South Korean music, movies and dramas are winning the hearts of young North Koreans. Their influence is seen as a threat to Mr. Kim’s grip on society.
The government has been using its money and power to create an alternative to a global news media dominated by outlets like the BBC and CNN.
An official social media post contrasting Beijing’s successes with its neighbor’s coronavirus woes drew a backlash from some, who called it callous.
The government organized a day of citywide activities, from schools to the police academy, to encourage residents to support a recent national security law.
China’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign got off to a slow start. It is now trying to catch up, through a mixture of freebies and the occasional threat.
“We have defeated the enemy.” The international community is scrambling to secure peace in Afghanistan, but the Taliban believe they have the upper hand — and are saying as much.
The Communist Party’s youth wing and official news outlets used grabby memes and hashtags to start a tsunami of nationalist fury over Xinjiang cotton.
The Russian president has posed for some new publicity stills amid the snowy Siberian landscape.
A newly declassified intelligence report made clear that government agencies long knew of Russia’s work to aid Donald Trump, but he and allies muddied the waters.
The Communist Party’s success in reclaiming the narrative has proved to the world its ability to rally the people to its side, no matter how stumbling its actions might be.
China, Russia and other detractors won’t gain from the United States’ pain.
Lying as a political tool is hardly new. But a readiness, even enthusiasm, to be deceived has become a driving force in politics around the world, most recently in the United States.
The Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to hide its missteps have taken on new urgency as the anniversary of the world’s first Covid-19 lockdown nears.
Thousands of internal directives and reports reveal how Chinese officials stage-managed what appeared online in the early days of the outbreak.
To push the idea that the virus didn’t come from China, the government has misrepresented experts’ remarks and given dubious theories the veneer of science.
President Trump’s baseless claims of a stolen election resonate on Russian state media. Both Russia and China have painted American democracy as volatile and vulnerable.
Many in Beijing believe that the United States will remain hostile to the country’s rise, regardless of who is president.
Unlike any Chinese leader since 1949, he has no identifiable rivals and no likely successors.
New television shows have paid tribute to the city where the coronavirus emerged, focusing on residents’ heroism and glossing over official mistakes.
Caught in a tit-for-tat battle over the media between the two countries, the worried reporters say they help bring a nuanced view of American life back home.
The social media company’s head of cybersecurity policy on “perception hacks” and what it will take to have an authentic election.
His corrosiveness has caused friends to lose trust.
An exhibition looks back at a point in the 1970s when the philosopher and activist was a state-promoted hero behind the Iron Curtain.
China is commemorating the war with a barrage of nationalistic propaganda. “They smashed the myth that the American military was invincible,” China’s leader said.
We are publishing the full list so readers can see whether the sites target their area.
As the United States and Taiwan draw closer, state propaganda is sending the message that China will go to war if necessary.
The app has reshaped the experience of Chinese-Americans for the better, but also spreads misinformation and government propaganda.
A scene from a state-sponsored show extolled men who volunteered but played down women’s contributions. Internet users are calling for the show to be pulled from the air.
The West still doesn’t understand the scale of Beijing’s soft-power ambitions.
Forcing the unspooling of a complex global company is not as easy as yelling about the “China menace.”
YouTube and other social media platforms give the country an easy way to spread propaganda and push a more modern, upbeat message: We’re just like you.
From Trump to Lukashenko, authoritarians are discovering that this isn’t their kind of crisis.
A vital connection for the Chinese diaspora, the app has also become a global conduit of Chinese state propaganda, surveillance and intimidation. The United States has proposed banning it.
While the United States was creating confusion with its virus messaging, the rest of the world got creative.
The new book, by the journalist Seyward Darby, follows three American women who have little in common but racial hatred.
The White House’s campaign against the China-based developers of popular apps escalated dramatically in the last day, as President Donald Trump declared both TikTok and WeChat to be national emergencies and said the administration will ban or curtail their operations in September.
“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” both orders read. “The United States must take aggressive action against the owners” of the apps “to protect our national security.”
Washington sent offers to cellphones in Russia and Iran of rewards of up to $10 million for information on hackers trying to attack American voting systems.
YouTube has banned a large number of Chinese accounts it said were engaging in “coordinated influence operations” on political issues, the company announced today. 2,596 accounts from China alone were taken down from April to June, compared with 277 in the first three months of 2020.
“These channels mostly uploaded spammy, non-political content, but a small subset posted political content primarily in Chinese similar to the findings in a recent Graphika report, including content related to the U.S. response to COVID-19,” Google posted in its Threat Analysis Group bulletin for Q2.
The Graphika report, entitled “Return of the (Spamouflage) Dragon: Pro Chinese Spam Network Tries Again,” can be read here. It details a large set of accounts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media that began to be activated early this year that appeared to be part of a global propaganda push:
The network made heavy use of video footage taken from pro-Chinese government channels, together with memes and lengthy texts in both Chinese and English. It interspersed its political content with spam posts, typically of scenery, basketball, models, and TikTok videos. These appeared designed to camouflage the operation’s political content, hence the name.
It’s the “return” of this particular spam dragon because it showed up last fall in a similar form, and whoever is pulling the strings appears undeterred by detection. New, sleeper, and stolen accounts were amassed again and deployed for similar purposes, though now — as Google notes — with a COVID-19 twist.
When June rolled around, content was also being pushed related to the ongoing protests regarding the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and other racial justice matters.
