China using online 'influencers' to spread COVID lies

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China is paying foreign collaborators to spread its disinformation in target countries, and these collaborators are often so-called "influencers" with many followers on social media platforms like Twitter.

That's the finding of a new study published on Monday. The study also found that China pays collaborating news organizations to spread its disinformation.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Taiwanese official addresses media, animated backdrop graphics show fake news flowing from China to Taiwan
2. Taiwanese researcher addresses media with Chinese and Taiwan flag maps behind him
3. Two Taiwanese researchers study Facebook posts on a computer screen
4. CCP agent pays off Taiwanese journalist, both look around them nervously
5. Influencer speaking on social media video, same influencer talking to CCP agent
6. Influencer speaking on video, showing Chinese propaganda about Taiwan's covid deaths

VOICEOVER (in English):
Taiwanese officials accused China on Monday 24 May of spreading fake news about the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan.

That same day, Taiwan's DoubleThink Lab released a report that details how Chinese government-backed disinformation flooded Taiwan in 2020.

The disinformation amplified discord prior to Taiwan's elections and spread COVID-related rumours aimed at delegitimizing Taiwan's democratic government.

The researchers analyzed thousands of posts to determine their origin, purpose, effect, audience, and mode of spreading.

They found that one tactic China uses is to pay news outlets to repackage Chinese propaganda as real news.

Another tactic is to work closely with real online influencers in the target country to get them to share the disinformation through their platforms.

China also uses websites that aggregate low-quality articles to spread disinformation, often through Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other platforms.

Another tactic is to mobilize Chinese nationalists to post and amplify disinformation online.


SOURCES: VOA, Axios.com, News.yahoo.com
https://news.yahoo.com/report-beijing-flooded-taiwan-coronavirus-060040555.html
https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/taiwan-says-china-spreading-fake-news-during-covid-spike
https://www.axios.com/report-beijing-taiwan-coronavirus-disinformation-82a6b21b-d743-49e8-9c66-c445827de024.html