Great Translation Movement: ‘Despicable’ group accused of smearing China’s image claim they are exposing an ‘echo chamber’ online | World News

They say they are just volunteers translating posts from the Chinese internet. State media called them “a despicable anti-China smear campaign” and “psychological warfare”.

The Great Translation Movement (TGTM) started on Reddit after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Users have posted translations of some nationalist comments on Chinese social media.

For example, on a story about retired British soldiers volunteering to fight, the highest rated comment was “Demons disguised as angels. Can laugh”.

Another wrote: “Ukraine is a sharp knife stabbed into Russia in the hands of the United States.”

The account went beyond the war in Ukraine to cover the Shanghai lockdown, COVID conspiracy theories, and online reactions to international news, such as an earthquake in Japan ( One user responded: “Great, when will Mount Fuji erupt?”), as well as the racism that is often characteristic of Chinese social media.

A person behind the Twitter account contacted by Sky News said: “We are just Chinese people who hate China’s echo chambers and with enough passion to translate these comments for a while. long time. .

They say that some of the volunteers involved come from different countries and that Chinese is often their first language.

The popularity of TGTM has sparked a harsh reaction from Chinese state media.

The Global Times, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has published several articles, describing the volunteers as people of Chinese descent who “hate their homeland”, alleging that it promotes racist towards Asians and says that cherry picks “nice and radical opinions”.

“The picture of China and the Chinese in their descriptions are arrogant, populist, ruthless and bloodthirsty,” Global Times wrote.

TGTM partially agrees with that.

TGTM told Sky News: “We picked our comments, but we picked the ones that get the most upvotes, which are, most of the time (all the time), some losers. extremism,” TGTM told Sky News.

“We occasionally made sensible comments, all of which received a fraction of the votes in favor, and were stoned by nationalists, calling them traitors, for example.”

It added: “The increasing number of absurd comments on the Chinese internet that we see today are the culmination of what the CCP has oriented them, the long-term effects of censorship and propaganda. mass, exclusion from the outside world exacerbated by language barriers, the collective Confucian culture no doubt obeys its rulers no matter how autocratic they may be , memories of the political consequences of student protesters during the pro-democracy era in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the destruction of ideologies and academic values ​​during the Cultural Revolution.”

And despite the reaction from Chinese state media, TGTM has no intention of stopping.

Regardless, it’s important to continue reaching out to the rest of the free world to show them the Chinese Internet, China’s popular sentiment, and what the CCP does, the group told Sky News. .”

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