Alexandru Culiuc

3 februarie 2007

Marketing online la nivel de "stat": Transnistria vs. Moldova. Partea 1

Recent am discutat incapacitatea Moldovei de a-si crea o imagine pozitiva in occident. Aceasta incapacitate este si mai evidenta daca comparam succesele Moldovei cu cele atinse de Georgia — o tara similara cu Moldova din punct de vedere a marimii, nivelului de venituri, problemelor economice, etc. Insa un sir de comentarii primite la acel eseu afirmau ca succesele Georgiei sunt cel putin partial datorate unor factori care nu pot fi replicate de Moldova, precum interesul geopolitic sporit al SUA in Caucaz.

Sa presupunem pentru o clipa ca succesul Georgiei este intr-adevar rezultatul unor factori externi. Insa asta nu inseamna ca Moldova nu poate face nimic la moment pentru a-si imbunatati imaginea internationala. Pentru a ne convinge de acest fapt, e suficient sa comparam Moldova cu cea mai marginalizata si dispretuita formatiune politica din Europa — Transnistria.

Cind vine vorba de persoane bine pregatite sa reprezinte "tara" in occident, Tiraspolul are deficiente mai mari decit Chisinaul. Transnistria de asemenea nu are prieteni in occident — "chiar si" Moldova o duce mai bine la acest capitol. Insa Tiraspolul a gasit metode eficiente pentru a ocoli aceste deficiente.

Va propun sa vizitati urmatoarele situri:

Acestea sunt siturile propagandiste create de Tiraspol pentru auditoriul occidental. O parte din ele sunt "sponsorizate" de misteriosul International Council for Democratic Institutions and State Sovereignty (ICDISS). Originile acestei "organizatii" au fost investigate anul trecut de Edward Lucas[1] intr-un articol din The Economist. Cu toate ca jurnalistul britanic n-a reusit sa ajunga la niste concluzii ferme, pare a fi ca acest ICDISS este creatura virtuala inventata de propagandistii de la Tiraspol sau de unele cercuri (posibil din Rusia) interesate in succesul autoproclamatei republici. Articolul, accesibil gratuit pe blogul lui Lucas, a stirnit multe discutii la Chisinau. Ah, ce scandal! Transnistria incearca sa dezinformeaze opinia Occidentului prin metode murdare!

E interesant ca nici Lucas, nici persoanele cu care am discutat la acest subiect, nu remarca un detaliu important — toate aceste situri propagandiste dau dovada de o strategie de marketing mult mai bine gindita decit oricare initiativa (online sau nu) a statului moldovenesc.

Smirnov — cel mai anticomumist lider european

Cititi citeva articole din Tiraspol Times. Toate sunt scrise intr-o engleza impecabila, si respecta canoanele stilistice a jurnalisticii occidentale. Pentru a spori credibilitatea publicatiei, articolele propagandiste sunt imbinate cu materiale mai putin suspicioase (la prima vedere), insa si ele integreaza mesaje bine gindite. Spre exemplu, istoria unui accident rutier, sfirseste cu descrierea lucrului eficient al politiei rutiere si a admiistratiei drumurilor. Un alt articol distanteaza regimul lui Smirnov de comunisti, iar al treilea demonstreaza ca opozitia comunista are pozitii politice slabe in Transnistria. Cu alte cuvinte, publicatia face magie curata, facindu-l pe Smirnov jertfa represiilor comuniste si totodata batind cu precizie in punctele slabe ale guvernarii de la Chisinau.

Zece "adevaruri" pe care nu le-ati stiut

Intrati in pagina Ten things you didn't know about Europe's newest country de pe Pridnestrovie.net. Articolul raspunde principalelor critici si acuzatii facute la adresa Tiraspolului. De aici aflam ca Transnistria este o democratie cu multe partide, ca istoric ea n-a facut parte din Moldova, ca ea este o "tara" industrializata (in special in comparatie cu Moldova) cu o economie de piata deschisa, etc. Fiecare din aceste adevaruri partiale sunt foarte bine formulate si fiecare face referinta la un articol desfasurat la subiect corespunzator. In special m-a impresionat comparatia Transnistriei cu alte state mici — dupa mine, asemenea comparatii reprezinta un argument important in favoarea faptului ca Transnistria este o unitate politica si economica viabila. In articolul care "demonstreaza" ca Transnistria n-a fost nici o data parte a Moldovei gasim o aplicatie functionala si potrivita a JavaScript-ului.

Situl de asemenea respinge, cu "dovezi" convingatoare (cel putin la prima vedere) si referinte multiple, "propaganda neagra" a Chisinaului oficial.

Textele tuturor articolelor utilizeaza la maximum puterea hipertextului. Intrati, spre exemplu in pagina Country facts — un exemplu extrem de reusit de utilizare a linkurilor. In genere, situl este foarte bine scris si gindit. Good marketing... sa-i ia naiba!

Veniti si cumparati vizitati, avem de toate

Visit PMR de asemenea ne "bucura" cu un continut calitativ. Doar citeva exemple:

  • Impresiile vizitatorilor din occident (in mare parte jurnalisti) au un mesaj clar "Visitors say: Compared to Moldova, this is like the Riviera". Din nou — o lovituri bine tintita, care inalta Transnistria si discrediteaza Moldova. Si totodata e bine cunoscut ca anume asa gen de "testimonials" reprezinta cea mai buna metoda de atragere a potentialilor turisti.
  • Pagina Getting there utilizeaza o formulare foarte reusita pentru a recunoaste ca Transnistria nu are aviatie civila: "Just like many other of the smallest countries in Europe, PMR does not have its own civil aviation airport." Autorii din nou demonstreaza ca ei isi cunosc dezavantajele, si stiu cum sa se pozitioneze pentru a le minimiza in ochii cititorilor.
  • FAQ-ul de pe site adreseaza cele mai acute intrebari pe care ar putea sa le aiba un potential vizitator intr-o "tara" inexistenta.

