• Harrison Jones

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed

Updated: May 20

We all have our suspicions about China, whether it is due to how they run a heavily communist regime or the sheer size of their population - They are a global superpower. The question is - Why is there so much propaganda, and do you notice it?

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed

Scrutiny Against China In the Coronavirus Outbreak Continues

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed


China has been caught in the midst of the media as of late, with the novel coronavirus being swept across the globe. People in all corners of the world have wondered how China's epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan province, only managed to have 4,000 or so deaths (Revised up from roughly 2,500 just last week).


It is one of many occasions where China's government has raised the eyebrows of the world, as even though they are host to where the outbreak reportedly began, they have had less reported cases than at least 7 other countries. Those countries are the USA, Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany & Turkey - With Iran likely to overtake China too, in terms of reported cases, in the coming days.

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed

The 50 Cent Party - China's Exposed Propaganda Regime

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed


You may or may not have heard of this before, but the 50 Cent Party is a regime used by the Chinese government to promote the communist party. The people working as part of the regime are used to manipulate public opinion for the benefit of the Chinese communist party. Examples will include rigorous posting of pro-Chinese government content on social media sites, especially when there is a hot topic up for debate, or when there is the threat of protests occurring in Chinese cities.


The term "50 Cent Party" refers to the people hired or elected to make these controversial posts online. They reportedly earn $0.50 USD per post, but this is just a rumour, and shouldn't be deemed true.


The 50 Cent Party is essentially a huge group of professional "trolls", that scour the internet to deter pro-western (or anti-Chinese) posts and fill up all of these pages with pro-Chinese government content or opinion. There could be up to 500 million people involved, which is almost half of the population of China itself!


2014 Hacking - China's 50 Cent Party Exposed?

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed


Towards the end of 2014, a huge pile of emails sent from Chinese government members to their "wumao dang" (Another reference for the 50 Cent Party), detailed never seen before propaganda directives from state officials. It was the turning point that made western states (and more so their people) raise suspicions about how the people of China were being controlled and assisting in the pro-Chinese communism movement.


Some of the documents exposed included instructions to paid commentators, summaries of the worker's internet activities, and many many thousands of messages sent out to the main Chinese microblog and social media platforms, we're talking companies like Tencent, Sina Weibo and many more internet forums.


It was easy to tell from the details of these politically augmented posts that they were used during times where large scale protests were happening or due to happen, or perhaps when the government made a screw up in their policies for things like wages, animal rights, working laws etc.

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed

The army of internet trolls will generally have random usernames, with a selection of numbers and random words. The accounts that the 50 Cent Party will post on won't have pictures attached to them, so as to disclose any relation to the Chinese communist parties.


As you can see from the post above, one of the most controversial debates that happens on Twitter is the war between the Western American world and the heavily communist republic of China. These nations have incredibly opposed views on government policy. Most recently, Donald Trump has continued to reignite the flames of opposition.


The COVID-19 outbreak has been labelled "China virus" by the US president, with a large army of Chinese nationals constantly replying to his tweets to make claims it was Trump and America themselves that created this virus, a bold move, but something that continues to muddle up western opinions about China (for the better in China's case usually).


What Can We Learn?

50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed


Despite having such a secretive nature to its cause, the 50 Cent Party has been largely exposed, highlighting the huge risks of cybersecurity across the globe. It really shows that basically anybody can be hacked or compromised online, even if they encrypt all of their messages, shield their browsing from the outside - Or in China's case, the "western world". Remember to stay safe online, always keep your messages and online activity to yourself, and make sure you don't get deterred by these fake accounts, there a several millions of them, and it can be hard to tell who's who online.


Thank you for reading '50 cent party: China's professional troll exposed' by IT Block. IT Block is an IT support services provider in Singapore and a registered Google News source.

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