"Falun Gong-backed newspaper used aggressive Facebook tactics and misinformation to create an anti-China, pro-Trump media empire" - from a "low-budget newspaper ... handed out free on New York street corners" to "one of the country’s most powerful digital publishers... a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation" - SPygate, Qanon, delegitimisation, BLM
A long way from how they began, or the crisis triggered by FB's 2015 algorithm change, which saw them churn out clickbait in desperate search for a hit. Then Trump: editors had an "almost messianic way of viewing Trump as the anti-Communist leader who would bring about the end of the Chinese Communist Party” - they hire a Tea Party strategist to connect with conservatives and "make Falun Gong’s persecution a Trump priority".
How? "creating dozens of Facebook pages [using fake accounts], filling them with feel-good videos and viral clickbait"... amplified by clickfarm- and bot-driven fake likes and shares... "and using them to sell subscriptions and drive traffic back to its partisan news coverage". It worked: "tens of millions of social media followers ... online audience rivaling ... Breitbart... [and] growing influence in Mr. Trump’s inner circle".
Facebook started moving against them by 2019, so they've moved to YouTube.
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