Meniul sitului este simplu si bine gindit, fiind evident inspirat de Lonely Planet si alte situri de calatorii.

Concluzii preliminare

Siturile discutate mai sus sunt publicate de o echipa profesionista. Lucas in articolul sau a presupus (cu jumatate de gura) ca situl este gestionat de securistii din Tiraspol. Posibil partea tehnica e gestionata de ei, insa textele sunt evident scrise de "native English speakers" cu studii in domeniul comunicatiilor (jurnalism, PR, marketing, etc.) si experienta bogate in copywriting si "scriere pentru web".

De asemenea este clar ca siturile au fost create in urma unei veritabile analize de marketing, care a adresat intrebarile dificile cu care se confrunta o initiativa menita sa promoveze un stat inexistent:

  • Ce-i preocupa pe potentialii vizitatori si cititori?
  • Care sunt preconceptiile pe care urmeaza sa le adresam si lichidam?
  • Cum sa ne pozitionam vis-a-vis de restului lumii?
  • Cum sa sporim credibilitatea mesajului?

Pentru a ne convinge ca aceste situri se inscriu intr-o strategie bine gindita, e suficient sa intram in paginile rusesti a Pridnestrovie.net sau Visit PMR. Aici gasim un scurt text care motiveaza necesitatea Transnistriei de a-si promova imaginea in occident prin intermediul webului; este mentionata si experienta Timorului de Est. Apropo, linkurile la aceste pagini sunt marginalizate in "subsolul" (footer) siturilor respective — autorii isi dau bine seama ca o asociere mai evidenta cu limba rusa ar constitui o miscare gresita in cazul cind te adresezi publicului din occident.

Probabil unicul neajuns al acestor situri este faptul ca ele nu bucura cu design modern. Insa pentru niste situri de continut asta-i un neajuns minor.

Cititi continuarea eseului, in care analizez succesele siturilor "oficiale" moldovenesti in promovarea imaginii tarii.

[1] Lucia Candu a remarcat ca tot Lucas a caracterizat Moldova drept pagubasul Europei de Est (Eastern Europe’s looser).

Publicat: 3 februarie 2007 7:52

Categorii: Guvernare si politica | Imaginea Moldovei | Web, Internet si IT

Taguri: , ,

Comentarii (28)

1

Elena
4 februarie 2007 16:40

Buna Alexandru!
In raport cu problema marketing-ului, mai precis a utilizarii acestuia in dezvoltarea imaginii Moldovei( in Occident), ce s-ar putea face?
In "concluzii preliminare" de mai sus ai constatat ca siturile transnistriei( pe mine ma amuza mai mult "prednistroviei" :) )au fost create de o echipa profesionala, ai mai mentionat si "native english speakers"...cu studii in comunicatii. Daca asa este, si-au miscat fundurile intr-adevar enervant de bine...
Personal, ma amuza teribil "The Tiraspol Times"-ul lor care mi se pare,vorbind numai de titlu,o debilitate. Dar initiativa conteaza, nu-i asa? Vorbind despre celelalte situri, oricat as vrea, nu pot sa nu recunosc c-au fost lucrate binisor...Dar las'ca ne mai trezesc ingrijorarea si ne incita sa ne miscam si noi odata... Bravo c-ai abordat subiectul!

2

Alexandru Culiuc
4 februarie 2007 19:31

Elena, Tiraspol Times poate parea o debilitate, insa articolele lor sunt scrise mult mai calitativ decit versiunile engleze ale stirilor Basa, Infotag, etc. Anume aceasta engleza impecabila si stilistica textelor de pe siturile transnistrene indica clar ca avem de-afacere cu persoane pentru care engleza e limba materna. In plus, textele dau dovada de copywriting calitativ, care este extrem de rar in spatiul ex-sovietic.

3

Mihai Moscovici
4 februarie 2007 22:36

Alexandru, am descoperit mai demult unelete de Propagand Transnistreana insa atunci am ezitat sa le fac publice. Am considerat ca si asa destula lume se lasa mintita de prostiile de acolo.
Smirnov & Co. isi dau bine seama de importanta comunicarii si a marketingului de tara, astfel au recrutat mercenari profesionisti din occident ca sa le promoveze imaginea.
Pot compara aceasta situatie cu lupta unei gherile de partezani (Transnistria) cu o armata (Moldova). Gherila de partizani, chiar si mai mica la numar, se face vazuta prin numeroase actiuni, ceea ce o armata nu vrea sa faca, pentru ca din start se considera in pozitie de dominanta. Asa si Moldova nu pare sa se grabeasca sa "lupte" informational cu Transnistria.
O alta intrebare ar fi, cine ar trebui sa initieze aceasta campanie informationala mondiala pentru restabilirea adevarului despre situatia reala dintre Moldova si Transnistria? Ministerul Afacerilor Externe sau vreo alta structura de stat? Sau poate vreun partid de orientare patriotica?

4

Val
5 februarie 2007 15:58

Mihai - re: intrebarea ta - cine ar trebui sa initieze campanie informationala mondiala... MAE(IE)? posibil, mai ales ca sunt bani concreti oferiti (de UE) sa promoveze Moldova pentru investitori straini... Poate Fundatia Moldova (Moldova.org) ar putea incepe sa publice articole mai cu continut si nu legate de Paris Hilton, si alte aiurele (mai ales ca sunt finantati de Soros)... Asa ca bani sunt - no excuses now!

