PAP Internet Brigade

From a 2007 article in The Straits Times:

The People’s Action Party (PAP) is mounting a quiet counter-insurgency against its online critics.

It has members going into Internet forums and blogs to rebut anti-establishment views and putting up postings anonymously.

According to The Online Citizen:

The 50 Cent Party are the Internet commentators employed by the government of the People’s Republic of China or the Communist Party.

Their key function was to post comments on various Internet message boards, expressing a favourable opinion towards party policies, in an attempt to shape and sway public opinion.

[In Singapore], the counter-insurgency group is popularly known as the “Internet Brigade” or “IB” for short.

The man behind the PAP Internet Brigade is self-styled “moderate” Singaporean Jason Chua Chin Seng.

While the PAP Internet Brigade responds quickly to opportunities to denigrate the opposition, PM Lee Hsien Loong has been known to block less-than-glowing comments from being posted on his Facebook page (which, incidentally, brings to mind PM Lee talking at length about “Batman, Superman, Tarzan, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” during an #AskPMLee QnA, instead of providing “solid answers” to hard questions).

PM Lee once said that he stays positive online by being “flame-proof.” Perhaps it is this same quality which allows him to ignore the severity of the Singapore government’s long history of authoritarian rule.

If the PM can block or ignore less-than-savoury comments, there’s no reason why the rest of us shouldn’t feel free to block and/or ignore aggressive cyber-bullying types of online comments, whether they’re written by PAP IB’s or members of the public who have a different view.

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