What do Hillary Clinton and the communist government of China have in common? Aside from their shared support for subverting freedom, lack of respect for human rights, and support of invasive surveillance, they both possess armies of trolls who manipulate online narratives.
According to a new report from researchers at Harvard’s Department of Government, the Chinese government employs millions of people to make posts praising government on their behalf. The internet mercenaries are deemed, collectively, “The 50 Cent Party,” because of rumors they are paid per post (the report concluded they do not appeared to be paid and most are government employees to begin with). They are believed to make 488 million posts per year.
After a blogger leaked hacked official email archives, the long-suspected program was confirmed to be real. Those leaks “reported activities of Internet commentators, including numerous 50c posts from workers claiming credit for completing their assignments, and many other communications.” The posts were often “cheerleading” for government, sometimes to “distract the public, although this activity can be also be used to distract from other events, general negativity, specific grievances, etc.” Posts that reflected positively on government made up the majority of so-called 50 centers’ activity, and the researchers theorized it “is a strategy designed to actively distract and redirect public attention from ongoing criticism, other grievances, or collective action.”
Perhaps such behavior is to be expected of an overarching communist regime, but Hillary Clinton’s internet army made headlines before China’s. As Anti-Media reported last month, the Clinton campaign has invested $1 million to fund an army of internet crusaders to challenge negative conversations about her online. That army, called “Barrier Breakers” and is a division of her organization, Correct the Record, which describes itself as “a strategic research and rapid response team designed to defend Hillary Clinton from baseless attacks.”
According to Correct the Record’s website, Barrier Breakers is intended to “serve as a resource for supporters looking for positive content and push-back to share with their online progressive communities, as well as thanking prominent supporters and committed superdelegates on social media.” (By “committed superdelegates,” perhaps they mean “paid lobbyists.”)
The project is extensive, “including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram.”
It appears 50 centers and Barrier Breakers are performing the same function: creating potentially artificial perceptions that the Chinese government and Hillary Clinton, respectively, enjoy enthusiastic support (it’s likely some members of both the Chinese and Clinton social media teams do genuinely believe the things they post). But there are differences.
For one, the Chinese government has attempted to keep its operations secret. In contrast, the Clinton campaign has made its intentions public, seizing the opportunity to couch their attempts to control the conversation in proactive language that conflates itself with combating online harassment. “The task force currently combats online political harassment, having already addressed more than 5,000 individuals who have personally attacked Secretary Clinton on Twitter,” they boast. They do not disclose whether task force members’ individual identities are public or private.
Correct the Record claims Hillary supporters are “oftentimes are discouraged from engaging online and are ‘often afraid to voice their thoughts’ because of the fear of online harassment,” using this, evidently, as justification for paying people to post positive sentiments about the candidate, who currently suffers a likeability problem as severe as reviled presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The biggest difference between Clinton and the Chinese government in their efforts to sway conversations online concerns the degree of defensive engagement they display: according to the researchers, the Chinese government’s posters “do not step up to defend the government, its leaders, and their policies from criticism, no matter how vitriolic; indeed, they seem to avoid controversial issues entirely,” preferring, rather, to use cheerleading efforts to distract and redirect. “Letting an argument die, or changing the subject, usually works much better than picking an argument and getting someone’s back up,” the researchers explained.
In contrast, Clinton’s Barrier Breakers project openly admits its active engagement in countering anti-Hillary narratives. Referencing “Bernie Bros,” Barrier Breakers vows to use what they’ve learned to “quickly and forcefully [respond] to negative attacks and false narratives.” This reaches beyond the Chinese government’s designs to distract with cheerleading; it’s an unabashed effort to change minds — even as Barrier Breakers fails to elaborate on the “false narratives” they plan to challenge.
Their goal conveniently ignores Clinton’s own proclivity for dishonesty and manipulating narratives. Indeed, her collective of paid public supporters extends to cable news, where many pundits praise her but fail to disclose they are on her payroll.
Hillary Clinton and the Chinese government are not the only entities who attempt to mold narratives and public perception to their benefit. Donald Trump was caught hiring real-life actors to drum up enthusiasm for his campaign. In the social media sphere, the Israeli government has a student program, called “Hasbara,” meant to counter online speech critical of Israel. British spy agency, GCHQ, which wokrks closely with the NSA, has a program to manipulate online political narratives and destroy the reputations of activist movements. And of course, the American government, namely — that we know of — the military, uses sock puppet accounts to spread pro-American propaganda.