5

Alex
5 februarie 2007 16:29

Interesanta analiza a problemei, sunt impresionat. Mi-a atras atentia acest fragment (este pe 'country facts')


Slavs: 59.2% (Russians 30.4%, Ukrainians 28.8%)
Moldavians: 31.9%
Others: 8.9%

Au grupat RU + UA, astfel incit in suma sa fie > MD. Subtil...


Inca mi-a placut asta:


Area-comparative: Slightly smaller than Delaware. Almost twice the size of Luxembourg

Population-comparative: Approximately twice of Iceland or Belize. Slightly less than Guyana

A ramas doar sa exprime teritoriul in "Libraries of Congress" si "football fields"...


Si inca ceva - toate aceste site'uri sunt promovate te organizatii, ceea ce explica de ce sunt atit de bine puse la punct. O analiza obiectiva a gradului de informatizare\industrializare\etc ar trebui sa fie facuta prin examinarea site'urilor cetatenilor de rind. La acest capitol, sunt sigur ca se vor gasi foarte foarte putine site'uri care pot atrage atentia.

6

Dorin
5 februarie 2007 22:04

Salut Sandu! sa nu incerci sa fii diplomat cu dusmanu si sa zici ca tiraspol times si alte aiureli (la prima vedere desigur) de siterui sunt finantate si coordonate de serviciile secrete.. asa si este .. persoana responsabila de propaganda transnistreana este miorul D. Soin si un alt tip Roman Konoplev(tiras.ru).
apoi sunt deacord ca Moldova nu itreprinde nimic ca sa-si cizeleze imaginea si sa promoveze Moldova in occident. Sunt la noi nativi englezi si sunt care pot sa sa scrie bine in engleza.. ramine doar de aflat cine sunt cei care frineaza si evita sa porneasca campania de promovare a Moldovei.

7

Alexandru Culiuc
5 februarie 2007 22:28

Dorin a scris:

ramine doar de aflat cine sunt cei care frineaza si evita sa porneasca campania de promovare a Moldovei.

Dorin, nimeni nimic nu frineaza, caci nu ai ce frina. Si nimic nu se lanseaza nu din cauza unor "frine", dar deoarece n-are cine apasa pe "accelerator" -- nu exista oameni interesati si apti sa intreprinda o asemenea campanie. Apti sunt, insa ei se ocupa de alte lucruri.

Sunt la noi nativi englezi si sunt care pot sa sa scrie bine in engleza.

Am scris despre posibilitatea de implicare a voluntarii corpului pacii in concluziile din partea 2 a eseului.

Spui "ca sunt [moldoveni] care pot sa sa scrie bine in engleza". Nu cred. Nu in engleza necesara pentru asemenea proiecte — aici e nevoie de experienta de copywriting, de cunoasterea subtilitatilor scrierii pentru web, etc. Cei care stiu engleza de regula scriu proiecte de finantare si rapoarte acelorasi finantatori (da si acelea sunt pline de greseli stilistice). Iar engleza proiectelor si rapoartelor (engleza birocratica) este extrem de diferita de engleza publicitara.

8

Lyndon
6 februarie 2007 8:42

Thanks for covering this story (si ma scuzati ca scriu in engleza - mai usor pentru mine, si sper ca sa intelegeti). I have to say that the Tiraspol Times website is not only well-designed (at first glance) and internally consistent (again, until you start wondering whether they actually publish the print version shown in a photo, and whether all of these people with British- and American-sounding names actually live in Tiraspol or in Transnistria); it is also heavily promoted. For example, if you use Gmail, you'll see that for emails with the word "Moldova" (and certainly "Tiraspol" or "Transnistria") in them, the Tiraspol Times website appears as a sponsored link (in the space directly above the message). So someone is actively spending money to promote this website to an English-speaking audience.

Although I would prefer to chuckle at the TT - like one of your commenters, I found it funny at first - it reveals a coordinated effort to legitimize Transnistrian independence. I have heard that the funds are provided through Russian companies (specifically Gazprom), and if you think about it, the cost of maintaining these websites would be miniscule for such a corporation.

As for the effectiveness, it is difficult to guess how many English-speakers are checking out the various PMR propaganda sites. Probably many who find them already know a bit about the situation on the ground and view the sites with the necessary skepticism. On the other hand, production values count for quite a bit in the online world, and it is not hard for me to believe that people have found these websites, read them, and logged off thinking they have learned about a new, "free" country in Europe. Since the Transnistria issue has such a low profile in the West as it is, changing the opinions of (or, put more simply, fooling) just a few people could be exactly the result that the creators of these sites were looking for.

The articles on the TT website are definitely written (or at least copy-edited) by native English speakers, and you are right, this makes a strong impression. It makes bloggers and even real news outlets more comfortable linking to them, and it makes people read them all the way through and understand them. Unfortunately, with some of the English-language translations on the Moldovan wire services mentioned above, you have to know Romanian or Russian in order to figure out what the translator was trying to say.

So with respect to the battle for western "hearts and minds," for now it seems that the Transnistrians are winning, at least in cyberspace. Maybe you can ask some of those KSG experts to propose a few counter-initiatives, also using "soft power," of course.

On a different, and more positive, topic I attended the presentation by Amb. Chirtoaca at the Dept. of Commerce (sponsored by their BISNIS program) in Washington last month, and - in addition to being impressed with the Ambassador's remarks and command of English - I noticed that the Embassy's powerpoint used the Moldova logo that I first saw on this website (http://www.culiuc.com/archives/2006/05/moldova_brand.phtml). It looked good in action.

