SEE: Sponsored Google advert slams Pravin Gordhan | Fin24
 
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SEE: Sponsored Google advert slams Pravin Gordhan

Feb 01 2017 21:16
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in Davos

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in Davos. (World Economic Forum/Greg Beadle)

Cape Town - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has been the target of a sponsored advert criticising his court application against Gupta-owned Oakbay.

For a while the first thing that appeared when typing "Pravin Gordhan" in a Google search on a mobile device was a sponsored advertisement of an Oakbay Investments media statement published on Black Opinion.

This website is purportedly managed by the Black First Land First movement that was founded by Andile Mngxitama, who was expelled from the Economic Freedom Fighters. The website features content taking aim at the media, politicians, political parties and business people.

Another search brings up a Fin24 story about the same issue.

Initially a search produced the sponsored ad, but shortly afterwards, a second search showed that it had been removed:


The advertised media statement, which was issued on January 20, related to Oakbay's lengthy answering affidavit to the North Gauteng High Court last month, calling for the court to dismiss the application filed by Gordhan. He turned to the court in October last year to ask for relief in dealing with the matter regarding the closure of Oakbay Investments’ bank accounts.

Also on January 20, parody Twitter accounts were doing the rounds expressing anti-Gordhan sentiments.

"These fake news accounts were relatively dormant before January 20th and the last tweets from any of them were on January 6th. On the 20th these accounts collectively published 38 tweets in the space of 50 minutes, and then nothing thereafter," stated JP Kloppers, CEO of BrandsEye, a media analytics and insights company, in an analysis published on BizNews.

He said against a global background of fake news, alternative facts, and misinformation the South African online space seems to be enacting what has become a world-wide trend.

"Particularly in the light of the alleged ANC War Room, South Africans need to keep an eye on potential forces covertly influencing news and social media for their own political ends," Kloppers cautioned.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

oakbay  |  gordhan  |  pravin  |  gupta family
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