Why China fakes 488 million social media posts a year

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China’s government fabricates about 488 million social media comments a year – nearly the same as one day of Twitter’s total global volume – in a massive effort to distract its citizens from bad news and sensitive political debates, according to a study.

Three scholars led by Gary King, a political scientist at Harvard University who specializes in using quantitative data to analyze public policy, ran the first systematic¬†study of China’s online propaganda workers, known as the Fifty Cent Party because they are popularly believed to be paid by the government 50 Chinese cents for every social media post. Read more…

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