polls.
Up to now, it could still be noticed that Duterte's "supporters," some may be trolls, for being active on Facebook and other social media sites. They always praise Duterte, while hitting his critics.
Roque said those from the opposition have their own trolls as well.
"We find trolls of this nature also on the other side of the political fence defending the prior administration, attacking this administration," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS