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Chinese state media publish ads calling Hong Kong protesters "violent" on Facebook and Twitter

Chinese state media publish ads calling Hong Kong protesters "violent" on Facebook and Twitter

Chris Mcgrath / Getty Photographs

Anti-government protesters attend an indication in Victoria Park on August 18.

HONG KONG – Chinese state-run media have purchased bulletins on Twitter and Facebook to run a report by the Chinese Communist Get together on demonstrations. In Hong Kong, painting protesters as a "public enemy" and claiming a "silent majority" do not help the pro-democracy motion.

China has been using increasingly hostile rhetoric for weeks in its state media demonstrations. However the ads symbolize a new step of their efforts to succeed in a wider viewers – BuzzFeed Information discovered almost 50 totally different tweets on Twitter accounts of China's official government press organization, Xinhua News Agency; China Day by day, owned by the Communist Celebration of China; and China Plus News, the English-language web site of state-owned China Radio Worldwide. Comparable ads have been additionally proven on Facebook by Xinhua and CGTN, a state-owned 24-hour information channel that broadcasts in English.

The Chinese government has sought to include a report of months-long demonstrations seen by pro-democracy activists on the streets of more and more aggressive police techniques. Although Twitter and Facebook are banned in China, Chinese state media have a number of English-language accounts to present their views to the surface world.

"It is very clear that Chinese state media are mainly buying ads on Twitter and Facebook. The goal is to reach the international audience as part of China's efforts to" tell their story higher, "said Adam Ni, a Chinese researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney. The Communist Party regards this as "important to the battle of coronary heart and mind," he added.

Hong Kong demonstrations have been widely reported by international media as videos of police confrontations and millions of powerful marches that dominated the flow of information that China generally has the ability to control within its own borders. However, Facebook and Twitter advertisements represent an attempt by state media to control the story with foreign-language tweets and Facebook messages designed to portray protesters as a corrupt violent minority of external influences.

China has steadily risen against its protesters in recent weeks. Initially, China tried to block the flow of information to the people of mainland China, but has increasingly accused protesters of cooperating with foreign troops, including the US government, and tried to throw the protesters rogue. Last week, it said the demonstrations showed "signs of terrorism".

On Saturday, China Daily advertised a tweet with a comic strip entitled "Public Enemy." One demonstrator was a Molotov cocktail and the US flag was emphasised

"Twitter is a kind of natural battlefield," stated Kerry Brown, director of the Lau China Institute at King's School London, who has written extensively in China.

"Ironically, China can't respond to its critics on WeChat because critics are censored," he stated, referring to China's fashionable media platform. "The protesters are very active on Twitter, so it's a natural place to do it. Go for oxygen."

The Twitter advert library, which opened in June 2018, only exhibits ads that have appeared in the last seven days. BuzzFeed News discovered 49 Hong Kong-related tweets advertised between August 12 and 19. There could also be more, and the library also displays warning signs for content material that has been eliminated.

Another Xinhua advert, with 12.6 million followers on Twitter, featured a video from an unknown group of individuals denouncing protesters as "offenders" and thanking police for clips of the demonstrations, lost and eliminated.

"& # 39; China is our home, our home & # 39; Reads Sunday's tweet, which has been redesigned 124 times and liked 517 times. "Hong Kong citizens are calling for an finish to violence, an finish to chaos and a return to order within the city."

"China is our home, our homeland." Hong Kong residents name for an finish to violence, an finish to chaos and a return to order in the metropolis

9:37 am – August 18, 2019

This tweet was first observed by @Pinboard, a Twitter account maintained by Maciej Cegłowski, a US-based web site developer who has been following Hong Kong demonstrations. "I just came home from a completely peaceful march where perhaps a million Hong Kong residents came out without police in sight to demand basic democratic rights," he wrote on Saturday. "I am greeted directly by Xinhua 'band of thugs', courtesy of Twitter Advertising."

@thegrugq I just got here house from a totally peaceful march the place perhaps one million Hong Kong residents got here out and not using a police in sight to demand primary democratic rights. What greets me is Xinhua's "band of thugs", a compliment on Twitter advertising.

12:56 – August 18, 2019

Ceglowski did not return a comment request. In a subsequent tweet, he urged Twitter to boost advertising money for "a government-sponsored campaign to discredit and humanize Hong Kong's genuine voices."

