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Fifty Cent Party

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五毛党 (Wǔ Máo Dǎng): Fifty Cent Party

Grass-mud horses on the “fifty-cent note.” (source unknown)
New character for “fifty cents,” pronounced wao. (source unknown)

Paid Internet commentators who post opinions in defense of government policy. Netizens first coined the term “Fifty Cent Party” to refer to undercover Internet commentators paid by the government to sway public opinion. These commentators allegedly received 50 cents per post.

From Weibo:

Luguodong (@吕国栋): When you criticize China, those who think that China is the best at everything will call you a traitor and tell you to get out of the country. When you are skeptical of foreign countries, another group of people will angrily label you a fifty-center and curse you to die within the system. If you remain silent, the rest will complain that you only say formulaic phrases that have nothing valuable to add. (August 6, 2014)

Netizens have created comics about the Fifty Cent Party and “training manuals” for fifty-centers.

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei conducted a lengthy interview with a self-described fifty-center which circulated during his 2011 detention.

See also volunteer fifty center.

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