(China-4) China uses Facebook to spread propaganda around the world!

 

facephotoMany Chinese businesses and the government use FACEBOOK to reach an international audience! Associated Press!

SPECIAL NOTE: I hope I am not saying anything that would jeopardize my 10-year multi-entry Chinese Tourist Visa since I returned to America after spending 7 years as a visiting professor teaching in an elite university in China. Don’t fool with the Chinese government in China! You can fool your friends or Mother Nature, but not China! I love China, country of my grandparents who immigrated to Malaya (now Malaysia) around 1903 to escape death, starvation and perennial poverty…I saw this story “CHINA USES FACEBOOK TO SPREAD PROPAGANDA AROUND THE WORLD” by the Associated Press (AP), a trusted news agency in the world! Why does this article intrigue me? Because all my Chinese friends and students in China can tell you at your face: WE CANNOT USE FACEBOOK IN CHINA…simple? Or is this too difficult for you to understand. Unless you live in China. So the smart computer students and that means most Chinese students, they would override a lot of government sanctions to “travel” beyond China by using VPN…though China has also tried to restrict the use of VPN in China…Anyway, this AP article says simply and frankly that the Chinese government and CCTV (a state-owned TV station) are helping themselves generously the tool of Facebook to tell the whole world about China–all the wonderful things about China, and also mix it with all the bad news in the world. You can say, that is pretty normal in the world of the mass media…showing the good and the bad to the whole world! And China is no different doing that using FACEBOOK…the point is that Chinese citizens are prevented from using Facebook in China, but the government exploits the opportunity to tell the world about China via Facebook!…Does this make sense to you? Look at North Korea. Ordinary Koreans do not have the Internet…but if you are students in their universities, you might be lucky to use the Internet in their computers! For what, you might ask. Research? or to see what is going on in the world outside North Korea. It makes a lot of sense if you are living in communist North Korea…it does not make sense to us living in a democratic society…Is there such a thing as good PROPAGANDA? I was in China for 7 years…to almost every Chinese college student…they use the word PROPAGANDA like there is nothing to it…they use the word the way we would use the word “news” or “information” in the west…so they accept the fact their government puts out “propaganda” information all the time…even in the university where I taught…there was a “propaganda” institution within the campus…I had met a student leader in charge of the Student Propaganda Division of the student union or student center…Why is this important to know? Because among the students, propaganda does not carry the same western understanding or use of the word propaganda…it means nothing to them because they have grown up with it…from cradle to grave!..because to us in the west, living in a democratic society, propaganda looks and tastes and smells evil, bad and corrupt and dangerous to your health!…NOT so in China…so, we need to understand how this word is used in China…still, it is difficult to appreciate why the Chinese communist government would use the Facebook as their propaganda machine to sell and advertise China to the world! It is a good thing for them to do it…though Chinese citizens are now denied the opportunity to use it! Steve November 8, 2017

 

China uses Facebook to spread propaganda around the world
By PAUL MOZUR – The New York Times – Wednesday, November 8, 2017

HONG KONG — China does not allow its people to gain access to Facebook, a powerful tool for disseminating information and influencing opinion

As if to demonstrate the platform’s effectiveness, outside its borders China uses it to spread state-produced propaganda around the world, including the United States. So much do China’s government and companies value Facebook that the country is Facebook’s biggest advertising market in Asia, even as it is the only major country in the region that blocks the social network.

A look at the Facebook pages of China Central Television, the leading state-owned broadcast network better known as CCTV, and Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reveals hundreds of English-language posts intended for an English-speaking audience.

 

Each quarter China’s government, through its state media agencies, spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy Facebook ads, according to a person with knowledge of those deals, who was unauthorized to talk publicly about the company’s revenue streams.

China’s propaganda efforts are in the spotlight with President Trump visiting the country and American lawmakers investigating foreign powers’ use of technology to sway voters in the United States.

 

During Facebook’s time in the congressional hot seat last week, Senator John Neely Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, asked whether China had also run ads to affect the United States election. Facebook’s general counsel replied that to his knowledge it had not.

During Facebook’s time in the congressional hot seat last week, Senator John Neely Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, asked whether China had also run ads to affect the United States election. Facebook’s general counsel replied that to his knowledge it had not.

There is no indication that China meddled in the American election, but the Communist government’s use of Facebook is ironic given its apparent fear of the platform. It also hasn’t been reluctant to use it as a soapbox where China’s relationship with the United States is concerned.

China has been a major priority for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder, has spent years courting it. Facebook executives even set up a page to show CCTV, one of Beijing’s chief propaganda outlets, how to use the platform during President Xi Jinping’s 2015 trip to the United States.

While China’s propaganda channels on Facebook are not nearly as subtle as Russian groups when it comes to influencing opinion, their techniques are nonetheless instructive.

Rather than divisive advertisements, many of the Chinese Facebook posts replicate the sort of news propaganda delivered at home: articles stressing China’s stability and prosperity mixed with posts highlighting chaos and violence in the rest of the world.

A similar blend of stories — pandas and idyllic Chinese landscapes next to heavy coverage of the mass shooting in Texas — has proliferated across China’s official Facebook channels in the lead-up to President Trump’s visit to Beijing, which began on Wednesday.

While much of it is unlikely to sway the average American’s mind, such posts reach people across the world, many of whom are newer to the internet and may have a less sophisticated understanding of media. China’s state media has Facebook channels dedicated to Africa and other regions of the world, and it seems evident that it is offering itself as an alternative to the Western media for a more global audience

 

Recently, for example, Xinhua posted an article entitled “China’s IP protection system works well, says U.S. professional” — a rebuke of a congressional investigation into Chinese trade policies that critics say encourage intellectual property theft.

A more anodyne post offered a ham-handed attempt to find common ground between China and the United States, pointing to the basketball player Yao Ming, pandas and American students making dumplings as examples of the countries’ close relationship.

A video posted by Xinhua, which already has about 100,000 views, presents a series of man-on-the-street interviews with Chinese people talking about the United States. It begins on a positive note, with questions about President Trump and what they like about the United States.

About halfway through the video, however, the tone changes and people are asked to describe the problems they see with the United States.

At that point, the interviewees get critical. “U.S.A. interferes with others’ lives arrogantly,” says one woman. “Every person and nation has its own culture and customs, no need to interfere.”

Another woman addresses America directly: “Don’t be so self-important and arrogant.”
Even children are asked about the relationship between the United States and China. “Sometimes they went too far in bullying others,” one says of the Americans. “They don’t respect China and use South Korea to spy on China,” says another. “They also sent weapons to South Korea.”

When asked what advice he would give Mr. Trump, one man says: “Let him learn from China.”

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