Why PTT, #Taiwan's largest terminal-based bulletin board system (BBS), will remain an experimental battleground for CCP #disinformation campaigns, esp. given its Mandarin user base: "A Pilot Study on PTT in the Context of Influence Operations" via @INDSRTW indsr.org.tw/tw/News_detail…
"The initial quest of this research began with the question: Is there CCP influence in PTT?

PTT is the world's largest non-commercial, forum-based, open-source online bulletin board system in the Chinese language. It was created here; it is unique to #Taiwan."
"PTT was the beacon for public opinion in #Taiwan during the #SunflowerMovement in 2014, leading it to be seen by the CCP as an important anti-China and anti-CCP platform. In its aftermath, the CCP ... emphasized the importance of incentivizing and attracting Taiwan's youth."
"PTT has [now] been polluted. Once seen as a pristine platform for democratic resistance, in a few short years, PTT is now also a place where users must also be wary of false and distorted information being planted ... [for] PTT is allowed through the Great Firewall [of China]."
"PTT platform has become a training ground for the CCP to carry out cyber information offensives" through coordinated inauthentic behavior. "#Taiwan’s political polarization [also] means domestic, partisan infighting can inadvertently hide malign foreign influence on any debate."
Moreover, "exploiting the diverse voices... of a democratic society on PTT may be an 'indirect strategy' ... By supporting specific opposition forces and magnifying opinions about the democratic system or long-term dissatisfaction..., it gradually weakens anti-China perceptions."
"To keep a topic alive in discourse, the issue must cross several media platforms to sustain a longer news cycle, which then PTT also comes into use as information is sourced and spread from PTT or PTT acts as a way station where information from one place is passed to the next."
"The key point of this task is to look at an issue from the CCP's standpoint – that is select issues that are persistent and controversial; the issues themselves and the [derivative] controversies ... should have the characteristics of splitting and provoking #Taiwanese society."
CCP #disinformation campaigns on PTT were "enough to undermine the trust in the #Taiwan gov, and divide the hearts of the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Similar content was quickly spread across platforms to Facebook, triggering another wave of cynicism including meme diagrams."
Created the year before #Taiwan's first direct presidential election, PTT "captures a multi-generational development, encompassing users from the 1990s through today... It utilizes neologisms specific to the platform itself as well as to Taiwan's political, economic" environment.
"PTT provides firsthand reaction to and sometimes acts as an anchor for the flow of public opinion. Political elites pay attention to PTT as do mainstream media. Discussions within active PTT bulletin boards are easily quoted and transferred to other media platforms & vice versa"
"2018, PTT became a place where disinformation circulated...[resulting] in the tragic death of a Taiwanese diplomat in Japan. At the end of 2019, it was a piece of information posted on PTT that alerted #Taiwan health authorities to a mysterious virus situation emerging in Wuhan"
Download the full report from @INDSRTW, #Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry, and @doublethinklab here: drive.google.com/file/d/1FKRIVN…

Bonus! PTT terminology, #bilingual edition 👇

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