China operates 20 million volunteers as trolls to influence foreigners on social media.
By Abliz Poskam
Research conducted by Ryan Fedasiu, a Research Analyst at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology revealed that the disinformation and propaganda campaigns of the Chinese government get the support of as many as “20 million part-time volunteers to engage in internet trolling”.The research says the Party likely employs at least 120 “network civilization volunteers” for every 10,000 Chinese internet users in four provinces. the average volunteer is just 19 years old.
The report said many of the trolls are university students and members of Communist Youth League (CYL; 共产主义青年团, gong chan zhu yi qingnian tuan).
Two of the major government agencies that manage these trolls are the Ministry of Education and the Central Communist Youth League.
China calls these trolls with a very fancy name such as Network Civilization Volunteers”(网络文明志愿者; wangluo wenming zhiyuan zhe).
The trolls have selectively mobilized to defend China’s core interests such as promoting The Hong Kong National Security law and denying the Uyghur genocide and forced labor allegations.
China has a long history of sophisticated misinformation and propaganda campaigns.