Dec 18, 2014

China Digital Times Reveals Inner Workings of a Chinese Propaganda Department

From Quartz

Hacked emails reveal China’s elaborate and absurd internet propaganda machine

By Nikhil Sonnad

“NOTICE: We request every internet commenter carry out the following task today,” begins an email from the supervisor.

It’s just another day in the propaganda department of Zhanggong, a district in southeast China’s modestly sized city of Ganzhou. Employees and freelancers are paid to post pro-government messages on the internet, part of a broader effort to “guide public opinion,” as the Chinese Communist Party frequently puts it.

The details of these directives are usually hidden from public view. But thousands of emails obtained from the Zhanggong propaganda department by a Chinese blogger—and released on his website—offer a rare view into the mechanics of manipulating web conversation in China at its most local level....

“There are at least 5,000 districts this size or bigger,” said Qiang Xiao, editor of China Digital Times (CDT), a news site affiliated with the University of California Berkeley [School of Information] that first reported on the emails....


Last updated:

October 4, 2016