While Barrier Breakers is, perhaps, more permissible than the Chinese government’s program, in that it is not officially sponsored by government, Clinton has given the populace no reason to believe her manipulative practices will cease should she make it to the White House.
Originally published on 2016-05-21
Source: The Anti Media
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]
The U.S. State Department annually publishes an extremely biased report on human rights around the world. Conveniently, the report omits one of the most systemic violators of human rights on the planet. Under Donald Trump, the United States has graduated from systemic human rights violator to human rights pariah, as witnessed by recent murders and assaults by police of innocent people on the streets of America. Although the United States has historically been more than willing to criticize the human rights policies of other countries, including in the venue of the United Nations, it has bristled at attempts to have ...
Or Yugoslavia’s for that matter. The level of western cynicism on “territorial integrity” is far greater than you probably know. The Kosovo-Crimea discrepancy is just the tip of the icebergEarlier this month Obama gave an earful to Putin (from a G7 meeting held 2,000 kilometres away from Moscow) complaining that this day and age you just can’t go around violating the “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of other countries:“Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire? Or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not ...
Figure 1. Ethnic Albanian refugees at the Lion airport, April 18, 1999 A French magazine published a couple of photos from the Lion airport on April 18th, 1999, at the time when NATO bombers were pouring their lethal burden over Serbia (and partly over Montenegro), in the course of their “preventing humanitarian catastrophe” at Kosovo. One picture showed the French weaponry ready to be transported to Kosovo, the other presented an ethnic-Albanian family from Kosovo, refugees just arrived to France. The photo deserves well our attention, for it speaks very much indeed; it exposes vividly the very crux of the ...
We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming a Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy ...
Never had so many people been put in prison. The size of the Allied captures was unprecedented in all history. The Soviets took prisoner some 3.5 million Europeans, the Americans about 6.1 million, the British about 2.4 million, the Canadians about 300,000, the French around 200,000. Uncounted millions of Japanese entered American captivity in 1945, plus about 640,000 entering Soviet captivity.As soon as Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, the American Military Governor, General Eisenhower, sent out an “urgent courier” throughout the huge area that he commanded, making it a crime punishable by death for German civilians to feed prisoners. ...
The interviews with three snipers of Georgian nationality, conducted by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin and aired last week as a breathtaking documentary on Milan-based Canale 5 (Matrix program), still have not paved its way to the international mainstream media. That is hardly surprising taking into account the bombshell evidence against the real perpetrators and organizers of the 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, generally known as the “revolution of dignity“.The documentary features Alexander Revazishvili, Koba Nergadze and Zalogi Kvaratskhelia, Georgian military officers who were recruited to carry out a “special mission” in Kiev by Mamuka Mamulashvili, a close aid of ...
Recently Crimea celebrated the 2nd anniversary of its reunification with Russia, marked on the day of the referendum that ended the Ukrainian occupation. Much has been written about the political and geopolitical aspects of the reunification as well as the social sentiments of the people, but little has been said about the economy. I want to lift the lid on that because the results of the economic transition are in fact quite impressive, especially considering the arduous hurdles that had to be overcome in the process.The transition from the Ukrainian economy to the Russian one meant a transfer from a ...
Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?” (Bob Dylan, b. 1941, Masters of War)
On Tuesday 6th of September, twenty-four hour monitoring by Yemen’s Legal Centre for Rights and Development (LCRD) recorded the bombings by the Saudi led “coalition”, armed by the US and UK and advised by their military specialists, thus collusion and co-operation of both countries render them equally culpable for the carnage.
Yemen has a population of just 24.41 million (2013 figure) and according to the Rural Poverty Portal:
“ … is one of the driest, poorest and least developed countries in ...
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
Ridvan Haqifi (left) and Lavdrim Muhaxheri (right), two ISIS Kosovo Albanian commanders. | Photo: ISIS propaganda videoAlbert Berisha, a former Kosovar jihadist who travelled to fight in Syria, appeared before a Pristina court on Monday to recount his version of the story and maintain his innocence.Berisha, who graduated in political sciences from the University of Pristina and holds a Masters degree from the University of Tirana, was arrested in 2014 and is charged with participating in terrorist organisations. This crime is punishable with a minimum of five years in prison.Berisha said he went to Syria from October 6 to 20, ...
