As the Telegraph reports, you never know whom you’re talking to online:
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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. The European Parliament is to spend almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling [discussions] on the internet for “trolls” amid fears that hostility to the EU is growing.
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”.
A confidential document agreed last year said: “Parliament’s institutional communicators must monitor public conversation in real time, and have the capacity to react quickly, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths.” Training for parliament officials begins later this month.