Activists gathered outside the Central Election Commission (CEC) on November 8 to protest ballot rigging and demand the resignation of CEC chair Tamar Zhvania, as well as holding of snap elections. Riot police dispersed the rally using water cannons.
Like during previous rallies, pro-government trolls again intensified their efforts amid protests, trying to discredit the rally and its participants, on the one hand, and to express support to the government, on the other. Myth Detector has identified a total of 41 trolls.
- Two categories of trolls were identified: trolls stealing the identities of other people (16 trolls) and trolls hiding their identities (25 trolls).
- Two types of pro-government trolls were identified: one part was trying to discredit the protesters and political opposition, accusing the protesters of promoting the spread of the novel coronavirus; the other part was spreading pro-government messages, justifying the forcible dispersal of the rally and focusing on the threats of assembly and virus spread amid the pandemic.
- Nine out of 41 trolls were sharing the posts discrediting the opposition and the rally to their own pages or public groups.
- 22 out of 41 trolls (including 10 trolls stealing the identities of others) have liked the government pages and pro-government news agencies.
- Trolls were making insulting and homophobic comments (“pederast bitches”) and were speculating with religious issues (“a perverted woman hating the Patriarch” – referring to Tamar Kordzaia); moreover, they were accusing both protesters (“Instead of serving the National Movement, go and sacrifice yourselves to protect the David Gareji Monastery and regain the territories”) and the Public Defender (“Natsi Ombudsperson is concerned”) of pursuing the interests of the United National Movement.
Trolls stealing the identities of other people
|Troll||Whose identities are stolen|
|1. Guram Doskiratashvili
||Canadian model Nick Bateman
|2. Tiko Xalitba
||Steals the photo used by many users on dating websites
|3. Nina Razmadze
||Uses a baby photo searched on Russian websites using the name Давид Байгот as a profile picture
|4. Alex Chaxvadze
||Steals the identity of vkontakte.ru user Albert Davtyan
|5. გიორგი გაბუნია
||Steals the identity of Georgian model Tornike Tkemaladze
|6. Ani Makalatia
||Steals the identity of vkontakte.ru user Madina Ramazanova
|7. Gvanca Maglakelidze
||Steals the identity of Portuguese model Sandra Rodrigues Pinto
|8.Davit Giorgadze Indicates the name lashabuta in the profile URL
||Steals the identity of American designer Kai Kühne
|9. Zura Tsintsadze
||Steals the identity of Turkish actor,Baris Aytac
|10. Taia Jorjadze
||Steals the identity of Emily Chartrand, who presents sunglasses in Chanel Pel blog
|11. Manana Lortkipanidze
||Uses the photo searched on a lot of online pages
|12. Nini Amirejibi
||Presently steals a baby photo from Pinterest
|13. Nino Nebieridze
||Steals the identity of vkontakte.ru user Катя Родина
|14. Kato Kekelidze
||Uses the photo of Russian model Irina Shayk
|15. Eter Lobzhanidze
||Steals the identity of German actress Diana Kruger MDF has already identified Eter Lobzhanidze in its report ”Pro-government and Antiliberal Platforms for Justifying the Government in Teen Tragedy” released in 2019
|16. Irma Lekiashvili
||Uses the identity of odnoklassniki.ru user –Svetlana.
Irma Lekiashvili’s profile picture was previously used by pro-government troll Mariam Svanidze who was identified by the Media Development Foundation in its 2019 report “Troll Factory against – TBC, NGOs and Media.”
Trolls hiding their identities
Six trolls hiding their identities have indicated the names of other persons or changed names in their profile URLs:
ტროლის მიერ მითითებული სახელი
განსხვავებული მისამართი პროფილის url ბმულში
Indicates xatia.tediashvili.56 in profile URL
|2. Giorgi Iamnidze||
Indicates ekaterine.guncadze in profile URL
|3. Gigi Gvarmiani||
Has 5 friends, indicates nini.non in profile URL
|4. Nikoloz shurov||
Indicates gia.burduli in profile URL
|5. Giorgi Arveladze||
Indicates interviu.yvelastan in profile URL
|6. ჩვენი შოპინგი(Our Shopping)||
Indicates yvelazelamazebi.ulamazesigogoebi in profile URL. “ჩვენი შოპინგი” (Our Shopping) shares political posts and leaves respective comments.
One of the trolls Victor Reznovuses the photo of masked soldiers. The cover photo involves a caption “активные мероприятия” (active events) and the profile picture reads “Solidarity to Alt-Info.”
|1.Kristina Chachua; 2.Ertaoza Qartvelishvil; 3.Elene Milorava; 4. Nika Nika; 5. Guga Cirikidze; 6. Davit Aprasidze; 7.Sandrix Sandrix; 8. Zeinab Gaprindashvili; 9. Nini Dolidze; 10. Dito Samkharadze; 11. Jandier Grzelidze; 12. Gulo Eradze; 13. Gela Mgeladze; 14.Giorgi Lejava; 15. Giorgi Kevkhishvili, has only 12 friends; 16.Goga Goga, has four friends; 17. Tat ia has 11 friends; 18. Saba Chikovani hides his identity, has 256 friends, including Irma Lekiashvili and other fake accounts.|
Discrediting protesters and opposition politicians
The identified trolls were making insulting and homophobic comments aimed at discrediting the protesters (“pederast bitches”) and were accusing them as well as the Public Defender (“Natsi Ombudsperson is concerned”) of pursuing the interests of the United National Movement (“Instead of serving the National Movement, go and sacrifice yourselves to protect the David Gareji Monastery and regain the territories”). Moreover, they were speculating with religious issues (“a perverted woman hating the Patriarch” – referring to Tamar Kordzaia), calling protesters sectarians (“Go and pee to those sectarians”).
Furthermore, the protesters were accused of promoting the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Forcible dispersal of protests and justification of the government
Trolls were sharing the posts supporting the government and discrediting the opposition to their own pages and various groups.
Trolls Elene Milorava, Nikoloz shurov, Ertaoza Qartvelishvil, Giorgi Arveladze, Saba Chikovani and Gela Mgeladze published the posts discrediting the opposition on their walls. Ertaoza Qartvelishvil shared the post published by Georgian Dream’s majoritarian candidate Giorgi Volski.
17 out of 41 trolls (including 10 trolls stealing the identities of other people) have liked government pages, pro-government news agencies and antiliberal pages.