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Fifty Cent Party

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Wǔ máo dǎng | 五毛党

Grass-mud horses on fifty-cent note (source unknown)

Paid internet commentators who post opinions in defense of government policy, similar to astroturfing. 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:

@吕国栋: When you criticize China, people who think 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 speak in clichés that have nothing valuable to add. [Chinese]

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.

Starting in the mid-2010s, the work of the Fifty Cent Party was gradually eclipsed by little pinks and other ultra-nationalist netizens.

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