How to spread propaganda online? – Part 2
This is a reddit comment by u/enteirush that I found interesting. Reddit, like any other media and social media platform has its share of discourse maintenance by foreign actors that vary from country to country. China, the US, Russia, Turkey and to an extent every other country tries to curate and maintain a public image as they wish. To see a whole collective of people under respective brand names – Chinese, Maltans, Sudanese.., 1 billion people that fit into a simple category because of a country name.
The conversations are about us and we form identities we want to inhabit, our professions, our street and our countries. The doctors are our heroes and so are the bus drivers. These are labels given to individuals who share a profession, a collective will. We identify with and imagine people while living indoors, hooked to screens, this is heroin awash into every waking minute. Heroin, that's transmitted through screens connected with invisible tubes and wires, the internet. Our societies are now built in our minds, where there is no resistance to what we are confronted with. These are the manipulations we allow.
I'm here to share some of my experiences baiting people on YouTube and Reddit. I'm not a keyboard warrior, I don't play LoL and I haven't overtly trolled Americans before, but I still have some experience conversing with them.
Requirement #1: Don't explicitly show you're on China's side / Your username shouldn't make it obvious you're Chinese
This doesn't make you seem cowardly or insecure, rather, it's a simple manipulation tactic. [blah blah some rant about Indians being poor] Likewise, we need to hide our identities when baiting (remember: baiting, not trolling [?]) Americans.
Requirement #2: Your style of discourse must align with those of Americans
If they say the America's coronavirus strategy is better than Sweden's and you say China built a hospital in 10 days... if they say America's testing is worse than South Korea's and you say Chinese doctors are well-equipped... there's no real discussion taking place. If you want the other side to accept your attacks on America, you need to imitate the way Americans argue amongst themselves. [blah blah cut some other rant about the Indian caste system] Similarly, we shouldn't overthink what views we want to implant in their heads. Rather, we should base our arguments around views that they are willing to consider, and then bait them further in our direction.
Some topics that I've used to success on Reddit:
“The US government doesn't care about lives, only elections”
“The elites lie to the middle class to protect their profits”
I got a lot of replies saying these things because they identify with these viewpoints. Anything goes when it comes to politics – attack Trump, attack Cuomo, just use whatever works.
Requirement #3: Pretend to be on America's side in your discussions
Importantly, you need to be somewhat illogical – it's actually really easy to do this. If you directly accuse the US of something, people will rebuke you; instead, if you pretend to support the opposite view, people will use mental gymnastics to argue in favor of your actual position. [Wow, this CCP lemming just discovered the power of reverse psychology! ...and cut some other contrived example of an “Indian” criticizing China's school admissions system]
For example, under a post titled “Gov. Newsom Orders All California Counties To Review Autopsies Dating Back To December”, someone asked, “why stop at December?”
My response: “Obviously they don't want to push it too far back as to suggest the virus started in the United States. I'm not being sarcastic here but if we ended up being the first country having Corona virus we would look really bad in the international community. Keeping China the first country to have reported the virus is necessary.”
I'm not a big V [something like the blue tick on Twitter] and I can't summon an army of followers, but I'll be happy if can spread the word with this post and help others troll American websites.
This block of text explains the US political system and how to sow divisions between the left and right.
I won't translate everything but I'll highlight a few snippets.
... the West has brainwashed and spread propaganda for so long that we can't change our perception on the world stage. Instead, we should incite division within America to distract them from China, and make them hate their government...
Ways to sow further divisions in the Democratic Party: Say that the Democratic establishment is corrupt and useless, and then inflame Biden and Sanders supporters: Say Biden has trouble speaking and has no charisma, and that's he'll lose against Trump. Say Sanders isn't a real Democrat and he can't form a coalition to beat Trump, and that he deserves what's coming.
Next, exaggerate the conflict between the federal and state governments. Constantly mention that the federal government doesn't care about blue states, that they're confiscating medical supplies and leaving people out to die. [paraphrases some recent news headlines] Direct their hatred towards the federal government.
Third, inflame the divisions between red and blue states... remember that blue states already hate Trump so there's no reason to bait them into targeting him. Instead, you should make them hate the entire federal government and destroy their trust in the system.
For the Republican Party: Emphasize conflicts between the GOP and Trump himself. Emphasize news reports about Rand Paul and Romney disagreeing with Trump. Highlight how Trump turned his back on the governor of Georgia when he announced the state would reopen. Attack them using a Christian perspective, inflame the divisions between church and state. [gives example of pastors ignoring stay-at-home orders]
For moderates/swing voters: Post about Trump's self-contradictions and disagreements between him and his own cabinet. You can use examples from our own [Chinese] news sources about this. Post your thoughts in the comments below~
有人直接来给中国网站打广告我倒是从来没想到过( • ̀ω•́ )✧