The crowdfunding campaign “Adopt a troll” (Adoptă un trol), launched by two civic activists, aims to encourage trolls to come out and tell about their employers as well as about how “troll factories” work in Moldova.
Civic activists Vlada Ciobanu and Dumitru Alaiba launched the crowdfunding campaign “Adopt a troll” (Adoptă un trol) with the aim to encourage trolls to come out and tell about their employers as well as about how “troll factories” work in Moldova. Those who will choose to provide information about troll activity will receive rewards from the donations that campaign organizers will collect through Indiegogo. Subsequently, the information received from these individuals will be published in independent media. At the same time, organizers commit to grant anonymity to the ones who ask for it.
The public thus will learn more about the owners of “troll factories,” about who gives instructions to publish certain posts, about how many trolls exist in Moldova, about their work and their salaries, as well as other relevant details.
“The feature that is common to all trolls is that they write on request and that they have an owner or customer who wants to promote certain messages. In addition to the fact that they can slander or sow hatred, trolls obviously pursue another goal: to generate as much information spam as possible in order to confuse people so that they cannot figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying,” Vlada Ciobanu says.
The information received from trolls may be publicized so that any investigative journalist could use it. Vlada Ciobanu believes that trolls will want to show from the inside how the mechanism works, because some of them disagree with what they do and only accept to do it for lack of funds.
Moreover, organizers believe that thus they could support Moldovan media, which have not enough funds to reward their sources.
“It is normal for investigative media to pay rewards to their sources. It is what any investigative outlet does in a healthy environment. Unfortunately, our media sometimes barely manage to pay for renting their offices. So, let’s help them,” reads the message on the campaign website.
On the day this article was published the campaign collected more than 1.500 $US through crowdfunding. See the funds collecting progress here.
The article was contributed by Media Azi, website of the Independent Journalism Center in Chisinau.