Anyway, sorry for such a long comment (si iar ma scuzati ca n-am scris in "limba noastra"). I definitely agree that this is an important issue for anyone concerned about an equitable resolution to the Transnistrian conflict - thanks again for shedding more light on it.

9

Doomie
7 februarie 2007 3:29

Mersi Alex pentru un alt articol foarte interesant! Scrisesem un reply mai lung dar am facut din greseala middle-click is s-a inchis TAB-ul din Firefox :(

Anyway, vroiam doar sa arat niste linkuri interesante:
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/09/794de55d-f342-4f9d-8f1a-534a6ea58b78.html
http://groups.drupal.org/node/2014 (asta este mortal, mai ales faza cu alcoolul si cu Rwanda)
http://technorati.com/search/tiraspoltimes.com
http://technorati.com/search/visitpmr.com (putine linkuri in general, ceea ce e bine, IMHO)

La fel, mi s-a parut curios faptul ca archive.org nu arhiveaza decit 2-3 pagini din aprilie 2006 de pe aceste site-uri, ceea ce e bizar. Presupun ca e ceva intentionat (to cover the tracks of the older/worse articles).

Ma amuza faptul ca their subscription manager is "Anna Lesco". Un lucru e foarte "estic" in ceea ce priveste aceasta "organizatie" care arata foarte vestic: faptul ca aceasta Anna mai scrie si articole -- http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/news/back_to_school_for_68_000_students_in_pridnestrovie.html -- in plus la functia ei de "manager" (nu vrea cineva sa incerce sa se aboneze? ;))

10

Viorica
7 februarie 2007 15:56

Siturile de imagine sunt o buna investitie si faciliteaza la promovarea imaginii tarii. Sandu, sunt de acord cu tine ca siturile, despre care mentionezi, sunt facute aproape profesional, dar nu mai putin profesionale sunt si cele din dreapta Nistrului.
Imaginea politica si economica a Republica Moldova este bine cunoscuta in Sud Estul Europei, China, SUA si UE. Cred ca din acest punct de vedere, este clar ca nici o pagina, cat de profesionala nu ar fi ea scrisa in Transnstria in limba engleza, nu va putea profana imaginea tarii. Daca acest lucru s/ar fi intamplat acum 10 ani, poate si era motiv de ingrijorare, insa acum nu mai prezinta un pericol, decat un conflict de interese profesionale la subectul marketing online.
Daca sa luam cele mai vestite centre de cercetare a conflictelor si securitatii (ca de ex. Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) http://www.gcsp.ch; Center for Strategic & International Studies, http://www.csis.org; Center for Security Studies, Zurich, http://www.css.ethz.ch) care au abordat subiectul Transnistriei, au evidentiat momentul de integritate teritoriala ca unul de importanta majora.
Cred ca existenta acestor situri in Transnistria nu sterbeste imaginea statului. Ba din contra, ne pune pe ganduri ca trebuie sa avansam si, cel putin eu, am avut senzatia ca moldova.md si alte pagini de gala al tarii noastre trebuie perfectionate urgent in engleza, si, de ce nu, inca in vreo doua limbi de circulatie internationala ca franceza si spaniola. Acest lucru ar deshide orizontul de cunoastere celor care vor sa ne cunoasca ca stat, natiune si sa ne viziteze. Accentul trebuie pus pe nivelul de profesionalism al celor care fac si pot face pagini web misto. Made in Moldova sa fie Made in Moldova. Daca turismul real devine imposibil pentru unii, cel putin virtual sa fie accesibil. Insa cat de bine si profesional sunt pregatite echipele paginilor web cu sfarsitul md. ca sa faca aceste performante? Deoarece, in fond, cred eu, problema nu consta in existenta acestor pagini din Transnistria, ci in modul si calitatea de pregatire a paginii in general. Formula e simpla. Mai multe limbi, text citet si accesibil pentru toti faciliteaza accesarea paginii, respectiv o mai buna cunoastere a situatiei din tara. Dar imi pun eu intrebarea ? Cine s/ar ocupa de toate acestea in conditiile cand cererea de pe piata online este accentuata pe publicitate si prestari de servicii, cand majoritatea paginilor au continut comercial?

11

Natalia Selaru
26 februarie 2007 5:01

Am mai citit un articol controversat de pe TT semnat de Karen Ryan si chiar eram curioasa cine s-ar implica in asemenea "investigatii jurnalistice". Nu pretind ca am cercetat activitatea dnei Ryan, o cautare simpla pe Google a aratat ca D-ei a mai fost implicata in scandaluri de musamalizare intentionata a informatiei pentru a servi anumite grupuri de interese:
http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2004/03/31/ryan_video.html
Why Karen Ryan Deserved What She Got
"Karen Ryan, you're a phony," said a Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial. She's a confused phony, however, unable to comprehend why faking the role of reporter, on behalf of a government "news release," should be questioned at all. But there's something bizarre here too. Call it her state of mind.

Intr-adevar nu este o sursa o intereselor dubioase ci doar un instrument, insa faptul ca sunt cazuri repetate cand dna Ryan serveste drept acest instrument "nevinovat", denota clar lipsa oricarei amprente de "etica jurnalistica"

Este un element suplimentar la referintele prezentate Doomie si anume:
http://groups.drupal.org/node/2014
"This is Jason Cooper, I am a journalist at The Tiraspol Times & Weekly Review in Tiraspol [...] I guess that I got here as the result of too much booze and some wrong career choices [...]"