The Google post notes that the Chinese campaign, as well as others from Russia and Iran, were multi-platform, as similar findings were reported by Facebook, Twitter, and cybersecurity outfits like FireEye.
Having taken down 186 channels in April, 1,098 in May, and 1,312 in June, we may be in for a bumper crop in the summer as well. Watch with care.
Declassified U.S. intelligence accuses Moscow of pushing propaganda through alternative websites as Russia refines techniques used in 2016.
Facebook hired a Ukrainian group battling Russian disinformation to flag misleading posts. But critics say the fact checkers’ work veers into activism.
The concentration of control of the media in Hungary by the government is part of a troubling pattern in Central Europe, where Poland’s press also faces pressure following a presidential election.
The global health agency sent two experts to China, but it is unclear how much access they are getting. They must first complete a two-week quarantine.
The case is the first high-profile criminal investigation of Chinese influence peddling to be made public since Australia passed foreign interference laws two years ago.
Herbal formulas are also a potion for national cohesion.
Alternating between raising tensions and extending an olive branch — all to confuse the enemy — has been part of the regime’s dog-eared playbook.
TikTok is the latest platform to sign up the European Union’s Code of Practice on disinformation, agreeing to a set of voluntary steps aimed at combating the spread of damaging fakes and falsehoods online.
The short video sharing platform, which is developed by Beijing based ByteDance and topped 2BN downloads earlier this year, is hugely popular with teens — so you’re a lot more likely to see dancing and lipsyncing videos circulating than AI-generated high tech ‘deepfakes’. Though, of course, online disinformation has no single medium: The crux of the problem is something false passing off as true, with potentially very damaging impacts (such as when it’s targeted at elections; or bogus health information spreading during a pandemic).
The EDiMA trade association, which counts TikTok as one of a number of tech giant members — and acts as a spokesperson for those signed up to the EU’s Code — announced today that the popular video sharing platform had formally signed up.
“TikTok signing up to the Code of Practice on Disinformation is great news as it widens the breadth of online platforms stepping up the fight against disinformation online. It shows that the Code of Practice on Disinformation is an effective means to ensure that companies do more to effectively fight disinformation online,” said Siada El Ramly, EDiMA’s director general, in a statement.
She further claimed the announcement “shows once again that internet companies take their responsibility seriously and are ready to play their part”.
In another statement, TikTok’s Theo Bertram, director of its government relations & public policy team in Europe, added: “To prevent the spread of disinformation online, industry co-operation and transparency are vital, and we’re proud to sign up to the Code of Practice on Disinformation to play our part.”
That’s the top-line PR from the platforms’ side.
However earlier this month the Commission warned that a coronavirus ‘infodemic’ had led to a flood of false and/or misleading information related to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months — telling tech giants they must do more.
Platforms signed up to the Code of Practice must now provide monthly reports with greater detail about the counter measures they’re taking to tackle coronavirus fakes, it added — warning they need to back up their claims of action with more robust evidence that the steps they’re taking are actually working.
The Commission said then that TikTok was on the point of signing up. It also said negotiations remain ongoing with Facebook-owned WhatsApp to join the code. We’ve reached out to the Commission for any update.
Commissioners are now consulting on major reforms to foundational ecommerce rules which wrap digital services, including looking at the hot button issue of content liability and asking — more broadly — how much responsibility platforms should have for the content they amplify and monetize? A draft proposal of the Digital Services Act is slated for the end of the year.
All of which incentivizes platforms to show willingness to work with the EU’s current (voluntary) anti-disinformation program — or risk more stringent and legally binding rules coming down the pipe in future. (TikTok has the additional risk of being a China-based platform, and earlier this month the Commission went so far as to name China as one of the state entities it has identified spreading disinformation in the region.)
Although the chance of hard and fast regulations to tackle fuzzy falsehoods seems unlikely.
Earlier this month the Commission’s VP for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, suggested illegal content will be the focus for the Digital Services Act. On the altogether harder-to-define problem of ‘disinformation’ she said: “I do not foresee that we will come with hard regulation on that.” Instead, she suggested lawmakers will look for an “efficient” way of decreasing the harmful impacts associated with the problem — saying they could, for example, focus on pre-election periods; suggesting there may be temporary controls on platform content ahead of major votes.
Facebook, Google, Twitter and Mozilla were among the first clutch of tech platforms and online advertisers to sign up to the Commission’s code back in 2018 — when signatories committed to take actions aimed at disrupting ad revenues for entities which spread fakes and actively support research into disinformation.
They also agreed to do more to tackle fake accounts and bots; and said they’d make political and issue ads more transparent. Empowering consumers to report disinformation and access different news sources, and improving the visibility of authoritative content were other commitments.
Since then a few more platforms and trade associations have signed up to the EU code — with TikTok the latest.
Reviews of the EU’s initiative remain mixed — including the Commission’s own regular ‘must do better’ report card for platforms. Clearly, online disinformation remains hugely problematic. Nor is there ever going to be a simply fix for such a complex human phenomenon. Although there is far less excuse for platforms’ ongoing transparency failures.
Which may in turn offer the best route forward for regulators to tackle such a thorny issue: Via enforced transparency and access to platform data.
“The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near,” the North said, threatening to respond to propaganda balloons sent by anti-North Korean activists and defectors in South Korea.
Over 280 million people a week depend on the V.O.A. for news. Its independence is why it is so trusted.
The company said the latest misinformation effort came with a new wrinkle: extolling the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.