The reason you read defensive comments on HN (even from me) is due to how easily anti-China criticism slides from legitimate policy discussion into raw, tribal racism. I simply feel it is my duty to call out anti-Chinese racism when it comes across my path, not just because it makes me mad.
It's rare that I come across comments about China that are legitimately racist on HN. I get some people are and some discussion is that, but more than anything I see genuine concern about how the government is acting and given how the government controls that nation, that's where the criticism can seem so wholesale.
But what do you feel is a racist criticism? I ask because I'm a huge critic of the Chinese government (and many other governments) but don't desire to be racist or to be perceived as that way.
One of the most stubborn critics of China (and Chinese culture) I know is Chinese. If I didn't now that I'd perceive him as racist but he just doesn't like what decades of the Cultural Revolution etc have produced no more than many Americans don't like what decades of materialism/world domination has produced.
Perhaps your threshold has a different set-point from mine (and from people who are the target of similar comments). I include conscious and unconscious bias, and Chinese people are just as capable of anti-China racism as women are capable of being sexist.*
The same people who criticize the Chinese government for not allowing Facebook and Google to operate in China (even after Cambridge Analytica) will defend not allowing Huawei to be sold by carriers in the U.S. The same people who, when it is pointed out that Foxconn's suicide rate is lower than the population average, will say that any non-zero number is too high. Do they change their tune if it's pointed out that Foxconn is a Taiwanese company and not a Mainland one? You know the type -- in a later breath, they will just as easily say that Chinese people can't / won't innovate, and can only copy.
There was a story in Sheryl Sandberg's _Lean In_ about an experiment where 2 resumes were being considered for a police chief: one candidate had more solid work experience, and the other had more impressive education history. The 2 experimental conditions assigned a male or a female name to each resume, and most subjects (including female participants) chose the male resume, and they'd say it was because of work experience or education that they picked it. If your threshold for sexism includes that, and you adjust your racism threshold similarly, you'll find that a lot of comments have this ... _unconscious bias_ for some reason.
* Criticism of what the Cultural Revolution has produced does not fall under the same umbrella. No one likes what it produced, even the leadership currently in power in China, who suffered in their youth.
Edit: comment in threads down below include ">his stupid uneducated bimbo of a wife" in reference to China's first lady. Here's what CNN has to say about her:
"Peng is arguably more famous than her husband. She has millions of fans... She is a major general in the People's Liberation Army and is China's AIDS ambassador to the United Nations."
I guess one could claim anti-Russian racism if we take all the "Russian trolls" comments as being not about the alleged actions and their contexts but rather about how that represents Russians in general to the American audience.
"... constant comments by Chinese studying in the US and burnishing their reps with the Party. You can almost always make Chinese English, an AI program could be trained to do it. "
Do you think following up that with
"Very interesting. I always get that uncanny valley feeling even on Hacker News, especially when the comments concern China. This would explain a lot."
has racism undertone or not? If you don't see things right in front of your eyes I don't know what else could convince you.
Add: Okay I see there are people who don't like what I said, so I will spell out more about my rationale. Firstly I didn't call out the earlier post other than using it as the context. I don't think that author could have known that the comments truly were from "Chinese studying in the US" and for "burnishing their reps with the Party", but in the context of discussing propaganda I accept that at least has plausibility. The follow-on post then points to HN, which concerns the posters here including myself. The exact meaning of the poster is somewhat ambiguous to me, however in light of the earlier comment I get the feeling that anyone who comments on China with a view and maybe language skill different from his is stereotyped both with race and motivation.
If I was permitted the same liberty of ascribing, I'd guess that it betrays an unconscious bias against Chinese people. It's probably not something Americans would be attuned to. But as a non-white (but not Chinese) immigrant myself, my radar is probably more sensitive to it.
I wouldn't; HN is obviously recognized as something an important influence node for an important (if not necessarily large number itself) segment of society. Why wouldn't 50c or Russian troll farms target it just as non-state-sponsored activists obviously do?
