Chinese government social media programme seeks to distract the public
In a 2017 study of patterns of postings on Chinese social media, three Harvard researchers disagreed with the widespread claim that the government's strategy is to post "50c party" posts that argue for the government's side in policy and political debates. Instead, the researchers estimated that the Chinese government fabricates as many as 448 million social media comments a year but found that these avoid controversial issues and arguments with government skeptics. Instead, the researchers show that the goal of the programme is to distract the public, change the subject, and cheerlead for symbols of the regime, China, and the Communist Party's revolutionary history.
Writer: Gary King, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts