Youtube star Cyrus Janssen appears confident in his case when he claims to hundreds of thousands of followers that the global media are lying about China.
No one in the West could even imagine that China could be so successful. This is the main reason why the Western media constantly attack China, says Cyrus Janssen.
In a Youtube video that has been viewed more than 200,000 times, Cyrus Janssen explains that he is American, “but loves China”. He is one of several American influencers who, with the support of the Chinese state, have spread positive information about the country on social media.
A large number of Americans with Hundreds of thousands of followers on social platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok or Instagram regularly produce material sponsored or supported by the Chinese state, according to New York Times Review.
They are offered trips to beautiful tourist destinations or politically controversial regions of China, then post videos that flatter China’s self-image, often accompanied by monologues questioning China’s negative image in the outside world, or the harsh conditions of the Uyghurs at the time. – They are called retraining camps in Xinjiang.
Matt Gallat, an American with more than 100,000 subscribers on Youtube, took a trip to Xinjiang organized by CGTN, a Chinese state-owned media company. During the trip, Galat played YouTube videos now viewed by hundreds of thousands in which he claims that the treatment of Uyghurs in the region is not as brutal as Western media claims.
The New York Times report also shows how British, Canadian and Israeli influencers are helping China spread useful information on Youtube, Facebook and other social platforms.
Often their impact is tangible. According to a survey conducted by Yale University earlier this year, which examined 290,000 posts about Xinjiang on social media, six of the 10 most-shared Youtube videos about Xinjiang come from these state-backed Western influencers.
“The goal is to create chaos and uncertainty so that the truth can’t arrive any longer,” said Eric Liu, who previously worked as a moderator on social media for Chinese companies, in an interview with The New York Times.
The New York Times also revealed this week That the Shanghai police are systematically using fake accounts and computer programs that simulate human behavior online, or so-called bots, on US social platforms to spread propaganda.
According to the newspaper, this initiative is only the “tip of the iceberg” for a global system to spread false or misleading information through influencers and fake accounts. Initiatives seem to have increased in the last period, perhaps to boost China’s image before the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year.
China today spends more government resources than any other country in the world on global advocacy and national public relations. The results so far appear incomplete. Over the past three years, confidence in China has fallen sharply in global confidence surveys conducted by the US think tank Pew Research Center. In a survey conducted earlier this year, an average of 27 percent of residents in the 17 countries surveyed said they trusted China, a record low.
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