I remember well over a decade ago a student wrote a comment piece about the PRC in my UK university, which had a large Chinese student population. It was a fairly bad comment piece that felt like the student in question was angling for a slot at one of the UK's very right wing tabloids (funnily enough the student journalist is now a well-respected commentator at the FT) but its fundamental point was the fairly uncontroversial observation that the Chinese government isn't democratic and has very different foreign policy priorities than the West. It's possible, of course, that some of the outrage on the threads below the article on the website from people apparently incapable of distinguishing between disparagement of government and insults to ordinary people was orchestrated by a higher power, even though English student media probably isn't top of the CCCP's list of priorities now, never mind in the early 2000s.
But a lot of the hysterical commentary about how deeply offensive and discriminatory it was towards Chinese people that ended up in the print edition came from named people who were actually overseas students at the university.
People being willing to spend their free time manufacturing the same outrage or enthusiasm others receive full time incomes for manufacturing isn't exactly a uniquely Chinese thing either...
In 2011, their headline of Foxconn was "1 Million workers, 90 Million Iphones, 17 suicides" despite the US suicide rate being much higher. Now, you still hear people talking about how terrible Apple and Foxconn are despite both being very desirable places to work for.
More recently, Wired released an article about China's plans for a social credit system. The article equated this with private credit scoring systems such as Sesame credit, even though they have nothing to do with each other. Yes, the social credit system is a bit extreme. Yes, Sesame credit is kind of creepy (but so is Facebook). No, China didn't decide to turn itself into a Brave New World.
Isn't talking about another country a distraction from that?
I don't think "China" is a reason enough for things to be under the same topic.
It's not "A paper on country propaganda".
I don't think tangentially related things are bad. I do think it's upsetting when some tangentially related things are bad but others aren't for strange reasons.
Which was observed to have had anomalous commenting behavior.
I think it's an important question to consider if the 50 Cent Party operates on non-Chinese forums, and the observation in that comment is relevant to that question.
> The topic is propaganda, that other countries and organizations like companies do that is related to the topic.
And the topic of the Xinjiang re-education camp thread, judging by the comments, must have been "everything bad that any country has ever done ever." /s
The thing is there's this strange, "uncanny" feeling I get whenever these things are shared too, all of a sudden, HN readers who are usually critical start to coalesce around a common fear of the other.
But this is exactly the whataboutism I'm talking about.
The point of the article is that our media doesn't do the exact same thing. When Chomsky and Herman talked about "manufacturing consent", they didn't mean that there is literally a cabal of media companies and the government guiding the American media. However in China there is, in fact, a documented, government-sponsored program to manipulate Chinese media.
If you want to discuss the problem of manufactured consent in the US or the West, start a thread about that, but don't clutter this discussion with irrelevant derails seemingly designed to muddy the waters and deflect from the point of the discussion.
You do realize this is false equivalency / whataboutism?
I posted this because I got super frustrated with all the derails and distractions that utterly destroyed the Xinjiang indoctrination camp post from yesterday. If you don't believe me you can look at my comment history.
Edit: actually you went so far over the line that we banned the account. No one is allowed to turn HN into nationalistic hell, regardless of which nation they're fighting for.
The article details, AFAICT, the CCP's attempts to spread propaganda to its own people, not to the west, although I have no doubts it does try to spread it elsewhere. So given that, what is the likelihood that most of the critical, anti-US comments are in fact CCP propaganda hires? I don't know, but it seems a little bit much to assume everything is a plot to subvert people's opinions.
I'm not a propagandist. I agree with the sentiment in the comment on that article (I missed) about the US imprisoned population. People can disagree with you and point out opinions you disagree with.
I said earlier, somewhat sarcastically, it sucks that people are pushing things in this comment thread and voting down and flagging comments that point out other countries do the same. I am always somewhat paranoid, and anyone would given Snowden leaks and having read history about things like COINTELPRO, etc., but it was somewhat tongue in cheek (yes, I'm not perfect, I say mean things online like most people). Do I really believe all of you are US gov't plants trying to sway people to be belligerent to China? I don't think so.
