Curated Resource ( ? )

How The Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine - The New York Times

How The Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine - The New York Times

my notes ( ? )

"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.

Read the Full Post

The above notes were curated from the full post www.nytimes.com/2020/10/24/technology/epoch-times-influence-falun-gong.html?partner=IFTTT.

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