SVT and the UD attacked by noble role from China

Thousands of angry comments – orchestrated by powerful online army

The uproar between China and Sweden continues.

Now the Chinese authorities have released an army of neural pathways that floods SVT and the Facebook page's of the UD.

"We call all righteous people in the country … to a great crusade against our enemy," wrote the manager of a large Facebook group before the reactions were streamed.

On Friday, SVT & # 39; s program leader Jesper Rönndahl apologized for the satirical – or according to Chinese – racist films published last week.

The Chinese embassy, ​​however, did not care – and refused to accept the apologies.

"They are neither serious nor fair," wrote the embassy on his site.

The faction between China and Sweden has become smaller since 15 September. A week after the incident in the hotel that caused the noise, a new player entered the job: an army of Chinese grandson.

Since a few days the Facebook page of SVT and program manager Jesper Rönndal are overwhelmed with angry remarks. Even the Swedish Foreign Ministry has got to know their anger.

1 of 2 | Photo: FACEBOOK

Arga comments on the Facebook page of UD and Jesper Rönndahl

There is no spontaneous crowd of people behind the angry remarks. Instead, it is a coordinated attack organized by the Chinese group Di Ba. The group has 20 million members, who are constantly prepared to continue the regime's defense, writes the site Abacus, part of the independent Chinese newspaper South China Morning Post.

Di Ba usually works at the Chinese forum Tieba, but also has a branch on Facebook.

"We call all righteous people in the country … to a great crusade against our enemy," Di Ba & # 39; s directors wrote in a statement on 23 September.

Di Ba pointed to three goals, namely the Facebook page & # 39; s for:


  • SVT

  • Jesper Rönndahl

Soon after, the three Facebook pages were overwhelmed by thousands of angry and hateful comments and memos. According to Di Ba, about 5,000 accounts took part in the campaign.

The Aftonbladet assessment shows that several accounts have made comments on all three sides – and others are talking about Jesper Rönndahl. Even other groups stated to have participated in the action.


The post on the page of Di Ba


Many of the accounts make messages on different sides, according to the assessment of the Aftonblad.

It is not the first time that Di Ba & # 39; s followers yelled at the critics of the Chinese regime. In January 2016, Tawian leaders attacked the Tsai Ing-wish Facebook page with 40,000 responses in eight hours. Even an Australian swimmer who ended up in a war with a Chinese colleague during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, received thousands of hate speech on social media.

The Chinese network roles are being sanctioned – and financed – by the Communist Party. The activists will be called & # 39; 50 Centers & # 39; because according to information they receive 50 cents for each response they post.

"Important attacks have predetermined slogans, memes and start times and work tasks are divided into groups," says Yale researcher Kate Yuan Tian at the Financial Times.

According to foreign policy, the "50 cents" – some data say 2 million – produce almost 500 million messages a year – only on Chinese social media platforms. However, they are also taking action to tackle crises abroad.

– Facebook is blocked in China, so you have to have a special software. Then it is clear that it is not "just Chinese" behind which people have been given the task to write this, "said journalist Jojje Olsson, who reportedly reported China for many years.

What is the purpose of all comments?

"You want to be frightened and fooled Rönndahl has received a lot of support and praise because his programs are fun and then try to create an image that there are many who do not like it.

Attacks against opponents are not the only or even the most used weapon in the arsenal of the troll.

Instead, they apply a different tactic that is familiar to the internet role: distraction. Activists get into discussions about topics that are sensitive to the Chinese state – they spam or talk about something completely different.

"They do not defend the government, their leaders or politics of criticism … they seem to avoid controversial issues altogether, letting an argument die off or changing a subject usually works much better than choosing an argument or backing up from someone, the researchers write from three American universities.

"Sweden does not understand the size"

In recent years, the "50s" have also been supported by volunteers, with the task of establishing a positive image of China – on the direct mission of President Xi Jinping.

– Tell the Chinese story and build up the gentle power of China, he said during a speech in October last year.

While Russian trolls are largely dependent on automated and false accounts, the 1950s are authentic accounts, often associated with young men.

"In Sweden you have not understood the scale and resources that China puts into this, while you surpass Russia several times, they can afford to pay people and then it will be more effective because you have a more personal attraction," says Jojje. Olsson.

The UD and SVT do not want to comment

The coordinated attacks on SVT, UD and Jesper Rönndahl, however, have everything but a positive tone.

The UD press service says that they can "confirm that we have seen increased activity", but do not want to comment on more at this time.

SVT has a similar message.

"I can confirm that we have seen an increase in activity these days, but that is all we can say", says Victoria Nordansjö, communication strategy at SVT.

How do you deal with the situation?

– I can not comment on that.

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