‘Grey Area’: China’s Trolling Drives Home Reality of Social Media War

Zhao Lijian’s tweet of a fabricated picture of an Australian soldier set off a fresh online storm between China and Australia, angered Canberra and rattled the public watching diplomatic and trade relations with Beijing sour.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response only affirmed the power of the Chinese state’s messaging. Our 2018 foreign interference laws, passed with some fanfare, have nothing to say about this sort of aggression.

“What we’ve seen with China is official diplomatic accounts being used to spread propagandistic messages,” says Katherine Mansted, a senior adviser at the ANU’s National Security College. “This makes responses hard: it’s not disinformation … but it isn’t normal diplomacy either.” Read more…..


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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is under attack from an army of pro-China keyboard warriors, following his condemnation of that tweet about alleged Australian war crimes. It comes as China’s deputy ambassador accuses the PM of overreacting.

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