News and Views on Tibet

Opinion: How Chinese paid cyber-troll farms are upending our unity

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By Ugyen Gyalpo

Every time an election comes into our “little big” Tibetan world in diaspora, I have noticed divisive talks of regionalism and sectarianism in our own world. Even some Tibetans who have now become adroit snake charmers, hypnotizes laymen and women, monks and nuns alike to submit to the divisive dose of regionalism and sectarian divide from the comforts of their smart devices helping China in the hindsight do their dirty work in dismantling Tibetan unity without spending a dime.

When will Tibetan election especially the Sikyong one that has taken over the Tibetan world seem like an election of the Tibetan people and only of the Tibetan people again and not one of Utsang, Kham and Amdo. I was born and raised in Darjeeling, India as a Tibetan refugee and I have only known one Tibetan and Tibet. Regions were just provinces and geographical areas of Tibet and sects were just school of thoughts within greater Tibetan Buddhism.

In the building heat of the U.S. presidential race, according to the U.S intelligence, China is trying their best to influence the U.S elections. They have done so in Australia and in the U.K by giving huge donations to political parties and to educational institutions alike. The Chinese Communist Party pays to run huge cyber troll armies and maintain cyber troll farms so to speak, who then goes on to create multiple fake social media accounts that goes on phishing and engage in blatant disinformation campaigns, pitch one countrymen against the other, smear opponents and sow disharmony and ultimately to influence and sway votes for parties that are supporters and sympathizers of China. All at the cost of derailing the peace and stir question marks on the efficacy of democracies around the world.

Our upcoming election being one of the most pivotal for the political future of Tibet in the face of the aging Dalai Lama and China bent on capitalizing on his reincarnation has every reason to influence our political outcome and scar our efforts to maintain a democratic Tibetan government in exile by activating their cyber troll farms. For China in all honesty, more than the meddling in the election of our new sikyong, taking advantage of our already fractured society, drowned in endless regional-tribal warfare that has become our newly established and identified Achilles heels will be their greatest aim of focus and they are already well on their way to weaponize our weakness, as internet trolls and fake accounts have sprung up in waves to inseminate misinformation and fan the flames of regional tribal warfare and division.

 We must all be aware and cognizant of this invisible enemy like the CCP-Virus itself that is invading our conversation, our deliberations and our lives by hiding behind those fake social media accounts. I get plenty of friend request on FB with fake names and accounts and I do my due diligence not to add them. We must all do the same.

Also, there are few underground groups in these social media apps such as WeChat and WhatsApp, hidden like tiny kingdoms of cockroaches, that run a kind of defacto government of its own. Everyone is a venom spewing political pundit inside of their own closed knit universe. With no face and names like a spineless ghost, they can talk but can’t walk in a broad daylight. Their main aim like those paid Chinese trolls is to sow hatred and division amongst us and they are active the most during our Sikyong election times, always running those covert divisive campaign efforts by fueling regionalism again.

 It’s time not to pay any heed and attention to these people who spill venomous poison in our societal psyche. We must stop, definitely stop sharing their posts. An expression from Bernard Shaw comes to my mind when I think of these people “never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” Let’s leave those pigs alone.

(Views expressed are his own)

The writer is a blogger at Roar of the Snow Lion. He is based in Woodside, New York.

3 Responses

  1. “never wrestle with pigs.” There is no need to call Tibet Star a pig. Besides, pigs are smart compare to Tibet Star.

  2. Love it ..
    Without paying a dime by Chinese . Tibetans are doing their job .

    I am Tibetan who should I vote is the only I care . If someone come up to me tell me their candidate how great he or she is . For that person his candidate is great because of sectarian. I replied I am not sheep . I will choose on of the best candidate.

  3. Next time your smart device accepts a cookie, remember that it’s not just Chinese fortune cookies that are being accepted. Oatmeal raisin cookies are being accepted as well. Don’t forget, India, the land of refuge for many Tibetans, banned a toned down version of the internet being peddled by facebook to the masses on mobile devices. When third party is used, the third party has it’s own agenda as well. If the agendas align, well and good. If they don’t, the third party becomes disposable. Just look at all the oil rich areas. Trolls exist in all colors and forms. They must have learned from the original troll?
    As for pigs, they make a mighty good babi guling. You just get someone else to do the wrestling to serve you dinner. In human society there is a number of maximum people that a person can reasonably interact with in a meaningful manner. Social media eats at people’s desire for recognition and in doing so erodes at the concept of meaningful interactions. So next time you eat the offered ladoo, think about that.

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