“Fachosphère” in spletna ofenziva Nacionalne fronteObjavljeno: 20/02/2017
Marine Le Pen, kandidatka Nacionalne fronte za predsednico Francije, je favoritka prvega kroga volitev. “Tradicionalne” stranke so ji s svojimi politikami in prevzemanjem govorice skrajne desnice na stežaj odprle vrata. Kjer izredne razmere postanejo vsakdanji ukrep, se skrajna desnica pač počuti doma. Kjer “socialistične” politične formacije na cedilu pustijo “malega človeka”, ki bi ga morale zastopati in imeti s svojih vrstah, tam je pač skrajna desnica tista, ki polni vrste. A to je le del zgodbe.
Razlogi, da je zgodba, ki jo pišeta Nacionalna fronta in Marine Le Pen, tako zelo uspešna, se skrivajo v razumevanju današnjega političnega terena. V razumevanju tega, čemur danes pravimo spletni politični marketing in novodobna politična propaganda. Tam, na medmrežju namreč, znajo francoski desničarji zelo dobro igrati in zadati udarce tudi pod pasom.
Nicholas Vinocur je za Politico Europe nedolgo nazaj pisal prav o tem in razkril nekaj podrobnosti o “internetni vojski Marine Le Pen“:
Not long ago, Philippe Vardon was an anti-immigrant activist best known for carrying out shock propaganda operations, like occupying mosques or serving pork-laced soup to the homeless in Nice, the southern French city that has a large Muslim population.
Today, he is a top general in the sophisticated social media campaign working to get Marine Le Pen — the leader of the far-right National Front party — elected as president of France.
In interviews with POLITICO, members of the ideas and images unit described their offices as a “creative space” that functioned like a startup. Its members credit Vardon with dreaming up one of party’s biggest online campaigns: #LeVraiFillon (or “#TheRealFillon”) — a multi-platform effort dedicated to “unmasking” former French Prime Minister François Fillon after he won the conservative party’s primary in November.
“Vardon is a specialist in all those things, the agitprop aspect,” said Sébastien Chenu, another member of the ideas and images unit, and Le Pen’s cultural adviser.
Vardon is a former member of the “Bloc Identitaire,” a hardcore nativist regionalist movement in southern France. He joined the National Front two years ago as a candidate on the list led by Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, a niece of the party leader, in regional elections. His energetic performance won him rapid promotion; he was quickly tapped to join the inner circle of Le Pen’s campaign, where he wasted no time in making a name for himself.
In an interview with POLITICO, Vardon played down his role in the campaign. Describing himself as a “classical Leninist” activist (a trait he shares with U.S. presidential adviser Steve Bannon), he said he preferred to work in a team and brushed off the suggestion that he was a social media expert. “I know the codes and I use them, but I am not a specialist, a geek … I am more accustomed to the stairwell,” he said, referring to his previous work courting voters in apartment buildings.
But he did describe how his team had adjusted to Fillon’s unexpected victory in the right-wing primary. “We were surprised, like everybody,” said the heavyset 36-year-old. Over the next few days, they parsed every political book and major speech given by Fillon on the lookout for phrases they could lift and use against him.
The material was turned over to the party’s in-house graphic designers, who created a library of meme-like images attacking Fillon, while video editors created shareable content on the same theme. On the evening of November 27, orders went out for the National Front’s youth wing to pump out the video material, consisting of friendly-looking cartoons, as senior campaign officials released the memes. The first salvo — attacking Fillon for having favored providing shelters for migrants while reducing public servants by 600,000 — was sent out by the Twitter account of Nicolas Bay, Le Pen’s election strategist. It hit his followers’ feeds just as Fillon was taking to a podium to proclaim his victory.
“Everything was ready to go,” said Gaëtan Dussaussaye, director of the youth wing. “Instructions went out to the campaign teams, and we pushed it out on all platforms, while doing TV and radio as well.”
As a rallying cry for the campaign, the National Front had coined #FillonGate, a new hashtag devoted to allegations against the candidate. In January, after the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé reported that Fillon had paid his wife Penelope some €900,000 from parliamentary funds, #FillonGate became #PenelopeGate — and quickly rose to the second highest trending topic on Twitter.
“These campaigns rely on preparation, discipline, speed and a huge number of supporters amplifying the message,” added Dussaussaye. “Without them, we would never reach so many people.”
Nacionalna fronta se je torej zelo zgodaj, med prvimi, podala na svetovni splet; ima skrbno izbrano ekipo za spletno politično propagando; njena družbena omrežja so živa in odzivna; premore celo vrsto internetnih podpornikov, v Franciji znano kot “Fachosphère”; pomoč in nasvete za internetne operacije dobiva tudi iz tujine. Nacionalna fronta misli prekleto resno.
Philippe Vardon – v preteklosti je bil obsojen na šest mesecev zapora zaradi napada na nebelce, česar zgornji tekst sicer ne omenja – in njegovi kolegi v “spletnem oddelku” upajo, še zapiše Vinocur, da bodo njihovo internetno superiornost nad protikandidati spremenili v zmago v drugem krogu predsedniških volitev. Čeprav je zmaga Marine Le Pen v finalnem krogu vendarle zelo malo verjetna, pa je doslej videno impozantno. Mešanica terenskega in spletnega aktivizma je skrajno desnico izstrelila pod vrh. Političnim nasprotnikom, predvsem na levici, bi morali tuliti vsi alarmi. Ali bolje rečeno budilke, ki bi jih predramile iz popoldanskega dremeža. Kmalu bo noč. Brez zvezd na nebu.