Global Information Manipulation

The U.S. Government’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) has released the special report, How the People’s Republic of China Seeks to Reshape the Global Information Environment, in support of its mission to recognize, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts that would effect the United Sates as well as its allies.

The report posits that tactics used by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to promote positive views of the PRC and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should be highlighted and shared to protect the integrity and veracity of the global information space. It provides specific examples of how the PRC uses the following five elements to manipulate information to its advantage:

  • Propaganda and censorship
  • Promoting digital authoritariansim
  • Exploiting international organizations and bilateral partnerships
  • Pairing cooptation and pressure
  • Exercising control of Chinese-language media

The report predicts that left unchecked, Beijing will exert undue influence over media content and platforms, constrain global freedom of expression, and grow an international community of digital authoritarians. From using Twitter bots to artificially boost PRC-affiliated accounts to intimidating critics through legal action, PRC efforts to curate the global information space challenge the ability for all nations to develop relationships using facts and based on their own sovereign interests.

For more resources related to this piece, check out HSDL’s In Focus on Disinformation or other resources related to information manipulation.

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