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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Buying Influence: China’s Facebook and Twitter Manipulation

Buying Influence

Key Takeaways:

  • The police agency was looking for a more sophisticated upgrade.
  • A series of accounts with organic followers that could be used for government purposes at any time.

Fake accounts are being utilized to promote an authoritarian ideology on social media worldwide. Make them appear genuine and increase their number of followers. Look for state critics on the internet and learn who they are and where they live.

The Chinese government has launched a global web effort to improve its image and debunk claims of human rights violations. However, much of the labour is done in the shadows, using bot networks to create automated posts and difficult-to-trace online personas.

A fresh batch of documents obtained by The New York Times illustrates in graphic detail how Chinese officials use private companies to create on-demand content, attract followers, track critics, and provide other services for information campaigns.

This operation is increasingly taking place on international platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, blocked by the Chinese authorities at home.

China’s Facebook and Twitter Manipulation; Image from Kalinga TV

A fresh batch of documents obtained by The New York Times illustrates in graphic detail how Chinese officials use private companies to create on-demand content, attract followers, track critics, and provide other services for information campaigns.

This operation is increasingly taking place on international platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, blocked by the Chinese authorities at home.

On May 21, a stem of the Shanghai police filed an online ad soliciting bids from private contractors for public opinion management, as it is known among Chinese officials.

Officials have enlisted the services of tech contractors to keep up with domestic social media and actively mould public opinion at home through filtering and the spread of bogus content. However, officials and opinion management businesses have only recently looked beyond China.

Hundreds of phoney accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and other major social media sites were being sought by the Shanghai police. The police department stressed the importance of the task, implying that it wants to provide the stories as soon as possible to guide the conversation.

In many situations, tech companies want outright to sell the gear and software to Chinese authorities. Shanghai Cloud Link’s suggestion hinted at a new service-based model in this scenario, one in which charges pay on a month-by-month basis a kind of social media manipulation subscription.

Source: Indianexpress

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