Inside the Hong Kong Information War | Post-Truth


When large scale protests broke out in Hong Kong last year, a parallel struggle erupted in traditional media and online. An information war between the Chinese government and protesters sought to shape domestic and global opinions about the protest movement and nature of the clashes taking place in the streets of Hong Kong. China's impressive propaganda apparatus was ready. Using a combination of state media, sympathetic Hong Kong outlets and online influencers, mainland authorities painted protesters as riotous separatists. This narrative was especially impactful for mainland Chinese audiences where the flow of information is highly controlled by the state. In addition to its domestic efforts, China deployed an extensive network of Twitter accounts and bots with the aim to push the same pro-government narratives in Western media. But the information battlefield is not one-sided. Protesters implemented their own sophisticated social media strategies to combat government attacks and create storylines sympathetic to the protest movement.

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