Consultation-Rigging Trolls Get Council’s Goat Over Bridge Closures – Forbes
Feb 18, 2021,|1,074 views
Thousands of fake comments aiming to skew the results of a public consultation into the closure to motor vehicles of five Newcastle upon Tyne bridges have been discovered by the city council.
Discrepancies in an online engagement platform seeking views on the road changes led Newcastle City Council to call in digital forensics experts.
An investigation revealed the existence of 1,894 fake accounts, which, between them, had made 7,131 “malicious” comments.
The public consultation was powered by Commonplace, an online engagement platform that, says the company’s website, allows councils to “connect with the whole community, hear their voices and make better, more inclusive planning decisions.”