How the report landed in the New York Times would be an interesting story to learn, but in the meantime, the truth coming from that “news” organ on the marketing efforts of the Chinese Communist Party to use western YouTube personalities to sell the idea that all is right as rain in China is rather interesting.
The Barretts are part of a crop of new social media personalities who paint cheery portraits of life as foreigners in China — and also hit back at criticisms of Beijing’s authoritarian governance, its policies toward ethnic minorities, and its handling of the coronavirus.
The videos have a casual, homespun feel. But on the other side of the camera often stands a large apparatus of government organizers, state-controlled news media, and other official amplifiers — all part of the Chinese government’s widening attempts to spread pro-Beijing messages around the planet.
State-run news outlets and local governments have organized and funded pro-Beijing influencers’ travel, according to government documents and the creators themselves. They have paid or offered to pay the creators. They have generated lucrative traffic for the influencers by sharing videos with millions of followers on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Why China would work to soften its image abroad is no secret. Why the New York Times would report it is another matter. This is truth bombing the target audience of the internet marketing campaign. Would that not negate the effort?
Breitbart added some additional information.
Most of the influencers have lived in China for many years and claim that their aim is to counter the West’s negative perceptions of the country. They claim that their videos are made entirely independently and not influenced by the Chinese government.
Sure. That does not change that the money invested in these videos and other online efforts does not get a good return for the producers. After all, YouTube is monetized. How many of these accounts have been demonetized for content?
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