China: Communist Party recruits commentators to toe the party line on internet


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Justin
May 23, 2005, 03:23 PM
Looks like the commies are having problems with the proles getting all uppity with their newfound internet freedom.

_______________________________

Undercover group of commentators working for the government will post on blogs and Internet bulletin boards as 'ordinary netizens'

The Times of India
Friday, May 20, 2005

Beijing -- 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.

http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=24609

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Flyboy
May 23, 2005, 05:45 PM
Beijing -- 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.
Lousy commies and their blatant disregard for intellectual property! President Bush clearly has prior art!

Rebar
May 23, 2005, 05:49 PM
Chinese who violate the law are pretty damn brave, considering the government executes people for even petty crimes, thousands every year:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/167455.stm

javafiend
May 23, 2005, 05:56 PM
Undercover group of commentators working for the government will post on blogs and Internet bulletin boards as 'ordinary netizens'

Looks like they are stealing a page from the neocons' playbook. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-06-williams-whitehouse_x.htm

Arc-Lite
May 23, 2005, 06:05 PM
this is funny !!! this is one of the things that helped changer the USSR....into ...Russia. got to love it.

Standing Wolf
May 23, 2005, 08:22 PM
China's communists sound increasingly desperate to me. Sweet music!

GoRon
May 23, 2005, 08:57 PM
Looks like they are stealing a page from the neocons' playbook

If you don't know where Armstrong Williams is going to come down on an issue then you are pretty thick.

He didn't need to get paid to take the position he did, his politics are pretty clear and everyone who knows who he is knows he is a conservative.

Just another "progressive " whose only argument against "neocons" is to use ad hominums and character assasination.

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.

They will be ignored in China much like The Democratic Underground and Err America are ignored here in the States.

Flyboy
May 23, 2005, 10:19 PM
He didn't need to get paid to take the position he did, his politics are pretty clear and everyone who knows who he is knows he is a conservative.
And yet, he did it anyway.

More importantly, the President felt the need to hire somebody to surreptitiously shill his policies, and did so with taxpayer funds. Which was kinda the point of several people's mention of the similarity.

beerslurpy
May 23, 2005, 11:01 PM
Fox News is killing in the ratings not because there is a conservative conspiracy to alter reality, but because most of america is sick of the leftist puke on the major networks.

You cant blame a vast right wing conspiracy when everyone just hates you. If 99 percent of the country is to the right of you, it is you who have to move, not the country.

It was hilarious when my mom (in NYC) finally realized that her political views and those of most New Yorkers are very far to the left of most of the country and that trying to force the rest of the country to adhere to NY style laws and customs was just going to make it easier for republicans to win more elections.

GoRon
May 23, 2005, 11:30 PM
More importantly, the President felt the need to hire somebody to surreptitiously shill his policies, and did so with taxpayer funds. Which was kinda the point of several people's mention of the similarity.

That is such a distortion of the facts that you should be ashamed of yourself.

Make an argument on the facts, not on some hysterical convolution of what occured.

Here is a link to williams apology for what occured. Bad judgment - yes. Rising to the level or even remotely approaching Chi-Com manipulation of public opinion? Give me a break.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/Armstrongwilliams/aw20050110.shtml

RevDisk
May 23, 2005, 11:42 PM
Here is a link to williams apology for what occured. Bad judgment - yes. Rising to the level or even remotely approaching Chi-Com manipulation of public opinion? Give me a break.

GoRon, sorta like Bush supporting the Chi-Com govt, and not the democratic Taiwan govt?


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,105239,00.html

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11285

(Hey, I spot a nifty ad on this page. The "Celebrate Diversity" t-shirt with a bunch of nifty handguns.)

http://www.capmag.com/news.asp?ID=815


That is such a distortion of the facts that you should be ashamed of yourself.

I'd say Flyboy's comment is not a distortion of the facts. Bush obviously supports the Chi-Com govt, and he apparently used taxpayer's funds to promote his political agenda. While I do not believe that Armstrong Williams getting advertising funds from the govt is nearly as bad as the Chi-Com manipulations, one can indeed see some similarities.

javafiend
May 23, 2005, 11:51 PM
He didn't need to get paid to take the position he did, his politics are pretty clear and everyone who knows who he is knows he is a conservative.

I bet that the Chinese communist shills for the Chinese government would say the same thing. Besides the six "journalists" we know to have been paid by the administration or its backers, bloggers were on the campaign payrolls of both a Republican office-seeker (South Dakota's Senator John Thune) and a Democrat (Howard Dean) during last year's campaign. The Los Angeles Times reported that Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration, "taking a cue from President Bush's administration," had distributed fake news videos starring a former TV reporter to extol the governor's slant on a legislative proposal. Back in Washington, the Social Security Administration is refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests for information about its use of public relations firms such as those that funneled taxpayers' money to the likes of Armstrong Williams.