Donald Trump with Larry King on the occasion of the anniversary of the bombing of Serbia criticized Bill Clinton and criminal attack on Serbs, the ally of America in both wars.
“The Clintons have made a mess in the Balkans and Kosovo. Look what we did to Serbia in an aerial bombardment from a safe height. Those same Serbs rescued American pilots in World War II.
It is a mistake that we bombed a nation that has been our ally in two world wars. Clintons believe that was a success, and I find it shameful.
I extend an apology to all the Serbs ...
This carefully research article by John Steinbach on Israel’s nuclear arsenal was first published by Global Research in March 2002
“Should war break out in the Middle East again,… or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability.” Seymour Hersh(1)
“Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.” Ariel Sharon(2)
With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China ...
Only one example of traditional Western liberal democracy's support of the notorious war criminals, bandits, and gangsters:Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
To describe the US attack on Syria as a serious development is to be guilty of understatement.
Without any recourse to international law or the United Nations, the Trump administration has embarked on an act of international aggression against yet another sovereign state in the Middle East, confirming that neocons have reasserted their dominance over US foreign policy in Washington. It is an act of aggression that ends any prospect of détente between Washington and Moscow in the foreseeable future, considerably increasing tensions between Russia and the US not only in the Middle East but also in Eastern Europe, where NATO ...
President Donald Trump Monday, April 3, 2017, welcomed the Egyptian military dictator, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who assumed the title of Field Marshal after arresting and deposing the democratically elected President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013.
After the meeting Trump told the press: “We agree on so many things. I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.”
By “a fantastic job” Trump was apparently referring to the massacre of hundreds of innocent Egyptians in the aftermath of US-endorsed coup ...
"In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…."Today, Christopher Columbus is celebrated as a mythical hero by some – complete with songs, poems, and fictional tales about his great adventure across the Atlantic to explore the majestic land that would eventually be known as the Americas. There are fifty-four communities named after the explorer in the United States, including the District of Columbia. “Hail, Columbia” was the United States’ unofficial national anthem until 1931. A federal holiday, “Columbus Day,” is celebrated every second Monday in October.Despite all of this, historians have begun to tear down the Columbus myth: ...
On March 23rd, Gallup headlined “South Sudan, Haiti and Ukraine Lead World in Suffering”, and the Ukrainian part of that can unquestionably be laid at the feet of U.S. President Barack Obama, who in February 2014 imposed upon Ukraine a very bloody coup (see it here), which he and his press misrepresented (and still misrepresent) as being (and still represent as having been) a ‘democratic revolution’, but was nothing of the sort, and actually was instead the start of the Ukrainian dictatorship and the hell that has since destroyed that country, and brought the people there into such misery, it’s now by far ...
So, here's how it is:
1) There is still no evidence - that has been presented to the public - that Assad ordered a chemical weapons (CW) attack.
2) Yes, that evidence should be made public, discussed and debated by Congress, and a vote taken before we use force. I acknowledge that the War Powers Resolution gives the President the authority to use force for 60 days - but the interests of peace and stability are better served through a debate and a democratic process as opposed to a unilateral decision made in secret, especially when the military action is punitive and ...
Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?“Neocons” believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of ...
Why the U.S. is a Major Human Rights Violator
Hey Obama, What About Serbia’s “Territorial Integrity”?
Basic Introduction to the Kosovo Problem
A Holocaust was what the Americans Did to the Germans: Eisenhower’s Starvation Order
Cheap Dignity of the Ukrainian Revolution
The Hidden Story of Crimea’s Economic Success
The Unspoken War on Yemen
A Boomerang Policy: From Paris to Paris
Former Kosovar Jihadist Recounts Syrian Odyssey
Donald Trump: It was a Great Mistake to Bomb the Serbs Who were Our Allies in Both World Wars
Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Threat to World Peace
Democratic Shaking Hands with Kosovostan’s War Criminal
Airstrikes Without Justice
President Trump Welcomes Egyptian Dictator – The “Butcher of Cairo”
The Truth about Christopher Columbus
What America’s Coup in Ukraine Did
Only Fools and Liars will Blame Assad
Pax Americana: Who are the Neocon Imperialists?
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS