16 March 2014

Rwanda: How to Spread Rwandan Propaganda, and Intimidate Opponents? Twitter, of Course

Photo: Paulo Filgueiras/UN
Rwanda President Paul Kagame.


Last week, a few unfortunate clicks revealed to the world that the Twitter account of Rwandan President Paul Kagame is run by the same person who spews pro-Rwanda propaganda under the handle @RichardGoldston.

The faux Goldston is, of course, allowed to be a lot less guarded than Kagame himself, and a trawl through his Twitter cache offers up a few revelations - none of which are complimentary toward South Africa. No wonder SA-Rwanda relations are at an all-time low. By SIMON ALLISON.

The Internet is full of trolls. As journalists, ignoring them is a professional necessity - all that anonymous hate and vitriol is kryptonite to the self-confidence of any writer. But trolling is only as effective as it is anonymous; out of the shadows, the troll suddenly becomes accountable.

And so it is with a certain sense of schadenfreude that we at the Daily Maverick have been following the story of @RichardGoldston, a troll whose mask slipped in spectacular fashion last week.

During an unpleasant Twitter argument with the academic Laura Seay (@texasinafrica), online observers were shocked when Rwandan President Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) suddenly joined in the debate, seeming to pick up from where Goldston left off. Then Kagame's ...

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