Editorial: The ‘trolls’ of mudslinging

In spring, 2012, then TV reporter and producer of the show "Protagonistes" (protagonists), and later founder of the now defunct To Potami (the river) party, Stavros Theodorakis, in the context of contacts with other parties ahead of elections arranged an interview with Alexis Tsipras regarding Syriza's aims and prospects.

The show was shot successfully and was broadcast on Greece's ERT state-run television right before the May, 2012 elections.

However, the mystery was solved in May, 2015, when Mr. Tsipras was re-elected PM. Their contacts ceased as Tsipras chose Panos Kammenos instead of Stavros Theodorakis to form a coalition government.

With consternation the leader of To Potami revealed that Mr. Tsipras boasted about the army of internet "propagandists" that he created in order to prevail politically.

As Theodorakis recounts, it Mr. Tsipras personally led him to the office of the party "trolls", but the party issued a denial and said that it was an associate of Mr. Theodorakis who actually conducted the interview.

The fact remains that Syriza at the time had built a battle-worthy cyber propaganda army.

Its capacity had been discerned in the previous two years of sterile and vicious anti-bailout memorandum struggle in which on the internet the worst political instincts were cultivated - malice, hatred, and the annihilation of any opposing voice.

To be fair, the other parties acted in a similar fashion. New Democracy in particular built similar mechanisms of its own.

Covert and without compunction, these mechanisms hid behind their anonymity. They were distinguished mainly by their animosity and by blackmailing and basically slanderous attacks on individuals and political choices.

For quite a long time they...

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