I get we should keep our eyes open, but we should be willing to accept that there are people who disagree with us, and not everyone who disagrees with us is a Russian/Chinese/etc bot. I'm actually really bothered by the attitude online these days that calls everyone who disagrees with us as being an astroturf. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it really helps to further strengthen the echo chambers we've created for ourselves.
Wasn't that landing 5 years ago? Any more recent examples?
I get nothing when I search HN for the NYT article
Neither, it's apathy. The US media doesn't really cover the space exploits of its allies in Europe or Japan either, unless it's something really huge. I think the US views other countries doing things in space it already did decades ago as boring. When China does something that surpasses what the US has done, like building a Moon base or a manned Mars mission, there will be plenty of coverage.
Even this specific point of discussion, the Chinese "moon landing", is just landing a rover there, not a person, so it's not really very notable for Americans.
As a non-government source, the South China Morning post is the closest thing to an independent newspaper and they have a collection of articles about the Yutu rover: http://www.scmp.com/topics/jade-rabbit-lunar-rover
I can believe it. The Chinese government apparently paying students to wave flags when their officials come visit . Since they manage to do that successfully, it wouldn't surprise me if they do similar things with internet comments.
I guess the only weakness in the whole scheme is people reporting back to an authority about their work. I am pretty sure they got rid of that after the leak. The genius of this thing is that if you ask the people who write these posts if they are doing propaganda, there's a good chance that their initial genuine response will be to say no.
Actually, they'll probably say yes. Most Chinese do not think of propaganda as something negative. Every student club at my university has an unironically named "propaganda department" that manages their social media. "Propaganda" just never underwent the value shift that happened in other countries, so although there's a translation of "PR" almost nobody uses the word.
Same shit IMO.
Please, please let this concept enter the general public's mind.
Especially salient because the idea of censorship in the form of bookburning or restricting speech is still way too dominant (especially in American culture).
Information overflow and deflection through a sheer barrage of garbage and misinformation seems to be the new (and much more effective) MO.
Nothing new actually. The whole concept is pretty old.
Looks like after trying to follow "guidelines" from Orwell's "1984", we are just trying Huxley's "Brave New World".
This guy gets it. I absolutely agree that China needs the searing scrutiny of the world for the sake of its people and the world but China is also still in absolute infantile stages of propaganda sophistication. Straight up censorships and news suppressions are things the West did in WWI. Astroturfing is a step up but operating under the premise of a palatable freedom of information and political choice while being inundated with what to think without ever receiving 'literal fake news' is light-years ahead of China.
It's not just information overflow, but relevance and objective importance.
Given this lens, is CNN & Co any less deceptive than the Chinese gov.? Same means, just different ends. The Chinese gov seeks control, the MSM profits. (I'll pass on the MSM being a proxy for the US gov, to keep it simple.)
The end result is that minds are mmanipulated, and urgent issues and truths are hidden in a blur of overload and further burried under a pile of pointless horse shit.
Information/Tragedy buffer overflow attacks basically.
It is as deeply ingrained as it can get in American public online discourse https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?two_year_transaction...
"Any/all organizations can/do seed a particular narrative to serve their strategic purposes" ?
> In contrast to prior claims, we show that 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 show 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.
In terms of intent or morality or whatever, it's just a different method for propaganda. I don't see this as a different category for what other governments have done in the past.
>Almost no one talked about the heartbreaking story or what it might mean, as most of the comments were tired derails into "the US is bad, too" territory and responses to them.
I saw that thread and I agree with your take, but unfortunately that's just a normal product of online discourse, not special to China-related topics. My guess is that people who live in the US saw an opportunity to call attention to prison reform rather than Chinese who wanted to deflect attention from the original article.
"Lesson number one: trust no one. The minute God crapped out the third caveman, a conspiracy was hatched against one of them."
I never claimed that in my comment, you should read it more closely.
What I did claim is that regular HN posters will often comment (for their own reasons) in a way that would make the Chinese propagandists and censors happy.
