Wanted. Professional Online Commentators.
AN IMAGINED RECRUITMENT ADVERTISEMENT
Let me get this straight. This is a prestigious job. We are not trolls. We are pros. Online warrior is the title bestowed upon us by our dear Party.
You have to be driven by unfaltering loyalty to the Party. This is measured by how effusively and openly you praise our dear leaders, the number of times you like our leaders’ FB pages and their FB posts, the number of times our leaders’ photos are posted on your FB page with flattering captions, and the number of like-minded FB friends you have.
You have to have an unquestioning mind. If you answer YES to all these questions without blinking an eye, then you are the one we are looking for:
1. Foreigner influx is good for Singapore
2. Democracy is bad
3. Freedom is bad
4. Minimum wage is bad
5. Maximum wage for our leaders is good
6. Our MRT system is the best in the world
Don’t be shy to lavish praise on our dear leaders and the Party (“Long live the Party!”; “Long Live XXX!”). If you’re unsure of how to do it, learn from our dear comrades from equally admirable, long-reigning one-party states of the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. A little hysteria is fine and appreciated by our leaders (Come on, show the world Singaporeans are not emotionless).
Try to make (preferably intelligent) rebuttals to criticisms on the Internet. This is an art many of us in the existing squad are struggling to master. But no worries! Here are some tips from our veterans:
1. If you can’t convince them, confuse them. Just spout any gibberish. This comes naturally to us as experience shows (What did I tell you? We are pros :)).
2. False dilemma. Emulate our world class media that is adept at this. For example: Do you want Singapore to be a successful city grappling with some problems or a backwater town crying for foreign investments? Or: You want less foreigners, fine! Be prepared to pay more for services!
3. Always compare Singapore to somewhere worse-off. For example: Who says our MRT is cramped? Have you seen how cramped the trains are in Japan? Be grateful, Singaporeans!
4. If you can’t think of somewhere worse-off, simply say our problems are global problems. For example: Escalating cost of living is a global problem, so what can our leaders do???
5. Two wrongs make a right. The logic goes like this: Ah Beng threw his cigarette butt on the ground. So it’s perfectly fine for Ah Meng to pee in the lift too (Don’t get it? Okay then just copy and paste the sample rebuttals from our online manual).
6. Straw man fallacy. Distort and attack. For example: When someone says Singapore should have greater freedom of speech, we shall respond, “Fine let everyone say whatever he wants and give free rein to hate speech!”
7. Intimidate and instill fear. Take a cue from our dear Leader. For example: You want more social security for the poor and needy, then you must pay more taxes! Or our favorite textbook example: Vote for us or repent!
8. Hurl insults at the opposition and the critics to your heart’s content. Have no fear because we are sanctioned by the Party.
9. If all else fails, just say something stupid/rude and wait for others to bite the bait. Pick a fight and derail the constructive debate going on.
10. When you can’t cope with the onslaught of intelligent criticisms (which happens very often), just delete the comments as fast as possible (newbies will attend a fast-fingers induction course).
We follow our dear leaders. So your pay is benchmarked against the best in the industry, i.e. around renminbi 50 cents per post.
Outstanding ones will be duly recognized and get to rub shoulders or shake hands with our leaders. Really lucky ones will be featured in our Party’s magazine!
If you are still hesitant, remember: We may be outnumbered in the cyber world but this is inconsequential. Because what matters is the REAL world, and in the real world we have the entire establishment behind us.
Shortlisted candidates will attend an exchange program in China where they can learn from the real pros, the 50-cents party.
Preference will be given to former 50-centers in China, consummate sycophants, ex-propagandists (particularly those from our world class media) and ex-school bullies.
Foreign talents are most welcome to apply (Oh what will Singapore be without you!).