7 March 2019

South Africa: EFF Leads the Information War With Its Cyber Army

Photo: Supplied
Screenshot of a tweet from EFF leader Julius Malema accusing veteran journalist Karima Brown of using "moles" to spy on the party.
analysis

The EFF supporter community's threats of violence and rape against journalist and radio and television anchor Karima Brown this week, as well as a SANEF case against the same group, reveals that the party runs South Africa's most digitally brutal cyber army.

EFF President Julius Malema understands the information wars. In SANEF's court papers, Malema is quoted as saying on a podium in November 2018: "Let's attack, fighters. Let's occupy every street, every house; every space in society. Let us not leave the enemy to chance. Where we meet the enemy, we must crush the enemy. On Facebook, Twitter, social media, be there, guard the revolution. When the enemy raises its ugly head, don't hit the head, cut the head. No time to entertain enemies of the revolution. We must protect the revolution at all costs."

In the statement, Malema for the first time locates social media as a battleground of an enemy to be crushed.

Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N Howard, in the 2017 study called "Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global inventory of organised social media manipulation" for Oxford University, say: "Cyber troops are government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media."...

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