Do you think we're in an "information war"? If we are, who are our most dangerous opponents?
Xi is creating an illusion of unity, which means if things start to go seriously wrong, there will be an explosion, as happened so many times in China's past. Citizens will lack the sort of intelligence and ability to work together that would be needed to resolve problems, and the country likely will either fall into chaos or under the rule of a malevolent emperor.
Let me add that Xi claims to be following Confucian principles, but that is not at all true. Confucianism is a set of principles that everyone from the top down was required to follow. Xi, in contrast, answers to no one, and is simply making up his own rules.
To the Chinese out there, let me say that what you need to do is get your hands on all the information you can from independent sources, and study political philosophy, so that you will be in a better position to make intelligent decisions in the future.
But I don't think it's wise or diplomatic to phrase it as a growing "intelligence" deficit in Chinese people. That word is tricky enough to define as it is, but people can hold deeply one-sided views about a lot of things and still be highly intelligent.
As a counterpoint, browsing social media in open information societies and liberal democracies these days gives a sense that people can be extremely biased and polarized even without living in a closed propaganda information ecosystem.
With that criticism lodged, I agree with the spirit of your argument that a more filtered public discourse very likely makes it monotonically incrementally harder to patch any present or future social discord.
I think the term "intelligent" has more than one meaning, and one of them is what I was trying to get at, something like "able to act in an effective manner." But perhaps you can suggest a less ambiguous term.
Robots are the only kind of people authoritarian governments are comfortable with.
I am not a native speaker. I can't parse that sentence :/.
Why is this `also` true ? In addition to what ? Wouldn't it follow that posts arguing in favour of the government's side are tagged as `50c` since `50c` seems to be defined by being `pro government` ?
> [..] we show that the Chinese regime’s strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues.
If I ignore the `also` word in the first quote it all makes sense.
The first sentence says that "journalists and activists" claim that if a post is written by a "50c party" poster, then it will strongly argue in favor of the Chinese government's side - instead of being more subtle, and maybe not _always_ arguing that China is 100% #1.
The second sentence says that "most posts open accused on social media of being 50c" will strongly argue in favor of the government's side, too.
I read this to mean that posts tagged as "50c" will argue for the Chinese government, and "50c party" posters will argue for the Chinese government, too, so the correspondence between the two is high.
My interpretation could be wrong, but I hope it helps!
The following sentence in the abstract helps put it in context:
"Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime's strategic objective in pursuing this activity. "
This third sentence presents the paper's challenge to the supposed misconception.
Therefore, the concluding quote you highlight makes perfect sense as the paper's thesis for what strategy drives 50c party posts.
Edit: I agree those sentence are a bit awkward. To help parse them, eliminate some of the connecting words:
1: "Academics/journalists/activists claim 50c posts argue for government's side."
2: "This is also true of posts accused on social media of being 50c" (this = argue for government's side)
3: "Yet, no evidence exists for this claim"
* Accounts that publicly disclose as being related to group A
* Accounts that don't publicly mention any relationship with group A, but are frequently accused as being part of group A
Show similar behavior (always supporting the government's side).
It is true in addition to being claimed.
Snowden and NSA spying was another one. Truth is not as boring as they may make you want to believe. The world is very, VERY interesting and you just have to discover it.
Sensible. Cuts, however, against my mental caricature of an astroturfing shill.
There are certainly blocs of people who downvote certain topics en masse.
Interesting. The confirmed astroturfer Monsanto is a fairly active one, and though I can't prove some of the people I saw were Monsanto shills, I've never met a person in real life advocate on behalf of that company.
Anyways, their tactics were incredibly distraction-centric and ad-hominem. As soon as anybody brought up the scientific research on pesticides, they'd start comparing this position to anti-vaccine, even completely out-of-context.
It's not hard to debase a conversation so much it falls apart entirely online, which is why the technique seemed effective.
Also, China is the new Saudi Arabia. With the economic power, they can get away with anything and actually, you can't do anything to stop that. Even Trump who was so critical wanted to help ZTE as soon as the Chinese asked for interference.
