Wednesday 13 December 2017

Thousands of Turkish trolls try to discredit film on Armenian genocide

Christian Bale, left, and Sibi Blazic attends the special screening of
Christian Bale, left, and Sibi Blazic attends the special screening of "The Promise" at The Paris Theatre. Photo: AP

Raf Sanchez

The makers of 'The Promise', a Hollywood film about the Armenian genocide, knew their movie would not go down well in Turkey, where you can be prosecuted for talking about the mass killing.

What they did not expect was tens of thousands of negative reviews from people claiming to have seen the film before it was even released.

The film, starring Christian Bale, appears to be the target of a campaign by Turkish cyber trolls who hope to destroy its reputation before it is released.

The film has more than 120,000 reviews on, the online movie ranking website. That is almost double the number of reviews for 'Beauty and the Beast', a global hit that was released last month.

The online attack appears to have been directed partly from Incisozluk, a Turkish forum where digital trolling campaigns are often marshalled.

The site urged its followers to give 'The Promise' one star out of 10 on Imdb, the lowest rating possible. "This a lesson that you don't f*** with Turks. We'll kick your a**! This is just a start," wrote one user.

"F***ing liars made a movie about so-called Armenian genocide," wrote another. "Please if you have a membership vote one star."

The campaign seems to have worked, but also triggered a backlash from Armenians and other supporters of the film. Out of the 126,000 ratings on the site 63,000 of them are 10 stars and 61,000 are one star.

The $100m (€93m) movie was bankrolled by Kerkor Kerkorian, an Armenian-American businessman who was determined to spread awareness of the genocide. It is directed by Terry George, who also directed 'Hotel Rwanda' about the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

'The Promise' stars Bale as an American reporter and Oscar Isaac as a young Armenian medical student. Around 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by Turkish soldiers and mobs in the final days of the Ottoman empire. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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