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How Chinese State Media Creates And Propagates CCP Coronavirus Narratives

September 1st, 2021 10:53

Harvard’s Kennedy School (HKS) report­ed last year on how Chi­nese state media cre­ates and prop­a­gates Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty (CCP) coro­n­avirus nar­ra­tives. Accord­ing to the HKS study:

June 8, 2020 To gain insight into how Chi­nese state media is com­mu­ni­cat­ing about the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic to the out­side world, we ana­lyzed a col­lec­tion of posts from their Eng­lish-lan­guage pres­ence on Face­book. We observed three recur­ring behav­iors: shar­ing pos­i­tive sto­ries and pro­mot­ing the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s (CCP) pan­dem­ic response, rewrit­ing recent his­to­ry in a man­ner favor­able to the CCP as the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic evolved, and using tar­get­ed ads to spread pre­ferred mes­sages. Although spin is not unique to state actors, paid ad cam­paigns to pro­mote gov­ern­ment-run state media pages con­tain­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion and con­spir­a­cies are prob­lem­at­ic. Our find­ings sug­gest that plat­forms should imple­ment clear­er dis­clo­sure of state-spon­sored com­mu­ni­ca­tions at a min­i­mum, and con­sid­er refus­ing paid posts from such entities.

Read the full study here.

Recent GIOR report­ing on Chi­nese Covid-19 pro­pa­gan­da efforts has included:

  • In August, we report­ed that Chi­nese media cit­ed a Swiss biol­o­gist dis­cussing the ori­gins of the coro­n­avirus who actu­al­ly did not exist.
  • In June, we rec­om­mend­ed a RAND study exam­in­ing Russ­ian and Chi­nese Covid-19-relat­ed ‘malign and sub­ver­sive infor­ma­tion efforts’ tar­get­ing US audiences.
  • In March, we rec­om­mend­ed a research project exam­in­ing and com­par­ing the false nar­ra­tives about Covid-19’s ori­gins in Chi­na, the US, Rus­sia, and Iran dur­ing the first six months of the virus’s outbreak.