Does China pay an army of astroturf bloggers?

Writing in The Guardian, Malik Fareed claims that the Chinese government is payrolling opinion shapers and influencers 50 Chinese cents or five mao per blog post, to refute and replace negative online coverage about China and related issues (better rates than blogging for Fairfax then?)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/sep/22/chinathemedia.marketingandpr
While astroturfing is seen by some as ethically dubious, it is still growing in popularity, thanks, in part, to the ease with which web 2.0 technologies – the likes of Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube all feature heavily – can be employed to sway public opinion using the elusive power of word-of-mouth marketing.

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2 thoughts on “Does China pay an army of astroturf bloggers?

  1. I guess this is the pitfall of a free wired world. Things could be easily manipulated.

    How much is 50 Chinese Cents? I’m not familiar with the conversion system, but I reckon that it’s not decent pay… hmmmm.

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  2. 0.5 China Yuan Renminbi looks like 10 Aussie Australia cents; maybe not much, but maybe enough posts supplement modest consuimer purchases in China?

    Like

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