It’s been in the news recently that China has been using social media and other online service to influence opinion in or generally disrupt Taiwanese society. Some efforts have included efforts to buy FB pages that have a pro-independence theme, but the accounts sending the messages used phrases unusual for a Taiwanese Mandarin speaker.
I’ve seen posts on Reddit that seemed to find random things to criticize about Taiwan, like how taxis or McDo doesn’t take credit cards, often from new accounts who stuck around to double down and point out how great are the nearby countries that do. Fewer but similar things have popped up in FB forums related to Taiwan. It depends on the vigilance of the admins, some of which appear to be absentees, how long they stay on the forum.
A recent post on this forum has even been questioned. This is the only Taiwan-based English-language forum I follow. I follow some Chinese-language ones, but the Taiwanese do a good enough job of pointing out what’s wrong in Taiwan to know if there are any shills.
Most post on English-language forums and travel sites seem to purposed to drive tourists away from Taiwan, while the Chinese-language ones seem purposed to promote a positive view of China and/or unification with China. It’s reminiscent of the pre-Brexit, pre-Trump days of Russian mass-Internet-influence where they coyly tried to change Western opinion of Russia. That may have been before they realized the power of social media and went after bigger fish. The Chinese may be doing the same thing but with a (with apologies) much smaller target.
Wrapping up, am I just paranoid, or do you think Taiwan-based/themed social media in English are part of a possible targeted campaign by the Chinese which may or may not be happening? I’m just curious about what other people think about this. Probably most think it’s true without proof, but I’m more curious about those who have reason to believe it. I’m not yet convinced, and I’m not sure what difference it would make.