How fascinating is this: the largest “propaganda” program in human history doesn’t do much propaganda!
China employs 2 million people to flood the internet with posts that are broadly supportive of the Chinese government, the party, and its policies.
Ridiculously innovative, fascinating, and deep research shows that most of those posts are merely distracting.
Propaganda would get in peoples’ faces. They’d be suspicious. So the Chinese aren’t pushing propaganda.
Instead, the goal appears to be strategic distraction:
… The Chinese regime’s strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We infer that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime.
Holy crap. This sounds like Trump’s tweeting. And the authors discussion of the implications for China suggests that if anti-Trump protests die down shortly, that Trump has won (and his opponents may not even know it). F**k.