Following a BuzzFeed Information ballot and pressures from accounts like @ Pinboard, a Twitter spokesman confirmed that a minimum of one Xinhua ad had been removed for violating corporate content policies, but did not say which one. Twitter did not reply questions about how the Hong Kong protests have been targeted or how much cash was spent on tweets advertised by Chinese retailers.

Shortly after publishing this story, Twitter introduced that in the future it might "not accept advertising from state-controlled news media." The weblog submit didn’t identify the precise sales retailers affected, but noted that each one accounts subject to the brand new coverage might proceed Twitter use in public dialogue, not just our promoting products. " [19659004] Facebook did not follow Twitter's example and said in a late-afternoon statement on Monday afternoon that it would "proceed to evaluation our policies as they relate to state-owned media" – but still allow these outlets to serve ads on the platform. The company also said it was investigating certain advertisements for the demonstrations in Hong Kong, which were brought to light on Monday.

Chinese state stores have used ads on Facebook and Twitter, primarily to promote its development in Xinjiang. in the province where the country has been charged with human rights abuses against the Islamic Uighur population, Ni said. But what's new in Hong Kong is that "the rhetoric and narrative of the state media differ as a lot as we see on the bottom."

"The worldwide group can easily spot contradictions and, in truth, blatant lies," he said.

Protests began in June on a government proposal that would have allowed extradition to China. Since then, demonstrations have evolved into broader opposition to China's defense of the semi-autonomous region, demanding universal suffrage and investigating police violence.

The protesters also sought to spread their message to the international community and raised funds to drive 18 ads in newspapers in 13 different countries this week. One ad, which appeared in the New York Times on Monday, urged readers to "seize the autumn of Hong Kong" and urged readers to call their senators and representatives. In June, protesters used a crowdfunding campaign to show ads also around the G20.

On Sunday, as many as 1.7 million people marched in recent mass rallies despite heavy rain. march. Police had approved the demonstration at Victoria Park but did not accept the march for security reasons. The protesters defied this, but the day remained calm and there was no controversy between the police who described the protests, which ended in a tear gas. Messages in the Telegram program and in a local forum encouraged people to go home when the night wound up.

In a demonstration at the airport last week, protesters held two men believed to be secret – including one confirmed to be a reporter in the Global Times state media – and many overlooked this weekend's largely peaceful demonstration of how supportive it was.

"The airport did not have much publicity for the protesters," Brown said. said that China may have seen this as a "propaganda opportunity" to better tell its side.

That may be the case with Xinhua, which launched Facebook ads for Sunday rallies and currently has five in circulation, in which it claims that citizens are calling on the government to "restore order." Gizmodo's first-hand Xinhua ads appear in Hong Kong and neighboring countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, but not primarily in English-speaking areas such as the US, UK, or Australia, based on BuzzFeed News analysis.

The Facebook ad library, which is more comprehensive than Twitter, shows that CGTN started advertising. Facebook posts on Aug. 13, when it showed a video of a Hong Kong police officer allegedly injured in a "gasoline bomb". CGTN has over a dozen commercials, some of which are shown within the US. the concept overseas affect is the primary cause behind the demonstrations.

Collectively, the CGTN video strongly suggests that "Gang of 4" Hong Kong politicians are taking marching orders from the USA to direct "young people to invest in the battle." their international advisors. & # 39;

"There can be no doubt that these people are helping foreign troops to intervene in Hong Kong," the caption reads in the video.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on these ads or how much money it receives for the advertised content.

A few of the marketed tweets additionally convey a conspiracy that Hong Kong demonstrations are usually not natural. An Xinhua tweet on Aug. 10 was promoted to inquire about an alleged US official who met with activists for "Hong Kong independence." Another China Day by day publish with more than 4 million Twitter followers reads: "How does American democracy and freedom damage world peace?" "There's a video of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Foreign Policy Declarations when Syria and Libya's war plays are shown underneath him.

" Now America really talks about Hong Kong, "the caption reads close to the top of the video.

The China Day by day China Every day marketed the clip in a tweet on Saturday, and different Chinese state-run accounts boosted the video and said that it was #TrendingInChina. likes.


August 19, 2019 at 11:13 p.m.

The story has been updated with a remark from Facebook stating that it still allows state-owned media to run ads.