The Chinese Communist Party has reportedly raised a "50-Cent Army" of astroturfers who are paid RMB0.50 for each patriotic, pro-Chinese comment they post on blogs and social media sites. Some estimates have the size of the army at 300,000 people.
Comments, rumours and opinions can be quickly spread between internet groups in a way that makes it hard for the government to censor.
China's internet 'spin doctors'
So instead of just trying to prevent people from having their say, the government is also attempting to change they way they think.
To do this, they use specially trained - and ideologically sound - internet commentators.
They have been dubbed the "50-cent party" because of how much they are reputed to be paid for each positive posting (50 Chinese cents; $0.07; £0.05).
Pete from Doctors Without Borders writes, “Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders have today launched MapSwipe, an app that enables anyone with a smartphone to map the most vulnerable communities in the world. Geo-data is vital for aid agencies responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters and MapSwipe now gives everybody the ability […]
Francis Gurry, the fair-use hating, web-hating, North Korea embargo-breaking, witch-hunting, blackmailing head of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has a new pick to run copyright at the UN agency: Sylvie Forbin, a lobbyist for for French entertainment giant Vivendi.
Gus Van Harten is a law professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall and a well-respected expert on trade law; he’s published a damning report on the Trans Pacific Partnership deal.
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