I do have an irrational hope that the inoculation will last for more than a single thread though.
What's more disheartening is that the latest round of (still incomplete) information indicates that he's trading back the ZTE action in exchange for the CCP walking back their own agriculture sector trade actions that were initiated during the first volleys in the trade conflict a few months ago.
That would be a deeply stupid and un-strategic trade to make. But sadly, it seems to play into the President's domestic political needs.
Edit: feel compelled to add / stress the caveat that no outcomes of the trade talks are known in full
This, literally this is what that research is describing.
Stop changing the bloody subject !
Edit: this account is a smoking gun. Have a look at the comment history.
No, it's not. Propaganda by competing domestic partisan interest groups seeking to influence elections in their own country is not “literally and exactly” the same thing as state sponsored propaganda.
I think you would argue that from the perspective of the propaganda targets, the CCP is the establishment vying to influence public opinion and American political parties are not. They're simply political instruments in a machinery that then determines what becomes the establishment.
I'm not saying it's a binary dichotomy but I'm more leaning on the side that <oversimplification> there are no American 'political parties' in the sense that the Green Party will never be like the Canadian NDP etc </oversimplification> and the 'parties' is just an established, acceptable non-real-power-threatening Overton Window that directs shared class concerns and energy into a black hole of oxygen draining wedge issue arena.
The establishment is the establishment and money is the establishment and from that perspective, I would argue CTR is a class interest group rather than a partisan interest group.
Anyway. I think we disagree but I think it's the context we disagree on.
It's the "article" link on the page, and it works for me right now.
Whenver there is any negative story about china, the downvotes happen immediately and "defends of the honor of china" pop up magically throwing dirt everywhere.
I'm sure when PG made this, having nationalistic Chinese trolls degrade the forum with their "China is always right" bs was probably not on the top of his mind.
I wonder if we can ask the mods. Is there a pattern of downvotes whenver there isa negative story about China? I wonder if a bunch of Tencent/Alibaba "patriotic chinese" simply created lots of accounts and upvoted themselves to get to the point they can downvote across their accounts to "keep the internet clean" of anything that embarasses Xi Jinping and his stupid uneducated bimbo of a wife
The rest of your comment is also the kind of nationalistic ranting that isn't allowed on HN. People on both sides of every strongly-felt line perceive their opponents as trolls. If you have evidence of abuse, please email us so we can take a look; we ban accounts that do that, regardless of which nations or opinions are at issue.
But please don't post insinuations without basis. By 'basis' I mean specific links or data. Simply having an opposing view is not enough; it's too subject to how one feels. The site guidelines mention this, so it would be a good idea to (re-)read them: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
> Is there a pattern of downvotes whenver there isa negative story about China
There isn't such a pattern than I'm aware of. What you're probably seeing is users flagging stories that they feel are off-topic for HN, presumably because they lead to nationalistic flamewars.
It’s becoming a nuisance, which is fine. But I fear what will happen if the trend continues. It may very well end up suffocating thoughtful discussion about China and their policies. Which, ironically, would make it all the more important to have those :)
I find myself wondering if it’s astroturfing or blind nationalism.
(I agree the comment about his wife is in poor taste, by the way :/ I would support an amendment to your post, but I guess that’s your call.)
I'm skeptical that mods are deliberating burying such posts. What can happen is
1 - it gets flagged then vouched, but still has a huge karma hit. This happened to all the Damore discussions.
2 - it has a much greater ratio of comments to upvotes. This is taken as a marker of bickering and leads to penalization
that is most definitely not a fact, it is an opinion, namely your opinion. It's also a pointless and needlessly inflammatory insult that engenders no productive discussion. Would you say the same about the first lady of the US?
I'm not saying that it's being orchestrated by the Indian government, but it does happen.
How many Chinese people live in China?
How many Americans are there?
I have not counted them all myself, however this discussion has not talked the numbers and there are a fair few Chinese and Indian people and not so many American people, therefore some presence online is to be expected by people that don't go along with what Washington says.
