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NEWS: China Hires Undercover Force to Sway Political Opinion

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posted on May, 24 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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According to Asian news sources, the Chinese government has hired a undercover group of commentators that will post on blogs and internet bulletin boards as 'ordinary netizens' in order to sway opinion on controversial issues.
 



www.asiamedia.ucla.edu
China has formed a special force of undercover online commentators to try to sway public opinion on controversial issues on the Internet, a newspaper said on Thursday.

China has struggled to gain control over the Internet as more and more people gain access to obtain information beyond official sources. The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.

Their job was to defend the government when negative comments appeared on Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms, the weekly quoted local officials as saying. Suqian city’s propaganda department recruited the commentators from among government officials, the weekly said, adding that they must "understand (government) policies, be versed in (political) theories and be politically reliable". "They will guide public opinion as ordinary netizens. This is both important and effective," Ma Zhichun, one of the recruited commentators, was quoted as saying.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


One of these undercover groups has already been operating in Suqian city as late as April of 2005. Government officials responded by stating that 'We are not the first and won't be the last (to have online commentators). The whole nation is playing the same game'.

This effort is part of the communist party to 'strengthen Internet propaganda on its anti-corruption undertaking'.

Related News Links:
www.asiamedia.ucla.edu
www.asiamedia.ucla.edu
www.asiamedia.ucla.edu
www.asiamedia.ucla.edu

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
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posted on May, 24 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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And if you think this doesn't happen in the West, you need to take the red pill.

It's laughable really, and I hope the news of this gets out here in China, if only to illustrate how desperate the CCP has become. I wonder of they stopped for a moment and thought that maybe they should sway public opinion by giving the public what they need and want. Nah, that would make too much sense.

Attempting to sway opinion is one thing, but suppression of freedom of speech and imprisonment of those who exercise that right is tyrannical:

Beijing has created a special Internet police force believed responsible for shutting down domestic sites posting politically unacceptable content, blocking some foreign news sites and jailing several people for their online postings.

In March, bulletin boards operated by the country’s most prominent universities were blocked to off-campus Internet users as part of the campaign to strengthen ideological education of college students.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 02:40 PM
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lol
one has to wonder if they ever posted on Above top secret....


you might never know



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 02:42 PM
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I think there are operatives from other countries working here...especially one from Iran.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 02:47 PM
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China is really cool, hoookay, you should buy more american flags from china, yes, this you will like.

All the cool kids are doin' it.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 03:07 PM
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Oh no, I must be an undercover Chinese propagandist



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 05:22 PM
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Yeah I don't understand why this is a big news worthy deal... Oh yeah, because it's China. Never mind the Legislation we just had to pass here in
the US to make Uncle Sam stop writing up bunk arse press releases without revealing their sources. If you live in an area that suffers the Sinclair Broadcast Group, you are probably already familiar with Mark Hyman and his "The Point" drivel. I have on file at least four court decisions and a copy of a letter that I received from the FCC which clearly state that as the Media is 'privately' owned here, they are no legal obligation to be truthful or factual. China this, Iran that... blah blah... anybody but me.

"Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself..."
-Eric Clapton

[edit on 24-5-2005 by twitchy]



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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China has formed a special force of undercover online commentators

I am almost absolutely convinced that this is true and that there are a few of these posting on ATS, this is me speaking as a member tho, not as a moderator, I've never heard even a hint from administration of it being the case, nor seen anything resembling evidence, but I am almost certain that I have seen posts made by these things, and even talked to them.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:30 PM
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Cool we can have Mccarthy style witch hunts and label any one of differing views as being state run propagandists! People are going to have a field day with this. Let the suspicion begin.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:59 PM
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I wonder of they stopped for a moment and thought that maybe they should sway public opinion by giving the public what they need and want.


I absolutely agree with you. If this is true - and its so silly that it may be quite iffy - it is a sign of the unbelievable immaturity of the Chinese government. Yes, if you want to sway people, tell them the truth, act with honest motives, show that you are interested in the people's welfare and not that of the apparatchiks , let people find their own destiny, and then - and only then - will the government be worthy of being followed.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 07:08 PM
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Oh, and while I'm at it, may I point out how pusillanimous, petty, hypocritical and dishonourable the Chinese have been about Japan recently?

When is the Chinese Communist government going to apologize for the millions of Chinese they killed as a result of the disastrous "Great Leap Forward" and the misery they caused as a result of the "Cultural Revolution"?

If these apologists do show up, I think we'll all enjoy a little sport at their expense.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 08:20 PM
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Just a note, we have very notable members on ATS which live in China that have somehow broken 'free' from the oppresive Chinese internet suppresion and frequently access ATS. I would post a name but...well, not sure if its right or not. But if you've been on the boards long enough, I'm sure you can pick up on who it is.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 11:26 PM
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So now I know to be vigilant when someone is being "too" pushy about an opinion.



posted on May, 25 2005 @ 02:39 AM
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Originally posted by Simulacra
Just a note, we have very notable members on ATS which live in China that have somehow broken 'free' from the oppresive Chinese internet suppresion and frequently access ATS. I would post a name but...well, not sure if its right or not. But if you've been on the boards long enough, I'm sure you can pick up on who it is.


As I've stated before in posts on this issue, the reality of the level of suppression of information in China is somewhere in between sensationalist Western inferences of tyrannical control and total freedom of information. Posting on ATS as I, rapier28, and others in mainland China do is fine. Criticizing the government is fine. You could walk up to a policeman and tell him you think the CCP are all crooks. It is only when individuals or groups show the ability to sway large sectors of the population that the government will crack down. That is why the university chat sites were isolated from the rest of the Internet. That is why these new Internet government defenders have appeared. That is why ringleaders are arrested. The government doesn't want different sectors of society linking up and creating another disturbance like the Tiananmen uprisings. Contrary to popular belief, it was not only students that were protesting there - there were thousands of factory workers and labourers present as well. In fact, students across the nation campaigned at work sites to get the workers to join the cause. THAT is what the government feared the most, and THAT is where all of their suppressive efforts were concentrated before the event came to a head.

Citing the fact that we can post on ATS does not constitute proof that the CCP, which also owns and controls every single medium in the country, does not supress information.



posted on May, 25 2005 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I think there are operatives from other countries working here...especially one from Iran.


Yes Djohnsto, I think that has been going on for a while by many governments. It is good that now it just seems to be ofishal. I guess now the challenge is to seperate out the real people from the ones working for the government.



posted on May, 25 2005 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
I am almost absolutely convinced that this is true and that there are a few of these posting on ATS...but I am almost certain that I have seen posts made by these things, and even talked to them.


"Things", Nygdan? You make it sound like the Chinese have invented artificially intelligent forum-bots. If they have this sort of technology, Taiwan is doomed. DOOMED, I TELLS YA!



posted on May, 25 2005 @ 11:47 AM
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Good point, wcip, probably not the best choice of words. Didn't want to say 'propagandists' or some such, didn't seem accurate and might've been confusing, since lots of people here are clearly propagandists, but not state hired internet propagandists.


Also, I should note that I'm thinking of one or two (tho they may be sock ppuppets for all I know) posters that were around, but that I haven't seen in a while, and that they weren't simply 'pro-china' posters. Obviously there is a diversity of opinion out in the world, and not every, or even a siginificant number of, pro-china (etc) posters are these 'things', these on-line state hired and directed propaganda personalities.



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