China’s ’50-cent’ party takes on the jasmine revolutions

In addition to police crackdowns on public gatherings, the Chinese state — or at least its supporters — appears to have launched an online commenting campaign to discredit calls for a "jasmine revolution" in China. China Digital Times (CDT) writes: Chinese Twitter users have noticed that suddenly a new group of Chinese Twitter accounts opened ...

In addition to police crackdowns on public gatherings, the Chinese state -- or at least its supporters -- appears to have launched an online commenting campaign to discredit calls for a "jasmine revolution" in China. China Digital Times (CDT) writes:

Chinese Twitter users have noticed that suddenly a new group of Chinese Twitter accounts opened and became active during the last week. Some of these accounts have forged the names of activists and even included avatar photos of dissidents and activists. Most of the messages sent from these accounts, which have been tracked and compiled by other Chinese Twitter users, include pro-government comments typically sent by the so-called 50 Cent Party.

The 50-cent party is a nickname for the undercover pro-government Internet commenters who are allegedly paid that much per comment. Here are a few of the comments, as translated by CDT:

In addition to police crackdowns on public gatherings, the Chinese state — or at least its supporters — appears to have launched an online commenting campaign to discredit calls for a "jasmine revolution" in China. China Digital Times (CDT) writes:

Chinese users have noticed that suddenly a new group of Chinese accounts opened and became active during the last week. Some of these accounts have forged the names of activists and even included avatar photos of dissidents and activists. Most of the messages sent from these accounts, which have been tracked and compiled by other Chinese users, include pro-government comments typically sent by the so-called 50 Cent Party.

The 50-cent party is a nickname for the undercover pro-government Internet commenters who are allegedly paid that much per comment. Here are a few of the comments, as translated by CDT:

If we are democratized, there will be bunch of groups. America would support one, Russia another and Japan another…haha. Chinese people are famous for being traitors who sell out the national interests, and Chinese people are good at fighting against each other. When the time comes, China’s history will repeat itself again. …

I am satisfied with the way things are. Does America have no dark side? Each coin has two sides, I am not willing to participate in any revolution which risks deteriorating my quality of life. What if I were to lose my life in the revolution? I am not that dumb. …

I’ve seen a story in the international news lately, about the upheaval in Egypt. My conclusion, in short, is that it’s been brought about by the Americans’ running dogs, and no good will come of it. Americans are the sort who’ll blow up the bridge once they’re across it themselves. …

Whatever Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, told her friend about being cut off for a long time from her friends and family, and her morale collapsing, her life looks very comfortable to me, taking foreign friends’ US dollars and enjoying life. No wonder so many people don’t really work and just make trouble here, because they can just live off of US dollars! Wow! …

Those of you always going on about how bad the Communist Party is, why don’t you try governing 1.5 billion people for a bit? Winning the approval of the vast majority of people as they have is an amazing achievement! Not everyone gets along in America, either: why do you think there’s so much crime there? …

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy Twitter: @joshuakeating

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