EU to spend £2million to set up "Euro-election Troll Patrol"
The European Parliament is to spend almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling Eurosceptic debates on the internet for "trolls" with whom to debate in the run-up and during euro-elections next year amid fears that hostility to the EU is growing.
The Daily Telegraph has seen confidential spending proposals and internal documents planning an unprecedented propaganda blitz ahead of and during European elections in June 2014.
Key to a new strategy will be "public opinion monitoring tools" to "identify at an early stage whether debates of political nature among followers in social media and blogs have the potential to attract media and citizens' interest".
"Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism," said a confidential document agreed last year.
"Parliament's institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand 'trending topics' and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths."
“One of the peculiar phenomena of our time is the renegade Liberal. Over and above the familiar Marxist claim that ‘bourgeois liberty’ is an illusion, there is now a widespread tendency to argue that one can only defend democracy by totalitarian methods. If one loves democracy, the argument runs, one must crush its enemies by no matter what means." - Orwell