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tsuomela : country(china)   18

How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument | Gary King
"The Chinese government has long been suspected of hiring as many as 2,000,000 people to surreptitiously insert huge numbers of pseudonymous and other deceptive writings into the stream of real social media posts, as if they were the genuine opinions of ordinary people. Many academics, and most journalists and activists, claim that these so-called "50c party" posts vociferously argue for the government's side in political and policy debates. As we show, this is also true of the vast majority of posts openly accused on social media of being 50c. Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime's strategic objective in pursuing this activity. In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime's strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We infer that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to regularly distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime. We discuss how these results fit with what is known about the Chinese censorship program, and suggest how they may change our broader theoretical understanding of "common knowledge" and information control in authoritarian regimes."
information  propaganda  political-science  country(China) 
january 2017 by tsuomela
Fabulous journalism | Felix Salmon
"One of the central problems with narrative nonfiction is that the best narratives aren’t messy and complicated, while nonfiction nearly always is. Daisey stepped way too far over the line when he started outright lying to his audience and to the producers of This American Life. But all of us in the narrative-nonfiction business (I’ve written such stuff myself) are faced at some point with a choice between telling the story and telling the whole truth, or the whole truth as best we understand it. Someone like Michael Lewis will concentrate with a laser focus on the story: what he writes is the truth, but it isn’t the whole truth. And when you have a storyteller like Mike Daisey who considers himself a monologist rather than a journalist, even outright lies can find their way in to the story very easily."
truth  fiction  story-telling  journalism  apple  country(China)  business 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Shanghai Scrap » Unnatural Selection: Missing Girls, Abortion, and the Perversion of Choice
"Skewed sex ratios at birth are now found in many countries with no tradition of infanticide and no one-child policy. By and large, the gap is the result of sex selective abortion."
abortion  unintended-consequences  population  technology  technology-effects  country(China)  gender  sex 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium - Telegraph
"A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium. "
country(China)  country(Japan)  nuclear  energy  risk  safety  disaster  crisis  environment  technology  america  fear 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Paradise Lost: Why Fallen Markets Will Never Be the Same
by Nouriel Roubini and Ian Bremmer. "Crises breed denial. Whether a crisis concerns an individual’s health, career or marriage, a company’s reputation or market share, or a nation’s place in the global pecking order, powerful incentives exist within the stricken entity to aspire to a return to normalcy — and to proceed as if that result represents the only option. However, as we all know from human experience, some setbacks are irreversible. We believe the recent meltdown suffered by the U.S. and its partners on the liberal side of the global economy is one of them."
economics  politics  international  capitalism  western  power  crisis  realignment  mercantilism  country(China)  future 
september 2010 by tsuomela
Open Left:: China Is Not the Problem
Discussion of China and other developing countries role in the Copenhagen global-warming negotiations at end of this year.
climate  global-warming  development  international  treaties  country(China)  environment  energy  third-world  2009 
august 2009 by tsuomela

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