A friend of mine found this want ad in the Calgary edition of Craigslist (it has since been taken down) that answers a longstanding curiosity of mine as to where trolls get their fuel. Someone's paying them.
I can't prove this ad wasn't placed by someone on the left, trying to discredit the right. The misspelling of "controversy" makes the writer look kind of dumb. But it feels legit to me. There's a national election coming up in Canada. The Conservatives are in power and naturally want to stay there. At least some people read the comments in news articles, blog posts and Facebook pages. If you can falsely inflate the amount of reactions of any given political stripe on social media, you can make it seem like those points of view are more prevalent than they actually are. And that in itself is a pretty satisfying explanation to something I've wondered about for a long time: where do the wingnuts who spout shit and initiate asinine debates where they're unwilling to really dialogue, much less concede the slightest point in comments sections find the time and energy to do all that?
Here's the ad's full text:
Writers Needed To Post Right-Wing Comments (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax)
Date: 2011-03-28, 3:18PM MDT
Writers needed to post right-wing comments to social media and news outlets.
We are a social media company working for a political organization, hired to help balance the left-wing bias of the major media outlets by supplying a team of writers who will post to newspaper comments, media forums, Facebook pages, etc.
Your writing must be strong, right-wing and use the supplied talking points without being bogged down in too much detail. You are creating an online persona with a consistent tone. Ideally you can find or construct facts and statistics to stir controversey. Where suited humour is welcome.
You are a news junky who is able to log on to news forums and Facebook pages several times a day. You are able to write comments tailored to new topics while repating key talking points.
Compensation: TBD, hourly rate and volume of online activity. Bonuses for controversial postings that heat up a topic or forums thread.
How to apply: We are more interesting in your writing than your resume. To apply submit a 100 word post based on the headline “Ignatieff Promises No Coallitions after Election”. Show us that you can write from a right wing character voice, score points, stir outrage and use humour.
Be sure to include your name, email and cell number so we can contact you.
Sorry, only candidates who submit the best submissions will be contacted for an interview.
- Location: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax
- Compensation: See Above
- Telecommuting is ok.
- This is a contract job.
- This is at a non-profit organization.
- OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities
- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
- Please, no phone calls about this job!
- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.