Probabil aceats informatie ar putea produce efect daca s-ar carea o campanie inchegata impotriva regimului misel din Tiraspol; (presupun ca daca aceasta campanie exista, fie si la etapa incipienta, coordonatorii ei in mod cert urmaresc acest blog :)


12

Natalia Selaru
26 februarie 2007 5:14

De fapt, tot ca o mica remarca vis-a-vis personalitatea dnei Ryan:

[...]Karen Ryan runs the Karen Ryan Group, a public relations firm that "offers media and presentation coaching to help clients present their ideas in compelling ways." [...] "Ryan is clearly good at her job," reported real journalist Zachary Roth, "Over the last few years, literally hundreds of stations have run -- as news -- items 'reported' by Ryan,[...] Ryan is as happy to shill for public interest groups as for corporations and government agencies"
[...]"In 2005 the New York Times interviewed Ryan:
Ms. Ryan said she was surprised by the number of stations willing to run her government segments without any editing or acknowledgement of origin. As proud as she says she is of her work, she did not hesitate, even for a second, when asked if she would have broadcast one of her government reports if she were a local news director. "Absolutely not."
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Karen_Ryan

13

William Mauco
9 aprilie 2007 12:17

It would be very interesting to see the debates from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria as it seems William Mauco, Jason Cooper, Karen Ryan are there as Mauco, Mark Street and a lot of sockpuppets.

14

Mauco
9 aprilie 2007 12:21

Old and new information tricks Disinformation Aug 3rd 2006 From The Economist print edition Cold-war propaganda wars return

AP Lenin's Transdniestrian headquarters SOVIET propagandists were experts in the art of disinformation: planting specious stories in obscure corners of the media, claiming, for example, that the CIA invented AIDS. Now Russia's interests are once again being promoted by information sources that look plausible, at least until you look closely at their antecedents. Take, for example, the International Council for Democratic Institutions and State Sovereignty (ICDISS), a grand-sounding outfit that says it works on “result-oriented nation-building for new and emerging states”. It produced a report in July supporting international recognition for Transdniestria, a breakaway region of Moldova that has had Russian support and Western disapproval since a brief civil war in 1992. Slickly produced and heavily footnoted, the report was publicised in Russia and Transdniestria as evidence that influential outside opinion was conceding the case for independence. That would be in sharp contrast to all Western governments' policy to date, which has been trying, rather ineffectually, to reunite Transdniestria with Moldova. The report says it is based on the work of a bunch of well-known international lawyers, including a serving State Department official, and academics from Stanford, Oxford and Harvard. It implies they attended a conference at the Beacon Hotel in Washington, DC, in April 2006. The truth is rather different. For a start, the Beacon Hotel has no record of any such conference. None of the supposed outside experts attended it. Those contacted crossly denied involvement, though one, a doctoral student, says he did offer some advice. The ICDISS has now removed the names from the report. That is puzzling enough. But the ICDISS is even odder. It has no address and no telephone number. Although its website, and an entry on a write-it-yourself encyclopedia, Wikipedia, claim that it was founded in 1999, there is no trace of its activities, or of its supposed staff members, in news databases or the internet before January this year. Since then, it seems to be solely involved in promoting Transdniestria. It claims to be based in America, but does not appear to be a charity there (for more on the ICDISS, see this article).

Its website is registered at a hotel address in Mexico, with a phone that does not answer, and operated from a server in Latvia. And that is positively illuminating compared with the report's other supposed publisher, the Euro-Atlantic Joint Forum Contact Group, which seems to have no existence other than its logo. The report itself is written in professional legalese, peppered with Latin phrases and confident references to precedent. But some bits read awkwardly, with mistakes (telephone “centrals” rather than “exchanges”) often made by Russians writing in English. Reached by e-mail, the ICDISS programme director, identifying herself as Megan Stephenson, declined to talk on the telephone, or to give details of ICDISS financing, staff, headquarters or other activities. The group wished to keep a low profile because of its previous involvement in protests in Venezuela, which had led to the arrests of its activists, she explained. A sentence on a dormant Venezuelan opposition website does acknowledge help from the ICDISS, although how, when and where is not clear. “If you wish to reach for the somewhat strained conclusion that our little group of volunteers is a Kremlin front, then so be it, but I again state clearly for the record that this is not the case,” insists Ms Stephenson.

15

Greier
9 aprilie 2007 12:23

Carefull to sockpuppetry, spaming and propaganda
A user who has recently manifested interest in this article has been User:Jonathanpops. His first edit to wikipedia was the creation of the article Wiles (since then, the article has turned into a disambg article). That version of the article was, as you can see, about a family living in York, North Yorkshire, UK: "The Wiles Family and Paul Wiles live in York, North Yorkshire, UK. Paul Wiles attended St. Oswald's Primary Sch....". This was on 9 December 2005. He didn`t edit anything until 3 February 2006, when he re-inserted the link to www.transdniestria.com. While there is nothing wrong with that, a whois search for transdniestria.com reveals that the registrant is the webdesing and search optimization firm "York Interweb" located at 15 Wenlock Terrace (the same) York, North Yorkshire YO10 4DU GB. The registrant was a certain Nikola Makarovskyi, a sovietic... oupps, a British citizen with an interesting name, also located at 15 Wenlock Terrace York, North Yorkshire. A look at the site of "York Interweb" shows that Transnistria.com is their project indeed, and that the contact info for "York Interweb" is the same North Yorkshire adress. In March, Jonathanpops again took personal interest over the fate of www.transdniestria.com [53] [54], [55]. In August, he again added to external links to various articles: [56] and [57]. A look on those links shows that the webdesign was done by the same "York Interweb", and a whois search confirms this: both [58] and [59] had been registered from the same adress in 15 Wenlock Terrace, York, North Yorkshire, by a certain Jonathan Malory. Recently, Jonathanpops had been involved in the Talk:Transnistria#External_links voting, where he had naturally voted against the removal of the site in question (www.transdniestria.com). Other users also expressed concern over Jonathanpops, like this one, for the same suspicion over his link to "York Interweb". The connection between Mauco and this Jonathan is suspicious. Maybe because they are both living in the U.K, Mauco doesn`t forget to add links to www.transdniestria.com wherever he passes. On the DMOZ page, the caretaker of the Moldova/Regions page is Mauco [60], and the didn`t forget to add the link, along side of, of course, Pridnestrovie.net, Tiraspol Times, etc... Transdniestria.com appears often in articles dealing with the Trns propaganda [61] [62]. To be noted in this case is that user William Mauco is a versed sockpuppeter (e.g.: User:Jamason, user WTP, [63], [64], etc). By the way, since I mentioned [65], take a look at the comment on the bottom of the article (from the same www.transdniestria.com site), from somone called "Pridnestrovie.net". Looks familiar??? :D Look again: 1, 2, 3 :))). So far Maucov has ignored two [66] [67] of my interventions, so I adress this to other users, who are not infantile and naive (like TSO1D...). I think that this Jonathanpops is either a sock of Mauco, or that betweent the two there`s somekind of bussines deal. BTW, maybe you don`t want your name associated with me Bogdan, but I just had to say that I apreciate your involvement in the Transndniester articles content and links issues. Take care you all! Recently I`ve found out that I`m Paranoid schizophrenic, so now I`m going to have a break, as to take my pills :| Greier 19:48, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

