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New tactic by China to hide Xinjiang atrocities

ANI | Updated: Oct 21, 2022 04:46 IST

Beijing [China], October 21 (ANI): As part of China's efforts to counter criticisms of its human rights abuses, female China-based ethnic-minority influencers from troubled frontier regions of Xinjiang use sophisticated content with a more authentic feel to convey a false sense of legitimacy and transparency about these frontier regions, said a think tank.
This was revealed in an investigation into YouTube accounts of these influencers from the troubled frontier regions of Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia, reported the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
These 'frontier influencers' or 'frontier accounts' are pushing back on reports of human rights abuses. They are also increasingly focused on China's party propaganda and disinformation.
All these videos are first put on China's domestic video-sharing platforms. It meets internal propaganda first. Later, this frontier-influencer content gets redirected towards global audiences on YouTube as part of the CCP's evolving efforts to counter criticisms of China's human rights problems and burnish the country's image.
The utilization of these YouTube accounts to influence China's international image is a clear indication of the evolving and increasingly sophisticated tactics by which things get done digitally. These kinds of videos are mostly then run on US social media platforms.

All this is done while the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) censor speech, promote disinformation and seed the internet with its preferred narratives. Even though YouTube is blocked in China still the Communist Party still use the platform for its contestation with the outside world. It is noteworthy that the use of YouTube in propaganda efforts has intensified in recent years.
In the analysis of these frontier accounts, it came to the surface that these accounts were created mostly in 2020-21. Moreover, these accounts feature content that propagates CCP narratives. One intriguing thing was that these videos have a less polished presentation and have a more authentic feel that conveys a false sense of legitimacy and transparency about China's frontier regions.
These videos achieve the goals that the state media struggles to achieve. For viewers, the video content appears to be the creation of the individual influencers but is in fact what's referred to in China as 'professional user-generated content, or content that's produced with the help of special influencer-management agencies known as multi-channel networks (MCNs), the research found out.
An analysis of 18 YouTube accounts featuring ethnic-minority influencers from China's frontier regions was done. These accounts have follower numbers ranging from 2,000 to 205,000. As part of the research, 'Annie Guli' YouTube account was found to be aimed at pushing back on reports of human rights abuses in Xinjiang from foreign media and governments.
In one of the videos, Abdushukur is telling the foreign journalists attending the online discussion that she'll defend Xinjiang from the untrue reports of foreign journalists and showcases the beauty of her homeland, reported the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. (ANI)