Kudos to the State Department for its “PRC Efforts to Manipulate Global Public Opinion on Xinjiang” report released August 24 about how China’s government is attempting to cover up its campaign of abuse and tortune against its Muslim populaiton in its Xinjiang province.
Here’s are highlights: “The People’s Republic of China actively attempts to manipulate and dominate global discourse on Xinjiang and to discredit independent sources reporting ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity conducted against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
"PRC-directed and -affiliated actors lead a coordinated effort to amplify Beijing’s preferred narratives on Xinjiang, to drown out and marginalize narratives that are critical of the PRC’s repression of Uyghurs, and to harass those critical of the PRC.”
China’s propaganda tactics include drowning out critical narratives by both flooding the international information environment to limit access to content that contradicts Beijing's official line, and by creating an artificial appearance of support for PRC policies, according to the State Dept.
China’s government works to silence dissent by engaging in digital transnational repression, trolling and cyberbullying.
Pro-PRC actors engage in “astroturfing,” or coordinated campaigns of inauthentic posts to create the illusion of widespread grassroots support for a policy, individual or viewpoint, when no such widespread support exists.
Similar to flooding, the PRC uses astroturfing to inundate the information space with “positive stories ” about Xinjiang and the Uyghur population, including manufactured depictions of Uyghurs living “simple happy lives,” as well as posts emphasizing the purported economic gains that the PRC’s policies have brought to Xinjiang.”
China practices “whataboutism” or puts up false equivalencies to distract/deflect criticism with the goal of portraying accusers as hypocritical. “Their arguments do not advance the case that the PRC is innocent; rather, they make the point that other countries are equally guilty of abuses. Despite these efforts to distract from the situation in Xinjiang, independent media outlets, academics, and human rights activists have published multiple eyewitness accounts and verifiable data that the PRC has imprisoned an estimated one million people and that credible evidence exists of torture, forced sterilization, and other abuses.”
China increasingly is turning to private media companies to craft foreign-facing information manipulation campaigns. The State Dept. reports at least 90 PRC-based firms are creating manipulation campaigns to portray the PRC positively. Via a network of phony accounts, that content gets amplified on Twitter and YouTube.
The State Dept. cites a study by the French Military School Strategic Research Institute , which showed PRC trolls’ tactics include attacking and trying to discredit critics, feeding controversies, insulting, and harassing.
The PRC’s Cyberspace Affairs Commission and Central Propaganda Department directly employ an estimated two million people nationwide in this capacity and another 20 million working as part-time “network civilization volunteers.”
The US faces a powerful PR adversary.
Jared Kushner gets a helping hand in promoting his "memoir." Hope Hicks, a member of the Trump family inner circle, is helping the former first son-in-law promote his book, “Breaking History,” according to Vanity Fair.
She is helping Kusher handle logistics for his book tour of conservative outlets. A brutal New York Times review of the book says it “entirely ignores the chaos, the alienation of allies, the breaking of laws and norms, the flirtations with dictators, the comprehensive loss of America’s moral leadership, and so on, ad infinitum, to speak about his boyish tinkering with issues he was interested in.”
Hicks, whom Donald Trump calls “My Hopey," was recruited for the White House communications director spot to replace the ousted Wall Street player Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted 10 days in the job. Following her resignation, she landed a top PR job at—surprise, surprise—Fox Corp.
Hicks began her PR career at Zeno Group and represented Ivanka Trump at Hiltzik Strategies before joining the Trump Organization as communications director.
More than two in five (43 percent) of Americans believe a Civil War is at least likely to happen in the US during the next decade, according to polling from The Economist and YouGov.
More than half (53 percent) of “strong Republicans” are bullish on the outbreak of a Civil War, while “not very strong Republicans” check in at 45 percent.
“Strong Democrats,” “not very strong Democrats” and “Independents” each weigh in at 40 percent.
One wonders if the poll respondents knew of the true horrors of the Civil War.
Until recently, it was estimated that 620K Union and Confederate soldiers died in the conflict.
A new analysis in 2021 based on digitized census figures upped that death toll to 750K and perhaps 850K.
Are we really trying to refight the Civil War? We shouldn't throw those words around so lightly.