16

greier
9 aprilie 2007 14:10

I casted doubts from the begining that Jonathanpops is a sock of Mauco, bat rather bussines partners, so PLEASE!!!!!! You`re not fooling anybody with that dialog you two are having there!!!!! Jonathanpops, if you haven`t heard of sockpuppetry and spamming, don`t turn it on me: either stop playing the retard, or look them up in the dictionary. To return: there is a wikipedia rule (a bureaucreat can help me here) which allows users to willingly test their IPs. What would an IP check not only of you and of Jonathanpops, but of User:Jamason and of User:WTP. If the IPs are different, or that they are not some open proxies, where would they lead? York, Great Britain? But why do I have the feeling that just won`t happen? This is left suspended in the air, like all the questions which you deliberately ignore: who are you Mauco? Where do you live? Also in Yorkshire? What do you work? Where do you work, what company/institution? What does it say on the paycheck you get every month? What is the relation between you, User:Liliana Dioguardi, Nikola Makarovskyi, and ICDISS? What do you do in front of the computer all day long editing Wikipedia and DMOZ, adding only Transdniester-related stuff? These are simmilar questions to that of another paranoid schizo, Edward Lucas: Who funds you ICDISS? Where is it based? Who are the trustees? etc... Heeeeeeloooo!!! Mauco? Did you read that? What is going to be this time: the ignore strategy? The divertionist talk? The conspiracy theory? What?????

Regarding the scope of Mauco, I think the best sayd it Edward Lucas: There’s tiraspoltimes.com (published by an elusive Irishman), pridnestrovie.net, visitpmr.com and transdniestria.com. They are well-written – mostly by native-speakers of English – well-designed, and well-targetted at outsiders whose sympathy with the underdog might lead them to support a self-declared state struggling against the disdain of the international community.

This is how it works: Mauco is an employee of ICDISS, and possibly the webmaster Pridnestrovie.net, TiraspolTimes.com and Visitpmr.com. To remind: all of these sites are registered in Latvia and hosted on a server in Mexico. ICDISS.org too is also reg. in Latvia and hosted in Mexico (in fact, on the whois page of Pridnestrovie.net is actually says that the page, I repeat: the official page of the Trns separatist goverment, is in "care of ICDISS.org"). ICDISS, or Mauco as employee, signed a bussiness deal with Jonathan Mallory (wikipedia user Jonathanpops), or with York Interweb, by which they support eachother: you add the link to my site, I add the link to your site, you write apologetic discourses about my site, I write for you, and we all get payd.

This is much more than simple roommates. Those are their jobs, and that was just a simple business deal. They are payd big money by the Smirnovs. After all, those nuclear rockets [69], [70][71] make a pretty damn good profit. But they are amateurs: Edward Lucas: It seems more likely that the ICDISS is a bunch of lightweight opportunists in Washington DC, paid for by tycoons and goons in Transdniestria, perhaps with the encouragement of sympathisers in Moscow. The same money probably pays for the other websites, and also subsidises ‘Breakthrough’, a local youth movement that apes similar pro-Kremlin efforts in Russia. But the involvement is clear: Mauco has managed to make the quality of the Trns-related articles as low as possible. Just look at his edits: some Smirnov PR, creation of the Breakthrough article, link removed, another link removed, etc. And again, to make it clear: Mauco is directly responsable for the content of Pridnestrovie.net, VisitPMR.com and TiraspolTimes.com. The comment by the user called "Pridnestrovie.net" was made on 15th of September. On September 20th, all of a sudden a post appears, and immediatelly mauco comments.

Just another coincidence, Mauco? Part of the BIG C.I.A. conspiracy? Mauco, spare, at least me, of that cheap talk, on how you were invited by TiraspolTimes, and all that gargle... Jonathanpops should be banned for being a spamer, and Mauco should be banned for the constant attempts to lower the quality of Wikipedia by propagandistic eidts.