GAO Green-Lights White House Interference in Elections (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/forbes1.html)
With two federal watchdog agencies freeing the White House drug czar to overtly influence state ballot initiatives, the Senate is poised to reauthorize this anti-democratic exercise for the next five years the wheels greased by a ten-year total of $4 billion in taxpayer-funded advertising designed to sway the votes of those who pay for it.

Yeah, but good thing that we're not like China where the government secretly propagandizes the population.

Dude, wake up.

RevDisk
May 23, 2005, 11:58 PM
Yeah, but good thing that we're not like China where the government secretly propagandizes the population.

Dude, wake up.

Eh, I suspect some folks are indeed awake. People are naturally inclined to overlook the faults on "their" side and focus more on the faults of the "other" side. Us vs Them is built into humanity at a very fundimental level.

Me? I distrust politicians of all types until they prove themselves otherwise. Ron Paul is about the only decent pol left in Washington.

Rebar
May 24, 2005, 12:10 AM
GoRon, sorta like Bush supporting the Chi-Com govt, and not the democratic Taiwan govt?
Typical liberal/left exaggeration, if the USA stopped supporting Taiwan, the chicoms would attack them the very next day.

Perhaps you should talk about the president who took campaign contributions from the chicoms - Bill Clinton.

Justin
May 24, 2005, 12:22 AM
Geeze.

Does every single thread 'round here have to be a knock-down, drag-out? :mad:

GoRon
May 24, 2005, 12:26 AM
I still say the Armstrong Williams situation is a bad example of what your afraid of. My goodness the guy is a conservative commentator, big surprise he agrees with the administration.

Who would you hire to "shill" your message? Someone who disagrees with you?

Bad judgment, not a propagandist.

Actually I agree with the fact that we are being bombarded with propaganda from both the left and right.

And I don't think we should have to pay for it , including PBS.

My point was more defending Williams than government funding of such types of adds.

mountainclmbr
May 24, 2005, 12:28 AM
I have been to Chinese occupied Tibet and had AK-47's pointed at me for nothing at all. I can understand how the "TOLERANT" left would tolerate "KILLING" those who "DISAGREE" with them. Totalitaritan thought has killed over 100 million of their own citizens in the name of communism, socialism and some form of warped equality (but with government elitism) in the last 100 years. Why don't people learn? It gives me the creeps that about half of the people in the USA vote for the potential heirs of this form of totalitarian government. To them the constitution means the opposite of what it actually says and they want activist judges to support them. It comes as no surprise that they don't want citizens to own guns. The freedom loving citizens will be really upset when they realize that a dirt nap is planned for them.

GoRon
May 24, 2005, 12:32 AM
Does every single thread 'round here have to be a knock-down, drag-out?

Sorry for the inflamatory rhetoric. I enjoy spirited debate and crossed the line with the "ashamed of yourself" comment. :o

RevDisk
May 24, 2005, 12:57 AM
Typical liberal/left exaggeration, if the USA stopped supporting Taiwan, the chicoms would attack them the very next day.

Considering the lack of seaborne and airborne capabilities of the PLA/PLAN, an invasion would be unlikely. Taiwan has bought a number of US weapon systems, including some anti-ship and AA systems. Mind you, Taiwan BOUGHT these systems, they weren't free. However, US is not the only weapons manufacturer on the planet. If we won't sell Taiwan arms, they will buy elsewhere.

Bush also thus far has refused to sell Taiwan any AEGIS systems.

I'm amused that you accused me of "typical liberal/left exaggeration" after I praised Ron Paul. Yep. Very typical liberals! Always criticizing both parties, except for specific meantions of a very conservative Republican. :rolleyes:


Perhaps you should talk about the president who took campaign contributions from the chicoms - Bill Clinton.

Indeed. I'm not very happy with Clinton selling military technology to China. I'm rather honked about it. China will be a major problem in the years to come. Outfitting their military with our technology is not a bright idea.

I'm also unhappy with Bush's ties to Saudi Arabia.

Believe it or not, some of us dislike both parties.



Actually I agree with the fact that we are being bombarded with propaganda from both the left and right.

And I don't think we should have to pay for it , including PBS.

My point was more defending Williams than government funding of such types of adds.


Uh. Actually, I agree with ya. I'm more honked about govt funding of propaganda than I am at Williams for playing ads.

[scratches head]

So. Uhm. Is there anything else we can have a knock-down, drag-out fight over, instead of vigerously agreeing? :neener:

Flyboy
May 24, 2005, 01:11 AM
Who would you hire to "shill" your message?
NOBODY, DAMNIT! The government should not have to resort to shilling its policies. Perhaps you've heard the term "bully pulpit." The President has an amazingly powerful platform from which to speak: how many people do you know that can preempt most TV programming just by calling a press conference? It's not about the fact that the President wanted to hype his agenda. That's normal, and even desirable: our leadership should try to keep us informed about what it's doing, and "rallying the troops" to make it successful is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem here is that the President chose to mislead us by quietly hiring a shill to say he was in favor of the policy, without revealing the fact that he was on the payroll of the policy's authors. There's a term for that, too: "astroturfing." If you're not familiar with the term, it's a play on "grassroots:" grassroots being bottom-up community support for a concept, astroturfing is artificial or fake grassroots support.

Whether you like it or not, the comparison is apt.

Rebar
May 24, 2005, 12:57 PM
I'm amused that you accused me of "typical liberal/left exaggeration" after I praised Ron Paul.
The statement is an exaggeration common to the left wing, regardless of other statements before or after, I stand by my characterization.
Considering the lack of seaborne and airborne capabilities of the PLA/PLAN, an invasion would be unlikely.
They've been planning this invasion for decades now, and threaten it on an almost weekly basis. I would not underestimate the PLA, we did that once before to our regret.

RevDisk
May 24, 2005, 02:06 PM
The statement is an exaggeration common to the left wing, regardless of other statements before or after, I stand by my characterization.

Well, you could have pointed out US sanctions against Norinco (started by Clinton, actually), US asking EU to stop selling weapons to the Chi-Coms, and US asking Israel to stop selling US weapons to the Chi-Coms (which is more of a licensing disagreement then anything else).

Instead you accused me of being a "Leftist" like it was some kind of insult and said I was exaggerating. Oh yea, and then you excused one President of doing bad things because another President did bad things. I am hardly a 'typical' anything, except for typically annoying and arrogant (according to my ex's anyways). I'm not a Leftist or a Rightist. I'm either both or neither, depending on your viewpoint. I agree with some things associated with Democrats, others associated with Republicans and some things that neither party support. (Preserving the Bill of Rights, for example.)

Personally, I see the communist Chinese govt as our enemy. We faught during the Korean War, and got beaten into a stalemate. The Korean War never officially ended either. It's an on-going cease-fire that is routinely violated by the NK's, who are supported by the Chi-Coms. They will keep modernizing their economy, and eventually things might get 'interesting'.


They've been planning this invasion for decades now, and threaten it on an almost weekly basis. I would not underestimate the PLA, we did that once before to our regret.

Indeed. So why is Bush opposed to selling Taiwan a couple AEGIS cruisers? For any invasion to succeed, China would need to drop in airborne folks first. Maybe soften up Taiwan's defenses with some missiles too. A bunch of AEGIS systems would make short work of any airborne fleet, and definitely help against some of the missile threat.

I don't underestimate the PLA. I see it as a threat. Their land warfare capabilities are scary. The PLAN, on the other hand, is not as impressive. China's Navy is rather tiny. Granted, China could seize civvie freighters and try to send their troops over in them. But that would limit landing sites to a small number of harbors. Said freighters would have minimal defenses and be easy pickings for anti-ship missiles.

If you think the PLA is such a threat and that the Chi-Coms are tyrannts, why aren't you pestering other Republicans to support Taiwan and start selling them goodies to defend themselves against the Chi-Coms?

Rebar
May 24, 2005, 02:57 PM
Instead you accused me of being a "Leftist" like it was some kind of insult
I say again, the statement is leftist (which is an insult in my book), I accused you of nothing.

Personally, I see the communist Chinese govt as our enemy.
I do too. But there is a delicate balancing act going on here between the US, PRC, and Taiwan. The PRC is a nuclear power, and those nukes are pointed at us. There are also significant economic interests involved, for better or worse, our economy is linked to the PRC in a way most folks don't understand.

One important thing to remember is, time is on our side. Eventually the communists are going to face an uprising, as the older "long march" generation starts to die off (finally) and their economy continues to boom. So the status quo works in our favor, and Taiwans. If we sell too many arms to Taiwan, or encourage them to declare a seperate state, it would provoke a war that we don't need to fight. In 10-20 years, Mainland China will certainly throw off it's communist masters, and we'll have won without a shot being fired.

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