EXCLUSIVE: How China is Influencing YouTubers into Posting State Propaganda

A combination of cash and intimidation is keeping online creators in China compliant, quiet, or kicked out of the country.

Thomas Brown
Jan 21 · 13 min read
Image for post
Image for post
It may mean just 5 cents in fact.
Image for post
Image for post
Former YouTube megastar turned Chinese propagandist and social media darling Bart Baker.
Image for post
Image for post
The thumbnail for one of Rich’s video.
Image for post
Image for post
A still from one of SerpentZA and Laowhy86’s videos.
Image for post
Image for post
Results of a Baidu (Chinese Google) search for reports on SerpentZA to the “report a spy” website, known as 12339.

“Chinese propaganda texts make clear there’s an enormous focus on platforms and social media, and great concern that without influence there, they will lose the information space.” — Rush Doshi

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +705K people. Follow to join our community.

Thomas Brown

Written by

Recovering political consultant, cynic. Writer at The Swamp: https://intheswamp.wordpress.com/. Bylines at The Bipartisan Press, Human Events, Spiked, Quillette

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +705K people. Follow to join our community.

Thomas Brown

Written by

Recovering political consultant, cynic. Writer at The Swamp: https://intheswamp.wordpress.com/. Bylines at The Bipartisan Press, Human Events, Spiked, Quillette

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +705K people. Follow to join our community.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store