19

dc76
9 aprilie 2007 14:17

Heaven of Transnistria
Heaven of Transnistria is a popular culture expession in reference to the propaganda attempts of the Transnistrian regime to challenge popular notions of Transnistria as dreary, corrupt region, run by a repressive regime funded by arms and people trafficking, and protray it as a Heaven, a Paradise where people live happy ever after.

propaganda and misinformation of the local population through portraying the regime as a victim, falsifying election results, des-information about outside events, inventing non-existing international organizations which would endorse the regime, ...
propaganda and misinformation destined for the outside world trhough ...
According to journalist Edward Lucas from Radio Free Europe, behind the Heaven of Transnistria is: "I think that the extreme conspiracy theory that the entire thing is run from Tiraspol is quite hard to sustain. I think it's much more likely that it's a mixture of some money from Tiraspol, which might either be government money, money from Mr. [Vladimir] Antyufeyev's State Security Committee, or possibly from one of the wealthy trading companies there," [1]


[edit] Transnistrian propaganda
A series of media outlets and claimed NGO in Transnistria are believed to serve primarily as a means of promoting and spreading a positive view of the self-proclaimed separatist government of Transnistria. These sourse are seldom or never [[criticize|critisizing[[ the autorities. In the instances they do the criticism of inessential details ,or of details clearly outside the conrol of the autorities, is used rather as a mask to promote a positive view. The tone or the report is strikingly similar to the Soviet-era propaganda wood language.

Tiraspol Times is an online newspaper in English ...
Pridnestrovie.net
Visitpmr.com
International Council for Democratic Institutions and State Sovereignty ICDISS

[edit] material that did not fit (yet) in the previous two articles
Heaven of Transnistria is an expession which describes the current situation in the separatist region of Transnistria, which belong to the Republic of Moldova.

Transnistria declared independence in 1990 and achieve de-facto independence with the help of Russian Army, after the 1992 War of Transnistria.

President of the separatist authorities of Transnistria is Igor Smirnov, a Russian citizen born in Siberia, who appeared in Transnistria in 1987. Other members of his family held high position in the political and economic life of Transnistria.

Main results of the separatist regime in Transnistria are:

- Population decrease with 18% between 1989 and 2004 [1]. People are "voting with their feet", leaving the heaven of Transnistria.

- An aditional 7% decrease in ellectoral roll between august 2005 and august 2006 was anounced by Central Electoral Commision from Tiraspol just before the 17 September 2006 referendum which is aimed to legitimize the separatist authorities. However, this is considered just a way to falsify the referendum results and not a real decrease in the population of the region, as antiseparatist organisations appeal to boycot the referendum and, for legitimacy, separatist authorities need to report a higher percentage of presence in the referendum [2].

- Thousands of refugees which are not allowed to return at their homes.


[edit] Philosophy of Heaven
Aims: to challenge popular notions of Transdniester as dreary, corrupt, and run by a repressive regime funded by arms and people trafficking into a Heaven,a Paradise where people leave happy ever after.
How to change your opinion? How to make you belief that Transnistria is a Heaven? Simple, thru propaganda and misinformation: The most common examples are TV, radio and internet propaganda. In search for information you will use your senses to perceive information to form a cognitive representation. By giving you wrong impression you will form wrong perception and wrong representation. That is the basic philosophy.


[edit] Transnistrian Internet Propaganda
Tiraspoltimes.com
Pridnestrovie.net
Visitpmr.com
ICDISS.ORG
pridnestrovie.net and visitpmr.com have acknowledge help from the ICDISS (organization that doesn't exist) [2] [3]. Meanwhile, an e-mail to the ICDISS has produced a response, apparently from Ms Stephenson. She has been interviewed in tiraspoltimes.com.

Take a look at this websites showcasing the breakaway state and you'll get the impression of a forward-thinking young democracy. If the country's young people aren't break dancing, a reader is led to believe, they'll be bogging or attending an environmental demonstration -- all while enthusing about Transdniester's drive for independence.


[edit] Tiraspol Times
An online newspaper that professes to be "committed to the truth." and whose content is largely dedicated to effusive praise of the government or endorsing independence. Tom de Waal, a London-based journalist and author, was outraged to see an article under his name appear on the "Tiraspol Times" website. "I've certainly never been to Pridnestrovie, Transdneister, or Moldova, and I am certainly not arguing, as is written under my name, that Pridnestrovie has a better case for independence than Kosovo," de Waal says.[4]


[edit] Pridnestrovie.net
The websites quote a number of Westerners marvelling at Tiraspol's new football stadium or saying Transdniester is the French Riviera compared to Moldova proper.
Quotes from the site:
It has a free market economy, 200% growth, and a multi-party democracy with the opposition in control of parliament.


[edit] Visitpmr.com
Quotes from the site:
Returning visitors call it "Europe's hidden jewel"
Once you have been to Pridnestrovie you will want to come back…
Compared to Moldova, this is "like the Riviera"


[edit] International Council for Democratic Institutions and State Sovereignty ICDISS
The council is credited with producing a report in support of Transdniestrian independence. All but one of the alleged authors of the report has since denied involvement in the study. The case has provoked suspicions among Western officials like Louis O'Neill, the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. Journalist Edward Lucas, who wrote the original "Economist" story about the organization, says he could find little information about the think tank. "What's really remarkable is that nobody's been able to produce any credible proof or verifiable proof that they have any existence," Lucas says.,[5]


[edit] Transnistrian TV & Radio Propaganda
temp..


[edit] Who is behind the Heaven of Transnistria
"I think that the extreme conspiracy theory that the entire thing is run from Tiraspol is quite hard to sustain. I think it's much more likely that it's a mixture of some money from Tiraspol, which might either be government money, money from Mr. [Vladimir] Antyufeyev's State Security Committee, or possibly from one of the wealthy trading companies there," Lucas says.[6]


[edit] Political freedom in Transnistria
An american and a transnistrian were talking about the political freedom in their countries.

