Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Is China funding vloggers to push its propaganda?

Several “independent” popular vloggers with considerable to huge following have been releasing content favouring China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Vlogs refer to videos of persons sharing their lifestyle, opinions and other information of a general nature. They are basically the videographic versions of the blogs that are created in a textual form.

A good chunk of these vloggers are on YouTube, a platform that often marks suspected and confirmed state-owned news and information broadcasters as such, but fails to do so in the case of independent youtubers. These propaganda peddlers have ties to Chinese media and sometimes even work in trust with them.

Some of the vloggers working in cohort with China ar Barrie Jones, Jason Lightfoot and father-son duo Lee and Oli Barrett. These individuals deliberately try to cover up Chinese wrongdoings in front of their Western audiences. Initially, their vlogs used to range around their personal life but over time, they have begun churning out Chinese propaganda, denouncing the harsh treatment of Uyghur Muslims and arguing that the Wuhan lab leak theory is false. Chinese bots also help increase their reach by subscribing to their channel and liking their videos.

Despite China’s claims of being a free and open nations that promotes freedom of speech (according to the Constitution of 1982), it’s propaganda machinery and zero tolerance of criticism is laid bare. Recently, an independent journalist by the name of Zhang Zhan was arrested and sentenced to 4 years in prison for investigating the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

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