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Researcher: China pays 280K people to boost its Web image

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posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 05:21 PM

If you thought corporate "astroturfing" (fake grassroots activity) was a problem at sites like Yelp and Amazon that feature user reviews of products, imagine how much worse it would be if the U.S. government employed a couple hundred thousand people to "shape the debate" among online political forums. Crazy, right? What government would ever attempt it?

According to noted China researcher Rebecca MacKinnon, the answer is China, which allegedly employs 280,000 people to troll the Internet and make the government look good.

MacKinnon's discussion of Chinese astroturfing measures turns up in testimony that she prepared from a Congressional hearing this month. When that hearing was eventually rescheduled, MacKinnon was no longer on the witness list, so she released her prepared remarks (PDF) anyway.

Full CNN Story

Just some more info for all those people who dont think Govenments pay people to troll the net. Infact it looks like some even have what could be a small army of people trolling for them. I wonder exactly how much that the govenment pays each of these people, and if this a full time position or is just something the have them do on or during spare time?

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[edit on 27/3/2010 by Mirthful Me]

[edit on 27-3-2010 by vip867]

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 05:30 PM
China needs to hire ten times that amount, and even then I wont change my mind about the lousy human rights abuses committed by the government.

What are these paid disinfo agents posting anyway, hey yall, China is great!

I mean do they really think it is that easy?

All those on the payrolls, and google still wont play ball with them.

China needs to get a new strategy, like for example, quit violating human rights on your citizens. For starters.

That might change how we feel about your country, China!

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 05:38 PM
I agree with you, one thing that I have such a hard time tring to grasp is how information on topics that china dosent like is controled. I mean you would think that everyone has a basic understanding of the events that happened and all ready know anout them all. So why go through so much trouble to censor the stuff now? Even like the issue of porn material. The try to censor it from everyons computers, but couldnt they just go to a video store or get a magazine? it seems like such huge amounts of mony is wasted triong to control informaiton, but is that even truely possiable?

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 06:00 PM
China's answer to every problem is to smash it with a sledge hammer. Anything that is critical is not an opportunity for self reflection and improvement, it is a nail.

posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 06:25 PM
Well someone needs to tell China while they are at it, I have a few suggestions for them to improve their image with me personally.

#1 Make a lot of English language movies/videos/clips about Chinese history, and post them up online for free for me to watch and learn.

#2 Make sure your method of delivering the high quality video is super easy to use, like YouTube.

#3 Model it after the History Channel in it's format and such.

Discussions about modern civilization in context of history would also be nice. Or even current events and news is great. Hell, make a whole Internet-TV Channel. (More ideas where this came from, U2U me Chinese Govt I know u read ATS haha).

I would watch it if they met these requirements, and I know it would become pretty popular as long as they kept the modern politics (WW2-present) out.

Oh please keep the modern politics out of it, I want clean good videos to chill out to. By trying to sneak Communist Propaganda in your videos it will make them reek of crap, in the same fashion that the US Govt or UK Govt or Russian Govt sneaking their cheesy propaganda crap in their videos ruins them.

Maybe they need someone like ME to contract with them to sell them insightful, "westernized" solutions to their "image problem". I guess that would be a fun job. "Hey honey I'm now China's 'Internet Image consultant!"

Seriously though, this isn't brain surgery.

Why is Japan just pure awesome, by most accounts, and China does not share such a great reputation?

I am betting politics is what is holding their image back.

Hey the US hands out candy bars, maybe you should give out free egg rolls or something? Just a thought.

Anyways, China I know you need Help. My services are cheap and effective. Holler back at me.

As you can tell, I am terribly bored today. Probably because there is no English language Chinese History Channel to watch......

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