The american told: I don't like my government. I am against the invasion in Irak. However, we have political freedom in our country. I can tell to anybody my opinion that G.W. Bush is a criminal, and nobody will arrest me.

The transnistrian told: In Transnistria we have the same political freedom as in USA. I also can tell to anybody that G.W. Bush is a criminal, without being arrested.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An american told to a transnistrian: Political freedom mean the rights of the citizens to openly disagree with the president of their own country, without fear of persecution. For example, I can go in the center of Washington with a banner on which is written "Down with president G.W. Bush!", and nobody will arrest me.

The transnistrian answered: In Transnistria we have the the same political freedom as in USA. I also can go in the center of Tiraspol with a banner written "Down with president Voronin!, and nobody will arrest me.


[edit] Miscellaneous topics
ICDISS
Propaganda
Transnistria

20

William Mauco
9 aprilie 2007 14:24

21

User:Khoikhoi
9 aprilie 2007 14:28

IP-ul vandalului ...User:Khoikhoi e 71.198.42.175

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=71.198.42.175

il cheama Elliot Putnam

22

Mauco William (Maurice)
9 aprilie 2007 14:30

24

edwardlucas
13 aprilie 2007 9:39

The key question is who finances Tiraspol Times. That thread leads to the ICDISS. I would be glad to hear off line from anyone with thoughts on this subject (and greetings to those who have already contacted me)

Apologies for not writing in Romanian (I am also glad to respond to comments and questions about my articles)

Regards

Edward

25

vitalie
23 octombrie 2007 4:09

Bine, de ce dati importanta la un asemenea sait? Defapt, propagandistii profita de libertatea pe care o ofera internetul ca sa zica ce vor, dar tot cititorul o sa fie cel care o sa-i dea o valoare propagandei (adica noi). Cat de roz n-ar fi articolul, el trebuie sa fie citit de cineva. Sincer, mi se pare exagerat de roz, cu toate sloganurile si cuvintele puternice pe care le folosesc, foarte putin probabil sa-i dea cineva importanta. Lumea a inceput sa se educe si sa invete faptul ca pe internet poti zice ce vrei, si un sait cu un design frumos nu tot timpul este un sait autentic sau cu adevar (sa nu zic de furturile si bancile virtuale care apar in fiecare zi pe net).

Am citit un articol de pe tiraspoltime Watchdog: Moldova one of the most corrupt countries in the world
care spune cam asa:
1.Moldova e foarte corupa pentru ca apare in top pe statisticile organizate despre coruptie
2. Transnistria nu e atat de corupta pentru ca nu apare in statistica.

Am dat un whois server pe www.tiraspoltimes.com (pentru cei care nu stiu, whois servers este o baza de date unde se afla datele de inregistrare pentru toate saiturile),
si ghici ce, am gasit urmatoarea surpriza RegistrantFirst

Name: TIRASPOL TIMES
Last Name: WEEKLY REVIEW
Organization: News Services, a.f.s.
Address 1: 25 October St., 118
Address 2:
Phone: 337-4-8550
City: Tiraspol
State: NONE
Zip: 3300
Country: MD
Email: contact@tiraspoltimes.com

Trageti atentia la
Country: MD
Deci, saitul www.tiraspoltimes.com a fost inregistrat de o asa zisa persoana

Name: TIRASPOL TIMES
Last Name: WEEKLY REVIEW
si are adresa in Tiraspol, MD, adica Republica Moldova

Cred ca e clara auto-contrazicerea, saitul vorbeste despre rezultatele statisticii ca si cum ar exclude Tiraspolul din statistica, in timp ce o lume intreaga include Tiraspolul in R.Moldova.

26

natalia
5 noiembrie 2007 15:31

Foarte interesant eseul!
Eu sunt de 9 ani in Romania, mi-am facut studiile aici, sunt la master acum si imi trebuia un subiect pentru un referat, am cautat ceva legat de implementarea marketingului in Republica Moldova, atunci am gasit acest eseu.Fiind demult plecata de acasa, nu am dat prea mare importanta conflictului cu Transnistria.Colegii adesea ma intrebau, iar eu nu stiam sa le raspund.E clar ca sustin ideea lui Alexandru, e prea perfecta engleza acelui site, intr-adevar in vorbitor nativ de engleza ar putea cu siguranta sa faca asta, noi stin cum vorbesc, se exprima vorbitorii de rusa in engleza.Sa fim seriosi...
Eu stiu ce am invatat, ca Transnistria este un stat enclava,la fel cum in Italia exista un astfel de stat, Vaticanul.Diferenta e mare, insa.Nu pot decat sa-mi exprin regretul pentru statul nostru, care e badjocura tuturor, e foarte greu sa fii mandru ca esti din Moldolva, atunci cand apropae nimeni nu stie adevarul.
Merci Alex petru curajul tau!

27

mishka
29 noiembrie 2007 18:08

"Although I would prefer to chuckle at the TT - like one of your commenters, I found it funny at first - it reveals a coordinated effort to legitimize Transnistrian independence. I have heard that the funds are provided through Russian companies (specifically Gazprom), and if you think about it, the cost of maintaining these websites would be miniscule for such a corporation."

****

"I have heard..." Unsubstantiated and McCarthyite like in tone.

The Tiraspol Times is a refreshing break from the bias of the three leading moldovan government funded news sites and Vladimir Socor.

28

Ciobanica
1 ianuarie 2008 19:09

Am gasit un blog unde de fapt este posibil de comentat articolele aparute pe Tiraspol Times. Ar trebui niste vorbitori buni de limba engleza sa comenteze prostiile scrise de separatisti.

Iata linkul:

http://tiraspoltimes.blogspot.com/