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New Ploy in the Fraud Against Chevron: AstroTweeting

You’ve heard of AstroTurfing.  Now, say hello to AstroTweeting.  New evidence has emerged that shows people are being paid to tweet anti-Chevron slogans and hashtags. Read more >>

Opponents of President Rafael Correa’s policies, many of them from indigenous groups, protested against government policies on Thursday, including one that would permit the populist leader to run for office indefinitely. Discontent has grown as a slump in oil prices has weakened the pace of Ecuador’s robust economic growth of recent years. Thursday’s protests, among the largest in a series of recent demonstrations and the first national strike, comes a day after ratings firm Standard & Poor’s lowered its sovereign credit ratings on Ecuador by a notch.

You’ve heard of AstroTurfing.  Now, say hello to AstroTweeting.  New evidence has emerged that shows people are being paid to tweet anti-Chevron slogans and hashtags.

The lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador has been a fraud since the very beginning – from fabricated evidence to forged signatures to the ghostwritten judgment. Steven Donziger and his associates also attempted to use a manufactured public pressure campaign in an effort to force Chevron into settling.

In recent weeks, anti-Chevron activities have been exposed to be nothing more than paid antics and faux activism.

That brings us to the question: What do #ToxicEffect, #GreenHope, Eric Cantor, and the movie 8 Seconds all have in common?

Answer: All are topics being tweeted by “people” who are also disseminating anti-Chevron messages on Twitter. Over 200 accounts all tweeted anti-Chevron messages in the same timeframe with the hashtag #ToxicEffect.  They also all tweeted on June 24 about the 1994 movie, 8 Seconds, staring Luke Perry and Steve Baldwin.  And each of the accounts tweeted about Eric Cantor on June 13.  Coincidence? Highly unlikely.

This recent effort only adds to the growing list of instances already exposed as being fake, paid stunts:

  • Fake Protestors in New York:  Activist groups like Amazon Watch and ToxicEffect, and Ecuador’s political leaders, joined together in promoting “International Anti-Chevron Day”, held on May 21, encouraging people around the world to protest Chevron.  They claim events like the one held in New York is an example of a world-wide condemnation of the company.  What they don’t say is that a New York City-based casting company, NYCastings, was retained by an opaque activist group called ‘Chevroff’ to offer $80 for “extras” and $200 for “principle talent” to play anti-Chevron protestors for purposes of creating propaganda videos, which attempt to portray the protest as a real event rather than a paid stunt.
  • Fake Protestors in Texas: As Paul Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek recently reported, Chevron’s May 28 Annual Stockholder Meeting in Midland, Texas, also drew fake protestors paid $85 apiece to wave signs and shout slogans.  That protest was organized by the Republic of Ecuador’s PR firm, MCSquared, and a Los Angeles-based film company, DFLA films, on behalf of Chevroff, an activist group aligned with Ecuador.

The fraudulent campaign against Chevron continues to be nothing more than another well-funded fraud.



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