The “Guo media network” is only “Chinese” in the sense of its founder’s nationality, it doesn’t represent anything related to China, but framing it as “Chinese disinformation” is intended to get others to think twice about what they thought they knew about this term.
Social media analytical company Graphika published a report on Monday alleging to have proven that disgraced Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, who fled his homeland to escape justice for charges ranging from corruption to sexual crimes, is at the center of a vast disinformation network in close coordination with ally Steve Bannon. Western Mainstream Media outlets like the Washington Post and MSN reported on their findings, thus introducing a new and surprisingly accurate angle to their repeated claims of so-called “Chinese disinformation”. It veritably exists, but as is now known, it isn’t what many people thought that it was.
It was never the Chinese government that was spewing false claims about voter fraud, COVID-19, or QAnon, but Guo Wengui, who just so happens to be a Chinese national. Nevertheless, the term “Chinese disinformation” that’s been recklessly bandied about for so long by the Western Mainstream Media evokes images of the Communist Party of China (CPC) deviously spreading disinformation across the world. Observers can now put such speculation to rest after it’s clear that the only so-called “Chinese disinformation” is that which is propagated by Guo Wengui.
Graphika reported: “The online infrastructure referred to in this report as the ‘Guo media network’ defies traditional characterization as either a media organization or an influence operation. Instead, it is an ever-evolving constellation of personalities and entities that revolve around Guo. This includes media figures, content creators, publishing platforms, social media accounts, non-profits, brands, financial schemes, a faux ‘government’ and more, all under the guise of a global sociopolitical movement.” This makes it a new form of Hybrid Warfare that hadn’t been studied much but thankfully is finally beginning to attract needed scrutiny.
The “Guo media network” has been utilized as an information warfare weapon against China over the past few years, and it’s become deeply entrenched in the US, especially among right-wing forces. It enjoyed its peak of infamy during the last year of former US President Donald Trump’s rule, but still continues to this day. Even so, though, it appears as though responsible forces are finally beginning to push back against it, intent to expose and subsequently dismantle this far-reaching disinformation network. That might be partially driven by its right-wing bias which challenges the ruling left-wing leadership of the country, but it should still be applauded.
Graphika’s report proves that the “Guo media network” has gone global and nowadays represents a threat to the free flow of facts across the world. Important conversations about serious topics such as COVID-19 have been hijacked by its sympathizers, who insert disinformation narratives into them that are in one way or another connected to this network. For all intents and purposes, it represents a cutting-edge cyber-information threat that will require multilateral coordination to counter. Social media platforms can lead the way by at the very least labeling certain accounts connected to this network like they already do with some state media.
It should be at their discretion whether certain accounts are deplatformed or not, taking into account exactly what they’ve been sharing and how dangerous it truly is to everyone exposed to such narratives. Nonetheless, something must urgently be done and it appears as though the political will is finally present in the US to begin exploring the wide range of options available. The “Guo media network” is only “Chinese” in the sense of its founder’s nationality, it doesn’t represent anything related to China, but framing it as “Chinese disinformation” is intended to get others to think twice about what they thought they knew about this term.
Hopefully more people will realize that they’ve been misled by the Western Mainstream Media into wrongly regarding official Chinese media outlets as so-called “disinformation” when the only real disinformation with the most superficial of “Chinese” labels is the “Guo media network”. It’s not located in China either, but is deeply entrenched in none other than the US, the world’s most infamous fake news factory. This observation should make many wonder why it was even tolerated for so long only to now become the belated object of much-needed scrutiny. Either way, it’s long-overdue for exposure and subsequent dismantlement.