Regarding whether it is bots or not, the guys in the China office where I work sometimes send out company wide emails that do not look like they have been written by humans. Particularly salient are the 'employee of the month' nominations that should be sent to HR and not 'cc all'. These emails definitely look like they could be written by an auto-translating bot. Reflected in these emails are different values and different ways of praising people that cause us in the UK to chuckle a bit.
Maybe a little, but the main thing I see in stories like that is dozens of comments that that derail the comments into a "the US is just as bad!" flame-war, and kill discussion of the negative story.
It's really effective, because Western users are often ignorant of China and/or indifferent to it, but will happily jump into a flame-war about Western countries when presented with the bait.
The first time you see such nonsense like the "bimbo" reference, you call it out. However, after you see it 50 times, you just ignore it. For you, you ignore it, but since nobody calls it out, it is gradually asserted as fact. This is the same trend online by the organized trolls whereby nobody even bothers to call them out when they pretend Taiwan is part of China; that the South China Sea belongs to China; and that Xi Jinping is the new Kim Jong Il.
The first time you see something like this attack, you call it out. By the time you see it 200 times from 20 different people, you'll be indifferent.
I should write a better 50c algorithm that spews Peng is a stupid bimbo until everyone on the internet accepts it.
Note. I don't think she is a bimbo, but the point stands none the less
At the same time, I am reminded of how organizations that in hindsight we know were definitely not funded by the Soviet Union were accused of exactly that during the 50s and 60s. For example, we now know that at one point the KGB and the FBI were concurrently running smear campaigns against MLK.
In that light, I’m skeptical of Lionsion’s motives in posting this. Yesterday he was rightfully called out by some including me for writing of Chinese internment camps in Xinjiang that
> These camps appear to be the result of high-level Chinese government policy that explicitly targets this ethic group. There are no contemporary parallels in the US. If you think there are, do you think Obama was in on it? The US situation is unfortunate, but it's more the result of poverty and lower-level racism, not a policy to imprison blacks.
The whataboutism in his last statement of course goes against the consensus of US academics studying criminal justice issues, the consensus of criminal justice advocates, as well as what (again, thanks to the passage of time) we now know about the deliberate decisions of politicians leading up to the War on Drugs:
I think Hacker News should place where we can have a civil discussions about issues. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we are able to have multiple (not just one!) threads and thus to discuss multiple topics. And as I have said previously, most of us can both walk and chew gum at the same time; if someone is unable to even read comments discussing US education reform on an article by an American looking at the Swedish education system, for example, without being “distracted,” I think that’s more of an issue for the easily-distracted person than for the discussants.
But the strange trend of accusing everyone who would like to discuss the relevance of an issue to the US of being funded by the Chinese government is as intellectually demeaning as it should be rhetorically suspect.
I’d be happy to prove that I’m an American citizen not funded by the Chinese or any other government, but I think that might be relatively hard to prove in a fair and respectful way over the Internet. On the other hand, it is much easier to look at someone’s public comment history and to see the unsettling trends there.
More generally, I’m getting tired of having to battle this recent uptick in China scaremongering on what used to be a much more reasonable forum. Lionsion’s account is very new, and I wonder if they are part of the recent influx of new users who have arrived with their own bad habits. Seriously, check the account creation date for users who post things that seem to be weird pro-China or anti-China propaganda. They seem to mostly have been made around 2016.
You've been spreading the toxin you're deploring, which is generally how it spreads on HN. That's not ok, regardless of how wrong someone else may be. If you think you see abuse, you're welcome to email us about it so we can take a look and take action if we find it. But you're not welcome to bring the site down in flames in your own right.
Here, I made a new post for you for your derail: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17105121. Please take it there.
Why is it that your account is only 67 days old and >75% of your comments are about China? Do you even comment on normal Hacker News topics that aren't related to politics?
No. Please take your points to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17105121.
> in order to push your own agenda?
My agenda is to stay at least vaguely on-topic.
