Dec 18 2008
According to BBC News, China is developing a more sophisticated approach to spinning public opinion on the internet by using paid surrogates to promote positive government positions. The group has been given the title, “the 50 cent Party,” based on the amount of money (Renminbi) they are paid for each posting made in favor of the government:
China is using an increasing number of paid “internet commentators” in a sophisticated attempt to control public opinion. These commentators are used by government departments to scour the internet for bad news – and then negate it.
They post comments on websites and forums that spin bad news into good in an attempt to shape public opinion.
Chinese leaders seem aware that the internet – the only public forum where views can be freely expressed – needs close attention.