> Why is it that your account only 67 days old yet >75% of your comments are about China? Do you even comment on normal Hacker News topics that aren't related to politics?
Because you didn't look past two days of comments? Most of my comments over the past two days have been in this article and the other about Xinjiang, which are both about China. But you're right, I have an interest in it.
Anyway, this thread with you is clearly off-topic, so I'm going to stop it. If have further questions for me, you can study my other comments or figure out a way to privately message me.
Ok, I'll bite. Here's my response:
You need to go outside and take a walk, because your "points" have been off topic, literally paranoid, and bizarrely personal. You're accusing me of being an "agent provocateur" and either a Chinese or Russian troll. That's crazy talk and utter nonsense.
Ignoring you isn't "telling," it's frustration and a lack of better options.
The truth is I'm a guy who was frustrated by a thread yesterday that was totally ruined by people who derailed it, perhaps like the 50 Cent Party would. Just to make it super clear: I don't think it was disrupted by the actual 50 Cent Party, but by people who maybe should consider learning to not act like it.
Edit: I apologize to everyone who reads this thread (or the dead comments below). In situations like this, the correct action is to ignore someone like my interlocutor, but that's difficult when he makes personal attacks. I should have held firm despite them.
You need to re-read my comment, especially the sentence after the one you partially quoted. What I was getting at was that someone who inadvertently behaves like a propagandist should re-evaluate their behavior and modify it, because it's destructive (if it wasn't destructive, why would the propagandist do it?). For instance, someone pushing hyper-partisan memes on Facebook should stop because Russians agents literally do that same thing as a disruption tactic.
> but I am not exaggerating when I say that I think putting these things on the record is important for everyone.
I have nothing to hide: https://web.archive.org/web/20180518222349/https://news.ycom...
Anyway, you are not acting like a stable, sensible person. You're getting too worked up. Please, take a break. Do something relaxing or fun. This is not a productive derail that anyone else would benefit from.
In case anyone is wondering: no, this is not because of your views. I don't know what they are and it doesn't matter, just as a fireman doesn't care what color a fire is.
You're not fooling anyone when you say that you're not accusing people of being propagandists, but rather that they're just "perhaps like" them.
> Anyway, you are not acting like a stable, sensible person. You're getting too worked up.
Says the guy whose two month old account has 75% of its comments about one topic, but nice try. I also wonder if you are subconsciously channeling some tactics from the past:
EDIT: And of course, recalling Cato, I will end by nothing that you still have not responded to anything I've said but rather have devolved to calling people who disagree with you crazy. Gee, it's almost like you're just trying to divide people instead of actually trying to have a good faith discussion.
1. The Chinese government has a massive, coordinated effort to post on social media to serve their propaganda goals.
2. That effort attempts to distract from things they don't want people to consider, rather than just loudly pushing the party line.
Please stop comparing it with other nations. China's government and its modus operandi is a completely different ball game. It is not even the same sport.
It only detracts from the discussion. If you would like to discuss US topics, please open a new thread and we are happy to have a conversation.
I find it funny that an article mentioning "...the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to distract the public and change the subject..." contains a comment that does exactly that.
It distracts from the core thread topic.
One particular interesting thing about this particular case is the scale and the focus, but do we really think other governments don't try? Even companies astroturf.
However, upvoting this and flagging comments pointing out hypocrisy can also be construed as propaganda. Seeing that across the comment section is discouraging.
This paper isn't about that kind of propaganda, where a particular narrative gets pushed. It's about an insidious kind of propaganda where an unrelated or semi-related narrative is pushed to distract from some topic.
> Why is this downvoted?
Probably because it can be interpreted as a similar kind of propaganda to the kind the article describes (e.g. lets get everyone riled up about Israel such that they forget about China). I can see the loose topic-similarity aiding such a goal.
And once you consider that, consider the numerous potential reasons why social media companies appear to do nothing about the huge numbers of obvious bots, astroturfers, sockpuppets, trollfarms, etc on their services.
Interesting times we live in!